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The Afghanistan research programme

Attempts to engineer a social transformation and shift Afghanistan from its existing social order to one more reflective of Western norms have largely failed to take root and, if anything, have helped consolidate a rule of patronage and personalised relationships. A significant part of this failure can be attributed to conflict between irreconcilable goals and means in relation to fighting terrorism, addressing insurgency, responding to the opium economy and liberal state building, and the effects these have had in terms of muddling objectives and practices on the development agenda. But a goodly part of the mess can also be attributed to conflicting cultures, goals and practices between donors.

The Afghanistan research programme seeks to generate usable evidence on livelihoods, service delivery and social protection that will help inform better modes of international engagement in Afghanistan.

This research programme will be guided by three research themes:

  1. Context analysis and responding to village preconditions in service delivery
  2. Service delivery and capacity building of regional social orders
  3. Economic life and livelihood trajectories

More information

The team

Our Afghanistan research programme is being led by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) based in Kabul, Afghanistan.

 

Contact us

AREU, PO Box 3169, Shahr-i-Naw Post Office, Ministry of Interior Road, Shahr-i-Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tel: +93 (0)799 608 548

Website: http://www.areu.org.af/

E-mail: slrc@odi.org.uk

Title Author Summary Country Date
The social life of the onion: the informal regulation of the onion market in Nangarhar, Afghanistan Giulia Minoia, Wamiqullah Mumatz and Adam Pain Onion production in Afghanistan has been expanding rapidly and is seen as a potential alternative crop to opium poppy, offering comparable financial returns. This paper, based on evidence from the rural onion economy in Nangarhar, challenges the assumption that poor access to credit is holding the market back. Policy makers thinking about market expansion should pay more attention to interpersonal connections, and how they relate to technical interventions, based on traditional economic knowledge. Afghanistan 25/11/2014
Gender, youth and urban labour market participation: evidence from the tailoring sector in Kabul, Afghanistan Adam Pain and Richard Mallett This study looks at young women’s and men’s experiences in Kabul’s tailoring labour market, with a particular focus on: 1) how young women and men acquire skills and enter the urban labour market in the first place, particularly in light of the highly gendered nature of boundaries between public and private space; 2) what the nature, terms and limits of their labour market participation look like; and 3) whether participation in that urban labour market is working for or against them. Afghanistan 03/07/2014
Politics and Governance in Afghanistan: the Case of Nangarhar Province Ashley Jackson This paper aims to look at subnational governance and access to public goods. It seeks to understand the power relations at play, attempting to separate how government functions in reality from narratives created by the international community about how governance systems should function. Afghanistan 19/06/2014
Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Afghanistan Adam Pain This working paper examines the links between livelihoods, service delivery and social protection interventions in Afghanistan and how poor people seek to make a living and scrutinises the causal models or ‘theories of change’ that underpin such interventions. Afghanistan 03/09/2012