• Using village context analysis in Afghanistan: methods and wider implications

    The purpose of this paper is to draw out the programmatic significance of the findings that there are systematic differences between villages in Afghanistan in the behaviour of village elites and their support for the welfare of village households and the delivery of basic level public goods. It is designed to speak directly to Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Programme (NSP).

  • Seeing like the networked state: Subnational governance in Afghanistan

    Instead of the strong, merit-based institutions that provide ‘good’ governance and access to basic services envisioned at the Bonn conference, governance in Afghanistan rests on highly exclusionary and volatile networks of access. Regional elite networks, and the system as a whole, have created and sustain ‘durable disorders’ at subnational level, stitched together through network ties to resemble the centralised government laid out in the Afghan constitution.

  • The rules of the game: Towards a theory of networks of access

    The post-Taliban state-building process began earnestly and with great optimism at the Bonn conference in 2001. At Bonn, the international community brought together a carefully selected group of Afghan stakeholders and created a new vision for the country’s future, premised on democratic governance, de-personalised state institutions and markets. Yet, even as the implementation of these ideals clashed with realities inside Afghanistan in the ensuing years, very few dared to question the rationale underpinning state-building and governance efforts.

  • Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Afghanistan: A Work in Progress

    The aim of this issue paper is to take stock of the conceptualsetting and the current level of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) implementation in Afghanistan. It provides an overview of GRB as an internationally applied, gender-mainstreamingstrategy and as an approach to financinggender equality commitments. It considers the challenges and constraints of implementing GRB and identifies strategic entry points that promise to stimulate and influence discussions and practices at the nationaland subnational policy levels.

  • Civil Service Reform in Afghanistan: Roles and Functions of the Civil Service Sector

    This issue paper aims to conduct a broader analysis of the civil service and key policy reform processes in the sector. It seeks to understand the functions and role of the civil service sector and identify mechanisms to foster multi-level service delivery at both national and subnational levels. Finally, it provides suggestions on strengthening public administration reforms in the civil service sector in the context of the National Unity Government’s political agenda.

  • The Role of Civil Society in Promoting Good Governance in Afghanistan

    As part of the Governance Forum Afghanistan (“Govern4Afg”) project, this study aims to assess the role of civil society in promoting good governance in Afghanistan by critically examining the players, their roles, and the challenges that they face. Finally, it introduces some strategies that various CSOs have used in promoting good governance principals and raising awareness in terms of broader governance relations in the country.

  • Bringing the State Closer to the People:
    Deconcentrating Planning and Budgeting in Afghanistan

    This issue paper on provincial planning and budgeting contributes to the overall objective of the Governance Forum Afghanistan (“Govern4Afg”) project by assessing the existing planning and budgeting mechanisms and by recommending key actions to improve planning and budgeting with the aim to ameliorate good governance in general and service delivery in particular. 

  • AREU mourns the tragic loss of former director Paula Kantor

    Paula was an integral and beloved member of AREU and the Kabul community. She had just returned to Kabul for a short period after a five-year absence to begin work on an ambitious new joint research project between AREU and CIMMYT when her life was cut tragically short during an attack on the hotel where she was staying on the evening of May 13.  


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AREU Welcomes its New Director "Dr. Orzala Ashraf Nemat"

Dr. Orzala Ashraf Nemat, an internationally known Afghan activist and scholar is an expert in political ethnography, hol... Read More


Perceptions of Peace and Justice from the Field-Eleven Years after (A Call for Justice)

Transitional justice, as the “range of processes and mechanisms associated with society’s attempts to come to terms with... Read More


Transitional Justice: Views from the Ground on How Afghanistan Fares

The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU),after four years of publishing on how best to deal with the painful ... Read More


Time to Move on-Developing an Informed Development Response to Opium Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan

After almost 15 years since the fall of the Taliban, the policy discussion on counternarcotics remains uncertain of whic... Read More


Finding roses among thorns: The hidden role of women in Afghanistan’s rural economy

Massouda Kohistani

When Afghan women only rarely appear in public spheres, it is all too easy to miss the vital, visionary and entrepreneurial part they play not only in the nurture of their families but the economic life of their entire household and community


Roundtable: The Afghan National Army After ISAF...

Roundtable: When Will Transnational Justice in Afghanistan Become a Part of Transition Decade?...

Roundtable: Agriculture for Nutrition in Afghanistan Stakeholder Consultation...

Policy Dialogue: Govern4Afg and stakeholders develop practical ways to put policies into action...