The purpose of this research is to inform future work in supporting displacement-affected persons to access civil documentation as well as accessing other rights and services connected to it. This will in turn contribute to enabling persons affected by displacement to achieve durable solutions – whether local integration, return or settlement in another part of Afghanistan.
Largely ignored for over 10 years, the role of Afghanistan’s youth in transition has been increasingly in the spotlight since 2013, the year of the National Youth Policy. Much more needs to be done to bring change for youth as 60% of Afghanistan’s population is under the age of 24. Taking the case of Kabul’s urban displaced youth, this study shows just how. This is the first of a three-part series that will be released between now and August 2016, ahead of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.
International support to local government in Afghanistan is waning at a time when the provincial administrations are in a state of transition. What support remains often tends to focus on female elected officials.
IOM Tajikistan has been active in the border region between Afghan Badakhshan and Tajik GBAO through its Tajik–Afghan Border Security and Community Stabilization (BSCS) programme, whose first phase came to a close in March 2015. One key finding of its final evaluation was that an important driver of instability in the region was the lack of livelihood opportunities. Phase II will thus focus on the border’s potential as a site of economic opportunity. In October 2015, Samuel Hall was contracted by IOM Tajikistan to conduct a study on cross-border economic opportunities in the Badakhshan–GBAO region. The purpose of this assignment was to identify the needs and the economic potential in border communities on both sides, and point out initiatives with the potential to be scaled up to the benefit of local residents. The research questions addressed the potential of cross-border markets and possible synergies in cross-border labor market supply and demand. It considered existing initiatives with an eye to avoiding duplication of efforts.
Connected by the ancient Silk Road, the remote border region between Afghanistan (Badakhshan) and Tajikistan (GBAO) was once a place of prosperous exchange. Today the communities living on “the roof of the world” face a number of challenges common across the border: security concerns, poverty and lack of employment opportunities.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan gathered in November 2015 in Tehran for a regional meeting on Afghan refugee issues with a thematic focus on Afghan displaced youth. At a time when displacement in and out of Afghanistan continues to rise, when the number of Afghan asylum seekers grows steadily in Europe and debates on durable solutions for Afghan refugees remain, it is all the more necessary to take stock of the profiles of the millions of Afghan youth outside of their homeland, and those who made, with their families, the decision to return. The outcome of this workshop is concrete and operational: a set of possible key objectives and indicators that can help guide NGOs in their work with Afghan refugee youth, as well as facilitate improved donor and host government understanding of key issues. The centrality of better data was voiced by all NGOs present, a priority need in Iran and Pakistan, as well as upon return to Afghanistan, to enable tailored programming that support youth’s potential and are aligned with their aspirations.
Afghanistan is urbanizing at a staggering rate. Today, however, urban poverty is on the rise with worrying signs of economic collapse. The construction, transportation and services sectors are in decline, and jobs have become even scarcer than before.
Although cash-based interventions (CBIs) are increasingly used to deliver humanitarian assistance in support of more traditional in-kind emergency distributions, there is now a growing, global acceptance among stakeholders of the need to pay closer attention to the positive and negative impact of CBIs on key protection components. Although there have been several key contributions on this issues in recent years, including studies conducted by Samuel Hall, more research needs to be carried out in Afghanistan on the secondary effects of CBIs on protection issues for IDPs, which are often not systematically considered during the inception phase of project designs, nor as part of wider assistance program strategies. Samuel Hall has been commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to identify the effects and impact of cash-based programming on protection outcomes in Afghanistan, particularly in relation to ‘Do No Harm’ and minimising risks in terms of protection. This builds on Protection Outcomes In Cash Based Interventions: A Literature Review produced by DRC in January 2015 and which draws a number of conclusions on the impacts of CBIs on protection issues and recommends areas of further research.
The third phase of the Faryab Sustained Rural Development Program (FSRDP), funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), began in 2013, with the primary goal of sustaining rural development in nine districts of Faryab province. Given the current worsening security situation in Afghanistan broadly and Faryab province more specifically, this evaluation is particularly timely: the identification of the success and challenges of existing of the current project are necessary to identify a realistic roadmap for the NFMA and ACTED, as this will prove a pivotal time in identifying necessary internal and external changes. While the study showed that, broadly, ACTED’s work to date has been both relevant and, given the clear implementation challenges faced, successful, it also poses serious questions around the current programme model’s applicability and sustainability moving forward.