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Moving with the Times: How Opium Poppy Cultivation has Adapted to the Changing Environment in Afghanistan

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This “watching brief” has described a number of trends with respect to agriculture, land settlement, and opium poppy in several areas of Afghanistan. It highlights two separate but highly related issues. First, what will be farmers’ response to changes in

Briefing Note on Fieldwork in Kandahar Province, December 2015 – January 2016: Opium Poppy and Rural Livelihoods

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This briefing note provides initial observations from fieldwork conducted between 14 December 2015 and 8 January 2016 in ten field sites within Arghandab, Panjwai, and Zharai Districts of Kandahar Province. In 2014/15, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs

The Devil is in the Details: Nangarhar’s continued decline into insurgency, violence and widespread drug production


Nangarhar – a province that historically has been one of the major entry points for the capture of Kabul – is in complete disarray. It lies in chaos, riven by a process of political fragmentation that has increased in both

Helmand on the Move: Migration as a Response to Crop Failure

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This paper provides an account of how the shift in security provision from a combined ISAF and ANSF operation to one driven by local actors has impacted upon a number of different locations in central Helmand. It is based on

Briefing note on fieldwork in Balkh Province, May 2015 Opium poppy and rural livelihoods

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The following notes describe very initial findings from fieldwork done in ten villages in Balkh Province’s Chimtal and Char Bolak Districts during the first two weeks of May 2015. Located west of Mazar-e Sharif, these areas have been counted among

The contribution of BRAC’s life skills education and livelihoods trainings to social inclusion in Afghanistan


This study adopts a social exclusion lens to analyse the effects of BRAC’s life skills education and livelihoods trainings for young women in Afghanistan and tests assumptions about the role labour programmes can play in contributing to social inclusion. It

Political Economy of the Wolesi Jirga: Sources of Finance and their Impact on Representation in Afghanistan’s Parliament

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Being an MP in Afghanistan is an expensive undertaking. The costs of a successful election campaign can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, to which are added the day-to-day expenses costs of security, staffing, and responding to the demands

Afghan Election 2010: Alternative Narratives

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Released shortly before the 2010 parliamentary election, this brief examined the undiscussed stories surrounding the vote. It argued that while the media focused on fraud and insecurity, there were other significant narratives being missed by the coverage preceding the polls.

Connecting With Kabul: The Importance of the Wolesi Jirga Election and Local Political Networks in Afghanistan

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This paper argued that the international community needed to pay more attention to the 2010 parliamentary election—not only for the precedents it would set in attempts to promote representational governance in Afghanistan, but, more pressingly, because of the ability of

The Wolesi Jirga in 2010: Pre-Election Politics and the Appearance of Opposition

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This brief provides some of the initial findings of AREU’s study on parliamentary functions and dynamics. It summarises initial findings based on data collected from semi-structured interviews with a sample of over 50 MPs comprising different backgrounds, provinces, genders, ethnicities,