Saffron: The social relations of production

Saffron is promoted in Afghanistan as a legal alternative to opium growing and for its potential to generate job opportunities, especially for women. But has it succeeded in creating growth and transforming women’s lives?

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

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

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

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

The issue paper on Provincial Planning and Budgeting in Afghanistan, presented to the public in July 2016, examines public financial management processes and stakeholders. Due to the absence of a clear subnational governance framework, initial reforms with regard to public

A Balancing Act for Extractive Sector Governance

The first issue paper which is presented to the public in June 2016 concerns mining governance. Afghanistan is estimated to hold 1 to 3 trillion USD in untapped mineral deposits, ranging from lootable ones (such as gems, marble, gold, coal,

The Role of Civil Society in Promoting Good Governance in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan the definition of civil society in the form of organisations and groups also includes shuras, jirgas, Community Development Councils and other traditional structures and representatives such as the ulemah or maliks. Due to traditionally weak state structures, these

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

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

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

A Closer Look at Men and “Masculinities”: Their Proactive Contribution to Gender Equality

Masculinity is defined as how people perceive male-ness. The overall goal of this research is a comprehensive understanding of different notions of being a man in Afghanistan and how they contribute to gender inequality. The study addressed boys’ and men’s