AREU has a history of seeing challenges as opportunities and generating ideas to tackle them by conducting evidence-based research. Its long-standing commitment to the betterment of Afghanistan is served by its scholarly publications, active engagement with stakeholders, and practical recommendations that take into account the contextual realities of working in Afghanistan. AREU’s focus on research despite the challenging security environment is both a reflection of its institutional character and that of all those who work in the organisation.
This is a notable year for Afghanistan as it navigates political, security, and strategic challenges. The uncertainty of these changes makes it all the more pressing for AREU to continue its research activities to provide clarity to some of the most vexing policy problems affecting the country. AREU’s all-Afghan research team is well equipped and committed to finding solutions to some of these problems and to working with policymakers to test and advance its ideas. AREU’s inclusivity and notable equality between women and men make it far more likely that it can uncover inspiring ideas that are more representative and capable of creating positive influence through research for Afghanistan.
I am confident that AREU will continue to produce compelling research. This will create a demand for the exchange of ideas that will make a positive impact on Afghanistan’s policies and practices.
The Board of Directors at AREU comprise of heads of European missions, senior UN diplomats, leaders of civil society organisations, and highly experienced public policy experts and practitioners with a longstanding history of working in Afghanistan. The Board convenes quarterly and is chaired by H.E. Tobias Thyberg, Ambassador of Sweden to Afghanistan.
The Board reviews AREU’s research outputs and communications activities against its three-year strategic plan, provides guidance and shares ideas for strategic development, and plays a valuable role in making, approving or changing policy.
AREU values its partnerships with educational institutions and international consortiums and research organizations. These collaborations allow us to tap into the breadth of expertise that our partners bring to the table. Together, we are able to conduct research on a diverse range of subjects and share invaluable resources. Our partners often bring a global perspective to the research, whereas AREU provides on the ground expertise and contextual knowledge from nearly two decades of conducting research in Afghanistan.
Established by the UK Government in late 2015, GCRF supports research that addresses challenges faced by developing countries. GCRF is collaborating with AREU and the Organization for Sustainable Development and Research (OSDR) on a research project called, “Drugs and (Dis)order: Transforming War Economies into Peace Economies,” which is a multi-country borderlands study conducted in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Myanmar.
AREU is a member of the steering committee of the RESOLVE Network at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), which is a global consortium of researchers and research organizations dedicated to linking, gathering, and catalyzing locally informed research on violent extremism to promote effective policy and practice.
SLRC was an eight-year (January 2011-March 2019) global research programmed created by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to explore livelihoods, basic services, and social protection in conflict-affected situations. The research in Afghanistan, in conjunction with AREU, focused on generating evidence on livelihoods, service delivery, and social protection to help inform better modes of international engagement in the country.
AREU is a part of EUNPACK, which is a consortium of researchers with expertise on the EU and specialists on peace and conflict studies within different sectors and/or regions.
AREU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kateb University in March 2019 to jointly promote Sustainable Development Goals and to support interdisciplinary research into the SDGs specific to Afghanistan. The MoU also underscores capacity building and resource sharing, arranging joint conferences and improving research systems based on the best international standards for the benefit of Afghanistan.