25 Feb Launch of the A to Z Guide to Assistance in Afghanistan | Celebrating AREU’s Global Recognition
On 17 February 2020, AREU hosted an event on the occasion of AREU’s global recognition and launch of the 2020 edition of the A to Z Guide to Assistance in Afghanistan. Participants included government representatives, NGOs and research organisations, and embassies representatives.
In her opening remarks, Dr Orzala Nemat welcomed all the participants and presented AREU’s 2020 edition of the A to Z Guide to Assistance in Afghanistan, an important reference for policymakers, programme implementers and academics. She further highlighted that over the past 19 years AREU has contributed to evidence-based research to inform researchers, policymakers, civil society, practitioners, and many other stakeholders. She welcomed AREU’s ranking as the third top think tanks in Central Asia in the 2019 Global Go To Think Tanks Index report published by the Lauder Institute. Dr Orzala Nemat noted: “Afghanistan now sits on the precipice of yet another defining moment in its history. Our hope is that the hard-won development gains, freedoms, and rights endure, as these have been intrinsic in giving Afghan men, women, and children the ability to seek a better future.”
H.E. Ambassador Caroline Vicini, Chairperson of AREU’s Board, welcomed the participants to the launch, congratulated Dr Orzala Nemat and the team for their continuous efforts. She pointed out that AREU is working in a very challenging environment. “In a time of "fake news" and thinking without facts going on a global scale it is encouraging to see AREU functioning in a totally different direction,” Ambassador Vicini said.
In delivering his keynote speech, Professor Barnett Rubin talked about the challenges that the country is facing with regard to the management of the data: “The problem in Afghanistan is not that they don’t have information and knowledge, the problem is its management (...) I think that the resources of AREU are tremendous. This is not only for Afghanistan, but for all the scholars around the world.” At the end of his speech, he congratulated AREU, adding that “what AREU
does is not just academic or policy, but is part of the building of this society.”
A panel discussion was then held with the participation of Khwaga Kakar, Director of the Apama Consultancy Services, Dr Saeed Partu, Director of APPRO, Anne Jasim-Falher, Founder and Managing Director of ATR, and Professor Barnett Rubin around the question “Why Think Tanks Matter?” The panel was moderated by Dr. Nishank Motwani, AREU’s Deputy Director. The topics covered included sustainability of research, flexibility in research, challenges encountered, and disseminations of research findings.