29 Nov 2007 03:32:45 GMT
This paper looks at how Afghanistan can give itself the best possible chance of achieving WTO accession in a way that supports its efforts to develop sustainably. It argues that in order to develop a fair accession package for Afghanistan, the following commitments must be made by those involved in the process:
Suggested amendments for future WTO accession negotiation for less developed countries (LDCs) include:
19 Oct 2007 03:34:26 GMT
The Government of Afghanistan is failing to fulfil the core economic and social rights of the Afghan people, according to this new report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The report is the second of its kind by AIHRC and the UNHCR and is based on the 2006 human rights field monitoring activity conducted between January and December 2006. The survey included over 11, 000 interviews in 32 out of 34 provinces of Afghanistan, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups and people living in remote areas, as well as some returnees.
In line with the conclusions of 2005 Economic and Social rights report, the report finds that despite its efforts, the Government has not yet met its minimum obligations to deliver economic and social rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). In particular, it highlights shortcomings in the following areas:
The report concludes with a number of general recommendations for the Afghanistan Government, as well as specific recommendations relating the major problem areas outlined above.
18 Sep 2007 11:26:08 GMT
This paper summarises the results of the Afghanistan Opium Survey for 2007. The survey reveals a dramatic increase in poppy cultivation in 2007.
Primary findings of the report include:
The report draws the following conclusions from the data:
The paper argues that the opium problem cannot be contained solely by counter-narcotic measures, nor can counter-insurgency disregard the threat posed by drug-related funding to terrorists. The paper recommends the following measures for dealing with the opium trade:
07 Sep 2007 09:41:23 GMT
This paper provides an overview of the police sector in Afghanistan and assesses efforts to reform the Afghanistan National Police (ANP) since 2002. It identifies five key issues that must be addressed if the objective of creating an effective ANP is to be achieved.
The author argues that Afghanistan has never had a very strong or effective civilian police force. The challenges facing police reformers include a lack of internal controls in a corrupt institutional environment, training and mentoring whilst there are high levels of illiteracy, and weak coordination between security pillars such as the police and justice. In addition, the failure of the government and the international community to develop and implement an effective strategy for reforming and strengthening the judicial sector will also have an impact on police reforms.
If police reform is to succeed in Afghanistan, the government, the US, and the European Union Police Mission (EUPOL) mission will need to address five key issues:
03 Aug 2007 01:31:01 GMT
Why have women not generally used their newfound political influence to promote their gendered interests in Afghanistan? This paper contends that, in spite of women’s sizable presence in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (lower house, WJ), the representation of women’s gender interests remains minimal. The author assesses why this might be the case, and suggests ways in which these interests might be more substantively raised in the future.
The paper primarily explores the ways in which women’s gender interests have surfaced in parliament, if at all, during the last 18 months. In addition, it examines the effect of the system of reserved seats for women on the representation of these interests. Findings include that:
The author makes the following suggestions as to how women’s gender interests may be more effectively raised within parliament:
31 Jul 2007 05:01:22 GMT
This paper evaluates the U.S. policy response to fragile states. In tracing the origins of contemporary U.S. foreign policy interests, it highlights changing threat perceptions in the wake of 9/11 and perceived lessons of post-conflict difficulties in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also looks at the preventive efforts to reform and stabilise states at risk of failure.
In spite of declaring fragile states as a threat to international security and global development, the Bush administration is still struggling to craft the strategies and policy instruments to help reform and reconstruct failed states. The paper contends that improved U.S. performance in prevention, crisis response, and long-term state building after conflict will require a more integrated approach that goes well beyond impressive military assets to include major investments in critical civilian capabilities.
Ingredients for a more successful approach include:
19 Jul 2007 02:57:54 GMT
This report argues that the United States military must rethink its counter-insurgency methods. It claims that current strategies in Afghanistan and Iraq are based on Cold War era nationalistic insurgencies, rather than the complex conflicts which characterise the post-Cold War security environment.
The author emphasises that contemporary insurgencies differ in their strategic context, structure, and dynamics to insurgencies of the past. Most notably, they involve a multitude of actors including ‘third forces’ (armed groups which affect the outcome, such as militias) and ‘fourth forces’ (unarmed groups which affect the outcome, such as international media), as well as the insurgents and the regime. These insurgencies, it is argued, are more like a violent and competitive market than war in the traditional sense where clear and discrete combatants seek strategic victory.
The paper suggests that the United States' goal should not be the defeat of the insurgents by the regime (which may be impossible and which the regime may not even want), but the most rapid conflict resolution possible. It argues that the US should only undertake counterinsurgency support in the most pressing instances and as part of an equitable, legitimate, and broad-based multinational coalition.
The author concludes by outlining three distinct insurgency settings that American strategy for counterin-surgency should recognise, each of which demands a different response:
29 Jun 2007 09:36:42 GMT
The deliberate use of force on educational institutions, students, teachers, academics, education trade unionists, education officials are on the rise globally. The worst-affected are countries that are witnessing ongoing conflict. The paper finds that the targeted violence - which is often for political, military, ideological, sectarian, ethnic or religious reasons - disrupts and undermines the provision of education, access to education and the quality of education in the following ways:
The study suggests that understanding the impact of such attacks is crucial to attempts to achieve Education for All given that up to 40 per cent of the 77 million or more children in the world who are not attending school can be found in countries affected by conflict. It argues that traditional policies for preventing attacks such as providing armed guards or escorts to school or giving weapons training to teachers are inadequate and calls for the international community to take greater responsibility in pressing parties in conflict to end attacks on education. The paper recommends that the international community can do this in three main ways, by:
Other recommendations include:
20 Jun 2007 02:09:23 GMT
This paper assesses the impact of conflict and resource availability on the provision of infant immunisation services. It evaluates the progress and changes in immunisation coverage in Afghanistan using data from 331 districts across 7 regions of Afghanistan between 2000 and 2003.
The paper finds that the number of districts reporting immunisation coverage increased substantially between 2000 and 2003. Progress in Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) immunisation coverage was observed in all seven regions, although satisfactory coverage of 80 per cent remained unequally distributed. Progress was greater for BCG and Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus than Measles.
The authors suggest that the high degree of progress in infant immunisation coverage in Afghanistan can be explained partly by increased donor support, which intensified in 2001, as well as the country’s political commitment to the immunisation programmes. The paper concludes that although progress was observed in all 7 regions, geographic inequalities in these improvements remain a cause for concern. Security within a country is an important factor for affecting the delivery of immunisation services and coverage in less secure regions failed to increase from 2000 to 2003.
18 Jun 2007 02:14:49 GMT
This document analyses the record of suicide bombing that took place in different parts of the world during the last decades. It particularly focuses on case studies of attacks in Iraq, Chechnya, Sri-Lanka, Afghanistan and Palestine.
The authors argue that the current threat of bombing has become a rapidly growing global challenge. Suicide bombing tactics are employed today as a prime technique by many insurgent groups, operating in different parts of the world, and fighting for entirely different reasons and diverse objectives. This paper aims to improve understanding of suicide bombing, and in doing so, contribute to efforts of combating the phenomenon.
Key points in the discussion include:
24 May 2007 02:02:52 GMT
Norway has had an extensive development assistance programme in Afghanistan since 2001, as well as being involved in military activities as a member of NATO. In 2006, a decision was taken to channel more of Norway’s resources to Faryab province, in northern Afghanistan, where Norwegian forces are concentrated and where Norway heads the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). This paper details the findings of a conflict assessment of Faryab province, which was conducted in order to establish a foundation for this increased involvement.
The paper draws the following conclusions about current PRT assistance in Faryab:
• PRT has exerted a positive influence over the provincial and communal security situation in Faryab. However, there is a need for an exit strategy to transfer responsibility to the Afghan army and police force
• more needs to be done to ensure a clear separation between the PRT’s security and humanitarian mandates, including provisions that diplomatic/development staff, the police and legal advisers operate independently of the military forces
• Norway should seek to avoid Faryab becoming an exclusively ‘Norwegian province’, by encouraging involvement of other donors, continuation of national programmes, funding for national and international NGOs and support for Faryab-based CSOs and initiatives
• governance needs to be a major focus in the Norwegian engagement in Faryab. This implies open debate with Afghan government at all levels, as well as coordination with multilateral agencies and donors
• warlords and regional military commanders still have substantial influence in the province, although the main military-political organisation appears to be moving towards becoming a political party
• humanitarian and development assistance is required to address major needs such as water provision and job creation. However, this assistance must be carefully planned to avoid generating new conflicts
• there is an urgent need to mitigate the effects of drought and to carry out a regional assessment of prospects of environmental change, and possibilities for reducing its
• support for education should balance quantity and quality and should move towards a more long term approach.
Based on all the above points, the report concludes that there is a need for a strong Norwegian governmental presence in Faryab, to achieve objectives and ensure a higher degree of continuity. It argues that the following points are essential to improving governance in the province:
• longer-term contracts for staff are needed to build trust and dialogue
• people must be involved in defining, deciding upon and controlling the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance
• non-corrupt and transparent practices must be followed in Norwegian funding and delivery
Finally, the paper argues that there is a need for more in-depth knowledge on a range of issues and presents a list of indicators that could be followed by Afghan researchers/surveyors to facilitate a continuing conflict assessment. It describes a number of alternative scenarios could be developed for the future involvement in Faryab.
15 Apr 2007 11:00:00 GMTThis study looks into civil-military relations in conflict and post-conflict countries. The paper focuses on Afghanistan and Liberia and is intended to assist policymakers and practitioners in developing adequate strategies by answering the following questions:
The study discusses:
The paper makes the following conclusions:
28 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTThis report, from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, provides an overview of illicit drug trends internationally. Volume One analyses the trends of how drugs are produced, trafficked and used in the world and includes a special thematic chapter on cannabis. Volume 2 provides detailed statistics. The report outlines how 200 million people aged 15 – 64 have used illicit drugs at least once in the last 12 months. Findings show that opium production fell 5 per cent in 2005, including the first decline in production in Afghanistan since 2001. However, the situation in this country remains vulnerable to reversal due to mass poverty and lack of security. The report also highlights the growing importance of Africa for trans-shipments of cocaine and heroin to Europe.
The chapter on cannabis outlines how the health risks associated with the drug have been underestimated. About 9 per cent of people who try cannabis find themselves unable to stop using the drug. It has been linked to precipitating psychosis in vulnerable individuals and aggravating symptoms on schizophrenics. Cannabis can also produce negative acute effects, such as panic attacks, paranoia and psychotic symptoms. The authors argue that, as more potent forms of the drug are becoming increasingly popular, much more needs to be learned about its production, consumption and health effects.
23 Jan 2007 12:00:00 GMTDespite a 500 per cent increase in enrolments in the last six years, more than half of the children in Afghanistan still do not go to school. This briefing paper describes some of the key barriers and concerns, and sets out proposals to increase delivery, improve quality and address inefficiencies in budget allocation and planning.
The paper describes numerous problems that contribute to low enrolment and participation rates:
Furthermore, budget allocation and spending in the education sector by various stakeholders remain largely uncoordinated and opaque, while government processes for allocating and delivering funding result in considerable inefficiencies and waste.
To address these problems, the report recommends that:
03 Jan 2007 12:00:00 GMTThis report discusses the privatisation of Afghanistan’s state owned enterprises (SOEs). The report argues that the privatisation of SOEs may be premature as other economic reforms need to be implemented prior the selling of state assets.
The report argues that the government should address other structural reforms including:
The report argues that improvements in key public goods would add value to SOEs over time and therefore the government should prioritise these reforms before rushing into a privatisation agenda. Other components necessary to implement such an agenda include:
11 Dec 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report discusses the outcomes of a workshop on how to deal with ”spoilers” in peace negotiations. The report discusses strategies for engaging those groups that oppose the peace process.
The report summarises the following discussions from the workshop:
The report concludes the following:
07 Dec 2006 12:00:00 GMTThere is a widespread perception within the international aid community that serious violence against aid workers has increased in recent years. This report presents findings from a two-year study examining aid in insecure environments. It then examines the related trends in policy and operations over the last decade, in particular how perceptions of increased risk to aid operations have affected the development of security measures.
The report highlights how since 1997, the absolute number of major acts of violence (killings, kidnappings and armed attacks resulting in serious injury) committed against aid workers each year has nearly doubled, with the increase growing steeper in the second half of the decade. Overall, there were 408 reported acts of major violence against aid workers over the nine-year period, involving 941 victims and resulting in 434 fatalities.
Despite this apparent rise the authors argue that when the number of victims is compared to the population of aid workers in the field, which increased by an estimated 77% from 1997 to 2005, the global incidence trend of violence against aid workers is found to have risen only slightly.
The report has found that, whereas overall incidents of violence have increased across the globe, the overall relative risk to aid workers has risen only marginally. Moreover, in the most violent cases, such as Sudan and Afghanistan, the number of incidents per aid worker in the field has declined over time. One may conclude from these findings that there has been a net improvement in field security management, and/or that operational polices and practices have become increasingly restrictive. Recommendations are offered for Operational agencies, Inter-agencies, The United Nations and donor governments.
27 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report discusses the history as well as the contemporary situation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border characterised by conflict around the border lands, the poor development situation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan and the contemporary conflict and the potential for a border settlement.
The report argues that Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the neighbouring regions would all benefit from a recognised open border between the two countries. Such a border would clarify that all Pashtuns have rights as citizens of one or another state and would enable them to communicate, trade, and develop both their economy and their culture in cooperation with one another. Such a settlement would strengthen democracy in both states and facilitate both Pakistan’s access to Central Asia and Afghanistan’s access to the sea. It would lessen domestic ethnic tensions and strengthen national unity in both states. It would, however, require difficult internal changes in both countries, a reversal of the hostility that has predominated in relations between the two governments for sixty years, and credible international guarantees.
To achieve this end the following are required:
14 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTDonor coordination, and its more formal expression in the 'Harmonisation and Alignment' agenda, has been the focus of increasing attention in aid debates. This paper takes a critical look at these recent trends, and assesses two alternative but complementary approaches to donor coordination:
The case study examples illustrate how, when recipient governments take the lead, donor coordination can be delivered at country level, and can bring about limited but significant improvements in institutions and governance.
However, the paper observes that donor-led coordination can risk negatively impacting on governance in the recipient country. If coordination strengthens accountability to donors at the expense of domestic accountability, or significantly reduces the scope of recipient governments to make political decisions over policy, it may have long-term negative impacts on governance. Finally, if donors, acting together, promote policies, which are inappropriate to the country context the cause of good governance may be undermined by poor development results.
The authors argue that the key question for donors is how to support recipient leadership in the aid relationship in a way which genuinely promotes recipient capacity and ownership and which also maximises aid effectiveness. Although benefits can certainly be reaped from donor-led coordination exercises, experience suggests that progress on aid effectiveness made in this way will always be limited. There is a risk that donor-led coordination may undermine, rather than support, the emergence of good governance and ownership.
08 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis research shows that five years after the fall of the Taliban regime the gains made on paper for women and girls are not matched in reality when you look at what is happening on the ground. Set in a table format around key women’s rights issues, this balance sheet draws together a wide range of research and anecdotal evidence collected from national and international sources. In doing so, this report not only aims to provide a resource for agencies working on women’s rights in Afghanistan, but also hopes to raise awareness of the current situation and as such call the International Community to urgent action.
Whilst there have been some legal, civil and constitutional gains for women in Afghanistan over the last five years, there remains a great number of serious challenges to women’s safety and protection; realisation of civil and political rights; and social and economic status that need to be urgently addressed.
The report makes a number of recommendations to donor governments, the international community, the UK government, NATO/ISAF in Afghanistan and the international media.
07 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTAgainst the background of the theory of optimum currency areas, this paper analyses possible scenarios for establishing a currency union (CU) in the Middle East and Central Asia region.
The paper outlines the theory of optimum currency areas and provides an overview of recent empirical findings on the benefits and cost of membership.
Through statistical analysis based on countries’ GDP, growth rates, and the inter-country similarity of other factors the study then seeks to establish whether some countries are consistently selected at early stages of the process, while others join only at later stages.
It finds that, regardless of which country the CU begins with, some countries are consistently favored as CU partners. These countries include Saudi Arabia, as well as Kuwait and Bahrain. Other countries, such as Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Yemen are consistently seen as less attractive.
06 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTIn political and social crisis and emergencies the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as frontline service providers is critical, as chronic unrest and fragmentation render the capacity of the state to provide public service ineffective or virtually non-existent. In such situations, resources are often channeled through NGOs that take on quasi-governmental roles in delivering social services, including education.
This report looks at the role NGOs played in the provision of education services to Afghans during the war, with particular focus on the Taliban period and the initial years of the post-Taliban reconstruction.
The paper argues that learning from the experience of NGOs during the Taliban rule can be more widely applied in order to better understand the role of NGOs in the education sector during crisis situations. Some critical reflections include the following:
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report examines the rebuilding public health and health care delivery systems in nation-building efforts in post-conflict situations. The study examines a comprehensive set of cases, compare the quantitative and qualitative results, and outline best practices.
The study assesses seven cases of nation-building operations following major conflicts: Germany and Japan immediately after World War II; Somalia, Haiti, and Kosovo in the 1990s; and Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. It concludes that two factors increase the likelihood of successful health outcomes:
The report outlines lessons learned from previous post-conflict situations which include:
31 Oct 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper reviews the efforts of five countries seen as relatively successful examples of recipient-led aid policies and donor management. These countries are Afghanistan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.
From this review, the paper identifies five enabling conditions that may enable recipient governments to take the lead in establishing aid policies and managing relations with donors:
13 Sep 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper describes a home-based schooling program in Afghanistan that provides primary education for children in the Kabul, Paktia, Logar and Nangahar Provinces. The program is particularly interesting in a country wracked by decades of war that is redefining its education policies and education system. Can the contributions of international NGOs serve to support this new Afghanistan education system, and especially to support the provision of quality education for girls?
The research finds that home-based schools provide many thousands of children – and particularly girls, who would otherwise be excluded from education - with a culturally acceptable education. Teachers have a vested interest in their pupils’ learning and happiness. They understand the context and can make education relevant to them. Home-based teachers need further training and support but they already possess many important teaching skills and attitudes. As the Ministry of Education expands and strengthens the education system in Afghanistan, the home-based schools offer some indications of positive pedagogical approaches that could be useful, particularly in rural communities. The paper argues that the policy implications in this case are similar to those in other countries where complementary schooling models provide support to yet also introduce new ideas and methods into traditional and often relatively dysfunctional systems.
The article argues that home-based schooling responds to the present needs within Afghanistan. It raises as number of policy recommendations for the Afghan government:
22 Aug 2006 11:00:00 GMTThere has been limited research regarding the nature and extent of violence against women in Afghanistan. The service-based research carried out for this report seeks to begin to fill this void. For the purpose of this study, UNIFEM Afghanistan analysed data collected by organisations and agencies working throughout the country. Through this study, UNIFEM seeks to raise awareness about violence against women by shedding light on the types of violence being committed against women, the victims and perpetrators of such violence, the manner in which data is collected on violence against women, and the way referrals are being made.
Some of the report's key findings are:
16 Aug 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis supplement complements the Forced Migration Review issue on education and emergencies – “Education in emergencies: learning for a peaceful future” – published in January 2005. It includes summaries of key presentations from the “Education and Conflict: Research, Policy and Practice” conference convened by UNICEF and Oxford University. It also includes additional contributions from the field.
23 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis document is a step-by-step guide to election processes around the world. It explains what measures need to be in place, from voter registration to ballot-box security, and at what price, before the first ballot is cast. The report compares elections in different democratic environments: stable political conditions as in India and Sweden, transitional democracies such as Mexico, and conflict and post-conflict countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti. Ten detailed case studies are described.
The report is a valuable tool for policy makers and election administrators who, faced with tight time-frames and high political stakes, need to clearly understand the relationship between their budgets and the election outcomes.
The report emphasises that in states with a history of multi-party democratic experience, elections are consistently cheaper than in countries where such elections are a new undertaking. However, in emerging democracies, if reconciliation succeeds, dramatic declines in the cost of elections can be expected. For example, the 1993 Cambodian election cost US$45.50 per capita, compared with US$2 per capita for the 2003 election. The report also finds that integrity costs, which are associated with ensuring the security and transparency of an election, are reduced by investment in disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration, and infrastructure development while other electoral costs, related to personnel or the introduction of new technology, may remain constant or even increase.
23 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis document takes as its departure point the legacy of more than two decades of conflict in Afghanistan that has had a destructive impact upon economic institutions, businesses and the infrastructure on which the private sector relies. It reports on insights gained from a series of focused studies of commodity chains in six key sectors. The studies investigated trade routes for the commodities, the number and types of market players, choice of products and the role of the state in setting regulations and standards.
Key points are:
11 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis report examines the impact of insecurity on education in Afghanistan, especially on girls’ education. It concentrates on armed attacks on the education system in the south and southeast of the country, where resurgent opposition forces, local warlords, and increasingly powerful criminal groups have committed abuses aimed at terrorising the civilian population and contesting the authority of the central government and its foreign supporters. It also provides a number of recommendations.
In focusing on the nexus between insecurity and access to education, this document seeks to establish new benchmarks for assessing the performance of Afghan and international security forces and measuring progress on the security front. It argues that the benchmarks most often used at present - numbers of Afghan troops trained and international troops deployed, or the number of armed opponents killed - are important, but they do not accurately assess the security situation. What is more important is how much these and related efforts improve the day-to-day security of the Afghan people. The document argues for access to education be made one key benchmark, for the following reasons:
04 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis book collects the results of two conferences during which the perspectives of both providers and consumers of public security management were discussed in the light of lessons learned from past and current post-conflict reconstruction areas.
The transition from interventionist (military) peace-keeping to local (civilian) ownership of public security management is a severe challenge for most peace-keeping operations and their civilian administrators and is a reason for such operations being prolonged at high cost. What is needed is a democratically controlled, systematic and cumulative process which involves confidence-building, legal, cultural (values) and institutional elements.
Topics covered include:
04 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis report sets out to explore the processes of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) within the context of post-conflict peace-building, focusing on Afghanistan. The author investigates the transformation of soldiers to civilians in the aftermath of war. The purpose of the research is to facilitate practical recommendations of DDR to be used in future cases of post-conflict peace-building.
General findings and recommendations include:
On the political/strategic level, three general findings can be derived:
On the operational level, one general finding can be derived:
On the tactical level two general findings can be derived:
04 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper critically examines attempts to conceptualise the use of military intervention on humanitarian grounds, with a focus on the 'responsibility to protect' framework, and offers discussion of the way forward in light of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and the US-led 'war on terror'.
It traces the history of the concept from its post-Cold War origins through to the UN World Summit of September 2005. The paper concludes with a brief review of the challenges that face the international community in moving forward, and the specific contributions that might be made by the UK government.
The paper argues that it is the politically and militarily weaker states of Africa, and the strategically important states of the Middle East, that will likely face the 'threat' of future humanitarian interventions. If these interventions are to be seen as legitimate in the eyes of all states, then they must be carried out within an internationally agreed framework that clearly distinguishes humanitarian needs from imperial actions (or humanitarian actions from imperial interests). The decision to intervene, or not, must also be made by an organisation that is open, accountable and representative.
However, the paper also argues that the international community must start with the responsibility to prevent and the need to protect state sovereignty
The author argues that the UK needs genuine support at the highest levels of government for the 'responsibility to protect' framework and all that it represents
26 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis publication addresses some of the key issues and challenges that accompany post war and post disaster reconstruction programmes. The collection of articles in this publication range from analysing the economic and political restructuring of occupied Iraq, the links between war and disaster profiteering in Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti, and investment agreements in Central Asia, and show some of the common elements among post war and disaster reconstruction programmes.
The publication highlights that periods following wars, conflicts and disasters offer an opportunity for national and foreign governments, and multilateral agencies to establish new rules and policies for the provision of goods and services, infrastructure development and investment, and to reshape the geographical, economic and political map of a post-conflict country. It also demonstrates how in many cases foreign governments and companies benefit from reconstruction efforts. rather than local and national populations.
Articles in the publication include:
04 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTConflicts across the world have killed hundreds of millions of people, and displaced, maimed and traumatised many millions more. This Christian Aid submission suggests how the UK can best support peace and post-conflict reconstruction and contribute to a global peace-building agenda.
The submission is in three sections to correspond with the three main areas where the IDC has called for written evidence for this enquiry:
Case studies are used from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Sudan, Uganda, Iraq and Afghanistan, based on the work of Christian Aid and its partner organisations. The submission examines the role of international and regional organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union. It also looks at how the UK can effectively contribute, with other major international actors, to the global peace-keeping agenda.
Some key recommendations include:
04 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis investigative report argues that Afghans are losing their faith in the development experts whose job is to reconstruct and rebuild their country. While the quality of life for most is modestly improved, they were promised much more. Afghans see a handful of foreign companies setting priorities for reconstruction that make the companies wealthy, yet are sometimes absurdly contrary to what is necessary.
The paper observes a number of characteristics about reconstruction efforts:
The report recommends:
04 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper gives an overview of Oxfam’s experience with cash for work programmes in five countries as part of their recovery programmes following natural disasters or conflicts. The countries are Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, and Afghanistan.
For each country and programme, the paper assesses the outcome on the following factors:
[adapted from authors.]
11 May 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis document analyses the activities that countries, international institutions, and non-governmental organizations undertake in rebuilding public health and health care delivery systems after major conflict. The monograph outlines key principles for the success of such reconstruction efforts and identifies lessons for future nation-building operations.
The findings are based on an examination of seven nation-building cases: two at the end of World War II (Germany and Japan); three in the 1990s (Somalia, Haiti, and Kosovo); and two after September 2001 (Afghanistan and Iraq).
The concluding chapter consists of two core arguments
03 May 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis briefing paper explores key demand-related factors influencing decision-making about school enrolment of both boys and girls in Afghanistan.
The paper finds that more than one member of a household is usually involved in an enrolment/non-enrolment/dropout decision. Even in extended families, a child’s father and mother play the prominent roles in the negotiation, which may entail either cooperation or conflict. Multiple reasons usually influence a single decision, with supply and demand issues often interacting.
Parents may desire education for both sons and daughters, but be constrained by a combination of poverty and their fear of negative social pressure, specifically in relation to girls’ enrolment. Considerable variation in demand-side issues exists between households. In relation to gender dynamics, there are families in most communities which are willing to take the social risk and send their daughters to school – at least for the primary years. With regard to resource allocation, many extremely poor households continue to place high expectations on education as a way out of poverty and, rather than require their children to work, they send boys (and to a lesser degree, girls) to school in the hope of a better future.
The paper identifies a number of ways to increase enrolment and encourage student retention:
[adapted from author]
29 Mar 2006 11:00:00 GMTThe report reviews the policies, programmes and projects of two Norwegian NGOs in Afghanistan, the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), during the difficult transitional period 2000–04.
Key findings from the report include:
[adapted from author]
27 Mar 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper describes the Afghanistan Primary Education Program (APEP) set up 2003 in response to the lack of educational opportunities in Afghanistan for the general population and especially for females. The main aim of APEP is to offer emergency access to accelerated elementary education for out-of-school youth between ten and eighteen years of age, focusing on females. The paper describes the programme strategies and the significant results achieved for female youth.
The paper concludes that student performance indicates that the APEP AL programme was able to overcome traditional gender inequities for the participating female students, assuring them equitable access and quality of service. Although a high proportion of parents have supported their children by lightening their household burden so that they can go to school, time constraints remain a significant hindrance.
The author recommends that it would be beneficial for the APEP programme to widen the AL curriculum to include a broader spectrum of occupational options, with a special emphasis on technical careers, where skilled workers are needed for economic development, and where education or training takes only 1-2 years, as opposed to lengthy university courses of study in medicine, teaching, or engineering.
14 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis manual aims to assist Afghan journalists serving as an explanation in their own language to many of the ideas and concepts behind international journalism. In addition it provides practical guidance on many of the basic techniques of journalism.
To this end there are 12 exercises in the book. Some of them have answers provided at the end, and others either have no correct answers or are designed to be worked on in a study environment. The manual includes a glossary that is intended to serve as a reference to explain and introduce many concepts which may be new to Afghan journalists. Topics covered in this handbook include:
09 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis study assesses the trends and responses to trafficking in Afghanistan. A combined approach of written survey forms, structured interviews, and a literature review are used to provide information on the issue.The report also documents examples of many forms of trafficking, including the following:Exploitation of Prostitution (forced prostitution and prostitution of minors)Forced LabourSlavery and Practices similar to Slavery (abductions for forced marriage, marriage for debt relief, and exchange of women for dispute settlement)Servitude (sexual servitude and domestic servitude):Removal of Organs (no examples of this form of trafficking is given in this study).The report also includes a range of "trafficking-related" trends. Though these incidents may not constitute "trafficking" as defined in the Trafficking Protocol, they still raise serious human rights concerns and share many causes and possible counter measures with more traditional trafficking practices. Although the bulk of information on trafficking received is internal and among Afghans in neighbouring countries, there have also been cases of cross-border trafficking - Afghanistan as a country of origin, transit, and destination. This report also explores the legal, social, economic, and security environment to establish how trafficking has taken root and to point to early recommendations for addressing the problem.The study also highlights the fact that the role of women and girls as objects for dispute resolution, the power of local assemblies which often apply customary rather than constitutional or civil law, and the limited autonomy of women in marriage decisions, are additional factors that contribute to trafficking and make it difficult to combat.The study makes the following recommendations: Legislation: Create a legal framework ranging from a constitutional prohibition on slavery to laws enforcing the various international agreements to which Afghanistan is a signatory to laws protecting women from the most extreme versions of customary justice.Coordination and dialogue: Coordinate both within the TISA and with regional partners to develop and implement a national action plan.Education and awareness: Manage education and outreach regarding trafficking in persons to target Government officials, traditional leaders and members of the community, paying special attention to decreasing the stigmatisation of victims.Push factors: Ensure that programmes to reduce economic insecurity, including training and education, micro-credit, and food security take into account trafficking risk factors in selecting beneficiaries.Security: Include trafficking issues in security sector reform programmes such as the Afghan New Beginnings Programme.Protection: Strengthen and sensitise the police and courts to address all forms of trafficking and sexual violence. Re-examine cases in which persons now held in jail may in fact be the victims of t[...]
24 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis update contains 34 charts which aim to provide the latest information and statistics on trends in humanitarian assistance. The document considers where money is being spent, by whom and on what.
The update is divided into chapters focusing on different areas of humanitarian assistance. These include:
The paper also discusses how to improve the monitoring of humanitarian assistance and issues of good humanitarian donorship.
12 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTThis journal article argues that in the wake of the "war on terrorism", feminist analyses of international relations must broaden the concept of security to consider forms of violence beyond the statist security framework of realpolitik. The authors argue that U.S. representations of the burqa rhetorically construct the women of Afghanistan as gendered slaves in need of "saving" by the West, increasing women’s insecurity by promoting various forms of neocolonial violence.
In negotiating a middle ground between poststructuralist and materialist methods, this essay also argues for a feminist postcolonial criticism that will provide a more nuanced understanding of the nature of gender insecurity in the post-cold war world. [the author]
09 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTIn areas affected by disasters such as drought and war, recovering agricultural activity quickly is vital to household food security. Relief seed aid, which replaces seeds lost during disasters, is important to ensure that farmers have adequate quantities of quality seeds of the right variety for the planting season following a disaster.
09 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTAccording to the United Nations (UN) there are close to 25 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in around fifty countries. When national governments fail to protect IDPs who should step in? In the absence of a single UN agency with a mandate to assist these people, can humanitarian and human rights agencies work together?
09 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTMoney sent by migrants to their families is the second largest financial flow to the developing world, after foreign direct investment. However, there is little information on remittance products and services available to migrants. A new project ‘Sending Money Home?’ based in the UK, aims to fill this gap and make money transfers easier for those on a low income.
06 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTThis short document considers the lessons for the first phase of donor intervention to build a new state in Afghanistan. The authors assess a new paradigm for donor intervention in the context of the "war on terror" and the fight to tackle organised crime and drugs.
02 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTThis study is the fifth in a series of six case studies that aims to enhance understanding of the role of markets in affecting prospects for growth, and the distribution of the benefits of growth, in Afghanistan. The study focuses on the market in second-hand cars, with the aim of gaining insights into: the experiences of Afghan dealers in the vehicle market; numbers of players; where the greatest margins were made; what connections there were between market players; and what barriers were faced by new entrants.
The findings of the study are:
The paper concludes that there was a significant amount of trade in second hand cars prior to the 2002 conflict, and the traders involved in this informal transit trade appeared to have substantial experience in trading a variety of goods. With the right incentives they can be enticed into the formal economy and become a legitimate driver of economic growth and private sector development. For this to happen, however, regulations are needed in terms of ensuring quality and safety standards of vehicles. In addition, to ensure sustainability, traders should have greater access to credit, in the context of effective and reliable banking system that enables them to invest effectively.