Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Economy, Development, Environment

This priority area covers Afghanistan’s political economy, economic development and poverty, with a focus on sectors with important political and/or rule of law implications, such as mining, banking and transport and, in the past, the private security sector.

Placating Ghor, For Now: 10-days protest pushed the government to respond

S Reza Kazemi

Frustrated by the exclusion of their primary development needs from Afghanistan’s budget for the coming year, a growing number of residents in the neglected and isolated central province of Ghor brought the local administration to a standstill by staging a sit-in for around ten days (21-31 January 2020). They only agreed to end their demonstration […]

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One Land, Two Rules (9): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Jalrez district of Wardak province

Ehsan Qaane

Ethnically-mixed Jalrez district has seen increased Taleban activity since 2014, with approximately half of it now under their control. The district centre is the most contested sub-district, having been surrounded and repeatedly attacked by the Taleban. Twenty kilometres of the secondary Kabul-Bamyan highway, which connects the Hazarajat to the Afghan capital, is under Taleban control. […]

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Casual labour in Badakhshan. Cash work, rather than income from agriculture, is key for many families in rural areas, but work is scarce. (Adam Pain 2011)

Why has Rural Poverty in Afghanistan Got Worse? New AAN paper on post-2001agricultural policy

Adam Pain

A new AAN paper seeks to understand why agricultural policy since 2001 has failed to increase production, lift rural Afghans out of poverty or secure their food supply. It finds the answers in the stories agricultural development planners tell themselves about how to ‘modernise’ agriculture, even as they ignore evidence from the field. AAN guest […]

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A labourer in Nad-e Ali

Local Drug Markets Normalised, More Mass Treatment for Addicts, a Ministry Dissolved: A look at recent drug trends

Jelena Bjelica

Two new reports – UNODC’s annual survey and a scrutiny by SIGAR of US-funded drug treatment programmes – have revealed new trends in the drug industry in Afghanistan. Opium sales locally look to be increasingly normalised, and those with skills in harvesting the crop are doing well, even while farmers’ incomes have fallen. AAN’s Jelena […]

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A volleyball in Mirai town during Eid in October 2012. Many people came to the district town that year after the 2012 uprising against the Taleban re-opened Andar district centre after three years. The peace was not to last: political interference and bloody violence were soon to follow. (Photo Fazal Muzhary)

One Land, Two Rules (7): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Andar district in Ghazni province

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Andar district in southern Ghazni province, which has had a shadow Taleban administration since 2007, has been under virtually complete Taleban control since October 2018. The Afghan government continues to provide education and health services despite the fact that all of Andar’s government offices have relocated to Ghazni city, while the Taleban supervise their work. […]

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The main intersection in Shin Kalay village half an hour's drive east of Lashkargah Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2018.

One Land, Two Rules (6): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Nad Ali district of Helmand province

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

In opium-rich Nad Ali district, public service provision is poor. The district is roughly divided between the government and the Taleban and they continue to clash over control of population, territory and roads. Although only the government and NGOs fund public services, the Taleban exert considerable control over what is delivered in their areas, determining […]

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Afghanistan’s Anti-Corruption Institutions: Too many, and with too few results

Jelena Bjelica

Corruption in the Afghan state has blossomed and bloomed in the years since 2001. A report published by UNAMA today on Afghanistan’s fight against corruption highlights how the frequent changes in corruption-related legislation and a mushrooming of anti-graft institutions have done little to stop it; recent reductions in petty corruption – as shown by the […]

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One Land, Two Rules (5): The polio vaccination gap

Jelena Bjelica

While researching the delivery of health, education and other services in districts affected by the insurgency, we found that three of our featured districts, in Helmand, Nangrahar and Kunduz provinces, had seen cases of polio leading to paralysis in the last five years. There is no cure for polio, but there is an effective vaccination, […]

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Sudais is in his father, Baktullah's, fruit and vegetable store in Shadal Bazaar village of Achin district. Life is slowly returning to normal after government and US forces pushed ISKP out of most of the district in 2017 and 2018. Public services – education, healthcare and electricity supply – are still patchy, barely-functioning or non-existent. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2017

One Land, Two Rules (4): Delivering public services in embattled Achin district in Nangrahar province

Rohullah Sorush S Reza Kazemi

Achin district in the south of Afghanistan’s key eastern province of Nangrahar has been heavily fought over by the Taleban, ISKP and government and United States forces. The delivery of public services has been hampered, helped or abolished depending on who has been in charge at any given time; ISKP banned almost all public services […]

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One Land, Two Rules (3): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province

Obaid Ali

Dasht-e Archi, a district in the northeastern corner of Kunduz province is almost entirely controlled by the Taleban. They have established shadow sub-national governance structures in the district, while most local government officials are absent and work remotely from the provincial capital. Although the Taleban do not provide any services themselves, they have co-opted government […]

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One Land, Two Rules (2): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Obeh district of Herat province

S Reza Kazemi

The matter of who governs the district of Obeh in the east of Herat province is complicated: control of the district is divided between the Afghan government and the Taleban, and shifts in unpredictable ways. The inhabitants of the district, usually via the mediation of elders, have had to learn how to deal with both […]

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One Land, Two Rules (1): Service delivery in insurgent-affected areas, an introduction

Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

The Taleban today control or influence whole swathes of Afghanistan. Estimates of exactly how much vary, but in the vast majority of Afghanistan’s provinces, control is split between government and insurgency. What that means for local people in terms of services usually provided by a state is the subject of a new research project by […]

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