Afghanistan

Mapping Governance Systems in CARE Target Provinces

This report presents the findings of a governance study conducted on behalf of CARE Afghanistan. The aim of the study is to inform the formulation of CARE's governance strategy as components of CARE's recently reviewed overall country strategy. In order to develop a strategy that fits the socio-cultural context and institutional framework set in the provinces CARE operates in, CARE established the need for a structural mapping exercise of governance mechanisms, the systems of power that support and shape it, as well as the role of individual stakeholders. Whilst this report will outline in detail the methods and findings of the study, only its key findings will be transferred into the strategy paper. This serves to ensure that the strategy paper meets the limitations in space typically assigned to documents that are meant to guide senior management and implementation staff alike. Findings in this report will be presented aligned to the three dimensions of CARE's inclusive governance concept.
The study also comprised a second component that turned focus inside, and assessed the capacity of CARE's internal governance structures to accommodate the proposed governance strategy. The findings of this component will be processed in the last chapter of the report. Read More...

Social Inclusion in Fragile Contexts: Pathways Towards the Inclusion of Women in Local Governance

This exploratory research focuses on the social inclusion of women in subnational governance in Afghanistan, particularly investigating informal and semi-formal governance bodies and processes. It identifies groups, positions, mechanisms, and sectors that provide opportunities for women’s participation and influence in public decision-making. It also explores how women’s participation may be changing, and the key obstructing and enabling factors that impact that process. It then provides an assessment of promising pathways toward enhanced women’s voice in local public affairs. Finally, it concludes by offering a set of recommendations for donors, practitioners, civil society, and government. Read More...

Afghanistan COVID-19 RGA July 2020

CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) draws from CARE’s experience in Afghanistan, and survey questionnaires with 320 people (50.3% women and 49.7% men), and key informant interview (KII) with 59 community leaders (44% women and 56% men) and 18 line representatives (50% women and 50% men) from Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Public Health across seventeen (17) districts in nine (9) provinces in Afghanistan. The RGA points to ongoing severe economic, financial, health, and security impacts that will be especially worse for women and girls. The immediate impacts at the time of this assessment, center around the loss of income, food insecurity, lack of access to basic needs, limited mobility due to government lockdown, increased gender-based violence, and insecurity. The impacts – direct and indirect – fall disproportionally on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women and girls, poor households, IDPs, female-headed households, and people with disabilities.
Gender-based inequality is extensive in the country – decades of conflict, food insecurity, and conservative patriarchal norms limit Afghan women and girl’s freedom of movement, decision-making power and access to health, education, and other basic services and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating gender inequalities by restricting the limited rights women enjoy in the country and increasing their dependency. The findings from this assessment show that women are bearing the most significant burden of caring for their families; they have limited freedom of movement; face limited decision-making power at home and in the community and experience an increased level of gender-based violence. All the socio-economic and security implications of COVID-19 will severely and disproportionately impact women and girls. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that actors responding to the crises adapt their responses, strategies, and policies to ensure that they address the implications that the outbreak has for women and girls.
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CARE Gender Analysis Afghanistan July 2020

Women in Afghanistan face considerable socio-economic, political and power barriers. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the country – decades of conflict, poverty and conservative patriarchal norms limit Afghan women and girls’ freedom of movement, decision-making power and access to health, education, and other basic services and resources. The situation is more dire for women and girls in IDP settlements and contexts. Even though the current Afghan government is publicly committed to women’s rights and empowerment, women continue to face significant gender-based discrimination, bias and violence.

In line with the CARE global strategy, CARE Afghanistan considers gender equality and women empowerment as a primary mission. Promoting a life free from violence and tackling and reducing gender-based violence (GBV) are key strategies for CARE and, with this analysis, CARE Afghanistan intends to explore gender roles and responsibilities and power dynamics within internally displaced person (IDP), returnee and host communities in Herat and Badghis provinces. This research engaged 61 people in key informant and in-depth interviews from Herat and Badghis provinces including community members, community leaders, and representatives from government offices and NGOs. The findings from this analysis intend to contribute to and inform humanitarian, civil society, NGO and government authorities in their programming, policy and overall interventions in the target communities.

This research provides clear evidence that women in the target communities experience considerable levels of domestic violence, perpetrated by close relatives and have extremely low levels of awareness of and capacity to access available GBV support and referral services. 100% of female and 75% of male respondents from Badghis, and 75% of female and 89% of male respondents from Herat agreed that women, boys and girls have experienced violence in their communities. Respondents indicated that the main perpetrators of violence across the two provinces are fathers (33% in Herat, 34% in Badghis) and brothers (33% in Herat and 23% in Badghis). In Herat, 16% of respondents reported that husbands were perpetrators whereas in Badghis, mothers were the third most common perpetrator identified at 14% followed by husbands at 8%. It is clear from the results of this research that women experience violence from many more sources than men. Key informants identified poverty, culture and customs, lack of education and illiteracy, migration, unemployment, political insecurity, narcotics and the lack of information about rights and the law among the main causes of violence. Read More...

Final Project Evaluation of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) – Afghanistan

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) project aimed to support the Kabul Women Association (KWA) with the four objectives of: 1) Support Kabul Women Association (KWA) to ensure that it is a well-functioning association, 2) KWA contributes to the increased protection, prevention and response for women’s rights issues, 3) KWA is participating in decision-making processes regarding the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) 2008-19; and 4) KWA members have increased economic independence through improve financial skills and access to financial services to start income generating activities. The WPS project was implemented in two provincial districts and seven municipality districts of Kabul province.

The WPS final project evaluation had followed the below rationale and helps to draw out the following:
- This will help generate knowledge from the project and to provide assessment of the processes and achievements made and draw the lessons learnt
- To the extent possible, the relevant results of this evaluation will act as the baseline for the next phase of the project (GEWEP III)
- This evaluation particularly provides results on the two periods of the project (2015-2018 and 2018-2020)
- It provides understanding of what has worked and what has not that can guide future planning

The WPS Final Evaluation collected data on the four outcomes listed under the WPS project results framework which are listed below:
- Outcome 1: The Kabul Women’s Association (KWA) is a well-functioning association
- Outcome 2: KWA contributes to the increased protection, prevention and response for
women’s rights issues
- Outcome 3: KWA is participating in decision-making processes regarding the
implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for the Women of Afghanistan
(NAPWA) 2008-2019
- Outcome 4: KWA members have expanded their income opportunities, strengthened
their economic independence and continue to participate in women rights advocacy activities
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Labor Market Survey and Value Chains Assessment – Final Report for LAMP Project

Livelihood improvement and value chain development are one of the most important focus areas of external aid in Afghanistan, as poverty has increased in Afghanistan over time due to protracted conflict. Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey (2016-17) shows that rural poverty stood at 58.6% in 2016-17. Reduction in donor aid together with population increase have contributed to this increase in poverty. Ongoing conflict in the country has resulted in internal displacement of populations from insecure remote areas and influx of returnees from neighboring countries to major urban centers. In this context, Care Afghanistan is implementing the Livelihood Advancement for the Marginalized Populations (LAMP) project in four urban centers (Balkh, Ghazni, Kabul, Khost) of Afghanistan for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)/returnees, especially for male and female youth. The project comprises four components covering activities in agriculture, livestock, vocational training/business development services and school-to-work transition.

The project planned to conduct a Labor Market Survey (LMS) to identify priority sectors with potential for growth and wage employment, identify challenges in finding jobs and move forward with proposed recommendations to overcome the challenges. Another related objective was to identify business opportunities, growth potential, and constraints of micro, small, and medium enterprises, and make recommendations to mitigate their constraints. Along the LMS, the project also planned to conduct a Value Chains Assessment (VCA). Objective of the VCA is to identify promising related businesses for upgradation as value chains. To meet these objectives, the project commissioned this LMS and VCA study. Read More...

Final Project End-line assessment of Shelter, NFI, Hygiene, SRHR and Livelihood Support for Disaster-Affected Populations in Afghanistan 2018-2020

The Emergency Shelter, NFI, Hygiene, SRHR and Livelihood Support for Disaster-Affected Populations in Afghanistan 2018-2020 Project aims to provide emergency assistance to the identified beneficiaries settled in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Balkh, Ghazni, Khost and Paktya provinces of Afghanistan. The interventions covered under this project included Shelter, NFI, WASH, Livelihoods and SRHR needs of the women, men, boys and girls affected by disasters. The sample of 352 households for this end line evaluation was structured as according to the proportion beneficiaries per the different project outputs The two main output blocks of hygiene/SRHR on the one hand and different forms of cash and NFI support on the other are well captured in the end line survey. In addition to the quantitative approach, 8 FGDs, 7 KIIs and 3 IDIs conducted were conducted with the project beneficiaries, stakeholders and the GAC project team.
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Community Health Needs Assessment – Where Health Services Are Not Accessible in “White Areas” of Ghazni, Paktya and Khost provinces

Between 15-25 December 2019, CARE Afghanistan carried out Rapid Needs Assessments (RNA) in selected communities in Ghazni, Paktya, and Khost provinces, with specific focus on communities in congested areas where conflict-affected populations reside – specifically AOG controlled areas with lack of government or NGOs providing services, including health services.

The aim of the assessment was to assess the condition of needs, vulnerabilities and access issues – both for the population and for CARE - in the selected communities within mentioned provinces to help inform a proposal to ECHO for health and some integrated GBV and nutrition interventions.

Results of the rapid assessment in the confirmed an ongoing lack of access to basic services (with acute gaps in access to trauma care services, SRH and GBV services). Given chronic conflict, lack of humanitarian assistance, poor outlook for the population and lack of available basic services, all those interviewed emphasized a strong need to meet their basic humanitarian needs, more particularly, the existing need for health response. Both respondents and local authorities also identified health and trauma care support as priority assistance, and emphasized its criticality because of remoteness and very long distance from nearest health facilities. Read More...

Comparative Gender Analysis: Women’s Economic and Political Empowerment

Since 2016, with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CARE International has been partnering with the Hague Academy for Local Governance to carry-out Every Voice Counts (EVC), a 5-year programme in Afghanistan, Burundi, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan. The programme’s objectives are:
- Increased and meaningful participation of women and girls in decision making processes in Kabul, Khost, Parwan and Balkh provinces;
- Inclusive spaces for dialogue and negotiation and create/expand it to local and national level;
- Increased attention of women and girls’ rights and political participation in the national
debate among Afghan public and authorities;
- Improved availability, accessibility and quality of girls’ education and health services.

The goal of the gender analysis consultancy was to provide baseline data on gender dynamics, and technical advice and recommendations on women’s economic and political empowerment for the CARE & HiH Afghanistan partnership programmes in the target regions. Read More...

Afghanistan Quality Learning (AQL) Baseline

The Afghanistan Quality Learning Consortium (AQLC) led by the Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan, with Save the Children and CARE Afghanistan as Consortium Members, is implementing a four-year project, titled the Afghanistan Quality Learning (AQL). The project aims to ensure that all girls and boys in the project target geographies benefit from quality learning in a conducive environment. The project target geographies are 1,100 schools in 39 districts of 8 provinces in Afghanistan: Badakhshan, Takhar, Bamyan, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Kapisa, Balkh, and Parwan. Phase I of Afghanistan Quality Learning is a four-year (2019-2022) project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and implemented by the Afghanistan Quality Learning Consortium. The programme description is found in Annex 1.
The project focus will be improving the quality and relevance of education in rural areas in Afghanistan by supporting interventions at school, district, provincial and national levels to strengthen academic supervision, promote the professional development of teachers and improve learning environments. The project adopts a holistic and comprehensive approach to improving the quality of education: on the one hand, it develops the capacities of the Government of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education institutions at national and sub-national levels to assist teachers and principals to provide better, relevant, and meaningful quality education; on the other hand, the project also mobilizes communities to improve school environments, enhance transparency and address access, protection/safety, inclusion, and equity concerns. In doing so, it supports the implementation of the Ministry of Education’s National Education Strategic Plan III by contributing to its intermediate outcomes of strengthened supervision and community engagement.
The overall goal (impact) of the project is that all girls and boys in the project target geographies benefit from quality learning in a conducive environment. Read More...

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