Loading content


War gains: how the economic benefits of the conflict are distributed in Afghanistan and the implications for peace. A case study on Nimroz province

Earlier this year, consultants for Lessons for Peace: Afghanistan studied the main sources of funds for different conflict actors in Nimroz. A strategic province in south-west Afghanistan that borders Iran and Pakistan, Nimroz became the first provincial capital to be taken by the insurgents.

In light of the Taliban’s rapid advance, this research reveals the potential importance of control over cross-border trade to the overall balance of power in the country. In doing so, it helps explain how the group have been able to mobilise support from erstwhile opponents through sophisticated pacts and agreements, and provides an indication of the likely role of these bargains, and the economic rents which underpin them, in keeping local powerholders included in the emerging settlement.

The report annex provides a detailed technical analysis explaining how revenues were calculated and mapped.

Published: 13 August 2021

Authors: Graeme Smith, David Mansfield

Lessons for Peace: Afghanistan is developing an independent evidence base to support development partner decision-making in Afghanistan.

Lessons for Peace: Afghanistan helps international development partners support development and peacebuilding by producing research to inform policymaking, and by convening space for debate and discussion. Our work is structured around three pillars of activity.

Pillar 1

Short-form reactive research

As talks and negotiations progress in Doha and internationally, L4P produces timely concise evidence briefs to inform policy decisions in Kabul and international capitals.

Visit our blog.

Pillar 2

Horizon-broadening research

Building on lessons from past programming and comparative examples, L4P delivers comprehensive analyses of key areas for further support from international partners.

Read our reports, policy briefs, expert notes, and literature reviews.

Pillar 3

Convening and connecting

Using ODI’s position as an independent third party, L4P brings together stakeholders from development, humanitarian, political, and civil society backgrounds to debate research findings and develop policy responses.

Find out about our upcoming workshops and other events.