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Meeting during the construction of a community centre as part of the National Solidarity Program. 26 Jan 2105, Ghondai Ahmadzai village, Behsod district, Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Photo: ABBAS Farzami / Rumi Consultancy / World Bank.


Navigating local authority and community-driven development in Afghanistan

For donors and the Afghan government, a key challenge is to design and implement large-scale development programmes capable of operating effectively across a diversity of local public authority contexts. The experience of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and its successor, the Citizen’s Charter Afghanistan Project (CCAP) is one of mixed outcomes, and this note discusses possible ways of improving them.

Key Lessons:

  • Successful development programming in rural areas requires a thorough understanding of local context to help avoid unintended consequences.
  • A continuous process of learning should be built into project implementation in order to understand how local variations in public authority and community preferences interact with development programming.
  • Flexible project redesign approaches are needed so imported governance structures like Community Development Councils can be adjusted to fit alongside pre-existing forms of local authority.

Published: 20 November 2020

Authors: Sam Vincent

About the authors

Sam Vincent

Consultant Researcher

Sam is an independent researcher and consultant. He recently earned his PhD from the Civil Society and Human Security research unit at the London School of Economics.