Long-term solutions for Afghanistan
Who are we? <ul><li>What have we done & what are we doing: </li></ul><ul><li>During 2007 we completed more than 120 CFW pr...
How we work: <ul><li>We have won the trust of local communities </li></ul><ul><li>We are invited to work in rural areas  <...
Lessons from the field: <ul><li>There can be no military solution to this war </li></ul><ul><li>The only way out for Afgha...
Current obstacles <ul><li>Short term focus </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of continuance & gaps between programs </li></ul><ul><li...
What is the best approach <ul><li>5 to 10 year program commitments </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on basic community needs </li><...
An agrarian economy <ul><li>How to reach Afghanistan’s people </li></ul>
Afghanistan needs agricultural projects! <ul><li>Agricultural projects need  time </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural depends o...
What needs to be done <ul><li>We need to work with the Afghan reality – not against it </li></ul><ul><li>We need to work f...
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Long Term Solutions For Afghanistan

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A presentation I helped prepare discussing how we can win the peace in southern Afghanistan. "CFW" stands for "Cash for Work," a system in which employment is created for local laborers building light infrasturcture projects. Properly selected, these projects have a long-term benefit for their communities.

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Long Term Solutions For Afghanistan

  1. 1. Long-term solutions for Afghanistan
  2. 2. Who are we? <ul><li>What have we done & what are we doing: </li></ul><ul><li>During 2007 we completed more than 120 CFW projects, in the Helmand, Kandahar and Urozgan provinces, with a total value in excess of US$ 3 million. </li></ul><ul><li>Between Feb 2008 and July 2008 we completed 42 CFW projects in Kandahar province, with a combined value just shy of US$1 million, employing more than 1500 local labours, creating almost 46 000 labour days. </li></ul><ul><li>We are currently setting up 30-something large infrastructure projects, with a total value in excess of US$ 7 million, to be done by local Afghan contractors. </li></ul><ul><li>A group of four African farmers, </li></ul><ul><li>One American Quality Control engineer, and </li></ul><ul><li>A small group of dedicated Afghan personnel, ranging from qualified engineers, to administrative support staff and district dedicated extension workers. </li></ul><ul><li>Combined, our expat staff have over 18 years of experience in Afghanistan. </li></ul>
  3. 3. How we work: <ul><li>We have won the trust of local communities </li></ul><ul><li>We are invited to work in rural areas </li></ul><ul><li>When we travel to these areas the local communities provide our security </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t pay bribes, we just pay respect </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t force, we source </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t task, we ask </li></ul>
  4. 4. Lessons from the field: <ul><li>There can be no military solution to this war </li></ul><ul><li>The only way out for Afghanistan will be through the doors of the negotiating chambers </li></ul><ul><li>Stability can only be created from the bottom up </li></ul><ul><li>Back channels are needed to move towards negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>Only Afghan solutions will solve Afghan problems </li></ul>
  5. 5. Current obstacles <ul><li>Short term focus </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of continuance & gaps between programs </li></ul><ul><li>Small programs without follow through </li></ul><ul><li>Programs that do not address basic community needs </li></ul><ul><li>Big on shine and low on grime projects </li></ul><ul><li>Policy to promote the current government at all costs </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to micro manage from afar </li></ul><ul><li>A desire to complicate the straight-forward </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is the best approach <ul><li>5 to 10 year program commitments </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on basic community needs </li></ul><ul><li>Employ a sustainable CFW approach </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on agriculture and community level infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Promote Confidence and Competence in Democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Engage at grassroots level </li></ul><ul><li>Work with the tribal dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the local values </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t rush social change </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ridicule Afghan religion or traditions </li></ul>
  7. 7. An agrarian economy <ul><li>How to reach Afghanistan’s people </li></ul>
  8. 8. Afghanistan needs agricultural projects! <ul><li>Agricultural projects need time </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural depends on infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Community based agricultural projects will displace poppy cultivation and lead to sustained stability </li></ul>
  9. 9. What needs to be done <ul><li>We need to work with the Afghan reality – not against it </li></ul><ul><li>We need to work from the bottom up – not top down </li></ul><ul><li>We need to empower local villagers to determine their own destiny – not force it onto them </li></ul><ul><li>We need the ink blot of participative development to evolve in response to local conditions </li></ul><ul><li>We need to believe that the Afghan villagers want peace, stability and progress </li></ul><ul><li>We need to be sensitive, responsible and responsive </li></ul><ul><li>We need to guard against the “Bureaucratic Insurgency”! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Questions?

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