Home Contact Us  
   

Afghanistan - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#5201, 12 December 2016
 

IPCS Discussion

Women & Public Policy Journal [Vol. 2] Launch: 'Afghan Economy in the Decade of Transformation (2015-2024)'
Report
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) hosted Mariam Safi, Executive Director ofthe Kabul-based Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS), for the launch of the second volume of DROPS’ Women and Public Policy Journal (WPPJ). The interaction was held on Saturday, 26 November 2016. It was chaired by Lt Gen (Retd) Arvinder Singh Lamba, President, IPCS; Ex-Officio Member, IPCS Governing Council; and former Vice Chief of the Indian Army.

Published by DROPS and launched in 2015, the WPPJ is the first peer-reviewed public policy journal to be authored by Afghan women in Afghanistan. The 2016 edition of the WPPJ is titled, 'Afghan Economy in the Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) - Afghanistan’s Journey to Economic Self-Reliance: Assessments & Recommendations'. This edition was first launched in Kabul on 21 November 2016, by the First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mrs Rula Ghani.

Introductory Remarks by the Chair
Lt Gen (Retd) Arvinder Singh Lamba

President, IPCS; Ex-Officio Member, IPCS Governing Council; and former Vice Chief of the Indian Army

The IPCS is privileged to host the launch of the second volume of the Women and Public Policy Journal, which in its second edition addresses issues expected to be salient in the decade of 2015-2024. The journal provides an array of perspectives on various issues centred around improving the role of women in relation to Afghanistan's economy and offers nuanced and insightful analyses of how steps can be taken to move forward from the present situation.

Mariam Safi
Executive Director, DROPS, Afghanistan

This is the second edition of the Women and Public Policy Journal. Established just over two years ago, DROPS was originally intended to address key gaps concerning policy research and policy-making in Afghanistan. First was an evident disconnect between policy-makers and policy-oriented research. Hence, it was important to create an organisation able to produce policy-oriented research to address a knowledge deficit facing the Afghan government. A lack of policies and strategies designed on the basis of evidence-based research has been a key problem in the country's development over the past fifteen years. So the intention was to create an institution that would develop research for the purpose of better informing policy-makers.

The second gap was the sparse presence of women researchers. In Afghanistan, women tend to be treated as objects of research rather than researchers. As such, policy-relevant analyses of all kinds have reflected a lack of input derived from the particular insights and life experiences of Afghan women. It was therefore important to create an institution which could empower Afghan women and enable them to undertake and leverage research to make their voices heard in policy-making circles. Young women in Afghanistan should be made aware that one need not necessarily become a parliamentarian or a politician in order to become involved in policy-making.

This journal, the first ever focusing on women and public policy in Afghanistan's history, aims to address these gaps. The first volume centred on the topic of democratic governance; this year's is  on economic development. All nine authors in the journal are Afghan women and the publication has two components: 1) researcher training and capacity-building and 2) provision of a platform in which to be published.

Authors were provided with twelve months of training on the intricacies of the writing process for a journal or a policy-based piece of research, at the end of which they encountered the processes of peer-review and copy editing. Many of the authors began as relatively inexperienced writers and so, through this process, the idea has been to encourage them to continue writing.

This year the topic was based on the issue of economic development. This was suggested to the DROPS team in a meeting last year with Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan's Chief Executive Officer. Given that it is currently in the midst of an economic crisis, improving economic development is an important issue for Afghanistan. 

A number of events held during the past year have solidified international commitments on development funding for Afghanistan. Yet in the hope that the Afghan government will be able to fill the budget gap, aid in Afghanistan still will decline with each passing year.

Accordingly, the Afghan government has pushed for several reforms, such as the creation of more flexible budget systems to ease restrictions on development spending. The amount spent on the military also needs to be reduced in order to increase spending on development. There is also an immense focus on developing the country’s private sector, which is reflected in the high number of articles in the WPPJ focusing on issues related to the private sector and human capital in Afghanistan.

A variety of topics have been addressed in this year’s journal, which engages with areas of priority to the Afghan government. For instance, one of the authors, Tanya Arya, examines how effective public policies play a key role in shaping and supporting private sector investment and bridging gaps in the labour market. Zohal Atif discusses the interconnectedness between Afghanistan’s economic stability and its national security. Author Naheed Sarabi links private sector growth to limited involvement of women entrepreneurs. Mariam Wardak evaluates the impacts of insurgency on the Afghan economy and illustrates how the Taliban have contributed to weakening the economy through the production and trafficking of narcotics, illegal mining, and the escalation of conflict. Atif Asafi assesses the various interventions the Afghan government has undertaken towards increasing women’s involvement in the economy. Sona Mahmody focuses on implementation of the rule of law in Afghanistan and how this could help improve the economy. Dilawaiz Hashimi delves into the challenges Afghanistan has encountered in developing its human capital. Rahela H Sidiqi presents a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and possible outcomes of facilitating greater participation of women in economic markets.

The journal also features a policy paper that is produced in-house by DROPS staff and offers in-depth analysis of the importance of regional cooperation in optimising Afghanistan’s economic potential towards becoming a hub for trade and transit. The team looks specifically at the status of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its central Asian neighbours. It argues that this engagement remains limited and proposes measures to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Afghanistan and central Asian countries. The journal also includes a book review by Ayesha Al-Hashimi, who provides a detailed review of Christina Lamb’s book Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous World, in which she remarks on the author’s first-hand experiences and direct observations, with a particular focus on former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Discussion
Mariam Safi

On whether there exists mechanisms to assess if research has been absorbed into the policy-making process:

There is no mechanism in place to evaluate the extent to which research is being used. Led by DROPS, a network was created in Afghanistan called the ‘Afghanistan Network ofWomen Thinkers and Researchers’. It tries to bring together a community of women analysts in the country and promotes policy-relevant findings and recommendations coming from the journal. They have held meetings with government officials to discuss various research. This year, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs requested several copies of the journal for circulation at the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar. These are signs of progress but it will take more time for this kind of work to become more embedded in policy-making processes.

On the vision for the WPPJ and the challenges faced during the process of its establishment and growth:

The intent is to develop an Afghan women-owned and -led academic-level journal which offers nuanced and valuable perspectives. This journal intends to advance authors’ knowledge on content  production and methodology through the training process mentioned previously. It is also important to bring the focus back to the issue of gender and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan. Additionally, it is important for the authors to write on issues related to current and pressing issues such as the role of the private sector or counter-narcotics initiatives in Afghanistan’s economy. The journal intends to combat marginalisation and break stereotypes associated with women writers, and encourage more young women to start writing on such topics.

Haroon Sherzad
Former Deputy Minister for Counter-Narcotics, Afghanistan

In past years, the process of research and policy development was under the domain of international institutions and in the process many unhelpful assumptions were made, and research was politicised. Finally, an independent and neutral process has emerged and will help the government of Afghanistan. Not only will it avoid flawed observations and assumptions, but it will also cultivate perspectives from native Afghans who will lead the process of identifying problems, undertaking research, and proposingpolicy recommendations.

On the security situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the economy and related research processes:

The security situation has affected economic development. It has had negative repercussions for tourism. Foreign investments in agriculture and infrastructure are hard to come by. With every passing year the security situation is getting worse and this makes it challenging for researchers to travel to various provinces. Mobility has become difficult and access to women who reside in those provinces is restricted. The members of the DROPS network were able to conduct interviews in different provinces through relying on their personal networks.

Rapporteured by Niharika Tagotra, Research Intern, IPCS

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Dealing with Dirty Wars

India-China-Nepal Trilateralism

'25 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between India and Israel and the Way Forward'

The Roles and Dimensions of Science and Technology in India’s Foreign Policy

Maldives: Contextualising Freedom of Speech in the Murder of Yameen Rasheed

India’s Nuclear Strategy

Diplomacy and the Politics of Language

2017 Indian Assembly Elections: How Did the States Vote?

'Faith, Unity, Discipline: The ISI of Pakistan'

India-Australia and Roles in the Indo-Pacific

Equality, Equity, Inclusion: Indian Laws & India’s Women

"Our Bilateral Relations"

Regional Power Play and Rise of Radicalism in Afghanistan

Afghanistan-Pakistan-India: A Paradigm Shift

Security of Bangladesh in the South Asian Context

India-Pakistan Under Prime Ministers Gujral-Sharif: A Retrospective

Who Sets the Table: Negotiated Sovereignty and the Indo-Naga Relationship

A Changing Myanmar: Challenges, Opportunities & Future Perspectives

Discussion Report: Indiaís Role in Building a Counter-Narrative to Isis Propaganda

China's Continental Strategy Over the Next Twenty Years

Bangladesh and Nepal: Review of IPCS Forecasts

Pakistan in 2015: Review of IPCS Forecast

Southeast Asia and Myanmar: Review of IPCS Forecasts

India, Australia and Indo-Pacific: Regional Interpretations

J&K: An Agenda for the New Government

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.