We pioneered community-led development in Afghanistan in the mid-1990’s; and since then we have made the approach central to all aspects of our work. Our teams build meaningful and respectful relationships with the people we work with, and local, village-based committees are engaged in all stages of our work - from identifying their specific needs, to project planning, to implementing the projects, and monitoring and evaluation. The local ownership this approach creates is key to the sustainability of our work, and the bond engendered between Afghanaid and members of the community is fundamental to our identity.

In our Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation work, we have built community capacity to mitigate the risk from local hazards, be first responders to natural disasters, adapt to a changing climate, and integrate DRR in all new infrastructure. As part of this work within the Afghanistan Resilience Consortium, over the past five years we have supported the creation of 245 community based disaster management committees.

We have adapted the community-led development model to natural resource management by creating associations which sustainably manage communal resources and ensure equitable access to the natural resources upon which their food security and livelihoods rely. 

And in our women’s engagement and economic inclusion programming, we join women together in self-help groups, associations, and cooperatives to enable them to set up rotating lending and more efficiently reach markets. 

In 2023, our community-led approach became even more important in ensuring the effective delivery of our programmes. Following the authorities' decision to prohibit Afghan women from working for NGOs, our well-respected presence in rural communities meant that we were able to devise local solutions which, through effective collaboration with local women and men, enable us to continue to directly reach women with our assistance, whilst protecting our invaluable female colleagues.

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