Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, and a Principal Researcher with CIPS
The international community fought the Taliban insurgency for twenty years with blood and money, investing trillions of dollars and losing thousands of soldiers. However, Afghanistan’s Taliban swept to power in Kabul on August 15, 2021.
Eighteen months after, Afghanistan is …READ MORE
As the world’s attention shifted dramatically to the Ukraine crises unfolding rapidly, the challenges posed by the humanitarian catastrophe threatening Afghanistan have been overshadowed and moved to the backseat. However, Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate as the country’s economy …READ MORE
As the Taliban swept across Afghanistan this summer, the capital cities of the provinces fell like a house of cards. Kunduz fell by August 8. Herat, Lashkar Gah, and Helmand followed within a few days. As the news of the …READ MORE
In a village of northern Bangladesh lives Nasima, 26 – a victim of child marriage who was abandoned by her husband and left with two children. She lived in extreme poverty until the local village council offered her the opportunity …READ MORE
On a beautiful sunny day in the winter of 1983, I was in Savar in Bangladesh, visiting an income-generating project for the village women. The scene is sombre. I see a handful of saree-clad local women, with their heads covered, …READ MORE
In 2003, I saw optimism pervading the country. I saw it on the faces of men, women and children. But that is no longer the case. What should Canada learn for future massive-scale aid programs?
Recently, the Washington Post published …READ MORE
Almost 50 years ago, Bangladesh emerged as a new nation in 1971 out of a bloody war of independence with Pakistan that left three million dead and ten million refugees. It then found itself caught in a fragility trap with …READ MORE
The Bangladesh government’s significant strides in delivering basic services to the population, thus reinforcing its legitimacy, discussed in part 1 of this blog, have been enhanced by an extraordinarily strong civil society — a unique community of non-profit, non-governmental …READ MORE
The survey of the Afghan people, undertaken by the Asia Foundation every year since 2004, is an important barometer, tracking opinions on social, political, economic, and security conditions in their country. The survey findings provide a longitudinal picture of how …READ MORE
In Part 1 of this blog, we looked at some results from the Asia Foundation’s annual survey of the Afghan people, comparing the results from 2004 and 2018 on such issues as national mood, fear for personal safety, and satisfaction …READ MORE
The recent interaction of John Sopko — the American Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction — with the Canadian media on billions of wasted aid dollars in Afghanistan has stirred Canadian public interest on the forgotten subject of Canada’s Afghanistan …READ MORE
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko’s assessment of American lessons learned in Afghanistan is similar to that of Canada, except that our findings are not based on systematic and independent review. Canada lacks appropriate monitoring and evaluation …READ MORE
In terms of Afghanistan, Canada has clearly been afflicted with attention deficit disorder; in less than a decade, it changed program focus three times (as noted by a summative evaluation of Canada’s development program in 2015). The lessons that could …READ MORE
Bangladesh, a country branded at its birth, in 1971, as a bottomless development basket by Henry Kissinger, marches forward. Proving Kissinger’s words wrong, this development success story unfolds in one of the poorest countries of the world.
The country moves …READ MORE
Read Part 1 of this article here.
London-based research organization BMI has listed Bangladesh as one of six countries that will be growth performers in the period 2016–2025. Three major factors are identified as boosters of this growth. An …READ MORE
Criticism, while hardly ever welcome, is nevertheless necessary to draw attention to potential pitfalls. If heeded in time, danger may be averted; disaster, however, may follow an unexamined plan. Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) has drawn its share …READ MORE
As the month of March passes, the 2018 Women’s Day theme, relentless Press for Progress, must continue if the gains in women’s status in Afghanistan since 2001 are to be sustained.
Eminent members of the international community — individuals, …READ MORE
by Maxime Bergeron
It is too early to call Justin Trudeau’s Indian mission a total failure. But with “deficient” organization, an icy reception from the Indian government, and media coverage dominated by the issues of Sikh extremism and Trudeau’s wardrobe …READ MORE
International Development Week (IDW), hosted by undergraduate students of the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, took place the week of 5 February 2018. Hundreds of Ottawa-area undergraduate students enthusiastically participated in discussions designed …READ MORE
The New Year ushers in predictions of what to expect in the coming year, but no predictions are necessary for Afghanistan this past week — the news says it all: three major attacks adding up to hundreds of casualties. Since …READ MORE
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, speaking to CIPS in April, finished his presentation (see part 1 here) by touching on the Afghan government’s over-dependence on aid and inability to pay for and …READ MORE
Canada has already invested 15 years, billions of dollars, and over 160 human lives to secure and stabilize the fragile state of Afghanistan. Equivalent efforts, however, have not been made to assess the effectiveness of Canada’s involvement; nor have the …READ MORE
Classes began at the highly secured and protected campus of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul on August 24, even as tensions continued over the earlier abduction of two of the university’s professors.
Suddenly there was the sound …READ MORE
While the joint work of the Afghan government and the international community brought a few benefits for the country, many have not been sustainable. Serious challenges remain unaddressed and require priority attention from analysts, policy-makers, and bureaucrats. Highlighting dubious, anecdotal …READ MORE
The lessons below are gleaned from the experiences of the international community in the decade following the overthrow of the Taliban regime. They provide partial answers to the question of why Afghanistan has faced renewed conflict and a resurgent Taliban, …READ MORE
International Women’s Day should be marked by acknowledging that claims — made by the international community and the Afghan government — of advances in promoting women’s rights in Afghanistan are largely disconnected from reality. Human Rights Watch and the Afghan …READ MORE
While recalling six fighter jets from the bombing mission in the Middle East, Canada promises to provide military training, humanitarian aid, and diplomacy in fostering a peace process. The Liberal government’s promise of humanitarian assistance and intent to find a …READ MORE
While the Taliban insurgency rages in Afghanistan, the acknowledgement of Mullah Omar’s death has sparked debates on the impact of this event on the future of the peace talks and the Taliban war.
The enigmatic Taliban leader Mullah Omar remains …READ MORE
In April of 2014, when I visited Afghanistan to observe its third national election, the spring air in Kabul was filled with the anticipation, hope and determination of common men and women exercising their democratic rights to vote in the …READ MORE
In March 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development released the Synthesis Report: Summative Evaluation of Canada’s Afghanistan Development Program. On April 14, CIPS and its Fragile States Research Network (FSRN) held a panel to discuss the …READ MORE
The formation of a National Unity Government (NUG) in Afghanistan, ending the long 2014 presidential election process, has been hailed by international leaders as a peaceful and democratic transfer of power. Objective analysts, however, question the merits of such a …READ MORE
Afghanistan’s never-ending election process is continuing past the quarter-year mark as political, economic and security crises loom large on the horizon. A democratic election, providing the opportunity for popular participation in forming a government, also helps build legitimacy for the …READ MORE
A relatively orderly and peaceful first-round election in Afghanistan this year saw an almost 60% voter turnout in defiance of Taliban threats, symbolizing Afghans’ determination to unite in the interest of peace and stability. The democratic process appeared to have …READ MORE
The Afghan election, which started with enormous enthusiasm from Afghan voters, the government and the international community, has turned sour. It is now marred with disputes centred on ethnic (mainly Pashtun/Tajik) divisions, splitting the country along ethnic lines and driving …READ MORE
On the June 14 election day, Afghans again delivered an anti-Taliban verdict. Despite the strong Taliban offensive preceding the day, 7 million Afghans (60% of registered voters) cast their votes. True, the euphoria that dominated the first round was absent; …READ MORE
Afghanistan is getting ready to go to a second round of polls on June 14. The fairly peaceful first round (despite some irregularities and scattered violence in the outlying provinces) symbolized Afghans’ interest in supporting a democratic process to elect …READ MORE
April 5 was the day of Afghanistan’s historic election, a milestone in its history. I saw men and women, young and old, lined up in the rain-damped city to vote from dawn to dusk, exercising their democratic rights. In 50 …READ MORE
On April 5, the people of Afghanistan will vote in their third national election since 2001—a hundred million-dollar effort financed by international donors. The air is filled with anticipation and hope, albeit tempered with grave concerns held by both the …READ MORE
The departure of Canadian troops from Afghanistan does not mark the end of Canadian aid to that country. To move forward, however, Canada must accept the strategic mistakes of the past and record the lessons learned, not only to avoid …READ MORE
The federal government announced a 7.5% cut in Canada’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget for the fiscal year 2012. In addition, former CIDA funds not spent (and thus lapsed) represented close to 10% of CIDA’s aid budget for 2012. The …READ MORE
This is a follow-up to the excellent and timely comments by Professor Roland Paris on the implications of an attack by the Taliban on a Lebanese restaurant in Kabul, a few weeks ago.
Taliban attacks are common in Afghanistan, including …READ MORE