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Executive Summary

The long-term vision of the Afghanistan agriculture and rural development sector is to ensure the social and economic wellbeing of rural communities, especially the rural poor and vulnerable. With this vision in mind, the National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) was established in 2002. The Programme – established with the goal of contributing to a sustainable reduction of poverty and an improvement of livelihoods in rural Afghanistan – is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

        NABDP Phase-I (2002 – 2006) was instituted as a priority recovery and economic regeneration programme in the complex emergency context of Afghanistan. NABDP Phase-II (2006-2008) focused on support to District Development Assembly (DDA) institutionalization, poverty reduction, and institutional capacity development. Additionally, was in support of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and Agricultural Rural Development Sector Strategy (ARDSS) frameworks.

        Currently in Phase-III (2009 – 2014), and still supported by UNDP and MRRD, NABDP has committed to continuing to advance national programme development in the coming years. The Programme approaches area-based implementation with a focus upon: (a) continuing its vital work on strengthening and promoting DDAs as a conduit for social and economic development planning; and, (b) productive infrastructure that serves to link rural communities as part of the Afghan government’s broader agricultural and rural development strategy.

The area-based implementation approach aims to reduce the geographic and demographic disparities through investments in social organization, infrastructure, local economic development and sub-national governance initiatives. This approach has been particularly appropriate in the unique conflict and post-conflict context of Afghanistan, where various areas and regions have incurred greater damage or received greater reconstruction assistance than others.

Being based upon the third pillar of the ANDS (Social and Economic Development), NABDP addresses two thematic areas: (1) Local governance and DDA institutionalization; (2) Sustainable livelihoods through rural infrastructure services. The latter includes a portfolio of projects that address the whole issue of Energy for Rural Development.

1.    Local Governance and District Development Assembly Institutionalization

The capacity development of DDAs is an essential element of area-based development and implementation, requiring strong links between villages and incorporation into provincial development planning processes. While moving towards establishing DDAs in all districts, it is envisaged that all DDAs will become the hub for community-based profiling, serving to gather important information on activities in respective areas. Additionally, DDAs play a core role in establishing linkages vertically and horizontally to governance and stabilization programmes.

2.    Sustainable Livelihoods through Rural Infrastructure Services
 
To increase and diversify livelihood and income generation opportunities, NABDP focuses on constructing and rehabilitating physical infrastructure linked to agricultural productivity and rural economic development. To date, completed projects are in diverse sectors such as: transportation, irrigation, water supply, health and education facilities, and food storage. These activities provide NABDP with opportunities to collaborate closely with other Ministries, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

         Additionally, Afghanistan has significant untapped energy potential throughout the country. In order to provide rural populations with power and alternative fuel sources – such as Micro Hydro Power (MHP) – NABDP pilots, accesses and implements rural energy technologies across Afghanistan. The long-term success of these projects is ensured through community participation and ownership, as well as partnerships with the private sector.

 

NABDP’s Strategic National Alignment

NABDP is well-aligned with national development policies and strategies as articulated in various Afghan government documents such as the ANDS, which emphasizes creating foundations for economic and social development – particularly in the context of agriculture and rural development. Additionally, in alignment with the Government of Afghanistan’s (GoA) broader agricultural and rural development strategy, NABDP’s key objective is to function as an economic regeneration programme with a focus on the development of rural infrastructure in Afghanistan. Additionally, NABDP is also strategically aligned with the NPP Four: Agriculture and Rural Development Cluster: “Strengthening Local Institutions”.

 To achieve the aforementioned, NABDP intends to continue developing the capacity of DDAs through 2014 to coordinate and facilitate their role as a medium for bringing about rural development, as well as serve as a forum for negotiation regarding conflict resolution. This will further reinforce existing local structures and mechanisms that productively contribute towards broader peace-building at district and sub-district levels.

 NABDP also contributes to outcomes five and six of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) related to sustainable livelihoods: agriculture, food, security and income opportunities. Furthermore, NABDP’s objectives are aligned with outcome six of the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) which aims to establish increased opportunities for income generation through the promotion of diversified livelihoods, private sector development and public-private partnerships.

 

NABDP Cross-Cutting Issues

Gender: NABDP aims to achieve equitable participation in selecting district representatives and ensuring an equitable voice in development planning, decision-making and project implementation, and gender equity in access to information and training.

Natural Resource Management: NABDP works to improve the capacity of communities to manage productive natural resources to support poverty reduction and dispute resolution, and to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters.

Local-Economic Development: By strengthening rural enterprises and opportunities for rural populations to generate licit livelihoods, as well as supporting commercialized rural production and services that contribute

Energy for Rural Development in Afghanistan

ERDA is a new sub-component of NABDP which aim to bring sustainable energy generation to the rural areas of Afghanistan which currently lack a reliable electricity supply, as well as contribute to the development of rural energy policy.   Read More....

APRP

In addition, NABDP supports the implementation of the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) initiative, which aims to establish a secure environment by disbanding illegally armed groups on the basis of voluntary compliance through community development incentives.