Afghanistan Strategic Learning Initiative

Confronting New Realities: Actions and Proposals for the International Community in Afghanistan

Date of publication: May 2022

The Afghanistan Strategic Learning Initiative was launched in 2021 to explore the adaptation and innovation of aid delivery in Afghanistan following the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country. This involved a programme of workshops delivered by leading international development think tanks, bringing together over 150 Afghan and international experts. Each workshop focused on a key area, considering evidence-based policy options for engagement and appropriate aid provision in Afghanistan.


Center for Global Development (CGD), Chatham House, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), ODI, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC)

Recommendations / learning

International support to Afghanistan cannot exclude the de facto Taliban authorities – the international community has to better define and expand the parameters of this engagement in a way that balances the need for positive engagement with the danger of supporting Taliban repression.

Continued support to local NGOs and community development councils should be prioritised - the international community has to understand how to support organisations in a way that reduces their vulnerabilities to political pressure, to enable them to exercise meaningful leadership and decision making.

Tackling the drivers of vulnerability and building resilience in Afghanistan requires a clear policy shift in expanding engagement beyond short-term humanitarian relief to longer-term commitments - humanitarian aid is not a sustainable substitute for functioning basic services and institutions; creative means of supporting these institutions, building trust and expanding the political space are needed.


Afghanistan scenarios: challenges and ways forward for engagement in 2022-23


Needs and vulnerability in Afghanistan


Crafting the international response in Afghanistan: options to enable financial flows and promote 'beyond humanitarian' aid


Recalibrating relations with Afghanistan: collective action by international actors


Confronting new realities: actions and priorities for the international community in Afghanistan