The past year has been marked by great uncertainty for the people of Afghanistan. Continued attacks, record-high levels of civilian deaths, and the repeated postponement of presidential elections have taken a toll on Afghan society. Meanwhile, unprecedented talks between the U.S. and Taliban inspired both hope and fear before they broke down in September. With confidence in a peace process still tempered by concerns over an abrupt U.S. withdrawal and the implications for Afghan women, the importance of comprehensive, reliable data on the views of Afghan citizens cannot be overstated.

USIP hosted The Asia Foundation for the launch of their 15th Survey of the Afghan People. First commissioned in 2004, the annual survey provides an unmatched barometer of Afghan public opinion over time and serves as a unique resource for policymakers, the international community, the Afghan government, and the broader public in Afghanistan. This year’s survey added new questions to further explore Afghan attitudes toward the peace process, elections, and the prospects for reconciliation.

Based on face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 17,812 citizens across all 34 Afghan provinces, the results reveal citizens’ views on a wide range of key issues, including security, the economy, corruption, justice, reconciliation with the Taliban, access to media, the role of women, governance, and political participation.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanSurvey.

Speakers

The Honorable Nancy Lindborg, opening remarks
President & CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

David D. Arnold, opening remarks
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Asia Foundation 

Abdullah Ahmadzai
Country Director, Afghanistan, The Asia Foundation

Tabasum Akseer
Director of Policy and Research in Afghanistan, The Asia Foundation

Ambassador Daniel Feldman
Asia Foundation Trustee, Senior of Counsel, Covington & Burling; Former U.S Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Scott Worden, moderator
Director, Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, U.S Institute of Peace 

Related Publications

The Current Situation in Afghanistan

The Current Situation in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 25, 2021

In February 2020 the U.S. and the Taliban signed an agreement that paved the way for the first direct talks between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan republic since 2001. This nascent peace process has sparked hope for a political settlement to the four-decade-long conflict, although slow progress and increasing levels of violence threaten to derail the process before it gains momentum.

Type: Fact Sheet

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

By: William Byrd

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s badly damaged Ministry of Finance is critical for the state’s survival today and will be equally important during a peace process or under any interim or power-sharing arrangement. Without curbs on political interference and corruption at the ministry, Afghanistan will be hard pressed to ensure that aid pledges made at November’s Geneva international conference materialize.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

“No Going Backward”: Afghanistan’s Post–Peace Accord Security Sector

“No Going Backward”: Afghanistan’s Post–Peace Accord Security Sector

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

By: Annie Pforzheimer; Andrew Hyde; Jason Criss Howk

Failure to plan realistically for needed changes in Afghanistan’s security sector following a peace settlement—and failure to start phasing in changes now—will lead to post-settlement instability. This report examines the particular challenges Afghanistan will face, with examples from the climate following peace settlements in other parts of the world offering insight into what may occur and possibilities for response.

Type: Peaceworks

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

New Evidence: To Build Peace, Include Women from the Start

New Evidence: To Build Peace, Include Women from the Start

Thursday, March 11, 2021

By: Veronique Dudouet; Andreas Schädel

In the 20 years since governments declared it imperative to include women’s groups and their demands in peace processes, experience and research continue to show that this principle strengthens peace agreements and helps prevent wars from re-igniting. Yet our inclusion of women has been incomplete and, in some ways, poorly informed. Now a study of recent peace processes in Colombia, Mali, Afghanistan and Myanmar offers new guidance on how to shape women’s roles. A critical lesson is that we must ensure this inclusion from the start.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Peace Processes

View All Publications