Afghanistan is at an important moment in its history. Despite a persistent insurgency that continues to control and destabilize roughly half of the country, high levels of voter enthusiasm in the recent parliamentary elections demonstrated that the people of Afghanistan remain invested in the future of their democracy. Amid a renewed focus on political reconciliation and the upcoming presidential elections in April, citizens face important choices about Afghanistan’s future stability and prosperity. 

These and other pressing issues facing Afghanistan are the subject of The Asia Foundation’s 2018 Survey of the Afghan People. Please join The Asia Foundation and the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday, December 4, for a presentation on the key findings, and a panel discussion on the trends and shifts in the views of Afghan citizens from past years. Join the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanSurvey.

The annual survey is based on face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of more than 15,000 citizens across all 34 Afghan provinces. The results reveal citizens’ views on a wide range of crucial issues, including security, the economy, corruption, justice, youth issues, reconciliation with the Taliban, access to media, the role of women, governance and political participation. This year’s survey also includes new questions related to local security, access to government services, and elections. 

First commissioned in 2004, the survey provides an unmatched barometer of Afghan public opinion over time and a unique resource for policymakers and the international community, the Afghan government, and the broader public in Afghanistan.

Speakers

Nancy Lindborg, welcoming remarks
President, U.S Institute of Peace

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

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

Amb. Daniel F. Feldman
Former Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the U.S. Department of State; Asia Foundation Trustee; and Partner, Akin Gump

Abdullah Ahmadzai
Country Representative in Afghanistan, The Asia Foundation 

Related Publications

U.S.-Taliban Deal: The Beginning of the End of America’s Longest War?

U.S.-Taliban Deal: The Beginning of the End of America’s Longest War?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By: Scott Smith

American officials announced on Friday that the United States and the Taliban agreed to a seven-day “reduction of violence” that, if adhered to, would be followed by a signed agreement. The deal would pave the way for intra-Afghan talks and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops. USIP’s Scott Smith examines the U.S.-Taliban deal and what comes next.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Will Rising U.S.-Iran Tensions Spark Afghan Proxy War?

Will Rising U.S.-Iran Tensions Spark Afghan Proxy War?

Monday, February 10, 2020

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Barmak Pazhwak; Michael V. Phelan

Rising tensions between the United States and Iran—illustrated and exacerbated by the January 3 assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani—are rippling out beyond the Middle East. Now, American officials are voicing growing concern about Iranian activities in Afghanistan. In recent weeks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran is supporting militant groups in the country and seeking to undermine the peace process between the U.S. and the Taliban. A top U.S. general for the region, meanwhile, warned that Iranian actions in Afghanistan pose a risk to the approximately 14,000 American troops deployed there.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Afghan Women’s Views on Violent Extremism and Aspirations to a Peacemaking Role

Afghan Women’s Views on Violent Extremism and Aspirations to a Peacemaking Role

Monday, February 3, 2020

By: Haseeb Humayoon; Mustafa Basij-Rasikh

Recent efforts at settling the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan have featured an increasingly vibrant and visible display of women’s activism. Even with the support of the government and its international partners, Afghan women still face tremendous challenges to realizing their aspirations for a role in peacemaking. Based on extensive interviews throughout Afghanistan, this report attempts to better understand the changing public role of Afghan women today and their contributions to peacebuilding and ending violence.

Type: Peaceworks

Violent Extremism

Colombia’s Imperfect Peace Could Provide a Roadmap for Afghanistan

Colombia’s Imperfect Peace Could Provide a Roadmap for Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Maria Antonia Montes

The Afghan peace process was jumpstarted in September 2018 when President Trump appointed Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation. Since then, Khalilzad has led 10 rounds of U.S.-Taliban talks, with negotiations focusing on two issues: ensuring the Taliban’s commitment to prevent transnational terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base for attacks, and a U.S. military withdrawal. As the search for peace in Afghanistan continues, what lessons can be learned from other peace processes that could apply to Afghanistan? Colombia’s imperfect peace agreement with the FARC is one especially relevant international reference point for Afghanistan—we explain why.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All Publications