In-Depth Topical Assessments
CAPS maintains an extensive network throughout the country, making it an ideal actor to carry out in-depth assessments on topics of interest to a wide array of stake holders. From evaluative assessments of key development and programming efforts, needs assessments in local communities, and exploratory studies aimed at expanding knowledge and forming policies of complex, conflict-related issues, CAPS can tailor a study to fit both the needs of the client and the ground realities in any given area of the country.
Since the collapse of Kabul to Taliban on 15 August 2021, CAPS has paid increasing attention to humanitarian needs and rights of the Afghan people and continue to advocate for issues relevant to the subject.
Among other areas, CAPS’ advocacy programs are aimed to:
- Ensure that human rights are upheld under Taliban-run government in Afghanistan post August 2021;
- Ensure that women rights including their active participation in the government and access to education are protected;
- Ensure that Afghans continue to have access to health services and different international organizations are allowed to deliver humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan; and
- Study the dire situation of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and engage with the international community so their needs are addressed
The CAPS team creates provincial profiles that provide an assessment specific to the province. These provincial profiles are done by the CAPS research team and include a preliminary study of the province through available material, conducting interviews with local experts and scholars as well as influential people of the region. Having a general understanding of the province, the team then moves onto field research, traveling to the province and conducting research on the ground. This includes interviews with local civilian leaders, tribal elders and other influential members of society, as well as conducting surveys and engaging the local population. The team also interviews local government officials, representatives of the international community, coalition forces and Afghan National Security forces. Aside from conducting interviews and surveys, the CAPS research team also investigates the ground realities of governance by conducting their own fact-finding missions about the facts and figures of the province. A further round of research is conducted on the district level. This is then compiled into a written profile of the province that is divided into several categories: History, Demographics, Governance, Informal Local Governance, Development and Security.
Media in Conflict
Armed groups in Afghanistan, just as in the Middle East and Pakistan, use the media to propagate their message, solicit both moral and financial support, and provide distant training and exchange of logistical information required to launch successful operations.
The role of media in conflict expansions, and subsequent mitigation, requires a deeper understanding beyond simple study of the role of the Internet within conflict environments. This has been a popular research topic among researchers in recent years. However the fluid nature of the conflict demands a lateral approach, examining the numerous media outlets used by violent actors. CAPS media and conflict project includes analysis of DVDs, audio cassettes and CDs, newspapers and the Internet. The Center has one of the most up to date archives of propaganda produced by armed groups in Afghanistan and the region. Through detailed and continuous analysis of these sources CAPS is able to produce solid analysis of media use in the conflict.
Drugs, Security and Development
The drug economy is often labeled as the financial driving force behind the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan. Although it is not certain precisely how much of the money produced by the narcotics trade goes into fueling the conflict, it is clear that the production of drugs will continue for as long as there is insecurity in Afghanistan. Incidentally, much of the current insurgency is taking place is the poppy growing areas in the South. Since the fall of the Taliban, more and more provinces are turning to poppy cultivation.
Therefore, it is crucial that a better understanding of this situation is developed. What are the causes behind this development? Precisely how much of the drug trade is channeled to fund violence? How does money from poppy farming flow to the insurgents? What can be done to prevent drug-financed conflict in the near future?
The objective of this research project is to answer these questions and identify short, mid and long-term viable developmental alternatives to the drug economy. The project will study the role of drugs in the ongoing insurgency; the consequences of current policies at drug eradication led by international and national forces and present potential alternatives including farming options, education opportunities and job creation in new markets.