Afghanistan Engineering Support Program (AESP)

  • Duration: November 2009 – November 2016
  • Value: $97 million


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) created the Afghanistan Engineering Support Program (AESP) to provide architectural and engineering services, as well as training to Afghan government ministry staff and technicians working in the energy, transportation, water, sanitation, and communication sectors.


  • Provide planning, design, and quality assurance services in electric power transmission and generation projects throughout Afghanistan.
  • Facilitate third-party quality assurance oversight for road and airport construction, master planning, and engineering support for provincial reconstruction teams.
  • Provide technical support and design for education facilities.
  • Conduct technical reviews of existing dam and hydro-electric power facilities and perform assessments of potential dams for flood control, irrigation, and power generation.
  • Monitor the implementation of construction projects by other contractors through site visits and review of contractor submittals.
  • Train local staff in project management, computer-aided design, application of building standards and technical specifications, technical writing, and leadership.
  • Facilitate work experience for female engineering students through an internship program. 


  • Transportation engineering: Supported Gardez-Khost Road construction by reviewing submittals and as-built designs, resulting in a successful project completion.
  • Energy engineering: Helped the national public utility provider obtain contracted technical services through electrical design of new substations and transmission lines, rehabilitation of existing facilities, assistance with bid package creation, and project implementation.
  • Vertical structures (buildings): Completed master planning, design, review, and quality assurance projects for over 22 buildings, including Kabul University, the American University of Afghanistan, the Sardar Girls High School, and the Ghazi Boys High School.
  • Sustainability/operations and maintenance: Completed cost estimates for 26 USAID-funded construction projects; provided the estimates to relevant Afghan agencies for assistance in planning and budgeting.
  • Water resources: Inspected four hydro-electric dams (Shahtoot, Sarobi II, Bamyan, and Deh-Asuda), prepared and reviewed cost estimates for two dams (Kajaki and Pul-e-Khumri),.
  • Water and sanitation: Installed water supply, treatment, and distribution systems at Sardar Kabuli Girls High School; installed systems for wastewater collection and disposal. 
  • Women engineering internship program: Since 2011, female engineering students in their last year of studies have interned in AESP offices, going on to work with the Ministry of Water and Energy, USAID, and private engineering companies.  In 2016, the program will be extended to eight female interns.
  • Capacity building: Trained 125 local staff on writing, safety, and construction.
  • Gender equality: Recruited internally several female employees to higher positions within the company, from HR assistant to HR manager, one from Accountant to Financial Analyst, and one from Administrative Assistant to Deputy Management Information System Manager.

Last updated: February 03, 2016

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