Afghanistan Engineering Support Program (AESP)

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


AESP provided architectural and engineering services for USAID in the sectors of: energy, transportation, vertical structures, and water and sanitation. This seven-year program, valued at $97 million, ran from November 2009 to November 2016. The program initiated over 250 work orders in the four sectors. AESP’s depth of programing is evident in the variety of activities, which ranged from developing and implementing USAID’s program to create backbone to Afghanistan’s electric power system, providing a model internship program for Afghan women, providing quick response surveys for disaster relief, to safeguarding the structural capacity of Afghanistan’s schools and hospitals. The support provided by AESP will continue under the newly awarded Engineering Support Program.


  • Planning: AESP provided quality engineering, technical assistance, and guidance for the planning of requested activities. Planning work included providing bid assistance, preparing training programs, conducting feasibility studies, and ensuring the consideration of environmental and sustainability issues.
  • Design: AESP managed the preparation of detailed engineering studies, assessments, designs, plans, specifications, and cost estimates, verifying compliance with national and international standards to reflect USAID best practices. AESP evaluated designs developed by other parties at all stages of design and also provided both concept and full designs to USAID.
  • Technical support and oversight: AESP provided engineering and project management support to USAID through a wide range of projects by offering technical, contractual, and administrative support when requested. In the later stages of the program, AESP adapted to focus on quality assurance (QA) and construction management services (CMS) for large USAID-funded infrastructure projects throughout Afghanistan.
  • Collaboration and coordination with stakeholders: AESP collaborated with the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) Ministries and surrogates, donor organizations, U.S. government entities, implementing partners, and private companies. Collaboration was essential to completing activities effectively, bolstering goodwill with other stakeholders, and ensuring GoA’s continued involvement in Afghanistan’s infrastructure projects.
  • Capacity building: USAID has a commitment to assist in the capacity development of Afghan organizations and individuals through their participation in USAID awards. To that end, AESP trained, and worked alongside, AESP local staff, Afghan government stakeholders, and local subcontractors to improve the country’s professional and technical skills. Additionally, AESP worked to incorporate capacity building into various program activities and implemented specific capacity building work orders in order to build Afghanistan’s newest generation of professionals.


  • The Afghan women internship program: AESP provided internship opportunities to female engineering and architecture students in Kabul, Afghanistan. Interns received real-world engineering experiences in order to be competitive in a professional field and culture dominated by men. Twenty-four young women received training and mentorship that propelled them into new careers.
  • The Gardez-Khost road phase IV: AESP reviewed submittals and as-built designs for the construction of the final 25 kilometers of the Gardez-Khost Road that connects Patkia and Khost provinces. AESP supported repairs of four bridges and the construction of two new bridges. The road was completed in 2015 and currently serves approximately 3,000 vehicles daily.
  • The PTEC project: USAID and AESP completed design plans to repair and extend Afghanistan’s Northeast Power System (NEPS) to the Southeast Power System (SEPS) as part of the Power Transmission Expansion and Connectivity Project (PTEC). This project will create a new backbone for Afghanistan’s power and bring electricity to people in rural areas for the first time. PTEC has reached the implementation phase, and AESP provided the initial QA and CMS for construction.
  • Installation and commissioning of unit 2 of the Kajaki dam hydroelectric power plant: 60 years after the Hydroelectric Power Plant at the Kajaki Dam was built, Turbine Unit 2 was completely installed under AESP CMS. Citizens of 24 different nations contributed to this project, which was undertaken in a remote and unstable region. The completion of this landmark project positively affects the everyday lives of about 1 million residents of the region.
  • Building capacity of the Afghan people: AESP employed more than 150 local staff over the program’s duration, providing professional development through training initiatives and mentorship from expatriate staff. Additionally, AESP supported and collaborated with a wide range of Afghan ministries, USAID partners, and private companies to provide Afghanistan the manpower to maintain and improve its own infrastructure.

Last updated: November 07, 2016

Share This Page