Afghanistan Engineering Support Program (AESP)

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  • 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 $97 million program completed 219 work orders over seven years. AESP developed a USAID program to expand Afghanistan’s electric power system, a model internship program for Afghan women, quick response surveys for disaster relief, and an initiative to safeguard the structural capacity of Afghanistan’s schools and hospitals.


  • Planning: AESP provided engineering, technical assistance, and guidance to USAID regarding bid assistance, training programs, feasibility studies, and 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. AESP evaluated designs developed by other parties 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. In the later stages of the program, AESP focused on quality assurance and construction management services 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.
  • Capacity building: AESP employed more than 150 local staff over the program’s duration, providing professional development through training initiatives and mentorship provided by expatriate staff. Additionally, AESP supported and collaborated with a wide range of Afghan ministries, USAID partners, and private companies to develop Afghanistan’s capacity to maintain and improve its infrastructure.


  • Afghan Women Internship Program: AESP provided internship opportunities to 24 female engineering and architecture students in Kabul. Interns received real-world engineering training to be competitive in a professional field and culture dominated by men.
  • Gardez-Khost Road Phase IV: AESP reviewed submittals and as-built designs for the construction of the 25-kilometer section 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 serves approximately 3,000 vehicles daily.
  • Power Transmission Expansion and Connectivity Project (PTEC): 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 distribution system and bring electricity to people in rural areas for the first time. AESP provided the initial quality assurance and construction management services.
  • Installation and Commissioning of Unit 2 of Kajaki Dam Hydroelectric Power plant: Sixty years after completion of a hydroelectric power plant at the Kajaki Dam, Turbine Unit 2 was installed. The completion of this landmark project positively affects the everyday lives of about 1 million residents of the region.

Last updated: May 07, 2019

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