OTI, Afghanistan, Office of Transition Initiative
AFGHANISTAN, Herat : An Afghan laborer poses for the a picture as he works in a firewood yard at a market in Herat on December 11, 2011.
AFP PHOTO/ Aref Karimi

Increasing resilience in vulnerable areas by strengthening community capacities to support a peaceful political transition, promoting peaceful electoral processes and outcomes, and countering violent threats to a peaceful transition.

Why USAID/OTI is in Afghanistan

In early 2012, USAID/OTI recognized the vulnerability of local communities suffering from weak governance and inter-communal disputes that were being exploited by violent insurgents. Despite the role that tribal and community leaders play in maintaining local stability, they had been marginalized in formal government-led reconstruction efforts, especially in areas where government reach is limited or non-existent. This disconnect between the local government and tribally-organized constituencies hampers the government of Afghanistan’s ability to counter insurgent influence. These local vulnerabilities remain even as the nation undergoes a historic political and security transition.

In late 2014, Afghanistan's government underwent its first democratic transition of power and NATO forces officially ended over a decade of combat operations as international forces transitioned to a non-combat role in support of the Afghan National Security Forces. USAID/OTI continues to build community cohesion and local support for legitimate government processes in the wake of these historic milestones.

USAID/OTI’s Role in Afghanistan

Launched in February 2012, USAID/OTI’s Community Cohesion Initiative (CCI) strengthens the resiliency of communities in the face of political and social upheaval, insurgent infiltration, and other pressures. Specifically, CCI (1) increases cohesion within and between communities; (2) supports peaceful and legitimate governance processes and outcomes;. and (3) counters violent extremism. In order to direct and improve programming in remote areas, CCI relies on a robust, multilayered monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system that includes an Afghan independent monitoring unit.

Program Highlights

CCI uses clusters of community-focused small grants to strengthen vulnerable communities. These small-grant activities promote local ownership of project processes and results. Examples of activities includes:

  • Mitigated electoral violence by broadcasting 25,880 radio and 1,139 TV messages and distributing 285,155 printed materials to promote peaceful elections.
  • Rehabilitated 103 roads in response to community-identified needs to improve access and increase trust between communities and local government officials.
  • Supported development of over 300 localized cell phone audio and video messages to promote peace and counter violent extremist propaganda.
Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: April 15, 2016

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