REPORT: “Breaking Point: Measuring Progress in Afghanistan”

PCR Project commented:

Dear Safrang, Given your interest in Afghanistan, we thought you might be interested in our latest report, Breaking Point: Measuring Progress in Afghanistan. The PCR Project is a part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank located in Washington, DC. Much more on Afghanistan and Pakistan can be found at www.pcrproject.com.
Best,
PCR Project.

Thanks PCR Project for bringing the omission to my attention. I am remiss not to have posted a link here, especially that I contributed to the report. (Safrang is a pseudonym and no reference to it can be found in the acknowledgements.)

َA summary of the report is available on the PCR Blog, and you can also download the full report there. According to the summary, the report’s key findings are:

  • Afghans are losing trust in their government because of an escalation in violence;
  • Public expectations are neither being met nor managed;
  • Conditions in Afghanistan have deteriorated in all key areas targeted for development, except for the economy and women’s rights.

Of course I am not biased in saying that the report (a follow-up to a baseline report published a year earlier) is one of the most insightful qualitative measures of progress in Afghanistan in recent times, both for its extensive data collection and the unique methodology.

It should be said, however, that the period covered in the report (July 2005 through Oct 2006) leaves out a number of key developments that have happened in the past few months and that could bear heavily on some of the trends captured in the report. The anticipation of these emerging developments makes the report all the more poignant.

Also of note is the telltale title of the report. Last year’s baseline report was titled “In the Balance” – this, at a time when most people had already billed Afghanistan as a success story. That fragile balance was tipped in 2006. This year, the ominous title reads: “Breaking Point”. Judging from the positive reception of the report, it seems that a lot of people are listening.

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