Middle East & North Africa Publications, June 2011

12 07 2011

A list of recent reports on the Middle East & North Africa that were highlighted in the June issue of the Democracy Resource Center Bulletin.

The Insurgency in Afghanistan’s Heartland
Collusion between insurgent elements and corrupt government officials in Kabul and the nearby provinces has increased, leading to a profusion of criminal networks in the Afghan heartland. Source: International Crisis Group

Investing in a More Robust Public Policy Environment in the Middle East
The report argues that donors should work to enhance receptivity to public policy discussions, foster sustainable business models for civil society organizations, and create a supply of policy entrepreneurs in the region. Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies

Inclusion of a publication does not imply ownership or endorsement by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); rather, these are publications that the Democracy Resource Center believes would be of interest to NED staff and others interested in democracy promotion.


New UN report on poverty and human rights in Afghanistan

20 04 2010

“The report, Human Rights Dimensions of Poverty in Afghanistan, argues that “poverty is neither accidental, nor inevitable in Afghanistan”. Rather, it is caused by and is a consequence of a “massive human rights deficit”. The report calls for a human rights based approach to overcoming poverty: a perspective and analysis that would ensure causes and not just consequences, inform the design and implementation of programmes for the alleviation and elimination of poverty.”

Read more of the summary

Source: UN, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Download the full report in English or Dari

Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance.

29 01 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RS21922%C2%A0. Source: Library of Congress.

This report notes that the central government’s limited writ and perceived corruption are helping sustain a Taliban insurgency and painting President Hamid Karzai as a weak leader. However, ethnic disputes have been confined to political debate and competition, enabling Karzai to focus on reversing the security deterioration and on his re-election bid in the fall of 2009.

Corruption in Afghanistan: Bribery as Reported by Victims

29 01 2010

URL: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Afghanistan/Afghanistan-corruption-survey2010-Eng.pdf
Source: UNODC

A report on Corruption in Afghanistan, released recently by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows that the Afghan people regard corruption as their biggest problem. An overwhelming 59 per cent of the population said that their daily experience of public dishonesty is a bigger concern than insecurity (54 per cent) or unemployment (52 per cent). “The Afghans say that it is impossible to obtain a public service without paying a bribe,” says UNODC Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa.

The report is based on interviews with 7,600 people in 12 provincial capitals and more than 1,600 villages around Afghanistan. It records the real experiences (rather than just the perceptions) of urban as well as rural dwellers, men and women between autumn 2008 and autumn 2009.

Afghanistan: New U.S. Administration, New Directions.

15 12 2009

URL: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6007&l=1. Source: International Crisis Group.

This report examines the situation in Afghanistan after seven years of U.S.-led intervention and highlights what should be done and what should not be done for the country to find a path to stability. A policy review by the Obama administration has reopened debate about how to defeat the forces of violent global jihadism – al-Qaeda and its Taliban protectors – in Afghanistan and in neighbouring Pakistan.

Report on Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, January 2009

14 12 2009

URL: http://www.cfr.org/publication/19109/report_on_progress_toward_security_and_stability_in_afghanistan_january_2009.html. Source: U.S. Department of Defense (via Council on Foreign Relations).

The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated in several areas of the country since the last report. The spring and summer of 2008 saw the highest levels of violence since the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) began their involvement in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

1 12 2009

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RL30588/. Source: Congressional Research Service.

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Congressional Research Service Summary Upon taking office, the Obama Administration faced a deteriorating security environment in Afghanistan, including an expanding militant presence in some areas, increasing numbers of civilian and military deaths, growing disillusionment with corruption in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Pakistans inability to prevent Taliban and other militant infiltration into Afghanistan.