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Towards sustainable livelihoods security
Through its 2012–2014 country strategy, ACTED adopts a holistic approach which empowers people to provide secure ownership of and access to resources and incomes, including reserves and assets which enable them to offset risks, shocks and meet contingencies. In 2012 ACTED continued to help communities build the key resources to meet their needs, recover from shocks and build their resilience, especially after the 2011 drought, which destroyed 90% of the crops and livestock in some areas.
Insecurity presented challenges to humanitarian access and actions but ACTED continued to work with 2,500 communities, reaching almost 8% of the population. The organisation remains committed to positive development in Afghanistan through partnership, coordination and dialogue.
Empowering communities to build sustainable livelihoods
ACTED’s programme focuses on six main sets of resources which sustain livelihoods security: good governance and human, natural, financial, physical, and social resources. Beneficiaries determine their own needs through participatory, community-led processes, and the programme is tailored accordingly.
ACTED promoted good governance through community-based organisations, engaging 2,300 Community Development Councils, as a partner of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), as well as organisations for management of natural resources and to represent women and youth. The Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) have demonstrated capacity to manage millions of dollars in funds, deliver relevant services, leverage funds independently and multiply initial investments.
Developing human capital though training, capacity building, skills development and supplementary education is key to ACTED’s work in the country. Results have included improved governance, better resource management, increased yields and incomes, reduced incidence of disease, increased employment, increased literacy levels and enrolment rates, especially among girls and women. The NGO also focused on improving the management of existing natural resources (water, land) and reducing livestock mortality, which directly resulted in increased yields and incomes.
While supporting communities and districts with more than 3,000 infrastructure projects in the sectors of access, irrigation and drinking water, power supply (micro-hydro), education and disaster risk reduction, ACTED also contributed to social capital, providing residual support to all other activities by promoting cohesion in a context where many issues divide people. Activities included sport, culture and social events, interactive media and networking. Participation and demand in this regard are high.
Women and youth empowerment and disaster risk reduction are cross-cutting issues which are integrated across all programme components.
Partnership and coordination
ACTED is committed to enhancing the quality, effectiveness and relevance of development through partnership and coordination: the Afghanistan Livelihoods Network (ALN), created by ACTED, provides a resource for all stakeholders in the development sector and supports national policy. The ALN is the co-chair of the Early Recovery Network, and member of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock - NGO Coordination Unit and several technical committees for developing guidelines, harmonised tools and conducting joint assessments.
ACTED supports NGOs through ACBAR, which represents 110 humanitarian and development NGOs, the NSP Facilitating Partners’ Representative Group and Gender Working Group (chair) which represents 28 NSP partners, the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium representing 15 national and international NGOs. ACTED is also on the Board of Directors for the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, Zardozi Markets for Afghan Artisan and OXUS Afghanistan, one of the main microfinance providers in Afghanistan.
Building on efforts made while preparing for the transition ahead
In 2013, ACTED programmes will continue in line with the objectives set out in our Country Strategy “Towards Sustainable Livelihoods Security 2012 – 2014”. The Girls Education Challenge, as part of a global programme, will enable to create education opportunities for 18,000 of the world’s most marginalised girls over the next three years. In addition, ACTED will continue to promote partnerships and coordination with stakeholders.
The overall operating context is likely to be complicated by preparations for the 2014 Presidential elections, increased insecurity and political instability in some areas, and growing concern among the population about the impact of the transition in 2014.
Partners in 2012:
European Commission's Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Afghanistan, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development of Afghanistan, Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration (BPRM), Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), World Food Programme (WFP), AfghanAid, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), US Embassy in Afghanistan.
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