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A voice for the Afghan diaspora: the Afghan research initiative

The fall of the government in Afghanistan in August 2021, with the withdrawal of the international military presence, has generated a humanitarian and political disaster that is likely to last for years. In the months since, the perspectives of the country’s thought leaders, many of whom had to flee the country, have for the most part been absent from discussions about the country’s political future and the prospects for inclusion, gender equality and human rights. Most commentary on these issues has largely emerged from foreign and Western voices, not Afghan voices.

The Afghan research initiative (ARI) will reach more than 100 Afghan fellows in exile – mostly women – operating as a research hub for researchers, students, practitioners and policymakers. Specifically, ARI will support more than 30 Afghan scholars to strengthen their capacity for policy research and advocacy on key Afghan development issues. As part of those activities, support will be provided to up to 20 Afghan scholars or researchers working on issues of international development in various universities and NGOs in the region. ARI will organize online professional development courses, conferences, public lectures and research seminars and store information and resources related to past and current research, open data, grants, scholarships, jobs and events. Scholars supported under this project will be linked to a similar network of diaspora scholars supported in Canada at Canadian universities. Activities will be planned to help support building a larger Afghan vision across the two networks and components of work.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Edgard Rodriguez
Total Funding
CA$ 750,000.00
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Institution Country
University of Central Asia