Engaging Community Resilience for Security, Development and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan Project Research Report

Ajmal Shirzai
Future Generations Afghanistan
Future Generations
January, 2014

This 50-page research report documents evidence emerging from a 2012-2013 study of community-led practices in Khogyani District of Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan that have enabled some communities to be more successful in maintaining their peace, development, and security.

Using the concept of positive deviance (PD), the project applied a different lens and approach to community engagement and peacebuilding.  The project sought to identify and learn from those communities that have negotiated their own security space with conflict actors and have achieved some development progress on their own terms as a result. The hypothesis is that such PD communities have already answered the most difficult question (how to bring security and peace to their areas) and that the strategies they used offer more widely applicable lessons.

This project successfully created working definitions and composite variables to assess PD characteristics for security, development and peacebuilding in Afghanistan. For the purposes of the inception phase of this study, these variables were used to survey 189 communities of Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, identifying 81 as PD communities. As part of the Positive Deviance Inquiry phase of this study, 12 communities (six insecure and six secure) were identified for a more in depth review to understand the specific attitudes, practices, and behaviors present within communities that are believed to contribute to successes in conflict resolution and dialogue with hostile forces.

Afghanistan Positive Deviance Research Report Jan2014.pdf793.14 KB