South & Central Asia


ISE is committed to supporting nationally led initiatives in South and Central Asia. Past work has been conducted in Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and state-level transformation in India. With extensive experience in Afghanistan, ISE also works to support reform programs in public financial management, infrastructure, social and economic development, and natural resource management. ISE’s engagement in Afghanistan has also formed the basis of a lessons learned program for continued analysis of reform efforts of the country’s public institutions, economy, and grievance redress mechanisms.

Afghanistan Support Program


ISE supports Afghanistan’s vision of inclusive development and self-reliance via its Afghanistan Support Program (ASP). The program provides high-level strategic advice as well as technical inputs, when needed, to help Afghanistan implement its development strategy. ASP works within four major areas: public financial management and economic growth; strategic infrastructure management; and development strategy & national program design, including peacebuilding and justice, community-driven development (CDD) and overall development strategy; and global lessons learned. ISE’s work in Afghanistan informs our continued understanding and analysis of innovative development practice, including our community-driven development series and development practice notes on public financial management. Read more about ASP here.

Asia Regional Connectivity Project


The Silk Roads had a rich history stretching back two millennia. An ancient network of routes connecting Europe and Asia, the Silk Roads facilitated prosperity and cultural exchange. More than a commercial network, it comprised reinforcing institutional systems, incorporating finance, transport, and cultural exchanges across vast distances. Today, some forty countries lie along the ancient Silk Roads, accounting for a majority of the world’s population and representing substantial opportunities. ISE’s Asia Regional Connectivity (ARC) project is examining the strategies of multilateral organizations, states, and private firms, exploring opportunities for synergies on the future shape of connectivity and exchange in the region. The ARC project builds on previous ISE analysis on the New Silk Roads.

Afghanistan Support Program

ISE supports Afghanistan’s vision of inclusive development and self-reliance via its Afghanistan Support Program (ASP). The program provides high-level strategic advice as well as technical inputs, when needed, to help Afghanistan implement its development strategy.

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Team-Based Performance Management Systems: Lessons from Afghanistan

Many global policy agreements on increased aid effectiveness have advocated for development partners to use and build the capacity of the aid recipient country’s institutions to achieve greater sustainability. However, experience from fragile and conflict-affected…

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Community-driven Development in Afghanistan: Inclusivity and the Citizens' Charter

Khyber Farahi, former senior adviser to the president on migration and social development, speaks with ISE on his experience working on community-driven development (CDD) in Afghanistan and the critical role of fostering community-ownership in the…

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Participatory Development: The Case for Substantive Facilitation

Afghanistan’s Citizens’ Charter program is national in scope, which means that the core model of facilitation must be able to adapt to a tremendously broad range of socioeconomic environments. This is particularly important as the…

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Afghanistan’s Citizens’ Charter and Inclusive Development: Afghanistan’s Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Kuchi Population in the Citizens’ Charter

Afghanistan’s nomadic and semi-nomadic populations are highly vulnerable and are generally excluded from development interventions. The Citizens’ Charter aims to work with this population to provide key services. This brief sets out key areas that…

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The Citizens’ Charter: Contributions to Poverty Reduction

This brief discusses various aspects of the Citizens’ Charter approach to poverty reduction. These include incorporating a deeper understanding of poverty dynamics into the program’s architecture, engaging provincial and district level authorities and programs, promoting…

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