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.

Writing the History of the Future: Securing Stability through Peace Agreements

Peace agreements are a pivotal moment in the transition from long-running conflict to the establishment of a functioning state. Often perceived as offering a clean slate from which to start again, post-conflict conditions often present…

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The Aid Relationship in Afghanistan: Struggling for Government Leadership

This case study explores how, during the transitional years of 2001 to 2006, Afghan authorities shaped their ‘aid relationship’ with the international community. It describes the strategies, frameworks, policies and systems to manage aid that…

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Nepal: The Future in the Present

This paper explains how unstable dual power sharing defined Nepal’s predicament in May 2006. It explains why resulting structural uncertainty affects stakeholders and threatens further development – or even risks collapse. The paper then explains…

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How to Re-Model European Aid

This paper advocates remodelling Europe’s aid system to make it cost less and deliver more. It proposes a system whereby countries receive support according to their implementation of institutional change over the medium to longer…

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Stability, State-Building and Development Assistance: An Outside Perspective

This paper proposes making state-building the central goal of development engagement and aid distribution. It examines the recent record of development agencies to map the processes for aid implementation in practice. Firstly, it considers the…

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