Research in aiding democracy in Afghanistan – how research can help contribute effectively to changes in society

Kaushik Mukherjee and Sunil Pillai
ACNielsen ORG-MARG, India

BACKGROUND

The name Afghanistan is synonymous with dry mountainous terrain, trouble, unrest and daunting challenges. After decades of war, the nation is suffering from a poor economy, and even its environment is in a state of crisis. The country is riddled with landmines left from the war, which are injuring and killing people regularly. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a U.S., Allied, and Northern Alliance military action toppled the ruling Taliban for sheltering Osama Bin Laden. In late 2001, a conference in Bonn, Germany established a process for political reconstruction that ultimately resulted in the adoption of a new constitution and plans for presidential elections in 2004. Meanwhile, a transitional government was established with current President Hamid Karzai as its head.