The National Center for Policy Research (NCPR) provided interdisciplinary social science research services at Kabul University, focusing on Law and Political Science, Economy, Social Sciences, and Peace and Conflict.
Mission and Purpose
It is vision and core goals are twofold:
- First, to contribute to dialogue and promote study and research that can lead to effective policies and development in Afghanistan,
- Second, to establish a center of excellence for research and analysis that can provide policy options for political and economic reforms and social development in the post-war phase aimed to disseminate research results to key Afghan government organizations, public and private academic institutions, research centers, and stakeholders.
The main activities of NCPR are listed below, but not limited to:
- Conduct research projects into topical issues of Afghanistan,
- Offer a "Research Methodology” course to Kabul University students every academic year for one semester,
- Provision valuable recommendations to national and international authorities regarding social sciences, economics, and political sciences to help them resolve their issues. Additionally, it has aided them in making critical policy and decision-making decisions and,
- Organizing Roundtables
Origins and Development
The NCPR was founded in 2003 on the Campus of Kabul University by collaborating with The Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Germany, the Ministry of Higher Education, and Kabul University. It consisted of four research departments: the Department of Law and Political Science, the Department of Economy, Social Sciences, and the Department of Peace and Conflict.
The NCPR aimed to collaborate with other Afghan Universities, such as Kabul and Herat, and international institutions to exchange knowledge and experience through research. The NSPR has started a partnership program with esteemed German academic institutions to achieve this goal. In Germany, the main partners were the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE) at Ruhr University in Bochum, as well as the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) at Ruhr-Bochum University, Frankfurt University, Heidelberg University, and the German Afghan Universities cooperation (DAUG). In addition, this center had partnerships with organizations such as German International Cooperation (GIZ), NATO Diplomacy Division, Center of International Private Enterprises (CIPE), Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Democracy International (DI), Peace Build Canada, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, German Voice (DW) and Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).
The NCPR initiated partnership with other Afghan Nongovernmental Organizations. However, many of these organizations have been involved in development projects and social activities without clear and well-thought-out strategies and scientific methods to achieve their goals. By collaborating with NCPR, these organizations enhanced their programs, resulting in more practical projects and better outcomes. The NCPR provided social science courses with research methods and created a database, while NGOs could suggest policies and activities for the well-being of people. Collaboration with national and international partners was crucial for the sustainability and strengthening of the center.
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
From the 2003 mission to 2008, the NCPR was part of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Kabul Office during its first- phase. Following 2008, The KAS directly funded the NCPR, with the KAS office in Kabul assessing, spending, and accounting for the NCPR budget. Since 2009, the Centre has operated independently, receiving funding from KAS and directly reporting expenditures to the Office in Berlin.[i]
Specializations, Methods and Tools
The NCPR has selected the general director of the Centre from academic members of the Faculties of Law and Political Sciences, Economy, and Social Sciences. The department heads were chosen based on their qualifications through an online interview by KAS from Germany and a face-to-face interview by the NCPR office at Kabul University.
To participate in projects, individuals must have completed the Research Methodology course as an introductory course and met specific criteria, including their educational background, activities, scores, motivations, and related skills. It applied to both professors and students who were selected for these projects. The candidates were introduced officially by the academic administrative office. Successful candidates were responsible for the following activities:
- Literature review (Senior Professors)
- Data Collections, Questionaries (Students). Conducting Interviews (Junior Professors)
- Analysis (Senior Professors)
- Report Writing (Senior Professors).
The NCPR has also focused on selecting a vital research topic for the upcoming years. To do this, the Centre has organized annual consultancy workshops and roundtables. These events brought together scholars, researchers, practitioners, experts, and policymakers in research-related fields to vote for the most critical topics. Each year, the departments within the center undertook at least one research project, with Kabul University scholars and students leading the efforts. The NCPR then distributed the resulting reports to academic institutions, stakeholders, government officials, and anyone interested in Social Science. To date, the NCPR has published and shared over 50 research reports across the country.
Major Projects and Events
The major Projects and Events of NCPR have focused on the following areas:
- Enhanced capacity building,
- Organizing roundtable discussions,
- Conducted workshops and seminars,
- Publications that have been extensively researched.
The departments of Law and Political Sciences, Economy, Social Sciences, and Peace and Conflict Studies held a workshop in 2014 to discuss and vote on the most important and achievable research topics for the following year. The meeting took place in the center building. In 2014, participants evaluated and voted on the issues to be researched, which are listed below:
- “Administrative Reform and its Role in tackling corruption in Afghanistan" (Department of Law and Political Sciences,
- “Ways of Increasing the income sources in Afghanistan" Opportunity and Challenges (Department of Economy),
- “Corruption in Afghanistan with focus on Kabul Province” (Department of Social Sciences)
- "The Impacts of Media in Peace Building" (Department of Peace and Conflict Studies).
In 2014, the NCPR organized a roundtable on "Illegal Money, Extortion, and Corruption" for Private International Enterprises (CIEP) at the Nangarhar province municipality hall. The Workshop included participation from various government officials, private sector representatives, university scholars, students, and civil society members. The discussion revolved around the issue of the illegal extortion of money and corruption within the country, and the participants shared their suggestions and concerns.
In February 2014, NCPR partnered with KAS to conduct a public poll on political and security issues in five provinces of Afghanistan (Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Herat, and Pakteya). The poll had a sample size of 5,000 participants who filled out questionnaires. According to the research reports, 63% of respondents were satisfied with the development of democracy, 46% were satisfied with the government's work, and 37% were confident with parliamentary work. Additionally, 73% said they would participate in the government election on February 5, 2015, while 53% thought the upcoming election needed more transparency. Moreover, 62% of the participants supported signing a security agreement with the US and NATO, and 61% expressed satisfaction with how the international community had assisted Afghanistan.
A conference was held on April 30, 2014, by the Women Regional Network and Equality for Peace and Democracy Organizations, which had technical support from NCPR, at the Kanrod Adenuar Hall in the NCPR building. During the conference, the organization's representative shared their research findings on "Women's Perspective about Corruption, Peace, Security and Militarization of aids.” The Deputy of the Interior Ministry, civil society representatives, professors, students, and journalists attended the conference.
In May 2014, a ten-day training program in Konar province focused on monograph writing and seminar presentation skills. Approximately 350 students from various fields were attended in the Workshop, such as Economy, Psychology, Pedagogy, and Social Sciences. The program concluded with the presentation of research papers by individual participants. Moreover, the same training program was organized annually at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Kabul University.[i]
[i] National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2014.Pp:1-5.
The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at NCPR organized a workshop on Nonviolent Communication and Restorative Circle at Kabul University. This program allowed students to learn new skills in positive thinking, peaceful behaviour, and attitude. Approximately 120 students, both male and female, benefited from the program.
The Department of Peace and Conflict, in partnership with several Afghan and International Civil Society organizations, initiated A Pathway to Peace Process to enhance the capacity of the Afghan Civil Society for peacebuilding, reconciliation, and dialogue. This process is supported by an international consortium of organizations, including the National Centre for Policy Research, Kabul University; the Afghan Civil Society Forum (ACSF); CARE, Afghanistan; the Women Activities & Social Services Association (WASSA); Cooperation for Peace and Unity (CPAU) Afghanistan; Peacebuilding: the Canadian peacebuilding network; the 3D Security Initiative, Washington, D.C.; Concordis International, Cambridge, U.K.; The Group of 78, Ottawa; Project Ploughshares, Waterloo, Canada; and MATCH International. The initiative is also supported by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP). As part of McMaster's efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan, Dr. Seddiq Weera led the research to identify the root causes of the conflict and propose solutions for reconciliation. This research is part of the Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace project, which supports civil society-led approaches to peacebuilding.
The main goals of this initiative were to encourage and assist Afghan-led efforts for official and unofficial peace processes at community, national, and regional levels. It also aimed to establish a coordinating mechanism for civil society to promote peacebuilding and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Additionally, the initiative conducted practical research to address conflict issues and communicate with policy-makers to support peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts. The research focused on critical issues related to substantive and process-related conflicts.
- Dreams for Afghanistan
- Biggest Injustices at present
- Ethnic Grievances Related to Past Injustices
- Healing the Wounds and Preventing Further Injustice
- Foreign Influence and Foreign Relations
- Peace and Stability in Afghanistan
- Preparing the Ground for Peace and Reconciliation
The Canadian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade funded the initial phase of activities from December 2009 to June 2010. This phase consisted of field research, desk research, a symposium called "Coordinating Peace Efforts in Afghanistan" in Kabul in February 2010, and a civil society Peace Conference titled "A Common Voice for Peace and Reconciliation" in April 2010. The Field research took place from January to March 2010 and involved conducting semi-structured interviews with 453 men and women from various ethnic, linguistic, and social backgrounds across 11 provinces of Afghanistan. Additionally, 130 men and women participated in 30 focus group discussions across 12 provinces. The survey and the focus groups asked participants to share their vision of an ideal Afghanistan. The results of this research informed the Peace Conference. Afghans from all over their country had similar aspirations for their future. They envision a secure, united, prosperous, progressive, democratic, and politically stable Islamic government free from corruption and discrimination. While some prioritize specific characteristics over others, these shared goals were identified by most participants. (The attached research report provides more details.)[i][ii] 
[i] ] Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Society: Survey and Focus Group Results, Research Report, Department of Peace, National Centre for Policy Research (NCPR), Kabul University, June 2010.
Summery of the events:
- The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at NCPR is organizing a workshop on life skills for dormitory students from October 18 to December 31, 2014.
- A capacity-building program on "Research Methodology" was held for students from Nangahar and Konar Provinces by NCPR from January 22 to 28, 2015.
- The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies organized a "Positive Think" workshop for public and private universities in Afghanistan. The event was held on January 21, 2015, and was hosted by NCPR.
- Peace Winter Schools for the professors for Public Universities of Afghanistan. Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. NCPR. (21-6, Feb 2015).
- On February 25, 2015, a roundtable was held to discuss issues surrounding the Kandahar Province Industrial Park, organized by NCPR&ICPE in Kandahar,
- The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at NCPR hosted a workshop on Oral History and Storytelling from March 2-4, 2015, at KU.
- From March 29 to May 5, 2015, there was a program called Research Methodology and Data-based Advocacy Program offered by NCPR.
- On April 25, 2015, a conference was held to discuss the internal and economic policies of the Afghan government.
- Dr. Teresa Koloma Beck, who leads the research group on 'Violence and Social Spaces' at the Centre Marc Bloch at Humboldt University Berlin, gave lectures on Everyday life in armed Conflict. The talks were held from May 11 to May 18, 2015, and were organized by NCPR.KU.
- Workshop on Peace Building and Conflict Transformation by Dr. Tatsushi Arai, a peace and Conflict studies professor from Japan. NCPR, KU. (August 18th 2015) [i] 
- From September 2018 to August 2019, the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at NCPR KU studied Afghanistan's political parties and their participation in elections.[ii]
- NCPR held a workshop titled "How to Write and Publish a Research Article in International Academic Journals" at KU in October-November of 2019. The event was attended by approximately 50 individuals from Kabul University, as well as other public and private universities, government representatives, and members of civil society. Participants were given handouts and other relevant materials. The program concluded with the presentation of certificates to all attendees.
[i] National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2015.Pp:1-12.
[ii] National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2018.Pp:1
Analysis and Lessons Learned
The NCPR was the sole research center at Kabul University that received funding from international donors. It has been instrumental in discovering, exploring, and increasing knowledge through research projects and publications. The center has also helped enhance the capacity building of scholars, Students, researchers, civil society, government policymakers, and their Afghan government counterparts. With a focus on offering various research opportunities, practitioners have been able to learn, practice, exchange, and publish up-to-date knowledge in Afghanistan. Thousands of people across the country have benefited from the programs offered by NCPR or those it has technically supported. One of the most effective programs for improving research knowledge was offering Research Methodology as a fundamental aspect. In addition, This program taught participants the essential theories and principles of research and allowed them to put their knowledge into practice. Additionally, participating in research projects was a valuable opportunity that the NCPR provided,
When individuals from diverse educational, ethnic, gender, and racial backgrounds exchanged knowledge, it created a strong participant network. The NCPR program also allowed participants to understand its concept from various perspectives, including a gender lens. Meanwhile, it has Promoted Peace concepts through research, advocacy group, and publications to reduce violence and armed Conflict across the country and equipped young generations with related skills to act as leaders and decision-makers in de facto ministries. Lastly, Its efforts in Afghanistan have focused on meeting the most pressing needs of the academic community and fostering more remarkable media and civic engagement.
List of Publications based on department classifications:
Department of Law and Political Sciences:
- Effects of Unemployment on Intensity of Insecurity in Afghanistan. (2014)
- Challenges of Afghanistan's Foreign Policy. (2013)
- Administrative Corruption in Afghanistan and its Solutions. (2012)
- Administrative Reforms and the Legitimacy of Regime (2015)
- Role of Law in Afghanistan and How to Improve it, 2n Ed., (2017)
- Circumstances o the Election System in Afghanistan after the Adoption of the 2004 Constitution (2017)
Department of Economy:
- Potential Possibility of Import Substitution in Afghanistan. (2014)
- Unemployment and its economic impacts in Afghanistan. (2013)
- The situation of trade and Transit between Afghanistan and Pakistan during the year 2002-2010. (2012)
- Causes of Poverty in Afghanistan and Possible Ways of Reducing it,3rd Ed., (2017
Department of Social Sciences.
- The situation of the Teacher Training program of MoE. (2014)
- The Attitude of Students and Teachers about MoE. (2013).
- The Role of Homelessness in Kabul City. (2012).
- Causes of Increment of Violence against Women in the Country (2016)
- Administrative Corruption and Its Social Effects in Afghanistan (2015)
- The Situation of the Teacher Training Program of the Ministry of Education (2014)
- Kabul University Students Interest in Information and Research Centers at this University, (2017).
- Causes of Violence Increment Against Women in Afghanistan, (2016)
- Increment of Population in Kabul City and its Social Consequences. NSPR. (2018).[i] 
Department of Peace and Conflict:
- Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Society: Survey and Focus Group Results, Department of Peace, National Centre for Policy Research (NCPR), Kabul University, June (2010) 
- The Role of Unemployment in Peace Building. (2014)
- The Role of Universities in Peace in Afghanistan. (2013)
- Peace and conflict studies and Peace Education. (2013)
- Pathway to Peace, Peace Journal, No II. (2013).
- Nonviolence Communications, Life Language translations. (2013)
- The Role of Education in Peace Building in Afghanistan. (2012)
- Peace Value and Peace Education. (2012)
- Working with Conflict: strategy and Skills for Action, Translated. (2012)
- Trauma Healing, Translated. 2012 
- High Peace Council: Activities and Achievements (2016)
- Role of Media in Peace Building (2015)
- The Role of Employment in Peace Building (2014) [ii] 
- The Role of Regional Countries in Peacebuilding in Afghanistan, (2017) [iii]. 
- An Investigation of (PTSD) among Afghanistan Teenagers and Preliminary Analysis of their Needs. Researcher: Associate Professor Khairuddin Khairkhah 2017
- Regional Economics. Author: Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad (2016)
- Macroeconomics Principles. Author: Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad (2016)
- Challenges of Human Resources Management in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Afghanistan. Author: Researcher Arefa Paikar 2016.
- Basics of Microeconomics. Author: Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad (2015)
- Some Topics of Economic's MA- Program. Author: Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad (2014)
- Islamic Economics and Banking. Author: Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad (2014)
- Bankbetriebslehre (Band III). Author: Dr. M. Naim Assad (2013)
- Bankbetriebslehre (Band II). Author: Dr. M. Naim Assad (2012)
- Researcher Articles of Manfred Worner Award Winner 2011/2012- NATO (2012)
- Guide of Statistics and Research. Author: Assistant Prof. Najibullah Totakhail (2012)
- Social Market Economy (2nd Edition). Translated by: Dr. Noor Ebad/ Dr. Behbod 2011
- Researcher Articles of Manfred Worner Award Winner 2010/ 2011.- NATO (2011)
- Bankbetrieb (Band I). Author: Dr. M. Naim Assad (2011)
- Weakness of the Market Economy and the Need for Government Interference. Author: Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad (2011)
- Grundzugue der Doppelten Buchhaltung (translation in Dari) Author: Dr. M. Naim Assad (2010)
- Principal of General Business Management. Author: Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmad Shahidi 2010 
[i] National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2018.Pp:2.
[ii] National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2016.Pp:12-13.
[iii] National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2017.Pp:13-14.
 National Centre for Policy Research, official Webpage: https://www.ncpr.af/
 National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2014.
 National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2015.
 National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2016.
 National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2017.
 National Centre for Policy Research, annual report, 2018.
 Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Society: Survey and Focus Group Results, Research Report, Department of Peace, National Centre for Policy Research (NCPR), Kabul University, June 2010.
The NCPR official website is currently inaccessible due to the ongoing political crisis in Afghanistan.