Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO) is an independent social research organization with a mandate to promote social and policy learning to benefit development efforts in Afghanistan and other less developed countries through conducting social scientific research, monitoring and evaluation, and training and mentoring. APPRO is registered with the Ministry of Economy in Afghanistan as a non-profit non-government organization and headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan with regional offices in Mazar-e Sharif (north), Herat (west), Kandahar (south), Jalalabad (east), and Bamyan (center). APPRO and its individual researchers have undertaken projects in Europe, Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Africa, China, and Turkey.
APPRO is the founder of APPRO-Europe, a non-profit network organization, whose mandate is to conduct applied research, training, policy advocacy, and program and project evaluations in conflict environments. APPRO-Europe acts as a forum for exchange of information and transfer of knowledge, outreach, and advocacy activities in Europe for civil society organizations working on humanitarian and fundamental rights issues in less developed countries.
APPRO also acts as the secretariat for the National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP), whose mandate is to facilitate evidence-based constructive advocacy by civil society to engage governmental authorities on fundamental needs and rights of the Afghan people.
APPRO and APPRO-Europe are registered with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
APPRO and APPRO-Europe strive to become the premier organizations specializing in policy-relevant research, cutting-edge and applied training, and critical evaluations in conflict and post-conflict environments.
APPRO’s mission is to facilitate critical dialogue on development policy for less developed, in- and post-conflict countries. This mission has two components. The first component is to measure development progress against strategic reconstruction objectives and provide insights into how to improve performance against the milestones set by the national governments and their international donors. The second component is to train and mentor a pool of national researchers to conduct applied research, provide practical training with a focus on the policy process, and conduct evaluations consistent with internationally recognized standards. Findings from APPRO’s research and evaluations are disseminated to address existing and pressing knowledge gaps in the policy making process and to advance the learning of researchers, academics, and decision and policy makers at all levels.
In less developed countries, particularly those with ongoing conflict, collecting reliable quantitative data is compromised by a lack of access to large swathes of the population due to inadequate security, insufficient national institutional capacity to collect nationwide data in a timely and reliable manner, and a general unavailability of historically important baseline statistics such as census data. To compensate for these constraints while maintaining scientific rigor, APPRO utilizes qualitative research methods such as key informant interviews and focus group discussions, supplemented with quantitative data collected in instances where the population can be delineated and accessed without major obstacles. As much as possible, use is made of the quantitative data available from governmental agencies and other sources. In all cases the analysis is contextualized by drawing on experiences from other regions, countries, and situations. See Our Approach for more information.
APPRO conducts research on the crosscutting themes of Political Economy, Governance, Human Security, Natural Resource and Environmental Management, and Aid Effectiveness. APPRO’s work is geared toward facilitating discourse and action on good governance, based on mutually beneficial interactions between civil society and state authorities, regardless of political orientations and preferences. While APPRO is dependent on funding from different national and international sources to sustain its work, the findings and implications of the research it undertakes are based entirely on analyses of empirical data. All research is designed and carried out independently to promote critical, yet constructive, dialogue and collaboration between parties with varying agendas who share a focus on reconstruction and the wellbeing of Afghanistan and other countries where APPRO has a presence.
Research in the above themes is conducted based on the recognition that in any policy environment there are gaps between policy outcomes and policy objectives. A second key consideration in APPRO’s approach to research is that all policy outcomes identify or create new problems, to be attended to through subsequent policy intervention informed by applied research. To contribute to the knowledge base on how to narrow the gap between policy outcomes and policy objectives, APPRO examines the interface between new/introduced and pre-existing/traditional forms of organization. Particular attention is paid to identifying and mapping autochthonous structures and optimal ways in which policy solutions are absorbed and carried through by these structures. The findings from this approach to social research can reveal whether and how policy works and why.
Based on the learning from applied research and evaluations, APPRO provides training modules on the dynamics of the policy process, monitoring, evaluations, research for policy making, and advocacy. In all of these modules the policy process is presented as a never ending spiral into which there are numerous entry points for different actors to influence the dynamics and direction of the policy process. See Training for additional information.