The Asia Foundation-Afghanistan, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the 15th annual Survey of the Afghan People (the Survey). First launched in 2004, this year the Survey gathered the opinions of more than 129,800 Afghans across the country on elections, corruption, security, women’s rights, service delivery, the economy, migration, and peace and reconciliation. It is the broadest and longest-running nationwide survey of Afghan attitudes and opinions.
By measuring Afghan public opinion on an annual basis, this Survey supports evidence-based policymaking and planning by Afghan leaders and helps international development agencies adapt their investments in Afghanistan to a changing context.
USAID Mission Director, Peter Natiello, said, “This year’s survey shows that Afghans want peace and are dedicated to the development of their country. The United States, through USAID, will continue to assist with the challenges that matter most,” he added.
The 2019 Survey reveals strong awareness of, and support for peace talks with the Taliban. Seventy-seven percent indicate they are aware of the peace efforts, while 89 percent indicate that they either strongly, or somewhat, support efforts to negotiate with the Taliban. Sixty-four percent of the respondents say that reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban is possible.
Meanwhile, Afghans who say the country is moving in the wrong direction point to insecurity or crime rate (74.7%), the economy (41.5%), and the state of governance (31.1%). Lack of infrastructure or services (7.2%), foreign intervention (6.6%), and injustice and human rights concerns (4.6%) are also reasons given. Clearly, Afghans see significant challenges ahead as the country continues efforts toward peace and sustainable development.