Source description last updated: 16 September 2020

In brief: The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) is a non-governmental, non-profit policy research organisation with its main office in Kabul and committed to producing analysis on Afghanistan and its region.

Coverage on

Reports, Special reports, papers and other relevant publications

Covered monthly on, for Afghanistan.


The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) was established in 2009. “AAN’s focus is on research and on producing high-quality, impartial analysis about Afghanistan and its region. AAN’s aim is to provide solid ground for informed policy-making nationally and internationally, to ensure that Afghanistan stays on the international agenda and that lessons are learnt for future policy-making. We wish to contribute to fact-based, thoughtful and nuanced reporting and debate about Afghanistan among analysts, academics and the general public – in Afghanistan and internationally.” (AAN website: About AAN, undated)

AAN’s institutional structure “includes an Executive Board with overall responsibility for AAN and its work, and a small team of analysts and researchers working from the AAN’s office in Kabul.”

AAN is registered as an association (“eingetragener Verein”) in Germany and as a non-profit research organisation at the Afghan Ministry of Economy. (AAN website: About AAN, undated)


AAN operates on both core and project funding. AAN’s current programme Understanding Afghanistan’s Transformation 2020 – 2024 is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the
Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the former UK Department for International Development (DFID) (AAN website: Donors & Partners, undated)

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: Afghanistan and its region

Thematic focus: peace and security-related issues; political landscape; human rights and fundamental freedoms; migration; economy, environment and development; regional relations; international intervention; history and culture


AAN’s “[r]eports – previously known as dispatches – […] are based on extensive desk and field research” (AAN website: Reports, undated). “Special Reports – formerly known as thematic reports or briefing papers – […] are all externally peer-reviewed” (AAN website: Special Reports, undated).

AAN's website contains information on the backgrounds of its analysts and researchers (AAN website: AAN Team, undated).

AAN research publications may be based on a review of academic literature as well as case studies that may involve qualitative interviews and focus group discussions conducted face-to-face or by phone, Skype, WhatsApp or email with informants who may include military and government officials, tribal elder and other community members, civil society representatives and Taliban fighters/officials (see, for example, AAN: Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future, July 2020, p. 13). AAN publications may also be informed by observations made by the author on the ground, for example by attending meetings Afghan government officials. Depending on the type of report, sources may be referenced by means of footnotes while identities of interviewees may be “withheld, either at their request or to ensure the anonymity of others” (see, for example, AAN: Afghanistan’s Newest Local Defence Force: Were “all the mistakes of the ALP” turned into ANA-TF safeguards?, 20 August 2020, pp. 12–13).

Languages of publication:


All links accessed 16 September 2020.