Community-based Natural Resource Management [Afghanistan]

Tanzeem Manabae Tabiee Tawasut Mardum (Dari)

approaches_2542 - Afghanistan

Completeness: 83%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Ahmadi Ghulam Sakhi



SLM specialist:

Jalil M. Altaf



SLM specialist:

Hussaini Marzia


SLM specialist:

Hussaini Baqir


SLM specialist:

Wafa Jawad


SLM specialist:

Jawadi Asadullah


SLM specialist:

Yagoo Alex


SLM specialist:

Eqbal Muhammad


Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
HELVETAS (Swiss Intercooperation)

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

An approach to community participation in the sustainable management of natural resources

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

The main objective of the intervention was to reduce the surface run-off and sediment flow from the selected degraded watershed, with soil and water conservation measures through community participation.

Agha Khan Foundation and representatives from the selected Community Development Councils (CDC) surveyed the area and discussed the main land use problems. On the basis of feasibility surveys, potential SLM technologies were identified and implemented. Contour lines were prepared with the help of an A-frame and lime. Several men from Zai Mahmood village were employed as daily wage workers for the technology implementation works. The land users used their own tools for trench excavation. Each worker excavated on an average one trench per day. The daily wage was 250 AFS/USD.

The project was executed over two years. In addition to the structural measures, training and exposure visits for watershed management committee and pasture committee members, reseeding of more areas, tree plantation campaigns and group-based women vegetable farming were realized. Women were employed for seed collection work with cash for work approach. The area was protected from grazing and shrub cutting pressure. Seeds of different fodder varieties and shrubs were also cultivated.

Since the realization of the project in 2008, soil and vegetation cover has improved, people’s knowledge about soil and water conservation has increased, flash floods have been controlled and discharge in the spring located below the watershed has increased by about 40%. AKF continues to support the target communities with community development and institution building. The water-shed work is sustained by a watershed and pasture management committee appointed by the people from three respective CDCs.

The Community-Based Natural Resource Management approach is documented by Sustainable Land Management Project implemented/HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation which is funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation with close support and cooperation of the Agha Khan Foundation (AKF).
The watershed project was funded by AusAID. The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) facilitated the implementation by the community. The project was implemented in Zai Mahmood mountain slope area in Zai Mahmood village, Shiber district, Bamyan Province. The village, located downstream from the site, experienced problems such as excessive surface runoff/flash floods, snow avalanches, soil erosion, lack of drinking water, lack of soil moisture at the site.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:

Zai Mahmood village

Further specification of location:

Bamyan center, Afghanistan

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (Disaster Risk Reduction, Pasture Improvement, Gender Equity, Income Generation)

Strengthen the capacity (organizational and technical), of the community to: restore their degraded lands, demonstrate multi-purpose soil and water conservation measures, reduce floods and snow avalanches, improve pastures, improve gender equity and the involvement of social disadvantaged groups, employment and income generation

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: Lack of knowledge in terms of sustainable watershed management; poverty; drought; floods and avalanches

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • hindering

Community-based management capacity was weak

Treatment through the SLM Approach: CDCs capacities were enhanced

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

Community’s low economy

Treatment through the SLM Approach: AKF provided financial support; also there were contributions from the participating community

institutional setting
  • hindering

Lack of organizational structures

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Watershed and pasture management committees formed

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

Lack of technical awareness

Treatment through the SLM Approach: AKF provided technical support

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities
  • community-based organizations
3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation interactive Meetings and Workshops for men and women
planning interactive With CDC members, mainly men for watershed works
implementation external support Interactive, Cash for work, Contributions from communities as well
monitoring/ evaluation interactive Ad hoc observations
Research interactive Analyzing technology performance and making adjustments if required

3.3 Flow chart (if available)


The organization structure of the NRM project implemented in Zai Mahmood village, Shiber district, Bamyan, Afganistan


Agha Khan Foundation (AKF)

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly SLM specialists, following consultation with land users

AKF conducted awareness workshops before project implementation.

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by land users supported by SLM specialists. land users implemented the technology after receiving guidelines from SLM specialists.

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • field staff/ advisers
Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • farmer-to-farmer
  • demonstration areas
  • public meetings
Subjects covered:

Vegetable farming for women; soil and water conservation; watershed management; pasture management. Training was mainly on-the-job, and awareness was raised through public meetings, site visits and demonstrations.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Describe/ comments:

On-site visits by DAIL (Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; Key elements: Pasture management, Site selection

Advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; The government or other advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities although the staff turnover rate in government sector is high. DAIL Bamyan office has the technical capacity but not adequate financial resources.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, greatly
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • financial
  • capacity building/ training
Give further details:

CDCs and District Development Assembly (DDA) in terms of financial and capacity building of participating

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



bio-physical aspects were regular monitored by project staff, land users through measurements; indicators: Biomass before and after
technical aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff, land users through observations; indicators: growth of saplings, shrubs and fodder grasses (alfalfa)
socio-cultural aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff, land users through measurements; indicators: Water availablity, food security, income
economic / production aspects were regular monitored by project staff through measurements; indicators: fodder production, income
area treated aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff through measurements; indicators: areas where technology was applied
no. of land users involved aspects were regular monitored by project staff, land users through measurements; indicators: CDCs and men and women involved
management of Approach aspects were regular monitored by project staff, government, land users through observations; indicators: area protected or not

There were few changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Women has given some more chances for the participation but still there is long way to go. There were some technology refinements and adjustments in project management.

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


Specify topics:
  • sociology
  • economics / marketing
  • ecology
  • technology
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

However there are no publications to verify that. Research was carried out on-farm

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • 10,000-100,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international: 50.0%; national non-government: 30.0%; local community / land user(s): 20.0%

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


5.5 Other incentives or instruments

Were other incentives or instruments used to promote implementation of SLM Technologies?


6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Increased water and soil quality with more vegetation and reduction in floods

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Through increased decision-making powers about natural resources by poor and marginalized members of the community.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

There is no spontaneous adoption.

Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Cash for work improved income of some families, flash floods reduced, spring discharge increased, natural assets preserved.

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

By increasing water for agriculture and feed for livestock

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • uncertain
If no or uncertain, specify and comment:

Although the participating CDCs indicate that they will continue to manage the watershed properly

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Increase in vegetation cover
People knowledge regarding SWC improved
Increase in spring water
Flash flood controlled
Watershed and pasture management committees formed

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Disturbance in NRM / soil disturbance

Minimize the soil disturbance, and compact the excavated soil
Increase in mice Compact the excavated soil, other control measures
Plant growth is slow due to high elevation Choose adaptable species
No watershed benefit sharing mechanism in place Benefit mechanism be developed in a participatory way and agreed by the land users and other stakeholders

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

Links and modules

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