Conflict-sensitive employment in Afghan construction and transport companies

Summary:

This working paper presents a qualitative study on construction and transport companies in Afghanistan, with the aim of identifying the challenges of and motives for conflict-sensitive employment in the country. Empirical research on private sector companies and their business strategies in fragile and conflict-affected settings has been rare so far. Based on interviews with company owners and employees in 2015 and 2016, this research reveals that companies do in fact apply a range of employment strategies with conflict-reducing effects out of self-interest. The paper concludes that new Afghan and foreign construction and transport companies can learn lessons from experienced companies and apply systematic, locally adjusted conflict-sensitive employment frameworks to upcoming infrastructure projects. The research was conducted as part of a project partnership between three organisations: Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), The Liaison Office (TLO) and International Alert.