Our expertise

Local Knowledge

Afghanistan is as heterogeneous as it is beautiful; with over a decade of professional experience, ATR has an intimate understanding of how to navigate the country in all its complexity. Through the scope of our work, ATR has gained an in-depth experience of Afghan social structure; the different entities that comprise Afghan society, the complex tapestry of interactions between those entities and the ever present influence of cultural, historical, political and ethnic factors.  ATR has worked with the Government of Afghanistan from within and from without and at all levels. From working with a local Shura Council at the village level to directly advising a Minister, we understand the challenges, the bureaucratic obstacles and the opportunities in the workings of the Afghan government. Through our work we have accumulated an extensive network of contacts because we invest in relationships and maintain those linkages in the long term.

A Learning Organization

ATR is a learning organization which always seeks to grow and improve its quality of services.  We invest enormous amounts time and effort to develop staff capacity, to learn from our projects and to find creative ways to do things better. In the Afghan context, maintaining standards of quality is a constant issue, which is why we are always testing our research and capacity building techniques in the field to constantly improve them.  We remain vigilant, never complacent, and will always adapt our research instruments to reflect the reality on the ground rather than seeking to represent the reality in accordance with our research.

Unparalleled Access

After several decades of collective experience in all provinces of Afghanistan, ATR staff have accumulated an extensive network of surveyors, community workers and trainers all over the country.  We only recruit well connected and respected people directly in the districts we work in, guaranteeing us unparalleled access. We are also creative to find the best ways to collect data in order to mitigate security risks. For instance, we conduct paperless surveys or invite respondents in homes of trusted people.

Ethical Research

We constantly enforce very high ethical standards of all our field staff, who are expected to display an irreproachable attitude, being respectful at all times of the local  culture and traditions, protecting the confidentiality of informants and conducting their job with honesty and integrity. In all of  our activities, we rely on the acceptance and trust of the community, thus we go out of our way to train staff to ensure that trust is not jeopardized and act quickly and decisively should a staff member not uphold our standards.

An Unfaltering Commitment to Quality

At ATR, we are passionate about doing things well. We do not see our job as merely achieving deliverables set by clients. We advise our clients and go the extra mile to satisfy them. Amidst the complexities and challenges of the Afghan context, we use our depth of experience and attention to detail to only produce outputs of the highest quality.

A Long Term Presence

We are invested in the country’s future. We recruit people who have a true interest in the country and in its society.  We do not merely talk the talk, we get walking. A guiding principle in all of ATR’s work is a focus on contributing to activities that make real, tangible, improvements for the people of Afghanistan.

Cross Sectoral Expertise

  • Local governance

Whether it be contributing to policy making, enhancing institutional capacity or assisting with the implementation of projects, ATR knows local governance in Afghanistan. Our credibility, built up through years of delivering quality outputs allows us to navigate the sector, while our wealth of experience allows us to analyze events at national level and understand their implications locally.

  • Politics and armed groups

Through an unmatched network of informants and analysts in all areas of the country, ATR has its finger on the pulse regarding politics and armed groups in Afghanistan.  In the context of increasing uncertainty, our network and experience allows ATR to decipher the complex environment of competing interests and understand how different events culminate into insecurity on the ground.  In a number of insecure areas, ATR’s unmatched network makes it arguably the closest observer in the country.

  • Rural development

Sustainable rural development is about partnerships; linkages between communities and the government to deliver sustainable and efficient social and productive infrastructure. ATR has a wealth of experience in empowering rural communities to better engage with government so they can gain confidence and become more active in raising the quality of life in their areas.

  • Urban development

In Afghanistan as well as South East Asia, ATR’s staff bring a wealth of experience in urban development. Whether at the ministerial or community level, ATR understands the different factors that contribute to working towards a more equitable urban development.

  • Media and communication

ATR has designed and implemented effective data collection tools to monitor and analyze audienceship and examine the sociocultural impacts of different communication campaigns on the population. We also monitor media, including television, radio, print and social media.

  • Education

With a proven expertise including a comprehensive mapping of the sector, ATR understands education in Afghanistan.  We have been engaged in building the capacity of district and provincial education departments to better involve the community and provide stable, quality education to Afghanistan.

  • Civil Society and Youth 

With a particular focus on youth and women’s affairs, ATR has been involved in nurturing the sector that it may better represent the interests of the population and develop into a legitimate and effective partner in Afghanistan’s governance.