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Afghanistan has weathered more than four decades of crises, some conflict-related, and other natural or man-made disasters. Throughout those decades, the resilience of the people has been marked by perseverance, survival, and the continued hope for a better future. The current COVID-19 pandemic has not only revealed the health challenges facing the country, but also the deeper underlying root causes of the grinding poverty, weak institutions, and inequalities that undermine efforts to improve the situation.
Lack of coordinated and coherent approach to data to underpin evidence-based strategic planning and programming has also become more evident. Despite the efforts of the National Statistics and Information Authority’s (NSIA) to coordinate, there have been numerous surveys, assessments, and data collection processes related to measuring the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of the most vulnerable, as well as the country’s potential for economic recovery.
To that end, this initiative under this consultancy aims to leverage the existing strong UN-WB partnership to create a strong and reliable platform for the socio-economic and sectoral impact assessments necessary to ensure relevant and targeted interventions to save Afghanistan from further decline.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) is facing not only a humanitarian crisis that far outstrips its institutional capacity to cope, but also lingering political challenges as well as the prospect of negotiating for peace. As a result, the trust of the people in the ability of the Government to deliver on so many fronts is being fully tested, and it is essential that the Government has at its fingertips the data necessary to deliver services to those most in need, address perceptions of not delivering services, as well as build the country back.
This consultancy is linked to the project entitled: Socio-Economic Impacts: Data Coordination for Informed Responses to COVID-19 in Afghanistan. This project broadly aims to ensure joint evidence base programming with joint data analysis and enhancing joint assessment in both humanitarian and development situations. The main entry point for this consultancy will through the National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which co-chairs the Data For Development Working Group (D4D WG), with a membership of UN entities, donors, International Financial Institutions, civil society organizations, and government. The mandate of the group is to create improved data collection, analysis, coordination, and coherence across partners and sectors, with the initial focus on identification of COVID related data activities and gaps.
 Members include: NSIA, MoPH, World Bank, Canada, European Union, DFID, UNFPA, UNCTAD, WHO, UNESCO, UNEP, UN-Habitat, IOM, OCHA, ILO, UN-Women, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, RCO, and REACH-Initiative (NGO). Other government and civil society members will be added in the coming months.