Afghanistan series and publication

In the past 20 years, Afghanistan proved (again) to be a complex context for humanitarian NGOs to operate in. Dutch humanitarian, political, military and development organisations were all present, with objectives that sometimes overlapped, but also contradicted each other.


The findings of the series of dialogues have been summarized and gathered in a booklet. Read the English version here and the Dutch version here.

KUNO was invited to give a copy of the book to the house of representatives, the IOB and BuZa.

Besides that, we spoke with Olivier Immig (historian and Afghanistan expert), Martine Flokstra (MSF operations manager Afghanistan) and Angelien Eijsing (former MP for the PvdA) and asked them to elaborate on the booklet. You can find the interviews here:

Olivier Immig or in pdf: Interview Olivier Immig
Martine Flokstra or in pdf: Interview Martine Flokstra
Angelien Eijsing or in pdf: Interview Angelien Eijsink

Learning from the past

To contribute to ongoing evaluations of and learning trajectories on the Dutch presence in Afghanistan, KUNO organized a short series of in-depth learning sessions. The objective of these sessions was to harvest important lessons from the Dutch involvement in Afghanistan from the perspective of practitioners in various sectors. Our approach was to harvest lessons from the experiences of practitioners from the different sectors that were present in Afghanistan, instead of a document-based evaluation. After the sessions, we could give a comprehensive image of the connections between different actors in Afghanistan and how they cooperated or collided.


The perspectives included in this series of evaluations are:

  • NGOs (development and humanitarian)
  • the Dutch national police
  • the Ministry of Defense
  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • the Afghan diaspora in the Netherlands

Afghan Dutch Conference

For the learning sessions, stakeholders from the wide spectrum of Dutch organisations were invited that were involved in Afghanistan in the past 20 years.


KUNO is organising this evaluation series in cooperation with the KEIHAN Foundation (Afghan-Dutch diaspora foundation) and with Jorrit Kamminga  (Researcher and author of the book “Je wordt bedankt, Bin Laden: 20 jaar Nederland in Afghanistan.”)

Images: Marcel van der Steen and Unicef.

Further readings