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From 2012 to 2015, we implemented the USAID-funded Measuring Impact of Stabilization Initiatives project in Afghanistan. The project measured stabilization trends and impacts and built a community of practice for rigorous monitoring and evaluation.

This large and complex project successfully contributed to the larger body of knowledge on best practices and lessons learned from stabilization and is being used to help shape U.S. Government and Afghan policy.

Over 27 months, a total of 190,264 individual interviews were completed in 5,093 villages in 130 districts in 23 provinces of Afghanistan where stabilization programming was being implemented or considered.

The survey questions not only addressed security and crime, but also governance, service provision and development, rule of law, corruption, quality of life, economic activity, community cohesion and resilience, grievances and media.

Despite a resilient anti-government insurgency, the project tracked and analyzed the evolution of attitudes, perceptions and behaviors during stabilization efforts. We used meticulous social science methods to evaluate the impacts of USAID’s stabilization programs and to measure stabilization trends across approximately 76 indicators.

In addition to this robust data collection, we obtained a constant stream of data and performance indicators from USAID–supported programs, civilian agencies and the military. We also hosted quarterly monitoring and evaluation summits at which all relevant stakeholders could share best practices and lessons learned.