About us

NAC was established in Norway in 1980 in response to the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. Local committees in Norway immediately rallied public opinion against the invasion, promoted solidarity with the Afghan people and conducted fundraising campaigns to assist the growing number of Afghans caught in the middle of the conflict. In 1983 NAC opened its first office in Peshawar, Pakistan, followed by a field office in Ghazni province in 1986 and in Keshem, Badakhshan province in 1991. In 1997 a liaison office was opened in Kabul which later, in 2002, became NAC’s Country Office. The history of NAC shows that the solidarity and commitment of NAC towards the Afghan people, lasting for over 30 years, is not dependent on specific political causes or limited to specific aid areas. We have evolved from a solidarity organization into a professional relief and development NGO where solidarity with the Afghan people still lies in the heart of all our work plans and strategies. We work closely with beneficiary communities in order to develop the best strategies and programs and to ensure effective implementation.

NAC shall support the Afghan people in the development of a peaceful, democratic and egalitarian society where universal human rights are respected. Through long-term development programs and initiatives, and focus on environment and sustainability, NAC aims to raise the quality and standard of life in rural Afghanistan. NAC shall be a nexus for knowledge of, interest in, and engagement with Afghanistan in Norway; promoting Afghan voices and perspectives in Norwegian public debate and advocating for informed and responsible policies towards Afghanistan.

The values and principles of NAC

NAC is a member-based solidarity organization doing long-term development work in rural Afghan communities. For NAC, solidarity embodies the values of equality, inclusivity, friendship and respect. NAC remains committed to the Afghan people, regardless of which government is in place. Voluntarism is promoted at all levels within the organization, by actively involving members and communities.

Independence

NAC’s work shall not be dictated by political, religious or commercial actors or interests.

Integrity

NAC has zero tolerance for corruption. Anti-corruption efforts are an important component within all of NAC’s programs and initiatives.

Accountability

NAC is accountable towards its members, donors, project partners and communities. It acts to enable access to information and ensure transparency and active participation in the processes of planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Alignment with human rights and international development agendas

All NAC programs, projects and initiatives are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, UN conventions and resolutions, and Afghan national strategies and priority plans.

The contribution of NAC

Despite barriers to development in Afghanistan, NAC contributes to positive change. The trust NAC has established in local communities, our understanding of local contexts, and the experience and capacity to respond to challenges, positions NAC as a competent partner to communities, civil society actors, government, and international development partners.

NAC has an organizational culture that is well adapted to work in conflict-affected, fragile and insecure environments. It ensures gender and ethnic diversity within its workforce, and by internally applying the values promoted towards its partner communities.

Organization

NAC is a knowledge-based and innovative organization, adapted to meet changing needs and contexts through difficult times. The organization is characterized by continuity and resilience.

Members

The members, through the Annual Congress, constitute NAC’s highest decision-making authority. Membership in NAC is an important expression of interest in and engagement with Afghanistan.

Volunteers

Volunteers with a strong interest in Afghanistan, and with relevant expertise and experience, add value to operations and programs. This provides NAC with capacities extending well beyond the organization’s own human and financial resources.

Employees

NAC is an equal opportunity employer, promoting diversity within its workforce. Employees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and are loyal to the ethical guidelines, values and principles of the organization. NAC improves the quality of its project implementation and support services through effective competence building measures, including opportunities for life-long learning. NAC aims to provide all the necessary support and precautions within its means to protect the physical and mental health of its employees, interns and volunteers while working and living in a high-conflict environment.

Leadership and management

NAC’s governing bodies are responsible for developing strategic directions and organizational guidelines, based on the ethical guidelines, values and principles of the organization. The Board and senior management are responsible for exercising financial control, including implementing effective anti-corruption, and environment, health and safety measures.

Donor financing and fundraising

NAC’s leadership is responsible for securing financing for programs and operations, and receives funding from national governments, UN agencies and other international organizations. In addition to larger institutional donors, NAC raises funds from members, supporters, smaller organizations, universities, research institutes, and private corporations.

NAC will continue its resource mobilization strategy involving diversification of funding to reduce the dependency on single donors. However, the need for financing must never compromise NAC’s strategic goals, values and principles.

Our approach

The people of Afghanistan are affected by conflict, insecurity and severe poverty causing reduced access to food, lack of education, poor health and unemployment. NAC works in rural and hard-to-reach areas with a conflict-sensitive, integrated approach to empower communities to improve their livelihoods. In its selection of partner communities, NAC equally considers needs and access, as well as balanced coverage of the different ethnic groups in the country.

NAC’s main program areas are: Support to education, including teacher training and education of health professionals, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, job creation and dialogue and conflict transformation. NAC rebuilds trust and solidarity within and between communities by providing safe spaces for dialogue to build resilience and to contribute to peacebuilding from the grass root level. By strong integration of the different program components, NAC targets the poorest part of the population.

Good governance, civil society, human rights and gender sensitivity are considered as cross-cutting issues and included in all program activities. NAC empowers women, youth and children by building confidence and self-esteem, in particular through the education of girls and advocating for women to study, work and be active in society.

The empowerment of schools and school communities is at the center of our approach to poverty reduction. Parallel to our community-based efforts, NAC works to institutionalize its initiatives at district, provincial and national levels through close partnerships with government departments and agencies, civil society actors and international development partners.

Education of health care professionals is crucial to ensure access to quality health care for all and to strengthen the capacity of the healthcare system. By focusing particularly on education of female health professionals NAC aims to improve maternal and child health and reduce mortality. NAC includes extra-curricular activities based on project-based learning, rights, dialogue and peaceful conflict resolution with an aim to contribute to women’s empowerment, beyond pure professional skills.

NAC works to promote sustainable agriculture and addresses risk mitigation associated with climate change and natural disasters. The organization addresses male and female farmers with small pieces of land and landless people with the aim to improve food and nutrition security, increase income and employment opportunities.

All of NAC’s work is directed towards long-term sustainable development. We may strategically engage with emergency humanitarian efforts where we are able to add comparative advantage and tether such efforts to our longer-term development goals.

Who do we partner with?

To ensure that initiatives are institutionalized and sustained, NAC cooperates closely with communities, civil society and governance structures in an effective and cost-effective way. While remaining an implementing organization, we seek to formalize our approach to partnership, and to engage with our partners in a systematic and strategic manner and to ensure mutual accountability mechanisms.

Sustainability

To ensure that communities, civil society and state actors are able to sustain joint programs, we aim to systematically build institutional capacities at local, district, provincial and national levels.

For activities that, due to their long-term nature, require active engagement beyond the project period, we establish and continue partnerships with local and state actors to ensure sustainability of the interventions.

Knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation

NAC ensures that monitoring and evaluation findings feed into the organization’s learning in a coherent way to improve program quality and impact.

Information and influencing public opinion

NAC has a distinct and coherent voice in communication, advocacy and fundraising. It aims to set the agenda and inform and influence policy development in Afghanistan and amongst international development partners beyond the impact at program level.

NAC collects information, lessons learned, success stories and failures for learning purposes.  To influence policy NAC will increase communication, publishing and dissemination of research briefs, and use multi-media to show NAC’s comparative advantage and added value.

NAC’s identity and programmatic approach defines its positioning, branding, imagery and storytelling.

Within Norway, NAC serves as a meeting place for those with an interest in Afghanistan and promotes Afghan voices and perspectives within the Norwegian public debate. It aims to link information on Afghanistan to the broader development agenda.

NAC builds networks with like-minded organizations and institutions.