2020 has been a year when hopes and fears have intensified in equal measure in Afghanistan. The process of US military withdrawal has paved the way for long-awaited peace talks but has also raised the prospect of an implosion of the current order. With substantive negotiations not yet off the ground in Doha, and the looming, final pull-out of international military forces, the Afghan population face a growing crisis of poverty and insecurity. In the countryside, warfare continues. In Kabul, large-scale attacks are replaced by targeted assassinations and lawlessness.

What goes on behind closed doors in Doha, where representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government gather to negotiate the end of more than 40 years of war? Will Afghanistan’s powerful warlords support, sabotage or co-opt a negotiated settlement? How might the Taliban seek to Islamicize Afghanistan’s constitution and legal framework, and what would be the consequences for women and human rights? How much space is left for free speech and political activism in Afghanistan? And can any peace deal be sustainable without broader involvement of the Afghan population?

These are amongst the themes that will be explored during the 2020 Afghanistan Week, which takes place between the 16th and 20th of November.

The Afghanistan Week is a bi-annual event where politicians, journalists, academics, and activists from Afghanistan, Norway and beyond come together to address key issues facing the country, as well as to stimulate debate and understanding about Afghanistan in Norway. This year, the Afghanistan Week will be in a digital format and thus accessible to a global audience.

The Week is organized by the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue (NCPD), with support from Norad, Fritt Ord and the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS).

November 16 – 19

YouTubeSee our seminars


See our events from 16-19. November here: Seminars


Abdul Bashir Shor is Head of rural development programs for Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), and has been working in quality education, dialogue and conflict transformation, disaster risk reduction and food security in rural and hard to reach communities with children (girls, boys) women, men, religious elders and leaders, teachers in Afghanistan for more than 9 years. He has courses in Orientation and mobility for visually impaired people from German Jordanian University and Program Cycle Management from Ruhr university Bochum Germany in cooperation with APPRO in Afghanistan. He is currently in his last year of studies in Law and Political Science.

Abdul Ghafar Rahmati is the Head of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee’s Regional Office in Ghazni City. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pune University, India, and is currently, studying for an MBA at MDU University, India.

Arne Strand has a PhD in Post-war Recovery Studies through which he studied coordination of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies. His research focuses on aid coordination, forced migration and reintegration, peace building and security sector reform and humanitarian and development assistance.

Strand has been team leader of several evaluations and research programmes in and on Afghanistan. He has extensive management experience from NGOs and research institutes, and has also been involved in developing management and professional capacities of Afghan NGOs and peacebuilding organisations.

Ashley Jackson is a researcher, consultant and writer focused on conflict mediation and understanding armed groups. She is currently a Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute and a doctoral candidate in War Studies at King’s College London. She has conducted dialogue with and researched 27 armed factions across 13 countries, including research with the Afghan Taliban, Al-Shabaab, various Syrian factions, Hamas and others. She is currently based in Afghanistan, conducting doctoral research on how the Taliban governs and provides basic services, such as healthcare and education, in the areas it controls. She has been widely quoted in the media, including Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera and the New York Times, and was named a Foreign Policy Interrupted Fellow.

Emerita Astri Suhrke is a political scientist focusing on the social, political, and humanitarian consequences of violent conflict, and strategies of response. She has for worked for decades on strategies of post-war reconstruction and state building, with particular focus on Afghanistan. Her most recent book is When More is Less: The International Project in Afghanistan (2011).

Aziz Rafiee is the Executive Director of the Afghan Civil Society Forum, and has contributed to civil society development in Afghanistan through more than 23 years of active work and engagement. He has worked with a wide range of civil society stakeholders including social, human rights and cultural organizations as well as NGOs and associations. He has been the founding member of more than 12 civil society organizations who are contributing to Afghanistan’s democratic development processes.