The Vulnerability Analysis Unit has emerged from the survey design sub-unit of the National Surveillance System (NSS) which was established with support of the World Food Programme (WFP) under direct management of MRRD’s Social Protection Directorate in 2003. The main purpose of this Unit is to collect and analyze accurate information and statistical data on socio-economic situation of rural population through; agriculture, drinking water, irrigation, livestock, transport, health, education, telecommunications and socio-economy in terms of vulnerability due to political, military and geographical factors. With the support of the World Bank, this unit was upgraded into the Vulnerability Analysis Unit (VAU) in 2008 to plan and execute socio-economic surveys and conduct Impact Evaluation of national programmes for MRRD and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. The VAU has been merged into the Research and Policy Development Unit under the name of the Impact Evaluation Section since mid-2010.
MRRD had received two Grants from the World Bank Institutional development Fund at the med year 2008. The central objectives of these grants are to strengthen the capacity of the Vulnerability Analysis Unit (VAU) of MRRD to design rigorous impact evaluations; to implement comprehensive surveys to evaluation exercises; to author independent analyses of the impact and efficiency of programs and projects focused on the rural sector; and to disseminate data and reports pertaining to rural Afghanistan. It is hoped that the activities proposed under the project will enable on-going program for rigorous analysis of the relative efficacy of competing strategies of delivering development assistance and will allow development actors in Afghanistan to access information essential for appropriate targeting of assistance and/or programs.
While the proposed projects will provide VAU with the injection of resources necessary to raise the capacity of the institution to design and implement rigorous evaluations, it is expected that on-going costs of the unit will be met through the administration of evaluations as demanded by donors and GoA. In the immediate future, the capacity building effort proposed under these grants are expected to be concurrent with two large-scale impact evaluations of major nationwide GoA programs, the National Solidarity Program (NSP) and National Emergency Rural Access Project (NERAP).
The VAU team has played a key role in producing the ‘National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment’ (NRVA) report 2003, 2005, and 2007/2008. VAU has been conducting several rounds of Food Security Monitoring Surveys and School Feeding Surveys in recent past years. The VAU has been involved in the impact evaluation of National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and National Emergency Rural Access Project (NERAP).