Afghanistan—Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives for the North, East, and West (IDEA-NEW)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2009-2015

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Afghanistan

Solutions: Economic Growth

The Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives for the North, East, and West (IDEA-NEW) program dissuaded Afghans from growing poppy by increasing access to licit, commercially viable, alternative sources of income.

Sample Activities

  • Respond rapidly to community-identified needs—for roads, water, power, local reconstruction—with projects that foster trust and infuse communities with jobs and income.
  • Build on those gains with long-term projects focusing on sustainable growth in agriculture and rural development. IDEA-NEW is working in 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and 152 priority districts.

Select Results

  • Created 55,041 full-time equivalent jobs in agriculture, community-constructed infrastructure, and rural-business development projects and paid more than $7.8 million in wages.
  • Benefited 1,089,356 families through community-constructed infrastructure projects, agriculture-voucher programs, grants, and capacity-building activities.
  • Expanded 14,522 hectares of alternative crops under cultivation.
  • Trained 497,009 farmers on approaches to increase agriculture productivity and 2,577 government line staff in areas related to their work.
  • Provided training to 15,347 business owners to improve their business skills and increase their sales.
  • Facilitated more than $8.1 million in agricultural exports.
  • IDEA-NEW prioritized local procurement and procured $13 million from Afghan vendors.
  • Provided improved care and management for more than 9.4 million livestock.


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