This study examines the variability of village ‘behaviour’ in Afghanistan and whether or not this can be characterised more systematically in order to guide programming according to context and to account for villages’ development experience. The rationale for the research draws from a wide body of empirical evidence, which has found significant differences between villages with respect to their capacity to generate public goods. Key public goods that villages can generate are seen to be a capacity to support dispute resolution, ensure security and provide basic welfare for inhabitants.
This paper seeks to makes the case that it is possible to construct village typologies, identify the basic features that might underlie different village types, and show that village preconditions do vary and that there are patterns to this variation that can be characterised.
The findings from this paper also indicate that key factors to take account of in grouping villages that are similar or dissimilar would include:
- altitude, grouping villages into higher and lower altitude according to location;
- land ownership distribution patterns and the degree of concentration of irrigated land ownership;
- the identity of customary authority in the village and how this is linked to land ownership;
- village ethnic identities in relation to surrounding villages;
- the history of public goods provision in the village and its effects.
Pain, A.; Sturge, G. Mapping village variability in Afghanistan: the use of cluster analysis to construct village typologies. SLRC Working Paper 32. Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, London, UK (2015) v + 53 pp.