Afghanistan Urban Peacebuilding Programme (AUPP)

Afghanistan’s cities grow rapidly, accommodating high numbers of internally displaced and returnees. Crime, insecurity and social disintegration are an increasing problem in urban areas. The government is struggling to improve the situation affecting its legitimacy and public trust. The Afghanistan Urban Peacebuilding Programme supports municipalities and community-based structures to tackle insecurity through an inclusive approach. The ambition is twofold: improve urban security and governance for city dwellers.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Employment & economic development
Conflict prevention
Urban development
Democratic participation and civil society
01.05.2018 - 30.04.2021
CHF 6'591'364
Background The situation in Afghanistan is marked by high levels of fragility in all dimensions, characterized by weak formal governance structures, poor state‐society relations, high rates of poverty in both rural and urban areas, exclusion of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, and IDPs/ returnees, from the governance and decision‐making, and chronic insecurity. Within cities, the most vulnerable areas prone to high incidence of security risks are the major roads, landmarks, venues of public visitations (mosques, hotels), government buildings, and market places. The built environment around these spaces is not adequately studied to prevent, mitigate or minimize the impact of these incidents. Furthermore, petty crimes and incidents of harassment in neighbourhoods are common across all target cities.
Objectives Women and men, girls and boys, in cities have increased trust in the local government’s capacity to uphold rights, achieve safe, secure and inclusive cities, contributing to improved government legitimacy.
Target groups
  • Women and men, girls and boys, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees, in particular from marginalized groups, in eight Afghan cities
  • Municipalities and Municipal Advisory Boards
  • Communities, CDCs and Gozar Assemblies
  • Civil society organizations
  • Relevant national ministries and directorates
  • Civilian Policing Units
Medium-term outcomes
  • Communities, particularly excluded and under-represented groups, increasingly and with a spirit of solidarity engage in municipal governance and respond to their residual needs in the area of safety and security.
  • Municipalities, in collaboration with line departments, better plan and implement demand-driven and inclusive services in the area of safety and security.
  • The national government establishes a framework for accountable, transparent and participatory municipal governance in particular in the area of safety and security. 

Expected results:  

  • Participatory citywide/district review and drafting of safety assessments undertaken and inclusive city strategies/plans developed and endorsed.
  • Area-based participatory community safety assessments and plans developed (Gozar level).
  • Service and infrastructure sub-projects implemented by Community Development Councils (CDCs) addressing the needs and priorities of IDPs, refugees, women, youth, the poor, vulnerable and excluded.
  • Improved municipal capacity for urban safety, including improved coordination of authorities, and a stronger civilian policing model.

Results from previous phases:  

  • AUPP has established a strong link between specific small to medium size infrastructure projects and the wider concept of urban safety.
  • There is some initial evidence that urban solidarity was created through the participatory apprach of the project, particularly in areas that have experienced significant settlements of different geographic, linguistic and ethnic groups.
  • Economic activity has increased as a result of enhanced safety. Enhanced public spaces become the arena for social life, which did not exist previously. However, the link between growth and urban safety still needs to be explored further. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • UN-Habitat - United Nations Human Settlements Program

Other partners

Kingdom of the Netherlands



Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA)
  • Citizens Charter Afghanistan Programme funded by Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund – ARTF)
  • Afghanistan Subnational Governance Programme
  • Afghanistan Access to Justice Programme (AA2J)


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   6'591'364 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   6'538'974
Project phases Phase 99 01.05.2018 - 31.03.2024   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.05.2018 - 30.04.2021   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.04.2015 - 31.07.2018   (Completed)