National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP)

UNDP Afghanistan: NABDP daily labourer in Istalif district, Parwan Province. Abdul Wahab, works on a road being built between villages.

Agriculture has traditionally been the major source of income for the majority of the Afghan population, but the sector has suffered greatly from nearly 30 years of conflict, low investments and natural disasters. Much infrastructure remains to be reconstructed and internal markets are still disrupted.

About 70 percent of the Afghan population lives in rural areas. Around 60 percent of the employed workforce is in agriculture working in low-productivity and subsistence-type production. About 45 percent of rural people are poor, as compared to 27 percent of the urban population.

A basic lack of resources affects the majority of Afghans who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. There is little arable land, precipitation is scarce and climatic conditions are difficult in many parts of the country. Since 1999, recurrent droughts have severely affected the livelihoods of rural households, which had already lost many of their assets. Poverty rates in areas without irrigation are likely to be higher, with 65 percent households being food insecure.

Only six percent of Afghans have access to the electricity grid with the majority of the population dependent on unhealthy alternatives such as kerosene, or environmentally detrimental solutions such as firewood.


Achieving a significant reduction in poverty in Afghanistan requires a strong focus on agriculture and rural employment generation, the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and the development of rural infrastructure.

The National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and UNDP.

It was launched in 2002 to contribute to a sustainable reduction of poverty and an improvement of livelihoods in rural Afghanistan by investing in social organization, infrastructure, local economic development and sub-national governance initiatives.

It is present in all 34 Afghan provinces and it has projects in 317 of the 402 districts. In the past 11 years, it has implemented more than 3,323 projects reaching about 19.4 million beneficiaries. NABDP works closely with rural communities to develop and strengthen governance at the district level. It supports the following areas:

Strengthening institutions at the district-level to address local priorities:
NABDP supported the creation of District Development Assemblies (DDAs), which are locally elected and decide the development priorities of the district.  DDAs strengthen relations between villages and are essential in incorporating district priorities into provincial  development plans. Thirty-one percent of members are women. NABDP supports the training of DDAs’ members.

Improving access to key services for the rural poor:
NABDP supports the construction and improvement of rural infrastructure projects that have been prioritized by the members of the DDAs such as retaining walls, irrigation canals, bridges and roads.  In collaboration with the Energy for Rural Development in Afghanistan (ERDA), NABDP also implements micro-hydro and bio gas projects providing electricity and cooking fuel to villages that are not connected to the national grid.

What we have accomplished so far

  • 388 DDAs have been established in 34 provinces
  • 6,168 men (69 percent) and 2,814 women (31 percent)  have been re-elected as members of 327 DDAs
  • 293 DDAs in 33 provinces received Grant-in-Aid, including organizational and physical capacity support
  • 158 District Information Centers have been established in 33 provinces
  • 138 micro hydro power projects provide electricity to over 168,000 people
  • Approximately 4.9 million Afghans living in rural areas have access to improved roads and bridges
  • Over six million Afghans living in rural areas are protected from floods and other natural disasters
  • 92 reintegration projects for ex-combatants were completed benefiting approximately 1.9 million people
  • Approximately 6 million labour days were created through various infrastructure projects

Who Finances it?

Donor Name Amount Contributed Per Year in US$
Afghanistan  4,934,345
Canada (CIDA)  5,221,138
Denmark  1,692,391
DFID  3,771,810
Germany  342,100
Japan  14,063,764
Netherlands  7,460,206
Norway  4,536,323
Spain  6,202,476
UNDP  1,729,031
Afghanistan  1,087,736
Canada (CIDA)  8,145,025
Denmark  892,819
DFID  46,894
EU  7,920,267
Japan  13,085,586
Netherlands  5,126,096
Norway  8,479,700
Spain  6,885,324
UNDP  9,814,268
Afghanistan  772,106
AusAID  125,452
Canada (CIDA)  6,006,371
Denmark  1,743,169
DFID  498,711
EU  7,183,034
Italy  1,124,490
Japan  3,983,606
Netherlands  1,985,894
Norway  4,244,937
Spain  1,767,111
UNDP  15,478,404
UNHCR  15,894
Afghanistan  1,707,468
AusAID  1,923,048
Australia  32,106
Australian DIMA  69,223
Canada (CIDA)  2,726,510
EU  9,548,117
Italy  1,347,515
Japan  11,762,117
Netherlands  2,632,918
Spain  4,775,121
UNDP  2,631,644
UNHCR  75,034

Delivery in previous fiscal year in US$

Delivery in previous fiscal year in US$
2010  49,953,585
2011  61,483,716
2012  44,929,179
2013 - provisional  39,230,821
At a Glance
Start Date:
July 2009
End Date:
June 2015
Geographic coverage:
National level
Focus Area
Poverty Reduction
MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty, MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality, MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability, MDG 9: Enhance Security (Specific to AFG)
Project Contact:
Mr. Abdul Raheem Daud "Rahimi", Programme Manager Email:
Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, UNHCR
Implementation Modality:
National Implementation
Implementing Partners:
Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
Other Key Partners:
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health and the Independent Directorate for Local Governance
Budget (2013)
US$ 294,666,069
Donor Contribution
US$ 289,632,174
Open Data

Detailed information on NABDP and  6,000+ UNDP development projects in 177 countries and territories worldwide.

NABDP Project Summary

The Project Summary of National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) covers in a two-page PDF document the issues, responses and achievements of this UNDP project in Afghanistan.

Project Document