Afghanistan: How Policies Travel

  • Anna Ohanyan


Afghanistan’s microfinance sector, as imported by international actors, was significantly informed by the earlier Bosnian post-conflict experience in microfinance. However, institution-building and governance-focused approach to microfinance was prioritized early on in microfinance development in Afghanistan (Arbab 2008), rather than being a product of at times unpredictable network politics as was the case in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To this end, the managing director of the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) noted the following:

MISFA started with a clear vision for the sector. We had no ambiguity as to what we wanted for the microfinance sector in Afghanistan. There were clear set of principles in Afghanistan, outreach, and a rationale for outreach, for a country that has been in a war … [that is] to reach the largest number of people at a shortest amount of time. … This is why we brought in outside institutions, as opposed to other sectors that used organically grown institutions. (Arbab 2008)

This chapter describes the transfer of microfinance policies from BiH to Afghanistan, utilizing the three-pronged post-conflict policy analysis framework described in Chapter One. Specifically, in terms of policy values, this chapter explores how an unsettled conflict status and persistent violence increased the premium on stability in some microfinance policymaking circles.


Credit Union Trust Fund Policy Transfer Epistemic Community Network Mechanism 
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© Anna Ohanyan 2008

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  • Anna Ohanyan

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