The context: In 2008, farmers in Helmand province of Afghanistan cultivated over 60% of the world’s total opium crop, undermining security, governance, and licit economic growth. Developing sustainable, alternative livelihoods presents a vast challenge amidst one of the world’s most complex and insecure of environments.

Wasafiri’s role: Wasafiri consultant Hamish Wilson was engaged by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to manage the US15million 2009-10 Helmand Alternative Livelihoods Programme – arguably one of the largest and most visible stabilisation projects of 2009.

Generating action: Initial indications suggest the programme has strengthened local governance and the legitimacy of the provincial government, while stimulating economic growth and further rural development.