Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Gregg Murphy


Since 2002, foreign aid has been invested to create social change in Afghanistan, but little is known about the impact on women in rural areas. This case study focused on a single Afghan woman in a rural province who received a foreign aid grant for building baking skills and broader economic development of 20 rural women. The theoretical framework was based on Haq and Sen's development theory. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with the key participant, her husband who was identified as the main source of support, and four female beneficiaries. These data were inductively coded and then subjected to thematic analysis. The primary findings of this study was that this foreign aid project succeeded in building skills for involved individuals; though wider spread of foreign aid benefits were limited by what is perceived as an inequitable distribution of assistance to rural areas, as well as Afghanistan's political, cultural, economic, and security environment. Findings from all participants in this case study (n=6) supported Haq and Sen's theoretical prediction that given the proper technical resources, an individual is capable of being self-reliant and avoiding poverty. The respondents concluded that short term change is attainable and beneficial, but will not be sustained without long-term cultural change regarding the roles of women and allocation of foreign aid. The social implications of this research may provide opportunities for Afghan community and women councils to conduct training for women with an objective to bring awareness of the importance of their participation in the economy. The findings will be compiled into a concept paper to be submitted to relevant ministries amid formulation of national capacity building policy for women in the rural area