Year of Publication
Martin School of Public Policy and Administration
Non-governmental organizations working in conflict-prone, resource-deprived developing countries face a very unique set of challenges. Like with other non-profits, program dollars and other resources must be allocated carefully and thoughtfully so the maximum output is achieved with the inputs allotted. Unlike other non-profits, however, the political, social, and economic environment is constantly changing in developing countries like Afghanistan. Basic human needs are not being met, leaving the path to NGO program success fraught with seemingly impossible challenges. This is the case for Peace Through Business, a training and development program serving women entrepreneurs in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Peace Through Business seeks to play a key role in the transformation of Afghanistan into a nation with the capacity for peace by supporting its economy. Specifically, the program targets women entrepreneurs to help diversify and strengthen the small business sector of the Afghan economy.
In an effort to support the Peace Through Business program, this research project evaluates 2016 data from The Asia Foundation’s Survey of the Afghan People to gain an understanding of Afghan women who work in the market in exchange for payment, versus those who work solely in the home without pay. Specifically, the data analysis measures what characteristics impact the Afghan woman’s propensity to work in the market, then looks at what characteristics impact the propensity of the same woman to own her own business. With an understanding of these characteristics, PTB can adjust its program’s sails to support women who are interested in owning their own business and to target women who are shown by this analysis as having a greater propensity to won their own businesses.
The findings presented are significant. Through a multivariate regression analysis using the Ordinary Least Squares method, I uncover several traits that correlate, and in some cases appear to positively influence, the Afghan woman’s likelihood to work and be a business owner. A few variables were found to have a significant impact on both of the dependent variables, which are: (1) work in the market and (2) own business. The significant variables include: region, access to a mobile phone for Internet usage, and motorcycle ownership as a means for transportation. The extent to which these variables impact a woman’s likelihood to work or own her own business is useful but not to be highlighted as the main point. Instead, it is most valuable for the Peace Through Business program, as well as organizations doing similar work in Afghanistan, to identify the characteristics that are found to be significant, recognize the direction of the impact, and understand the data as opportunities to influence the intended outcome for the program’s participants.
Taylor, Tracy, "Empowering Women for Economic Growth: A Measurement of Social and Demographic Impacts on Afghan Women in Business" (2017). MPA/MPP Capstone Projects. 287.