A large-scale research project was thus planned and conducted from March to August 2010. This research included a deep probe into the media sector and the public’s behaviors and expectations. The methodology used to achieved this included a combination of: literature review; direct observations; key informant interviews with most relevant actors involved in the media sector; 6,648 close-ended interviews in more than 900 towns and villages of 106 districts, covering all 34 provinces of the country; an audience survey on more than 1,500 individuals run daily for a week; about 200 qualitative, openended interviews; and 10 community case studies. Such an effort guarantees that results presented here are fairly representative of the Afghan population at large.
In May 2011, the USAID Office of the Inspector General published a report on the agency’s supervision and oversight of assistance activities in Afghanistan and the Kabul Bank crisis. This report was quickly withdrawn and the Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood quoted a USAID official as saying that “At the time our report was issued, it was written utilizing information from non-classified sources. After our report had been issued, USAID subsequently classified two documents that were cited in our report. This action resulted in the report becoming classified and we removed it from the web site.” Now that an “Unclassified” version of the report has been released, a comparison of the two versions reveals the “classified” portions of the report that were concealed by USAID. These sections of the report indicate that a material loss review was commissioned by USAID/Afghanistan and completed in May 2010 indicating that $850 million, or 94 percent of the value of the bank’s outstanding loans, had been fraudulently diverted to “insiders” connected with the bank. The concealed sections also indicate that Deloitte and Da Afghanistan Bank failed to provide this report to USAID for nearly six months.
The following photos were taken January 1, 2011. USAID Afghanistan – http://www.flickr.com/photos/usaidafghanistan/