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Author Interview with Hamdullah Hamdard

Author of the book: The Road to Resilience: Factors that Contribute to Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan

1. Please introduce yourself. What would you like your reader to know about you?

I am Hamdullah Hamdard, a seasoned professional with over 17 years of diverse experience in Afghanistan's public and private sectors. I hold a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the esteemed National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Kabul University. My career has been marked by a commitment to innovative solutions and strategic leadership, particularly in challenging environments.

As the Founder and CEO of Ahlan Ahlan Project Management Services in Dubai, I am at the beginning of a new venture, aiming to drive innovative solutions in project management. My leadership roles include serving as the Chairman of the Policy and Strategy Committee at Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation and as the Director of Herat Customs at the Ministry of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

My impact extends beyond national borders, having served as an International Mentor at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Hiroshima, Japan. I have significantly contributed to international development programs, shaping policies and initiatives supported by USAID, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan.

I am also a prolific policy developer, having authored key policies such as the "Women’s Right to Inheritance and Ownership Policy" and the "Outreach Education and Accelerated Learning Program Policy." My master's thesis on "Factors That Contribute to Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan" underscores my scholarly rigor and deep intellectual engagement with issues critical to Afghanistan's development.

Fluent in Pashto, Dari, English, and proficient in Turkish, Urdu, and Arabic, I am a versatile communicator with a global perspective. My commitment to community development is reflected in my roles as a Founding Member and Head of Secretariat at the Loya Paktia Youth Associations Joint Jirga and Founding Member and Former President of Zurmat Youth Association (ZYC).

My book, "The Road to Resilience: Factors that Contribute to Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan," is a testament to my unwavering dedication to building a stronger, more resilient Afghanistan. Through my work, I aim to inspire others to strive for excellence and make a lasting impact in their respective fields.

2. What is your inspiration/motivation?

My motivation stems from my deep commitment to the development and stability of Afghanistan. Having witnessed the challenges and adversities faced by my country, I am driven by a desire to contribute to its resilience and progress. My inspiration comes from the strength and resilience of the Afghan people, who, despite decades of conflict and hardship, continue to strive for a better future. This book is a testament to their spirit and my dedication to supporting effective aid that truly makes a difference in their lives.

3. How long did it take to complete your book from the idea to publication?

The journey from the initial idea to the publication of "The Road to Resilience: Factors that Contribute to Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan" took several years. The research phase, which was a critical component of my studies at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan, during 2014 and 2015, laid the foundation for this book. Recognizing the value and importance of my research work, I decided to expand and publish it as a book. From conducting extensive fieldwork and analysis to writing and revising the manuscript, the process was both challenging and rewarding. The entire journey took approximately three years, culminating in the publication of the book.

4. What's the main message and idea of your book "The Road to Resilience: Factors that Contribute to Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan"?

The main message of "The Road to Resilience" is to explore and highlight the key factors that contribute to the effectiveness of aid in Afghanistan. The book delves into the complex dynamics of aid delivery, examining the challenges and successes experienced over the years. It emphasizes the importance of a resilient approach to aid, one that considers the unique socio-political and economic context of Afghanistan. By identifying best practices and lessons learned, the book aims to provide valuable insights for policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders involved in the development and aid sectors.

5. What was the most unexpected conclusion you came up with while preparing "The Road to Resilience: Factors that Contribute to Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan"?

One of the most unexpected conclusions I reached during my research was the pivotal role of local ownership and community involvement in the success of aid projects. While external factors and donor strategies are often emphasized, it became clear that the active participation and empowerment of local communities are crucial for sustainable development. This realization underscored the need for a bottom-up approach in aid delivery, ensuring that the voices and needs of Afghan communities are at the forefront of development initiatives.

6. How would you describe your publishing experience with Eliva Press in a few words?

My publishing experience with Eliva Press has been highly professional and seamless. The team at Eliva Press provided excellent support and guidance throughout the process, ensuring that my vision for the book was realized. Their commitment to quality and attention to detail have made the publication of "The Road to Resilience" a gratifying and successful endeavor. I am grateful for their collaboration and the platform they have provided to share my work with a broader audience.

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