Research


PRSO is undertaking multidisciplinary research, across social sciences, with an aim of research for informed decision-making. It includes research on ethnic and religious minority issues, socio-economic issues, institutions, conflict, corruption and peace building. At PRSO, we are committed to achieving excellence in research and scholarship, and to ensure that our research contributes to the well-being of society. The core focus in all of our research is to give out work on issues relevant for policy making. Our team focuses on using applied methods in their respective fields which can give out concrete evidence-based policy recommendations to various stakeholders. Our research team comes from variety of disciplines in social sciences with extensive experience with reputed national and international organizations in conducting policy oriented research.

Ongoing Research

  • The Tragedy Overload: How Suppression Led to Exodus of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs
    Considering the predicaments facing the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs, PRSO is undertaking a systematic documentation of the Afghan Hindu and Sikh community that includes research, collection of stories, photo archives, and a documentary video to document the suppression process of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs that has led to their current fragile status.  The entire documentation will follow a research approach that involves methodologically a systematic set of activities. However, the documentation would specifically focus on;
    • Geographical mapping (comparing previous and current areas where Afghan Hindus and Sikhs are living; and highlighting the geographical areas that historically belonged to the community)
    • Demographical Shift (the process of elaborating the shrinking population of the community from countryside to city centers and more importantly to abroad in the form of mass emigration)
    • Economically, the process of changing their job patterns from senior government officials and high-income businesses to small Herbal shops today.
    • Politically, the process of being pushed at the margins of political engagements and decision-making processes.
    • Culturally, documenting the festivals, major architectures and monuments such as Hindu temples, Sikhs gurdwaras, and comparing their previous and current status of freedom in practicing their religious rituals.
  • Afghan Baloches; History, Demography and culture
    As its previous researches on various topics, this time Porsesh Researches and Studies Organization (PRSO) works on “Afghan Baloches; History, Demography and culture” which is designed in the format of an academic article and is currently in progress. The article mainly focuses on Baloches historical background, their population and the driving factors that led to changes in their social life. This research initiative would be conducted by Qudratullah Yousofi, PRSO researcher, under the supervision of Ehsan Shayegan, PRSO Director. Stay tuned for the release of the full article.  

Completed Research

  • THE TRAGEDY OVERLOAD: SUPPRESSION TO EXODUS OF AFGHAN HINDUS AND SIKHS (1992-2021)
    The exodus of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs hastened with every regime change in Afghanistan. From the high of 220,000 before 1992, their numbers were reduced to merely 65 individuals in 2021… Read More…
  • The Survivors بازمانده گان - 2022
    The “Survivors” album is a segment of a larger project that covers part of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs culture, society, memory, legacy and also document their religious sites to unveil the depth of their sufferings. The aim of these initiatives are to document minority groups that are historically considered to be second class citizens in Afghanistan who are prone to extinction. (Size: 212 MB)
    Read More…
  • Thirty Stories of Agony: Poignant Accounts from a Community Forced to Migrate 2022
    PRSO in collaboration with Open Society Foundations brings out & documents personal narratives and life stories of 30 Hindu and Sikh citizens of Afghanistan compiled in a book form in English, Persian/Dari and Pashto languages. The book serves as an oral history of this ethnic and religious minority in Afghanistan who have gone through years of persecution, discrimination and humiliation. These thirty narrations are gathered through face-to-face interviews with members of Hindu and Sikh communities in 10 provinces including Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Kunduz, Helmand, Paktia, Parwan, Khost and Laghman. Interviews have also been conducted with diaspora Afghan Hindus and Sikhs in India, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia where they have migrated.
    Click here to Access The Book (Persian/Dari Version -“سی پاره: روایتهای دردناک از مردمی که دیگر نیست  1401)
    Click here to Access The Book (English Version)
    Click here to Access The Book (Pashto Version – د تاريخ دېرش برخې: د هغو خلکو کيسې چې کډوالۍ ته اړيستل شول – 1401)
  • One Year On; The Plight of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs Continues
    Repeated attacks, endemic societal discriminations, abductions, and frequent violence have pushed Afghan Sikhs and Hindus into a very precarious and fragile state after the March 2020 Gurudwara attack. This policy brief highlights the prevalence of violence and marginalization of these communities in Afghanistan and its impact in relation to the exodus of these communities from the country. It further examines the Afghan government’s response to such catastrophes.   Read More…
  • Civil Society Innovation Index - Self/External Assessment Research Manual 2020
    PRSO in collaboration with Innovation for Change – Central Asia Hub completed developing The Civil Society Innovation Index (CSII) tools to measure the level of innovations of civil society organizations. The CSII comprise of two different tools; Self- assessment and External Assessment along with their research manuals. These tools allows CSOs to assess themselves, consequently allowing them to become more innovative in a systematic way. Moreover, the External- Assessment tool allows researchers to assess CSOs innovativeness across the whole sets of CSOs in the Central Asia and beyond. The current web link to the Index is: http://23.95.221.105/csii

    To Access Self Assessment Research Manual
    Click Here
    To Access External Assessment Research Manual Click Here
  • Survey of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs 2019
    PRSO in collaboration with Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), Switzerland and Open Society Afghanistan (OSA) conducted and completed the first ever survey of The Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. The Survey examines the SECURITY situation, POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, CIVIL RIGHTS, ECONOMIC & LABOR, MIGRATION and INTEGRATION of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. The findings of the survey also highlight the unfortunate trends such as alarming levels of fear, large tendency to migrate and other challenges facing the aforementioned community. Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have been excessively suppressed and threatened, lost their properties and widely discriminated in the public and institutions. Click here to Access The Survey (English, Persian/Dari and Pashto) 
  • Exploring Afghanistan's Forgotten & Vulnerable Local Dances - 2019
    In the past half a century, the loss of Afghanistan cultural heritage has been one of the most severe repercussions of the war for the country. The vulnerable nation state repeatedly fell prey to war, which has been detrimental to the country’s cultural heritage. At a time when people’ memory of their culture was fading, museums were being looted and destroyed. Read More…
  • Leishmaniasis Report 2017
    Shahrak-e-Itefaq – a densely populated area in district 13 of Kabul, has been affected by Leshmaniasis since 2014. No serious intervention has been undertaken by any national or international organizations to address this issue. In 2016 PRSO undertook a volunteer field research to study the extent of the disease to inform policy makers and active health organizations. Despite the findings of the research which shows a shocking health issue, no significant progress has been made to alleviate the disease. This paper presents a follow up research to understand perceptions on factors causing Leishmaniasis outbreak in the Shahrak-e-Itefaqunderstand the current effort (from community and government) to diagnose, treat and control Leishmaniasis, and to shed light on Leishmaniasis outbreak’s health, socio-economic implication on residents’ livelihoods. Read the full report here...
  • Lashmaniasis Outbreak in Kabul: Case Study of 13th District
    Porsesh Research and Studies Organization (PRSO) presented the research findings on “Lashmaniasis outbreak in Kabul: (2016) case study of 13 district” in an event at Ibn-e Sina University, on 12 June, 2016.In this event, stakeholders from various organizations, including the Lashmaniasis Hospital, the affected community representatives, academia and the media participated and commented on the findings of the research. PRSO described the research in two sections. In the first section the approach of the research, being from a social science approach and the research objectives and methodology was elaborated by Ehsan Shayagan and in the second section the findings was presented by Jawed Nazari, PRSO research board members. The research received variety of comments from the participants. Dr. Nahzat, head of Malaria and Lashmania Institute spoke about the importance of research of this kind to bring out social issues to public policy debate. He appreciated the findings of the research conducted by PRSO and confirmed many of the findings were consistent with their assessment. However, he noted that some of the perception with regards to the sources of the disease lack scientific basis, which can’t be confirmed by a health experts. He noted that the institute and the ministry of health have taken some steps to address the issue and shall further increase intervention. He called upon the community leaders and the PRSO to set up a meeting with the Malaria and Lashmania Institute for further coordination to address the problem at Shahrak-e Etefaq. Representatives from the affected community thanked PRSO for taking this important social issue to the public forum through scientific research. However, they expressed their concern for lack of seriousness of the concerned executive authorities of the government to follow the people’s cause and act based on the findings of this research. They requested PRSO to share the research findings with the concerned stakeholders in the health affairs and help the community to reach them. PRSO expressed gratitude from the community and committed to share the findings to the concerned stakeholders.It is worth mentioning, that this research and the event for presentation of the findings is a unique of its kind in Afghanistan. PRSO has been established with a motive of research for informed decision to influence policy. Policy making is productive when all concerned stakeholders share thoughts on the problem at hand. PRSO problematized a social issue and brought together the stakeholders from the community, government and civil society to find out solutions to a health problem. This is in line with the core values of research at PRSO.Download the full report: Leishmaniasis Outbreak in Kabul: 2016 Case Study of 13th District (pdf)
  • Ignored Identities: Status of Hindus and Sikhs In Afghanistan's Legal System
    Since the second half of the 20th century, human rights have gained critical significance, at least their ethical aspect, at both the national and international level. It is arguably the dominant discourse of our time. Today, any political regime that is not committed to human rights values is considered illegitimate because human rights constitute the parameter of evaluating state legitimacy both domestically and internationally. As a result, most countries have included human rights provisions in their Constitution and are committed to support and respect them. Read more…
  • Does Exposure to Corruption Increase Sympathy for Armed Opposition Groups in Afghanistan?
    Afghanistan’s National Unity Government (NUG) leaders declared their intention to curb corruption during their presidential campaigns, and since the election, have emphasized that combating with the corruption is one of their top priorities. Read more...
  • Factors Associated with Afghanistan’s Child Marriages
    Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. Contributing factors include different forms of gender-based violence, poor education, limited access to healthcare, and not being allowed outside the home. Sadly, many Afghan women also face forced child marriage—despite it being illegal.

    A significant amount of research confirms that child marriages undermine girls’ participation in decision-making, educational attainment, and labor force participation, and leave them vulnerable to violence and health risks throughout their life. Furthermore, these risks can be transferred to their children, leading to an intergenerational effect—impacting their children’s education, nutrition, and health Read more…

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