Afghan Civil Society Forum-organization (ACSFo) was established in partnership between Afghan civil society actors and “Swisspeace” (a Swiss private foundation for the promotion of peace) at the request of 76 participants of the first Afghan Civil Society Conference in Bad Honnef, Germany in 2001.
This conference was facilitated by Swisspeace parallel to the meeting of political representatives organized by the UN at Petersburg near Bonn. The goal of the conference was to involve Afghan civil society in the peace and reconstruction process of their country in order to achieve a more sustainable post-conflict reconstruction than a simple top-down government approach. The Afghan Civil Society Forum-organization began its activities in February 2002 after initial funds were secured from the Swiss and German governments.
The ACSF Office in Kabul was opened two months later in May 2002. ACSFo having one decade of tremendous achievements and experiences, it is committed to its mission” to facilitate the process of citizen building and state building through advocacy, capacity building and coordination”. ACSFo has been able to reach to the remotest areas (directly or through partners) of Afghanistan. It has implemented many different projects in the areas of advocacy, rule of law, civic education, peace building and research. ACSFo, being a major civil society forum has served the purpose of improving coordination and networking among civil society actors as well as bridging the gap between the citizens and the Afghan government. As a result, ACSFo as established the widest network of grass-root Civil Society Organizations, donors, partners, and committed individuals all over Afghanistan with around 450 members and partners (80 member organizations, 50 individual members and around 320 partners). ACSFo Regional Offices are located in Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Gardiz, Kunduz and Bamyan.
In order to promote the concept of civil society, raise public awareness, undertake policy and issue advocacy and strengthen coordination among civil society actors, ACSFo, so far, has undertaken the following major projects:
- USAID/Local Governance Community Developments (LGCD);
- Civic Education Outreach on the past two Presidential Elections;
- Civic education Outreach on past two parliamentary elections;
- Civic Education and awareness raising through Media;
- Promoting Women’s Rights under Islam;
- Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS);
- Community Policing and Democratic Policing;
- Support to the Electoral Process (STEP);
- Civil society empowerment through capacity building & networking and
- How People Define Violence and Justice in Afghanistan (Research).