Three decades of conflict and displacement have led to the emergence of the Afghan diaspora. It is widely recognized that diasporas have the capacity to contribute to development in their countries of origin, and the Afghan diaspora has been actively engaged in development in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
The Government of Afghanistan, international governments, and non-governmental organizations involved in the reconstruction effort have actively encouraged skilled Afghans to return to assist in rebuilding the country. The low levels of return have contributed to tremendous skills gaps in Afghanistan and have exacerbated the need for highly skilled professionals and capacity-building activities. The International Organization for Migration, the Netherlands, started the Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals (TRQN) project in 2006 to address these shortages.
The objective of this study was to understand the impact of temporary return on knowledge transfer and capacity building in Afghanistan. The impact of the project was assessed through the two key areas of knowledge transfer and capacity building. The research was conducted through qualitative interviews conducted with TRQN participants, host institutions, participant’s colleagues, and key TRQN stakeholders.