Humanitarian Relief and Reconstruction Program Helped Improve Economic Conditions and Security in Afghanistan
Oct 13, 2016
This report examines the use of the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) in Afghanistan. It explores the effectiveness of CERP in supporting tactical operations in Afghanistan during the counterinsurgency-focused 2010–2013 time frame using qualitative and quantitative methods and describes CERP's origins, history, and existing research on the effectiveness of CERP in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The qualitative component of this analysis provides an assessment of CERP from the perspective of its implementers, drawing on interviews with nearly 200 military officers and noncommissioned officers who designed and implemented CERP projects. These data provide a fine-grain view of the program on the ground, examining projects its implementers thought were successful and those viewed as unsuccessful. Our intent is to understand how and why tactical and operational units used CERP and whether the program achieved its intended effects in the local areas where it was used.
The quantitative analysis explores the relationship of CERP activity with both population- and coalition-focused outcomes. Our analysis of population-focused outcomes studies population movements, economic activity, and agricultural activity. The comparable analysis of coalition-focused outcomes focuses on intelligence about enemy activity, attacks involving coalition forces, and coalition freedom of movement. This analysis uses geospatial analytic methods, in which CERP administrative data and detailed data from 400 CERP projects collected in our qualitative data set are linked to outcomes based on highly granular locational information. The inclusion of data on the disposition of U.S. forces allows us to compare the impact of U.S. operations with CERP to those without.