Since 2002, over three rounds of study, the fortunes of a small panel of rural case households in diverse locations in Afghanistan have been tracked. During these 14 years, the health of the rural economy has remained poor: most of the households in the study find themselves no better off now than they were in 2002.
This paper asks what we can learn from these household trajectories. What has contributed to or undermined their attempts to seek a life and secure their livelihoods? Are the grim national statistics consistent with household specific experience? Where there are discrepancies, have interventions played a role? If some have prospered and others have not, why might this be so?