Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP)

  • Duration: 
    April 2012 – June 2018
  • Value: $50 million


USAID’s Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP) complements the development goals of the Afghan and U.S. governments by supporting key growth opportunities in construction, information and communications technology, public-private partnership and business management. The program seeks to increase job placements and wages for 25,000 Afghan citizens – at least 25 percent of them women – by strengthening the labor pool in major economic areas and addressing the difficulties of high unemployment, scarcity of technically-skilled Afghan labor, and trained business managers. It does this by providing demand-driven quality technical and business education, training, job placement, and support services.

The program operates under two mechanisms; AWDP Off-budget component under contract by Creative Associates International Inc. and AWDP On-budget component managed by the Ministry of Education’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) department.  The program’s wider goal is to increase highly-qualified, demand-driven labor in key economic sectors by improving the quality of and access to training in market-driven skills.


AWDP uses a four-step process to determine what skilled labor is needed and how to create it:

  • Labor market demand assessment: Economic sector assessments determine what skills the private sector needs. The focus is on the mid-career/semi-professional level.
  • Curriculum development or adaptation: Curricula is designed or adapted with Afghan training providers to meet skills for a proven labor market demand from private sector employers.
  • Competency-based training: Grants are provided to help local organizations deliver training in specific areas demanded by business.
  • Employment placement services: Pre-employment training, job-placement services, and follow-up services are provided to trainees to help them find jobs.
  • AWDP Four-Pillar Model Sustainability and Master Training of Trainers (MToT): Provide training in adult learning methodology and instructional design to Private Institutes of Higher Education instructors (PIHES), selected to receive support to commercialize the AWDP skills training and job placement/promotion model. Instructors who successfully complete the training will receive salary increases and count towards the program’s target.
  • Career Counselling Center (C3): Career Counseling is a critical demand for Afghan youths seeking employment and/or determining a suitable career path. While some PIHEs have recently established C3 facilities, the leadership of these institutions has indicated a high demand for career and employment-related services, technical support, tools, and resources in order to effectively respond to labor market needs, and the needs of the graduating students. Job seekers, who utilize PIHE C3 facilities receiving technical support from AWDP, will be counted towards the program’s targets.


  • Found jobs or got promotions with salary increases for more than 21,000 training program participants – 36 percent of whom were women.
  • Completed 73 short-term labor market-driven training programs. More than 10 grants are expected to be awarded by November 2016 under Off-budget component. Currently, 11 contracts are in-progress under the On-budget component.
  • Provided close to 32,000 mid-career/semi-professional employees and job seekers – 36 percent of whom were women – with technical and business management skills. Training areas included how to use financial management software, web design and electrician skills under both components.
  • Facilitated the establishment of four profitable job training and placement service companies. The companies used an AWDP model developed under four grants.

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