Past eventResearch Event

Tackling Drug Production in Afghanistan

16 October 2007 - 14:30 to 16:30

Chatham House, London


Dr William Byrd, Economist and Advisor, South Asia Region, World Bank
David Mansfield, Independent Development Specialist
Chair: Dr Gareth Price, Head of the Asia Programme, Chatham House



The meeting will focus on methods to tackle drugs production in Afghanistan and split into two sessions with a break at 15:20.

Dr William Byrd is currently serving in the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC as Adviser in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit of the South Asia Region. Until recently he was the Bank's Senior Economic Adviser based in Kabul, Afghanistan. He has been responsible for helping develop the World Bank's strategy for support to Afghanistan's reconstruction effort and was responsible for establishing the World Bank's office in Kabul. He led the team that produced the first World Bank economic report on Afghanistan in a quarter-century.

William Byrd has been in the World Bank for more than 20 years during which time he has worked on China, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. He has had a number of multi-year assignments in developing countries which include India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His publications include six books on China and numerous articles, among them several papers on Afghanistan, and a number of World Bank reports. Most recently he has been responsible for reports on Afghanistan's Public Finance Management, Economic Cooperation in the Wider Central Asia Region, and Afghanistan's Drug Industry. He has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and an MA in East Asian Studies.

David Mansfield is a drugs and development specialist, currently advising a range of bilateral and multilateral organizations, including the UK Government, the EC, the World Bank, GTZ, as well as various NGOs on both policy and operational issues with regard to illicit drugs in Afghanistan and rural livelihoods. He has fifteen years experience in overseas drugs and development issues, working in each of the major drug producing regions of South and South East Asia, and Latin America. Mr Mansfield has worked on the design, appraisal, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of development and control projects.

Throughout his career Mr Mansfield has sought to inform policy development by generating a clearer understanding of the dynamics of the illicit drugs industry and documenting the overlap between conventional development and drug control agendas. He has undertaken pioneering work in Afghanistan in defining the role of opium poppy in rural livelihood strategies and the dynamics of the farmgate trade in opium since 1997. This work continues to involve in-depth fieldwork in rural Afghanistan. His published work has sought to contextualise drugs as a development issue, and in particular has focused on outlining strategies for integrating an analysis of the causes of opium poppy cultivation into the design and implementation of rural livelihoods interventions.