Risk Management & Decision Making Under Uncertainty During the Afghanistan Crisis 2021

By Araba Cole, Panagiotis Olympiou
September 2022
The Taliban takeover of Kabul in summer 2021 resulted in humanitarian organisations triggering contingency plans and crisis management mechanisms with varied and uneven results. Some were able to continue operations with minimal interruptions, whereas others dealt with chaotic evacuation responses. What transpired was an extreme example of witnessing crisis decision-making under conditions of radical uncertainty in real circumstances. Drawing upon contemporary thinking on risk, uncertainty, and security risk management in the humanitarian sector, and through a combination of surveys and interviews, this research project explored the crisis management practices surrounding the Taliban takeover of Kabul, on 15th August 2021. Through targeted interviews and the surveying of humanitarian professionals in leadership positions in Afghanistan during the crisis, the research aimed to identify lessons that could benefit the humanitarian community and safety and security decision-makers.

Suggested Citation

Format:

Cole, A. & Olympiou, P. (2022) Risk Management & Decision Making Under Uncertainty During the Afghanistan Crisis 2021