The first rural development training centre in Afghanistan was established in 1954 during the creation of the Rural Development Commission called (currently MRRD) in 55 hectare land in Charasiyab District, Kabul. Since its establishment, the centre had provided various types of training and education programs on rural development.  The purpose was to produce community mobilizers, multipurpose cooperatives employees, develop the capacity of officials in key ministries and to member of community based organizations. The training centre was renamed as the National Academy of Rural Development in 1970s and ultimately renamed as the Afghanistan Institute for Rural Development (AIRD) in 2006.

After the fall of the Taliban regime, the Islamic Republic Government of Afghanistan has prioritized Comprehensive Rural Development (CRD) as the core approach towards socio-economic development. Since effective implementation of CRD requires intensive research activities as well as capacity building of various stakeholders for rural development, MRRD realized the importance of a learning institution in providing supports to both areas. As a result, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) re-established AIRD as the national nodal / apex agency to act as think tank and capacity building arm of the Ministry. Accordingly, AIRD was re-established in 2006 and has started functioning since 2008 as a Department of MRRD. A chronology of past effort in this regard is as below.

  • 1956: Rural Development Training Centre- RDTC (Gulzar Training Centre) with support from Government of India in Chara Siyab District of Kabul (under the Rural Development Commission of 1954)
  • 1975: Renamed as National Academy of Rural Development (NARD) with expanded functions of training and education, program evaluation and facilitating higher studies by sending students abroad with scholarships. The theme was Integrated Rural Development (under Rural Development Directorate of 1974)
  • Period of dormancy 1978-2006
  • June 2006: Re-establishment of NARD as AIRD
  • November 2007:  Became the CIRDAP Link Institute in Afghanistan
  • in 2008 AIRD became a department under the MRRD (of 1388).