Nemat Bizhan

Dr Nemat Bizhan


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Personal profile


Nematullah Bizhan is a Senior Lecturer and the team leader for the ANU/UPNG partnership at the Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University. He is also a Senior Research Associate with the Global Economic Governance Program, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. In 2017 and 2018, Nematullah was a Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, working with the Oxford-LSE Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development on state fragility and policy responses. He was an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow at the University College, Oxford University (2015-16) and the Niehaus Centre for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University (2014-15). 


His research interests include public policy, international development, state fragility and state building, and post-conflict reconstruction. He has published widely in leading presses and journals. In his recently edited book, State Fragility: Case Studies and Comparisons, Nematullah and eight leading experts look at seven country cases and address questions as to the nature of state fragility, policies used to mitigate it, and assessment of outcomes and prospects (download here). Nematullah's first book, Aid Paradoxes in Afghanistan: Building and Undermining the State, examines the process of state building and international intervention in Afghanistan. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Conversation, Project Syndicate, Foreign Policy, ABC, Development Policy Centre blog, BBC Persian and 8Sobh Daily. His op-ed, A Path to Self-Reliance for Afghanistan, appeared in 27 publications in 9 languages around the world. He is also a regular commentator on TV and Radio.


Nematullah contributed to development programs and reforms that helped Afghanistan's immediate post-2001 recovery. He served as Afghanistan's Youth Deputy Minister; Founding Director General for Policy and Monitoring of Afghanistan National Development Strategy; Head of the Secretariat for the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board; and Director General of Budget at the Ministry of Finance. As a civil society activist, he has also contributed to promoting accountability and civic participation in decision-making processes. Nematullah can be found on Twitter @Nematbizhan or via email at



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