This joint research project by the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute (UK) and the Center on International Cooperation of New York University (US) seeks to provide firmer empirical data and clear analysis on the extent, causes and implications of the security risk to humanitarian work. The research project explores six case studies of high-risk environments around the world. This background paper presents findings from Afghanistan. The country research team was led by a Project Manager who conducted some 25 interviews in Kabul across a range of aid, governmental and private actors. Three field researchers conducted another 25 interviews in three cities in Afghanistan: Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar and Jalalabad.