Karim Merchant is a freelance consultant with 26 years of experience as a policy advisor, programme designer and project manager in emergency relief, conflict and post-conflict sustainable rural development, institutional and community empowerment, and small enterprise development. He has been a lecturer at the University of Life Sciences in Norway and a trainer at Kings College. Merchant has worked with national governments, United Nations Agencies, and international and national NGOs across Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. He has served as director of operations for the Afghanistan National Solidarity Program, the world’s second largest community-driven development project, and senior advisor to the Afghan Minister for Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD). Merchant has an MS in Natural Resource Management and a BS in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia.