The Liaison Office (TLO) is a non-governmental organization aiming at improving local governance, stability and security in Afghanistan through systematic and institutionalized engagement with traditional tribal structures and civil society groups. TLO seeks to create and support formal relations between traditional local structures (e.g., tribal elders/shuras) and grass roots organisations, the government and the international community.
TLO emerged at the end of 2003 out of a swisspeace pilot project (supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation) on good governance after the organization was approached by tribal elders of the Ahmadzai and Mangal tribes requesting assistance for participation in the reconstruction process in the Southeast. Since local interest proved overwhelming, the pilot project quickly gained acceptance and momentum. Therefore, as a natural continuation and expansion of this project, TLO was founded in December 2003. With the generous funding from the Finnish and German Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, a head office was established in Kabul together with three field offices in Paktia, Paktika, and Khost were established. By 2006, TLO had operations in the Southeastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost, and expanded its work to central and southern region, mainly in the area of research, covering the provinces of Logar, Uruzgan, Helmand and Kandahar. To support the work in southern Afghanistan an office was opened in Kandahar in 2005.
In late 2007 and early 2008, TLO also began to expand its activities to the Eastern region, mainly through holding a peace and stability jirga (funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation) and also conducting some research. Since 2009 TLO has also started to work in Ghazni and Kunduz provinces.