This week, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of controversial former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, dissolved parliament in response to an escalating anti-government protest movement. Led by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, the movement has mobilized tens of thousands of whistle-blowing demonstrators under the banner of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). PDRC has declared its intention to unseat the Pheu Thai government, remove the Shinawatra family from politics, and press for the appointment of an imprecisely defined “People’s Council” that would seemingly be composed of neutral, respected leaders who would replace elected government for an undefined period of time.
On Dec. 4, 2013, The Asia Foundation and the Sant Maral Foundation released the third installment of its bi-annual “Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption,” revealing that efforts to curb corruption in what is considered, as some sources put it, one of the world’s most corrupt countries could in fact be working.
Five months from now, Afghanistan will enter a critical juncture of transition and election, in a dynamic context where large parts of the country are now increasingly controlled by Taliban shadow governments.
Aid workers and academics would seem natural collaborators. Development studies courses are common and it is routine to find academics who oscillate between the academy and the field as aid workers. In turn, the aid world often calls upon academics to provide expert advice and looks to their literature for guidance.
Using evidence for planning and evaluation of policies and development interventions considerably enhances the capacity of organizations working for socioeconomic change of state and society, and their change interventions…