Archive for September, 2011

Notes from the Field

Vietnam’s Migrant Workers: Greatest Advantage, Greatest Challenge

September 28, 2011

The majority of migrants are young and, increasingly, women. Migrants represent both Vietnam’s greatest advantages and greatest challenges. Their 14-15-hour work days have helped fuel the economic miracle that has rocketed Vietnam from one of the five poorest countries in the world in 1985 to an average per capita income of over $1,000 in 2010. Economic reform, combined with cheap, flexible labor has led to a surge in foreign investment. Booming consumerism is visible in the adverts on every street corner and the accessories hanging off Vietnam’s newly wealthy youth.

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In The News

Right to Information in India: An Effective Tool to Tackle Corruption

September 28, 2011

September 28 is celebrated internationally as Right to Know Day, highlighting the critical importance of people’s right to access information held by their governments. In India, following a nationwide campaign led by grassroots and civil society organizations…

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Notes from the Field

Bringing Legal Aid to the Poor in Laos

September 28, 2011

During my recent visit to Laos, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of newspaper headlines proclaiming the country’s economic success stories. Firm phrases such as “World Bank predicts Lao economic growth at 8.6 percent,” “Vietnam & Laos boost rubber cooperation,” and “New Laos airline preparing for takeoff,” stood out at stands…

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Events

Asia Foundation’s Steven Rood Speaks on Mindanao at Filipino American International Book Festival

September 28, 2011

On October 1-2, The Asia Foundation will participate in the Filipino American International Book Festival (FilBookFest) in San Francisco, the largest gathering of authors of Filipino heritage from around the world. Philippines expert and country representative for the Philippines, Dr. Steven Rood, will speak…

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In The News

Open Data Opens New Potential for International Development

September 21, 2011

In recent years, a revolution in data analytics has changed the way both public and private sector institutions share, manage, and analyze information – and it’s a revolution now reaching developing nations. In Timor-Leste, the Ministry of Finance has just made current, real-time national budget statistics available online.

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In The News

Mobile Money for the Developing World

September 21, 2011

A rapidly increasing number of people across the globe are now staying connected to one another via a mobile phone device – whether it’s an iPhone, Nokia, or Samsung. In fact, the United Nations reported earlier this year that the worldwide figure for cell phone subscriptions had topped five billion at the end of 2010. According to the International Telecommunication Union, approximately 3.8 billion of these mobile subscriptions were from developing countries…

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In The News

Q&A with Founder of ‘I Paid a Bribe,’ India’s Anti-Corruption Online Movement

September 21, 2011

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an average GDP growth of about 9 percent over the past several years. Yet corruption remains a pressing problem in the nation of 1.2 billion. The Asia Foundation’s Katherine Loh spoke with T.R. Raghunandan…

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Notes from the Field

From Fractions to Millions: People Fighting Corruption Using Mobile Phones

September 21, 2011

During the 1980s, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), an NGO working in rural Rajasthan in India, began to campaign for access to government records related to wage employment programs for the rural poor. In the course of its work, MKSS discovered that accessing official records and information was critical to exposing corrupt practices…

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Notes from the Field

SMS System Supports Sri Lanka’s Community Mediation

September 21, 2011

After years of waiting and hoping his mother would legally transfer the portion of family land due to him, the resentment had built up. Athula, the youngest of a poor family of seven, finally decided to take his mother, Soma to court. Their relationship worsened to the point where they were no longer speaking.

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In The News

Will Malaysia Repeal its Internal Security Act?

September 21, 2011

On the eve of Malaysia Day (Sept 16), Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak made his boldest political move to date. In a nationally televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister announced his intention to repeal the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) along with several other restrictive laws. “The time has come for us to take another step forward, not only in economics and education, but also in upholding democratic principles,” the PM said.

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