Archive for September, 2013

In The News

As Election Nears in Afghanistan, Women’s Political Participation Is Critical

September 18, 2013

Last May, Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament quietly removed an electoral law that stipulated that a quarter of all provincial council seats should be allotted to women. When women politicians found out nearly a month later, they fought to have it recalled…

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Notes from the Field

Reforming Administrative Dispute Resolution in China

September 18, 2013

Mr. Wang’s house, located in the center of a coastal city in southern China, was demolished recently to make room for commercial development. He was not properly consulted during the planning process nor was he informed of the compensation level associated with the demolition. He was unhappy with the way things were handled, but more importantly, he was troubled by the reality that he could not afford to purchase a new apartment with the compensation he received.

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Notes from the Field

The Psychological Cost of Sri Lanka’s Civil War

September 18, 2013

On September 21, residents of Sri Lanka’s war-torn Northern Province will vote in the first provincial council elections of the region. The event is significant for the former conflict zone – the hardest-hit province in the country, scarred from 26 years of violent fighting and military rule.

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Notes from the Field

Leveling the Playing Field for Women Entrepreneurs

September 18, 2013

This year’s annual meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) in Bali provided an opportunity to collaborate with experts and practitioners on findings from The Asia Foundation’s recently published research, “Access to Trade and Growth of Women’s SMEs in APEC Developing Economies: Evaluating Business Environments in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.” The Foundation organized a panel discussion during APEC’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Working Group Meetings.

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Featured

Asia Foundation Releases Report on State and Region Governments in Myanmar

September 18, 2013

The Asia Foundation just released “State and Region Governments in Myanmar,” a new report that finds decentralization to be a major challenge for the country’s ongoing reforms. The study analyzes the state and region governments created under the 2008 Constitution and their relationship with broader governance processes. It finds that while these new subnational governments […]

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Notes from the Field

Women Biz Owners in Indonesia Defy Some Long-Entrenched Barriers

September 4, 2013

At a time when analysts are monitoring Asia’s economic performance as it emerges from the global financial crisis, a new study from The Asia Foundation looks at a particular limitation in many Asian economies, namely those factors that limit women-run businesses’ ability to achieve their full growth potential.

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Notes from the Field

In Highly Literate Myanmar, Local Storybooks are Missing from Shelves

September 4, 2013

As we contemplate the triumphs and remaining challenges in improving literacy this International Literacy Day, consider the fascinating case of Myanmar. The country is one of the poorest in Southeast Asia, with decaying infrastructure and an economy that is just now starting to pick up after decades of stagnation.

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Notes from the Field

The Silent Crisis in Timor-Leste’s Development Trajectory

September 4, 2013

As International Literacy Day approaches, the matter of literacy remains an enormous challenge around the world, including in Asia’s youngest nation, Timor-Leste. Amid the competing development agendas for this democratizing, fast-developing, and oil-rich nation, education, and literacy in particular, too often falls by the wayside.

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Notes from the Field

Activating Feature Phones as Handheld Libraries

September 4, 2013

Victor, a middle-aged resident of the Western Kenyan village of Koru, watched me page through my old Nokia feature phone. I was in Koru to launch a program at a nearby school for Worldreader, an organization that brings e-books to places and people underserved by print books. This was one of the few breaks I had during the launch…

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Notes from the Field

Picturing: A Storybook Partnership

September 4, 2013

In developing countries, one of the impediments to early childhood education is the availability of high-quality, age-appropriate reading material in local languages. Children’s book publishing is limited by the lack of specialized skills among local publishers, authors, and illustrators, and a consumer base that can afford extracurricular books. To address this gap, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program and Room to Read are partnering to expand access to compelling and culturally relevant early reading material to children in under-served communities throughout developing Asia.

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