Posts By Thomas Parks
April 17, 2013
The Asia Foundation honors the memory of Dr. Adrian Leftwich, highly regarded political scientist, activist, and international development expert, who passed away early this month. Adrian was the research director of the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP)…
September 19, 2012
Despite a major expansion of funding to the world’s most conflict affected areas over the past decade, many of these regions, including in Asia, remain afflicted by the same problems of poor governance, troubled state-society relations, and insecurity.
May 9, 2012
Burma (also known as Myanmar) may be on the verge of a dramatic expansion of international assistance. After last month’s parliamentary by-elections, there is likely to be more support for easing sanctions and increasing foreign assistance to the country to support the changes underway.
October 19, 2011
Internal conflicts are a widespread and enduring problem for Asia – Afghanistan, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar, among others. Ten of the 18 countries in South and Southeast Asia have protracted internal conflicts, and in a few, there are several. These internal conflicts last a very long time…
Development Realism: Why the World Bank’s World Development Report Should Lead to Changes in Aid to Fragile States
April 27, 2011
Earlier this month, the World Bank released its 2011 World Bank Development Report, “Conflict, Security and Development.” This highly ambitious report intends to challenge conventional wisdom and propose a new strategy for the international community to help countries emerge from war, long-running violent conflict, entrenched criminality, and fragility. In my view, the report has accomplished this goal, and in so doing, may change the way we work with fragile states and conflict-affected regions.
December 15, 2010
The Asia Foundation’s first survey of the population of southern Thailand, released December 16 in Bangkok, gives us rare insight into the conflict, from the perspective of those most affected by it. Since the re-emergence of violent conflict almost seven years ago, the region has been notoriously difficult to understand, in large part due to [...]
October 13, 2010
On October 5, the normally quiet Bangkok suburb of Nonthaburi was jolted by an explosion that left four people dead and several more wounded. The blast ripped through a nondescript, working-class apartment building and an adjacent market in the early evening, just before residents were returning from work. Thai investigators have determined that the blast [...]
August 4, 2010
The impact of international development assistance depends, to a large extent, on the ability and willingness of development actors to factor the political landscape into aid programs. It is not uncommon to hear of carefully conceived development programs, meticulously and thoughtfully designed with ample funding, that have been undermined by powerful local actors with other [...]
April 21, 2010
There seems to be a growing consensus that aid to conflict-affected and fragile regions needs fixing. The worsening conditions in Afghanistan have had a sobering effect on the international community, particularly development donors and organizations. If we cannot prevent the slide back to conflict and continued poverty for Afghanistan’s war-weary population, despite our huge investments [...]
July 22, 2009
Recently, the Prime Minister of Thailand and more than 400 other people – including government officials, military personnel, representatives from foreign embassies and NGOs, academics, and a large contingent from the southern-most provinces of Thailand – assembled with great anticipation at the King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI) in Bangkok. The big draw was overwhelmingly the presentation [...]