In The News

In The News

In Indonesia, Decentralization and Direct Elections Two Sides of the Same Coin

October 1, 2014

Last week, Indonesians woke up to the news that in the dead of night the parliament voted for a bill that would end direct elections for over 500 local-level political offices (mayors, district and sub-district governors), and replace them with an indirect selection process in regional parliaments. Since then, the country has been engaged by the decision, and civil society groups have readied themselves…

> More

In The News

Bill Puts Brakes on Emergence of Indonesia’s New Local Leaders: A View from Surabaya

October 1, 2014

On September 26, the House of Representatives passed a bill that took away Indonesians’ right to vote for governors, mayors, and district heads, and gave it to the corresponding regional legislative bodies. Since then, Indonesians have expressed concern that the decision is likely to put the brakes on the emergence…

> More

In The News

Proposed Bill to Eliminate Indonesia’s Direct Elections Puts Price on Democracy

September 24, 2014

In what is yet another significant twist in this fascinating election year in Indonesia, the country’s national legislature (DPR) will vote today on a hastily cobbled bill that aims to eliminate over 500 direct local elections. Following heralded national elections in April and July and a decade of direct local elections, this bill has surfaced like a sudden malady afflicting Indonesia’s electoral democracy. Here is a brief diagnosis of this disorder as well as a prognosis for recovery.

> More

In The News

Modi’s U.S. Visit Highlights Need to Energize Indo-U.S. Relations to Tackle Big Issues

September 24, 2014

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin his highly anticipated U.S. visit later this week. While the first-half of the visit revolves around UN events, it is the second-half that involves meetings with President Obama, the India Caucus in U.S. Congress, and a select group of celebrity CEOs…

> More

In The News

Desecuritizing Transboundary Water in South Asia

September 17, 2014

Severe floods in the Kashmir region of Northern India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have taken 450 lives so far, and uprooted thousands of residents on both sides of the highly politicized border. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Chenab and Jhelum rivers (tributaries of the Indus River system) to overflow their banks…

> More

In The News

Financing the Costs of Climate Change in Disaster-Prone Asian Nations

September 17, 2014

Disaster insurance has quickly risen up the global policy agenda in the last few years, where phrases like “loss and damage mechanisms” and “micro-insurance schemes” are catching fire in climate change discussions about how to finance the costs…

> More

In The News

A Conversation with Chinese Fellow, Environmental NGO Leader Lican Liu

September 17, 2014

In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently interviewed co-founder and Director of Programs and Communications at the Greenovation Hub, a grassroots NGO that focuses on environmental protection and innovation in China.

> More

In The News

One Year After Siege, Zamboanga Critical to Success of Any Peace Agreement

September 10, 2014

On Sept. 9, 2013, Zamboanga City woke to an unfolding nightmare. Some 200 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters under the charismatic commander Ustadz Habier Malik had landed. They professed, despite the fact that they were fully armed, an intention merely to have a peaceful march in support of independence for Muslim-dominated areas in the southern Philippines. When government security forces halted their march, MNLF forces took hostages as a string of human shields, tying them together with rope. As a nightmare, this was a recurrence…

> More

In The News

WEF Declares Philippines Most Improved Country in Global Competitiveness

September 10, 2014

The Filipino workforce has long been considered to be internationally competitive, exemplified in its impressive performance in the business process outsourcing and overseas labor markets. However, it is only recently that Philippine competitiveness has been recognized on a global scale.

> More

In The News

A Conversation with World Learning CEO, Development Expert, & Trustee Donald Steinberg

September 10, 2014

In Asia editor Alma Freeman sat down last month with The Asia Foundation’s new trustee, Donald Steinberg, president and CEO of World Learning, and former deputy administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, White House Deputy Press Secretary, and U.S. ambassador to Angola.

> More