In The News

In The News

Quake That Shook the Earth Now Shaking Nepal’s Social Fabric

May 13, 2015

Another powerful earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, collapsing hillsides and already-damaged buildings and sending panicked citizens once again running into the streets. The 7.3 magnitude quake was followed by several aftershocks, including one of magnitude 5.6 and another of 6.3. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25 had already left much of Nepal completely devastated. On May 4, the government reported that 7,365 people had died and 14,355 people had been injured.

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In Nepal’s Far-Flung Villages, the Suffering Continues

May 6, 2015

In the remote village of Shyam Sathu in the hills of Sindhupalchok, I came upon a solitary young man in his mid-twenties – I’ll call him Arun – wrapped in a humble white garment, head shaven, and barefoot, staring into oblivion towards the high Himalayas. The village folk told me that his wife and two children had died in the earthquake. He was lost, alone, and devastated – overwhelmed by impermanence.

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Peace Council Endorses Bangsamoro Basic Law – with Some Tweaks

May 6, 2015

It’s crunch time again for peacemaking in Mindanao. Both houses of the Philippine Congress are now considering the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the implementing legislation for the hard-won peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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Booth Capture – Observing Municipal Elections in Bangladesh

May 6, 2015

On April 28, Bangladesh held municipal elections for mayors and ward councilors in Dhaka North, Dhaka South, and Chittagong. The city corporation elections, as they are called, were important for many reasons, and as The Asia Foundation’s director for elections, I had come to Chittagong to observe the process. They were the first municipal elections held in Dhaka City since 2002…

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In Quake’s Wake, the Price of Political Disarray

April 29, 2015

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday morning, April 25, and the 6.5 aftershock the following day, left frightened residents here in Kathmandu huddled in the rain in streets blocked with rubble and shaken by powerful tremors that made those structures still standing too dangerous to enter. Deaths are now estimated at over 5,500, a number that will continue to climb as emergency workers dig through collapsed buildings and push into the most affected districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchok.

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A Conversation with Dr. Rajiv Shah

April 29, 2015

Recently retired after five years at the helm of USAID, Rajiv Shah brought new energy and improved morale, and earned bipartisan Congressional support as director of the United States’ premier development agency. Shah emphasized measurement, transparency, and outcomes in development spending, and he championed the idea that development dollars should build local institutions within developing countries.

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Groundbreaking Observer Group Certifies Fiji Elections

April 22, 2015

On April 12, the Multinational Observer Group released its final report on last September’s national elections in Fiji, the first since a military coup there in 2006. Confirming its preliminary findings released shortly after the vote…

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Bangladesh: Billion Dollar Leather Sector Poised for Growth after Environmental Reform

April 15, 2015

Bangladesh’s highly productive leather sector, under growing international scrutiny for destructive environmental practices, now seems poised for new growth as a major environmental upgrade nears completion. For decades, pollution from Dhaka’s tanneries has poured into the…

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A New Way for Waste in Phnom Penh?

April 15, 2015

This February, the Cambodian Council of Ministers announced that they would review and possibly revoke the capital city’s contract with solid waste collector CINTRI. CINTRI has held the 49-year monopoly contract since 2003. Like growing cities throughout the developing world, Phnom Penh has struggled for years with dismally inadequate garbage collection.

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The Road Ahead for Afghanistan

April 8, 2015

On the eve of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s March 22–25 visit to the United States, the Stanford University Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule Law, the United States Institute for Peace, and Chatham House convened a two-day conference in Washington on lessons learned for strengthening the state in Afghanistan. The conference brought together some fifty U.S., Afghan, and other international policy experts with extensive experience in state-building efforts in Afghanistan since 2002. The Asia Foundation’s Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, who commanded the NATO coalition forces there, and Erik Jensen, director of Stanford’s Rule of Law Program, helped organize…

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