Notes from the Field

Notes from the Field

In Indonesia, Database Tracking Violence Provides Insights on Preventing Conflict

January 14, 2015

From 1999 to 2008, subnational conflicts (SNCs) killed at least 100,000 people in Asia with half of the countries in South and Southeast Asia affected. Asian SNCs last on average twice as long as the global average and typically reignite after periods of calm.

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Notes from the Field

How Practitioner-Academic Research Collaborations Can Improve Development Outcomes

January 14, 2015

“Theories of Change,” as Craig Valters argued recently on In Asia, offer development practitioners a potential way to grapple with the complexity of social change. But understanding how to get the most out of the tool is still a work in progress.

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Notes from the Field

Locally Led and Politically Smart Routes to Accountable Governance in Pakistan

January 14, 2015

Commentators on citizen-led accountability programs in persistently underdeveloped and conflict-prone states frequently advocate approaches that “work with the grain” of local social norms and institutions. At the same time, it is argued that local ownership…

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Notes from the Field

Building A More Solid Evidence Base for Peace and Development in Mindanao

January 14, 2015

Conflict-affected areas of Mindanao in the southern Philippines form a complex, unpredictable, and highly dynamic environment that makes development programming very challenging against a backdrop of general urgency. Over the last 15 years, The Asia Foundation has been engaged in Mindanao…

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Notes from the Field

A Conversation with Taiwan Women’s Movement Leader Yenlin Ku

December 17, 2014

The Asia Foundation’s director of Regional Cooperation Programs, John J. Brandon, and Chen-Dong Tso, the Foundation’s senior advisor in Taiwan, recently spoke with former Asia Foundation grantee, Professor Yenlin Ku, a leading feminist in Taiwan who established Taiwan’s first women’s studies center.

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Notes from the Field

Mapping Mongolia’s Urban Ger Areas in Ulaanbaatar

December 17, 2014

Infrastructure in Mongolia’s sprawling capital Ulaanbaatar has not kept up with the rapid growth of unplanned ger areas within the city, leading to harsh conditions for newcomers. 1.5 million people now live in Ulaanbaatar, more than twice as many as the city was built to sustain. Since July 2012, The Asia Foundation has been implementing an urban services project…

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Notes from the Field

Using Evidence to Improve Development Assistance

December 10, 2014

Development assistance is founded on countless theories about how foreign taxpayers’ money can be harnessed to instigate and catalyze economic and social development and provide humanitarian benefits abroad. Basic arguments for how positive change can be achieved…

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Notes from the Field

Academics, Practitioners, and Donors: Whose Evidence Counts and For What?

December 10, 2014

There is a difficult tension in the evidence-seeking agenda: on the one hand, donors seek short-term, project-related outcomes to support claims about their impact on a grand scale in a society; on the other hand, society-level impact does not seem measurable…

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Notes from the Field

Can Theories of Change Help Us ‘Do Development Differently?’

December 10, 2014

Where next for debates and practice of Theories of Change? In my last blog on this topic, I argued that we need to be wary of Theories of Change simply becoming another corporate stick to beat people with: to prevent this, there is a considerable onus on likeminded donors…

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Notes from the Field

Leveling the Playing Field for China’s Migrant Women Entrepreneurs

December 3, 2014

On this year’s Singles’ Day Sale in China – one of the largest online shopping days in the world – the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba reported sales of more than $9 billion within 24 hours. Just weeks earlier, Alibaba had the largest IPO in U.S. history…

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