Notes from the Field

Notes from the Field

Interfaith Efforts Build Back a Better Zamboanga: Rehabilitating Christ the King Chapel

December 4, 2013

On Sept. 9, 2013, Zamboanga City was Sstruck by an armed group of Muslim separatists, leading to weeks of urban warfare and more than 100,000 displaced persons. The city is majority Christian, so the invasion naturally led to considerable tension…

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Notes from the Field

In Pictures: Surveying Afghanistan

November 20, 2013

In July 2013, expert survey teams were deployed across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan to gather the opinions of more than 9,000 Afghans, face to face, regarding the most critical issues facing their country.

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Notes from the Field

Community-Driven Development: A New Deal for Communities in the Asia-Pacific

November 13, 2013

The Asia Foundation, in partnership with Australian Aid, World Bank, and SMERU, a leading Indonesian research institute, recently hosted a four-day regional conference…

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Notes from the Field

What Does Community-Driven Development Deliver? Lessons from a Balinese Village

November 13, 2013

Early this month, I boarded a bus to visit the Balinese village of Sobangan to see in action the impact from a decade of Community-Driven Development (CDD), an approach that delivers public funds directly to the village level and allows citizens to determine priorities for social services and economic development.

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Notes from the Field

In Thailand and Cambodia, a Culture of Impunity Still Holds

November 13, 2013

In November 1979, I attended a benefit concert in Bangkok given by Joan Baez to help raise funds for the humanitarian relief of Cambodian refugees who fled to the Thai border to escape the heinous rule of the Khmer Rouge. An estimated two million people were murdered by Pol Pot and his henchmen.

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Notes from the Field

Barangay Elections in the Philippines Test Security

November 6, 2013

Five months after the May mid-term national and local elections in the Philippines, nearly 54 million citizens across 42,000 barangays (villages) headed to the polls on October 28 to elect their new barangay chairpersons and councilors.

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Notes from the Field

Breaking Pattern of Silence over Domestic Violence in China

October 30, 2013

Traditionally in China, domestic violence has been considered a private issue that should be kept within the household, with any outside interventions left at the doorstep. Despite efforts by the authorities and women’s rights groups to raise public awareness of the issue, domestic violence has long been absent from public or media discourse, and most victims of domestic violence remain silent. However, recent events and advocacy efforts are starting to shake this pattern of silence. In late 2011, Kim Lee, an American woman, publicized her divorce from her celebrity Chinese husband and spoke out against the domestic violence epidemic in China, bringing it to the center of media and public attention.

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Notes from the Field

New Texts Boost Timor-Leste’s Legal Capacity

October 30, 2013

Justin Bieber may not have visited Asia’s newest state, Timor-Leste, yet, but as six Stanford law students found out earlier this year, his popularity has preceded him at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL). The Stanford students were visiting UNTL with the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP), a partnership among The Asia Foundation…

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Notes from the Field

Civil Society Leaders Gather in Seoul for Inaugural Asia Democracy Network Assembly

October 30, 2013

As civil society in Asia has made significant progress over the past several decades, the need for a forum that brings together the major players to focus on key challenges to inclusive and participatory democracy has become increasingly important.

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Notes from the Field

Mapping Ulaanbaatar’s Ger Districts

October 23, 2013

Mongolia is now one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and nowhere is this growth more evident than the bustling and energetic capital, Ulaanbaatar. Expensive high rises, luxury stores, and modern apartment buildings are common in this city of 1.5 million; tower cranes dot the rising skyline, harbingers of even more cutting-edge development projects to come. But in the shadows of the cranes and high rises, are the city’s ger districts, where more than half of the capital’s residents live without access to basic public services like water, sewage systems, and central heating.

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