Related Posts: Conflict and Fragile Conditions

In The News

Survey Reveals What Myanmar’s Citizens Think about Government, Reforms, and 2015 Elections

December 17, 2014

Myanmar’s recent transition to a quasi-civilian government in 2011 under President Thein Sein has brought about many social, economic, and political reforms, but 2014 has also seen rising concern both inside and outside of the country that the reform process has stalled, or worse, is backsliding. On the eve of the upcoming general elections in 2015, one in which all political parties will be able to participate fully for the first time, what do the people of Myanmar actually know about their government structure and institutions? What do they see as the most important issues affecting the country and where they live? And what do they expect from the 2015 elections?

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In The News, Uncategorized

Modern Conflict is Not What You Think

December 10, 2014

Research has transformed medicine, agriculture, and sanitation, and has helped lift many millions out of poverty. Most of the extremely poor people in the world now live in states suffering from conflict. Scholars have studied wars for millennia, but are usually concentrated on how to win them.

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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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In The News

Survey Reveals 2014 Election Major Driver of Optimism in Afghanistan

November 19, 2014

On September 21, Ashraf Ghani sent his first tweet as Afghanistan’s new president: “Thank you, all! Our work for a better & prosperous Afghanistan starts today. I request everyone to join us in this vital national task.” Despite what seems like a daily news ticker of doom – “insurgent violence on the rise in Kabul,” “opium cultivation at an all time high…

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In The News

Does the Ghani Administration Mean a Greater Role for Women in the Afghan Economy?

November 19, 2014

At his inauguration on September 29, President Ashraf Ghani thanked his wife, Rula, for her support during the campaign, and to the surprise of many in Afghanistan, promised Afghans that she would continue her work advocating on behalf of the nation’s 750,000 internally displaced people. Having previously served as the country’s finance minister in 2002-2004…

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In The News

The Need for Evidence-Based Narratives Around Afghanistan’s Youth

November 19, 2014

Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress reduced its development assistance to Afghanistan by half. This still leaves over a billion U.S. dollars. Indeed, since 2001, the country’s economy has relied heavily on foreign aid, including its nascent institutions which now face a number of challenges: to do more with less money, battle the resilient insurgency, and create employment opportunities…

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In The News

Q&A: Najla Ayubi Discusses Afghanistan’s New Leadership & Afghan Survey Findings

November 19, 2014

In Asia editor Alma Freeman spoke with Judge Najla Ayubi, The Asia Foundation’s deputy country representative in Afghanistan, for her reaction to the just-launched 2014 Survey of the Afghan People.

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In The News

Afghans Aren’t Giving Up

November 19, 2014

Afghanistan’s newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, appears to be off to a good start with the Afghan people. He has announced a series of new initiatives and adopted a hands-on style of governing, including surprise visits to military posts…

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In The News

Afghanistan is Not Iraq … Just Ask the Afghan People

November 19, 2014

The recently manifested massive failure of America’s intervention in Iraq has led outside observers to speculate that the ongoing rapid drawdown of international military forces in Afghanistan will lead to similar chaos in that country. Ahmed Rashid, a respected commentator on Afghanistan security issues and author of the superb book Taliban, wrote…

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