Accountability

AmCham 

Tech for Good: Civic Tech and Indonesian Development

April 6, 2016

Blog

Indonesia’s digital era is well underway. Many start-ups have been established and achieved notable success, the number of technopreneurs is growing, and the government has now decided to open the economy to more investment in e-commerce. Add a new idea into the mix. Where some IT initiatives tend to focus on business and the economy, The Asia Foun… Read more

IndiaMobilePhone 

Can Technology Transform Governance in India?

March 30, 2016

Blog

A group of engineering students trudge up the stairs of an engineering college in the heart of Bangalore’s swanky Electronics City. Flip-flops beat against tiled floors, fingers run through bed-head hair. These bright minds are partly behind India’s unprecedented growth over the last two decades: the young tech-elite who power Indian technology’s heavy hitters like Infosys (whose sprawling campus is across the street), and run global giants like Google and Microsoft. As they fire up their laptops and plug in their headphones, these 50-odd data scientists, software engineers, and computer scientists are turning their attention toward something normally considered beyond their realm.

RTIlawsinNepal 

Four Lessons for Improving RTI in South Asia

March 30, 2016

Blog

Globally, 100 countries have enacted right to information (RTI) legislation guaranteeing citizens the right to access information and records held by their governments. Over the last decade, South Asian countries have made significant progress toward recognizing this right.

ThailandConflict 

Responding to Conflict in Asia: Why Good Data is Needed

December 16, 2015

Blog

The new set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals includes for the first time a target that specifically sets out to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, marking an increase in awareness that peace and security is critical for sustainable development.

DeforestationIndonesia 

Indonesia’s Forests Disappearing at Record Rates

February 25, 2015

Blog

In early November, less than one month after Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s inauguration, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, the newly installed Environment and Forestry minister, announced that the government would extend an existing moratorium on the issuance of new permits for logging in primary forests in an effort to halt deforestation. While environmentalists and concerned citizens alike certainly welcomed this news, the road ahead to improving forest and land governance in Indonesia is steep.

PakistanCRG 

Locally Led and Politically Smart Routes to Accountable Governance in Pakistan

January 14, 2015

Blog

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…

2014BESTOF 

Editor’s Picks: 2014 Must Reads

December 23, 2014

Blog

Season’s Greetings! On behalf of In Asia’s editorial board and bloggers, we thank you for your engagement and continued readership throughout the year. We’ll be taking a short break, but will return on January 7. In the meantime, catch up on our must-read pieces and highlights on the most pressing events and issues in Asia throughout 2014.

DelhiTaxi 

Uber Rape Case Reignites Debate over Women’s Security in India

December 17, 2014

Blog

On Friday evening, December 5, a young woman, just finishing work in Gurgaon, India (a satellite city which is part of the larger National Capital Region), goes to meet her friends at a pub in South Delhi, and decides to call an Uber home. This chain of events is typical of what many young professionals…

SriLankaStreetScene 

Using Evidence to Improve Development Assistance

December 10, 2014

Blog

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…

 

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

December 10, 2014

Blog

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…

 

Strengthening Right to Information in South Asia

December 3, 2014

Blog

All eyes were on Kathmandu last week as Nepal hosted the 18th annual SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit from Nov. 22-27, 2014. The annual meeting, convening the heads of state of the eight member nations…

AfghanMarket 

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

November 19, 2014

Blog

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…

JakartaJokowi 

Jokowi Backs Business Licensing Reform

November 5, 2014

Blog

Indonesia’s new President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo sent a clear message last week that he intends to create a business-friendly bureaucracy by eliminating costly red tape for entrepreneurs and investors.He announced his intention during a surprise inspection of the One-Stop Shop Investment Service (PTSP) of the Investment Coordinating Board…

The Asia Foundation, Cambodia, August 2010 

Poll Shows Fighting Corruption Drives Support for Education Reform in Cambodia

October 15, 2014

Blog

Earlier this week, Cambodia’s Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) held a second high school exam to provide a second chance for the over 70 percent of 93,000 high school students who failed to pass the first annual national high school exam, held in early August. The passing rate in the first exam…

Marawicity 

Polling Shows Encouraging Climate of Opinion for Mindanao Peace Negotiations

October 8, 2014

Blog

On September 10, Philippine President Benigno Aquino personally turned over the draft Basic Law based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to Congress after months of revisions and refinement. The move continues the roadmap set forth in negotiations…

MongoliaMayorSigning 

Mongolia’s Capital Leads Charge to Improve Transparency and Fight Corruption

October 8, 2014

Blog

Ahead of a major forum on transparency and corruption in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar this week, Capital City Governor and Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene set the tone for the discussions: “In Mongolia, corruption is so common that it has become a kind of social norm.” …

KhmerRougeTrial 

Khmer Rouge Sentence a Milestone, but Cambodia’s Justice System Remains Fragile

September 3, 2014

Blog

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia last month sentenced two former senior Khmer Rouge leaders to life in prison for crimes against humanity. The Khmer Rouge’s 88-year-old chief ideologist and No. 2 leader, Nuon Chea, and its 83-year-old former head-of-state, Kheiu Samphan…

IndianStudent 

Betting on Women in the Fight Against Poverty

June 18, 2014

Blog

Today about six out of 10 of the world’s poorest people are women. That means, of the estimated 1.5 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, 60-70 percent are girls and women. However, if girls and women account for a large percentage of the poor…

ThailandForensics 

Access to Justice Constraints Fuel Conflict in Southern Thailand

April 23, 2014

Blog

Access to justice, security, and human rights protection rank among the core issues that fuel the protracted subnational conflict in southern Thailand and are central to the prospect of its future resolution. For the last decade, the southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani have faced a resurgence of an indigenous…

Asia-Foundation-60th-anniversary-series 

A Conversation with Mongolian NGO Leader Badruun Gardi

April 23, 2014

Blog

Just back from an intensive, nine-day leadership training workshop in Singapore and the Philippines, which kicked off The Asia Foundation’s Development Fellows program, In Asia editor Alma Freeman interviewed one of the 10 inaugural Fellows from Mongolia, Badruun Gardi…

MongoliaGerareas 

New Website Brings Public Services Closer to Mongolia’s Ger Residents

January 29, 2014

Blog

On Jan. 22, 2014, the City Municipality of Ulaanbaatar and The Asia Foundation launched the first-ever interactive website where Mongolian citizens and city officials can find up-to-date information on availability of public services in their neighborhoods.

A construction site in Kathmandu. Nepal's capital has  experienc 

The Critical Issues Affecting Asia

January 22, 2014

Blog

More than half of the planet lives in Asia. Six of the 10 largest nations in the world are in the Asia Pacific, and the region is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, international security, and the world’s collective efforts to advance human development. The dynamism of Asian economies contributed greatly to the global economic recovery, simultaneously lifting more than half a billion people out of poverty. Glittering cities and bustling ports bear testament to the so-called “Asian miracle” that has become the dominant narrative in economic and political analysis of recent years.

IndiaCorruptionProtest 

Corruption in India and the Rise of the Aam Aadmi Party

January 22, 2014

Blog

Delhi’s new chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has publicly declared a war against corruption in India’s government. Within weeks of assuming office, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or the Common Man’s Party, set up an anti-corruption helpline…

Asia-Foundation-60th-anniversary-series 

Indonesia’s Election Activists Fight to End Money Politics

January 22, 2014

Blog

By the end of President Yudhoyono’s term, for the first time, Indonesians will have witnessed their first 10-year stretch of both democracy and stability. While there is no shortage of criticism of what democracy has yet to achieve, the last 10 years have proven a commitment to what the overwhelming majority of citizens…

Nepal3 

Civic Complacency in Political Accountability Holds Nepal Back

January 22, 2014

Blog

The November 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in Nepal revealed very strong anti-incumbency sentiments among the voting public. So too did the 2008 CA elections, when Nepali voters turned to the newly above-ground Maoists (CPN-M), rejecting the more “seasoned” parties…

Asia-Foundation-60th-anniversary-series 

Corruption in the Philippines: Survey of Business Execs Reveals ‘Mixed’ Findings

January 22, 2014

Blog

On January 15, the results of the latest “SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption” were released during an afternoon session of the Good Governance Summit 2014. The previous survey in 2012 showed an impressive record low of 43 percent of business executives who considered corruption to be widespread.

Pakistan1 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue -Transparency & Accountability

January 22, 2014

Blog

Corruption is deeply entrenched in many Asian countries and continues to erode public trust in democratic processes and in public institutions. Accountable governance institutions are essential to sustainable growth in Asia…