Right to Information

A forest fire rips through Sumatra. Unfettered forest clearing and peatland draining to make way for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations are considered to be the main cause of Indonesia’s agricultural fires. Photo/Muhammadiyah 

Civil Society Takes on the Haze Crisis in Indonesia

April 20, 2016


The Indonesian province of Riau declared a state of emergency last month as haze from agricultural fires across Sumatra continued to envelope the region. The fires are the result of an early dry period, which comes all too quickly after last year’s extended dry season that saw agricultural fires burn over two million hectares of peatland mostly in… Read more


Can Technology Transform Governance in India?

March 30, 2016


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.


Four Lessons for Improving RTI in South Asia

March 30, 2016


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.


A Conversation with Writer and Activist Ma Thida on Post-Election Myanmar

March 23, 2016


The Asia Foundation recently hosted a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., focused on changes underway in post-election Myanmar, which included the Foundation’s country representative in Myanmar, Kim Ninh, along with Ma Thida, noted human rights activist, surgeon, and writer.


Strengthening Right to Information in South Asia

December 3, 2014


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…


Desecuritizing Transboundary Water in South Asia

September 17, 2014


Severe floods in the Kashmir region of Northern India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have taken 450 lives so far, and uprooted thousands of residents on both sides of the highly politicized border. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Chenab and Jhelum rivers (tributaries of the Indus River system) to overflow their banks…


Corruption in India and the Rise of the Aam Aadmi Party

January 22, 2014


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…