Lessons from India’s Pop-Up Megacity: The Kumbh Mela

On February 10, 36 people were killed in a stampede at the Allahabad railway station. Allahabad, located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is the second-oldest city in India and plays a central role in the Hindu scriptures. Most of those caught in the stampede were devotees traveling to attend the sacred Maha Kumbh Mela, a massive Hindu religious festival held every 12th year in Allahabad. While planning to travel to the festival ourselves, news of the stampede was concerning. Taking in the reports from our offices in Delhi, we became increasingly skeptical that the authorities could pull off an event of the Kumbh’s magnitude. We were surprised by what we found.

Global Trends in Social Media: An Interview with Blogger Beth Kanter

In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently caught up with author and social media expert Beth Kanter after a talk held at The Asia Foundation’s headquarters, organized by the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company

The Most Dangerous Job in Afghanistan?

When the Afghan government quietly appointed Shah Bibi Saeedi to what may be the most dangerous job in Afghanistan, it was an easy decision: she was the only person who had dared to apply. On Saturday, the 44-year-old doctor became the new director of women’s affairs for the eastern province of Laghman.

Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Mechanic’s Institute, 4th Floor 57 Post Street San Francisco, CA Please join us in welcoming to San Francisco the great travel writer, historian, and journalist William Dalrymple, who will speak on his newest book Return of a King: The...

Asian Perspectives: Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation

9:00 am to noon Registration 8:30 am Remarks 9:00 am Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Horizon Room 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20004 RSVPs are required as seating is extremely limited. Please RSVP here by Friday, April 19th, 2013. For...

Building a Technology Future in Burma/Myanmar

Driving from the airport down the gridlocked streets of Yangon – with people of all ages going about their business in patterned longyis – it’s hard not to notice the dozens of billboards jutting out at eye level advertising web services and brand name mobile devices. Though mobile and internet penetration rates are still very low (no higher than four and two percent, respectively, of Burma’s 50 million people), senior leadership in the government, NGOs, and the private sector is increasingly focused on improving the country’s existing technology infrastructure. These collective efforts to loosen censorship laws, extend telecommunications licenses to foreign operators, and develop new legal frameworks for eGovernment and information and communications technology (ICT) are likely to not only ramp up mobile penetration rates, but also bring greater access to information for Burma’s citizens.