The Asia Foundation Remembers Trustee Emeritus Thomas Foley

October 23, 2013 — Long-time supporter and Trustee Emeritus of The Asia Foundation Thomas Foley passed away on Friday, October 18 at the age of 84. Ambassador Foley served with distinction on The Asia Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2001-2009 until he became a Trustee Emeritus in 2009.

“We are saddened by the loss of our Asia Foundation family member,” said Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold. “We recognize with gratitude Mr. Foley’s important role in strengthening U.S. relations with Japan, and his commitment to public service. We were deeply honored to have him on The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees for nearly a decade.”

Ambassador Foley was the 25th U.S. ambassador to Japan. Before taking up his diplomatic post in November 1997, he served as the 49th Speaker of the House of Representatives. Ambassador Foley was elected to represent the state of Washington’s Fifth Congressional District 15 times, serving his constituents for 30 years from January 1965 to December 1994.

Ambassador Foley held the position of majority leader from 1987 until his election as speaker on June 6, 1989. He also was a chairman of both the House Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Study Group. During his years in Congress, Ambassador Foley was a member of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. He served as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. As majority leader, Ambassador Foley served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Budget, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. He was chairman of the House Geneva Arms Talks Observer Team.

Memorial services will be held in Washington, D.C. and in Spokane, Washington.

Asia Foundation Launches Asia Development Fellows: Call for Applications

San Francisco, California, October 21, 2013 — The Asia Foundation, the premier international development nonprofit in Asia, today launched a call for applicants to its Asia Development Fellows: Emerging Leadership for Asia’s Future program, a prestigious new initiative designed to bring together next-generation Asian leaders interested in the region’s social and economic development challenges.

The year-long career advancement program will leverage The Asia Foundation’s rich 60-year history, extensive 18-country network, and deep commitment to innovative leaders and communities across the region. Since 1954, the Foundation’s support of emerging leadership in Asia has yielded an extraordinary list of talented and distinguished Asians – representing a cross-section of leadership in public office, academia, the private sector, and civil society – who have influenced the course of national development in their countries.

The program will provide highly qualified, young Asian professionals (under 40 years of age) with an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills and gain in-depth knowledge of Asia’s critical development challenges. Fellows will engage in intensive learning modules and leadership development–including short courses, conferences and study tours–while maintaining flexibility to stay in their current occupations. The 2014 program will be conducted in Singapore, Philippines, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. with a small grant award of US $5,000 provided.

In an increasingly complex and changing region, The Asia Foundation continues to respond to critical issues impacting Asia in fundamental ways. Highlighting the catalytic role that individuals and local communities play in the development of their societies, Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold remarked: “We have been investing in innovative and entrepreneurial leaders for more than 60 years. The Asia Development Fellows program continues this tradition by helping to identify, nurture, and support the next generation of leaders for this dynamic and developing region.”

Applications will be accepted November 1 through December 15, 2013. Please apply here.

Read more about The Asia Foundation and its Asia Development Fellows Program. For media inquiries, please visit the Press Room.

The Asia Foundation and the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality Present Results of Joint Community Mapping Initative In Ger Areas

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 18, 2013 — On October 18 at Khangarid Palace, the Mayor’s Office and The Asia Foundation presented the results and analysis of their joint community mapping initiative in the ger areas to various officials from the City Municipality.

In May 2012, the Foundation started implementation of the Urban Services Project (USP) funded through its Strategic Partnership with Australian Aid. Launched as a pilot project in 11 khoroos of UB ger districts, the Foundation and the City Municipality initiated community mapping in ger areas as part of an effort to introduce an inclusive approach to urban governance and improve urban services available to residents. The results provided local residents, khoroo, district, and city officials with a clear understanding on the process, application, and importance of community mapping.

Recognizing the potential of community mapping, Capital City Governor and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city, Mr. E. Bat-Uul, requested that the Mayor’s Office, with the support of the Foundation, scale up community mapping to all 87 khoroos in the ger districts. In accordance with the Mayor’s Resolution and through a joint effort by the Mayor’s Office, the City Investment Agency, and the Foundation, the process of community mapping of 87 khoroos has been completed.

Community mapping has important implications for identifying the accessibility and coverage of public services in ger areas. This spatial analysis accurately maps the availability and accessibility (based on population size) of indicators such as water kiosks, kindergartens, schools, and health centers at khoroo and district level. It serves as an important tool to facilitate community discussion on improving ger area services and increase participation of local residents and community leaders in the decision-making process. Community mapping also serves as a mechanism for creating evidence-based investment decisions by prioritizing needs in terms of service delivery to the ger area residents.

The results and analysis of the ger area community mapping will be employed as a decision-making tool in the discussions on the Ulaanbaatar city 5-year investment plan and the 2014 budget deliberation. The Foundation will support the city in making community mapping a sustainable tool, including through the development of a website. This online resource will be designed with the goal of making community maps available for local and regional city municipality offices, and enable UB citizens to print and comment on maps. The Foundation will continue its support to the city management to use the maps as a means to improve strategic planning and policy making to foster inclusive urban governance.

Read more about The Asia Foundation and its work in Mongolia.

Asia Foundation Trustee Melanne Verveer Writes on Afghan Women for Politico’s Women Rule

October 16, 2013 — Asia Foundation Trustee and former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer writes on Afghan women for Politico’s “Women Rule,” a special project by Politico, Google and the Tory Burch Foundation that explores how women are leading change in politics, policy and their communities. Highlighting the contributions of Afghanistan’s most inspiring and promising women leaders like Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, Naheed Farid, Azra Jafari, Anita Haidary, and Palwasha Wajid, Ambassador Verveer writes: “The capacity and contributions of Afghan women are indispensable if Afghanistan is to realize peace, stability and economic opportunity. Afghanistan will not advance if the women, who comprise more than half the population, are shortchanged and their talents, energy and experiences are untapped. The efforts of those like Sakena, Sadiqa, Naheed, Azra, Anita and Palwasha are a testament to their perseverance and competence.”

Ambassador Verveer was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues. She is currently the Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and a Trustee of The Asia Foundation. Read the full article: “Afghan women on the front line.”

Fully Abled Nation Holds Post 2013 Midterm Elections Summit

Manila, Philippines, October 16, 2013 — Fully Abled Nation (FAN), a program aimed to increase the participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the 2013 Philippine Midterm Elections, held its Post-Election Summit on October 14 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati.

Mr. Layton Pike, Minister Counsellor of the Australian Government’s aid program in the Philippines, opened the event.

“The Australian Government aid program is helping to address the needs of people with disabilities and improve their lives through our partnerships with a number of organizations in the Philippines. Through our support to FAN, we recognize the efforts of the different organizations working on disability-inclusive projects and activities, particularly in supporting PWDs’ right to participate in the electoral process,” Mr. Pike said.

Case studies on the voting experience of PWDs were presented by representatives from partner organizations Cerebral Palsied Association of the Philippines (CPAP), VSO Bahagingan and ULAN. Challenges to accessibility, the voting experience and volunteer efforts were discussed.

A Survey on the 2013 Election Experience of PWDs, presented by Dr. Mahar Mangahas of SWS, demonstrated a considerable increase in PWD participation with concurrent experience of support from major election players like COMELEC and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Disability advocate Ronnel del Rio stressed that there is still a lot to be done and hopes that the momentum gained will be sustained. This includes the establishment of the PDAO and full implementation of relevant laws and policies for PWDs. COMELEC Commissioner Grace Padaca lauds FAN efforts and recognizes FAN’s role in the passing of R.A. 10366. She responded with a commitment that the Commission shall work at realizing the establishment of accessible polling places for the PWDs and other marginalized sectors.

FAN is part of the disability inclusive development program of the Australian Government implemented by The Asia Foundation. The FAN campaign employed an extensive multi-stakeholder engagement involving sectors of society like non-government organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), Disability Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs), PWD federations, government, media, and other election-focused groups. It built on the partnerships and collaborations among these groups to increase public awareness of the importance of PWDs’ right to suffrage and right to participate in democratic processes.

Dr. Steven Rood, Philippine Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, in his closing remarks lauded the many partners who made the program such a success. “It was thrilling to see how much this goal sparked the interest of such a wide variety of organizations. This is an encouraging sign of how much progress we can make to a Fully Abled Nation.”

Read more about The Asia Foundation and its work in the Philippines.

Will Indonesia’s Online Youth Shape 2014 Elections?

Election season is underway in Indonesia with parliamentary elections scheduled for April, followed by the presidential election in July. While many are concerned that ongoing corruption could mar election outcomes, Indonesians continue to demand accountability and transparency from their elected officials, as recently demonstrated by online outrage expressed about the scandal surrounding the chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Akil Mochtar, who was arrested for graft. In fact, Indonesia’s rapid democratic transition is as much a story about improved governance and economic growth as it is about technology and changing demographics.

elections in Indonesia

Of the projected 187 million eligible voters in Indonesia’s 2014 elections, over one-third will be first-time voters between the ages of 16 and 20. Photo/Natalia Warat

First-time voters and social media’s phenomenon

Of the projected 187 million eligible voters in 2014 elections, over one-third will be first-time voters between the ages of 16 and 20 (in Indonesia, married citizens under the 17-year-old voting age can register to vote). This youth population is increasingly online and connected via mobile devices and the web, and they may very well help shape the political landscape in the years to come.

While broadband internet penetration in Indonesia hovers at just 24 percent, an estimated 84 percent of Indonesians own at least one mobile phone. Though smartphone ownership has reached 24 percent of mobile phone users, the majority of Indonesians are still communicating through low-end feature phones.

Nine out of 10 online users in Indonesia are active on social media (compared to for example, the U.S. where it’s seven out of 10). According to Facebook, there are 64 million users in Indonesia, 56 percent of whom are 16 to 24 years old. Jakarta has recently been called the world’s number one Twitter city for number of tweets sent. Mobile access to social media is dominant; approximately 87 percent of tweets are sent over mobile phones.

social media fest

A discussion at a recent social media fest in Jakarta. Nine out of 10 online users in Indonesia are active on social media, with 64 million Facebook users. Photo/John Karr

Past elections and issues for 2014

These astounding statistics did not exist five years ago during Indonesia’s last presidential elections in 2009. The landscape for accessing information has changed, and technology’s power to have impact on a number of issues across cultural, economic, and political bounds has increased. For example, social media’s momentous sway in elections was front and center during Joko Widodo’s (commonly known as Jokowi) run in the 2012 Jakarta regional election. Leading up to the elections, Jokowi had built up his social media presence through YouTube videos and dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts, and enabled him to reach millions of mobile and social media-savvy voters – especially youth.

But, election procedures haven’t always been smooth in years past, and new technology alone will of course not solve all of these problems. In the country’s second national elections in 2009, inaccurate voter lists affected up to 20 percent of registered voters, and left many others without a voice on election day. A high rate of invalid ballots and fraud in reporting of results further weakened the electoral process that year.

To help avoid these flaws in the 2014 elections, large-scale promotion of civic education is imperative to engage more voters and enable them to make more informed decisions come election day and beyond. According to Indonesia’s home minister, Gamawan Fauzi, there has been an average of 10 percent decline in civic participation in every national election. Improved civic education is one approach to restoring trust and enthusiasm for the electoral process. A recent GroupW survey found that only 47 percent of potential Jakartan voters said they will definitely vote, 40 percent said they will perhaps vote, and 13 percent said they will definitely not vote. Studies have found that first-time voters need to be better informed on the mechanics of voting, such as registering for a voter ID and filling out a ballot.

Technology and social media have a critical role to play in Indonesia’s political climate to help promote civic education and engagement. And it’s a two-way street; politicians can expand their platforms and promote their campaigns online and citizens can educate themselves on elections and voice concerns and insights via tech-driven channels. Tech-enabled youth can express their political views more freely and be a part of the national discussion. As campaign season gets closer, Indonesians may find that their smart usage of social media and mobile technology will usher in political candidates who are mindful of a free and fair democratic process, both online and offline.

The Asia Foundation’s current work on civic education ahead of next year’s legislative and presidential elections will examine how to improve traditional ways of improving voter outreach, and will also focus on ways that technology can reach many of these young, first-time voters. We are now working with Indonesian software developer groups, civil society, academic circles, and media networks to build an open source movement to provide critical election data to voters via web and mobile phones. Simple, fast, clean, and reliable access to election information via mobile and web can help propel more informed voters – first-time and experienced – to not only vote come election day, but to also stay engaged in the debate around Indonesia’s most critical issues over the long-term.

Nicolas Picard is a junior associate and Michelle Chang is ICT manager, both for The Asia Foundations Digital Media and Technology Programs unit in San Francisco. They can be reached at npicard@asiafound.org and mchang@asiafound.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and not those of The Asia Foundation.

Back from APEC, Pres. David Arnold Discusses Private Sector & Sustainable Development

David Arnold Last week, Asia Foundation President David Arnold joined over 1,200 CEOs and 10 heads of member economies at the annual APEC CEO Summit in Indonesia to discuss inclusive and sustainable development, with a special focus on the importance of women in Asia’s growth trajectory. In Asia editor Alma Freeman sat down with President Arnold just back from Bali to get his thoughts on the mood from Nusa Dua, the private sector’s role in driving Asia’s economic growth, and a new Asian approach to corporate social responsibility.   

What were the biggest highlights and takeways from your meetings and conversations at the APEC CEO Summit?

It was my first opportunity to witness APEC in action. What was intriguing was the level of engagement and interaction between the political leaders and corporate and private sector leaders. The presentations that the various political leaders made were clearly reaching out to the private sector CEOs. This notion of seeing the private sector as partners in the region’s development is something that has come over time, particularly as Asian economies have become more open and connected, both with each other and the larger global economy.

Obviously there was a tremendous interest in a variety of new trade relations – the TPP was talked about frequently, but there was also interest in what can be done to further strengthen the existing connections through ASEAN and other channels to promote internal trade within and among countries.

There also seemed to be an urgency of trying to foster and promote inclusive growth, with increasing concern over widening income gaps and that the benefits of economic growth have not been spread as broadly as they should be. There are groups that are still marginalized, and are not part of the economic success story that is being written by the Asian economies.

The biggest takeway was probably that, while the U.S. is still a dominant player, both economically and strategically in the region, there was an increasing sense of the ability of Asian economies to chart their own course and a growing self-confidence and self-reliance on the part of these economies. While Asian growth rates are starting to slow, the fact is that the region has been pulling the global economy through a very difficult period of stagnation and recession; Asia has been the bright spot. That has led to a certain degree of confidence among the corporate executives and leaders in Asia in their ability to shape policies and pursue growth strategies that may be independent of Europe or the U.S. They want the U.S. at the table, but they aren’t going to sit back and wait for the U.S. to play a leadership role.

Taking a broad view of Asia’s uneven development, what do you see as the biggest challenges to Asia’s growth?

A critical piece of this equation is going to be about education. For the economies of the region to continue to grow at the high rates that the world and its people are hoping to see, there is going to have to be significant investment in human capital to sustain that growth.

Second, there seems to be clear recognition that the economic growth that many Asian nations have experienced has come at the expense of the environment, and there needs to be a greater understanding and enforcement of environmental standards and compliance. In many cases, there are laws in the books that protect the environment, but enforcement is low. Governments have a role to play in this, and there needs to be more effective environmental governance.

Unfortunately, governments and business leaders are not developing their green growth strategies to the extent that will be needed to deal with the magnitude of the problems that we are facing. Recent reports on environmental regulation and regional efforts in Southeast Asia don’t give a great sense of confidence that we’re getting to where we need to be. The continued reliance of India and China on coal as a major source of meeting future energy requirements is a cause for concern. Asia is going to be the hardest hit region by climate change, but is also the region that, in many ways, has the greatest potential to actually influence the trajectory of global climate change.

The third area that was highlighted at the Bali summit was on infrastructure and related issues of connectivity. The magnitude of infrastructure investment needed to sustain continued economic growth is staggering – some estimates are as high as $8 trillion – and there was considerable discussion of different services of financing, including public-private partnerships. China also used the occasion of the summit to announce the creation of a new Asian infrastructure investment bank, which would help finance needed infrastructure projects in developing Asian countries.

What role can the private sector play in tackling some of these issues?  

There is a growing recognition on all sides that creating employment opportunities for an expanding youth bulge in many Asian countries is a growing challenge. The private sector is the engine for job creation and economic growth – no one was talking about any massive public sector schemes to create jobs or address the income gap. But, better training and educational opportunities that enable people to move into private sector jobs are essential. This falls partly within public sector responsibility, but the private sector also has a role to play in ensuring that the changing job market demands in these countries and the skill set of the workforce match.

There are also significant private sector opportunities related to so-called “green growth” strategies in Asia. It’s easy to see environmental protection as a challenge, but it’s also possible to view sustainable development as an opportunity. Some new, cleaner technologies have tremendous upside economic growth capabilities.

As the foreign aid landscape shifts, what unique role can corporations and businesses play in furthering the goals of inclusive, sustainable development?

There is growing commitment for corporate social responsibility programs in virtually all of the countries in the region. In some countries like India you have mandates that require a certain percentage of corporate income to be devoted to social responsibility programs. But even where you don’t have specific requirements, corporate social responsibility is very much a part of the conversation and thinking of most enlightened corporate leaders within the region.

At the same time, we are seeing that Asian corporations are not necessarily going to follow the same path as U.S. and Western companies. In many instances, Asia’s CSR programs will look and feel different than from what their U.S. counterparts are doing. It’s also an exciting time with the emergence of new Asian philanthropy in places like China and India, where you have industrial families and successful individuals who have accumulated new wealth and who are trying to find ways to develop their own approaches to philanthropy.

Let’s turn our focus for a moment to women as change agents in Asia’s growth trajectory. In your remarks at a sideline event about the Foundation’s new report findings on challenges that women SME owners face in four APEC economies, you emphasized that “this is not about providing privileges to women; it is about leveling the playing field to unleash their potential for the benefit of both companies and economies.” What were the reactions to the findings?

The need for governments to create an enabling environment for enterprises to grow by reducing some of the barriers is something that shows up in not just these studies around women SMEs but is a consistent theme in the Foundation’s work on economic governance. A lot of the challenges are related to licensing and access to information, things that are not terribly expensive for governments to do, but require a change of mindset and change of administrative process. The fact that that this set of issues bubbled up as high as it did at APEC is important.

The importance of networking and peer support mechanisms is also a critical takeway from the research. With the exception of Indonesia, the report shows that women business owners in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines participate far less in business associations than their male counterparts. The social infrastructure around the development of women-owned business is a poorly understood but critical piece of the equation to create an environment that supports women’s economic empowerment.

The research also underscored the challenge that women owners face, particularly in fairly traditional Asian societies, with the expectation that they will continue to carry all of the burdens in their private capacity as mothers, as spouses, as family members, but on top of that, will be able to take on all of the burdens of managing and overseeing a small business. What they face is a double burden. In order for them to perform more effectively on the business side, social changes are also needed within which gender roles are shaped and determined.

As a leading international development organization, we are working with partners to foster long-term sustainable growth strategies that apply a gender lens to a variety of different sectors. These four country studies are very useful because it’s easy to talk globally about the economic importance of SMEs, but unless you understand the differential challenges between men and women you aren’t going to be able to design programs and policies that are effective. The commitment that we have to gender equality is not just a matter of social equity or fairness, it’s based on sound economic arguments, as well as best practice in the international development field.

Afghanistan Reimagines its Regional Role

In the beautifully restored third century B.C. citadel of the ancient western Afghan city of Herat, scholars and diplomats from Afghanistan’s neighbors and international partners spent the first weekend in October at a security conference exploring prospects for the country to emerge as a stable and independent state after NATO military forces leave in 2014.

Herat

A girl walks in front of the citadel in the Afghan city of Herat, the site of a recent security conference. Flickr user/UN Photo

The conference, which I attended along with more than 130 other participants representing 30 countries and organizations, was filled with more questions than answers about what awaits Afghanistan.

Who will be chosen to be the nation’s new leader in the April 5 election to replace President Hamid Karzai? Will the elections meet international standards? Will the Taliban be integrated as a legitimate political force or remain spoilers or worse in Afghanistan’s political future? Will Afghanistan maintain the new freedoms for the media and in the status of women or slip backward once international attention is reduced?

Afghans are engaged in passionate debate about the identity issues that will determine whether their nation will stay on a modernizing course. New legislation to ban violence against women has triggered a backlash among Islamic experts and traditionalists. Newly empowered women are anguishing about the possible loss of their recent gains.

A conference speaker who said the Taliban era of the late 1990s brought law and order at home and regional peace provoked intense discussion about the terrible abuses of those years. There is free-floating anxiety about the Taliban’s enduring capacity to intimidate and undermine the new politics of the country.

But the main focus of the two-day conference was the rebalancing of Afghanistan’s relations in its region. Dubbed by the Turks as the “heart of Asia,” Afghanistan actually bridges multiple regions: the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and South Asia. Afghanistan’s goal is to optimize its location as a transit route, trading partner and developing economy without being subservient to any outside powers.

Read the full version of this article, which was originally published on CNN’s blog, Global Public Square.

Ellen Laipson is president and CEO of the Stimson Center and a trustee of The Asia Foundation. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not those of The Asia Foundation.

Photo Blog: Zamboanga City Begins Recovery Through Inter-Faith Efforts

October 15 was a national holiday in the Philippines to celebrate Eid’l Adha, the Muslim festival of the sacrifice. The day was also tragically marked by an earthquake in central Philippines, one consequence of which was considerable damage to historic churches.

In Zamboanga City, on the southern island of Mindanao, the earthquake was felt but no damage sustained. Rather, the city was focusing on damage sustained in the fighting in September that displaced over 80,000 people. Relief and reconstruction efforts are underway, but due to the presence of unexploded ordnance (UXOs), clearing areas for reentry has been challenging. The city’s largest mosque, Masjid Salahuddin (commonly referred to as the Sta. Barbara mosque), used as a stronghold by the rebels, was heavily damaged during the fighting. The Asia Foundation has been working with the city government, Zamboanga Esperanza, a loose coalition of Muslim and Christian religious leaders, the Darul Ifta, the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, and both Christian and Muslim organizations to address the immediate needs of the displaced, as well as support long-term peacebuilding and inter-faith understanding.Some damage was physical, so the Foundation supported the rehabilitation of the mosque, and on October 15, Zamboanga Mayor Beng Climaco attended the re-dedication of the mosque with Muslim religious leaders. Other damage was psychological, so the Foundation brought together Muslim and Christian student leaders for a dialogue among themselves and with the mayor. And, to celebrate Eid’l Adha, tens of thousands were able to gather in the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Stadium, known as “the Grandstand,” where almost 30,000 displaced persons are living. The prayers were followed by an interfaith service, again bringing together Christian and Muslim religious leaders and the city government. Here are some images from these events.

Zamboanga conflict

A view of battle-scarred Lustre Street in the center of Zamboanga City in the aftermath of fighting. Photo/Jowel Canuday

Zamboanga City’s largest mosque, Masjid Salahuddin, its minaret damaged from heavy gunfire. Photo/Jason Reyes

Masjid Salahuddin turnover

Sheikh Jackariya Mohammad conducts a prayer during the turnover of the Masjid Salahuddin to religious leaders. Photo/Jason Reyes

Masjid Salahuddin

Muslim and Christian religious leaders and retired and active army officers and staff help paint a section of the damaged mosque. Photo/Jason Reyes

Masjid Salahuddin

At the turnover ceremony on October 15, Police Director Carmelo Valmoria (center) declares the mosque as cleared, safe, and open for worshipers to celebrate Eid’ul Adha, as Zamboanga Mayor Beng Climaco (right) looks on. Photo/Jason Reyes

Muslim Christian youth leaders

Mayor Beng Climaco (right) meets with young mixed faith leaders in Zamboanga to listen to their concerns about the conflict and the issue facing their communities. Photo/Jason Reyes

Mayor Beng (center) together with army officials and representatives from different religious groups participate in the turnover ceremony. Photo/Jason Reyes

About 2 kilometers from the Sta. Barbara mosque, approximately 34,685 people are still living in the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Stadium after being displaced by fighting. Above, residents at the stadium conduct morning Eid prayers. Photo/Eric Aseo

Residents at the Grandstand pray amid temporary tent housing. Photo/Eric Aseo

 

Myanmar Report Authors to Present Findings at D.C. Event

Myanmar ReportOn Oct. 23, authors of The Asia Foundation’s major new study “State and Region Governments in Myanmar,” will present critical findings on the state of subnational governance in the country. The study explores recent reforms at the state and regional level, and the challenges and opportunities to improve subnational statebuilding, service delivery, and conflict management in Myanmar. The briefing will be at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in D.C. Seating is limited; RSVP here.