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In Photos: 2015 Year in Review

December 16, 2015

During 2015, The Asia Foundation worked to address the critical issues facing Asia, from education of a new electorate in Myanmar, to aid and recovery programs in post-earthquake Nepal, to empowering young, dynamic change-makers through The Asia Foundation Development Fellows program. Featuring photography from across Asia and in the U.S., here is a selection of highlights from The Asia Foundation’s work in 2015. Compiled by Mordecai Stayton, Global Communications’ web manager.

EoY slideshow 1

Working with the City of Ulaanbaatar, The Asia Foundation collected high-quality imagery and elevation data for the city using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and earth-imaging satellites. In an innovative community mapping initiative, the Foundation partnered with the City Municipality and ger area residents to use this imagery to map the availability and accessibility of basic services in 87 khoroos, and to develop a website where the maps can be used as an advocacy and planning tool. Photo: Tenzing Paljor

EoY slideshow 2

In Bangladesh, where young people make up two-thirds of the total population, and roughly half of young graduates are unemployed, The Asia Foundation involved young people in their nation’s development by organizing advocacy trainings for youth, building trust between communities and law enforcement agencies and engaging youth from madrasahs and local schools on a range of civic values such as leadership, tolerance, transparency, and accountability. Photo: Meher Nigar Jerin

EoY slideshow 3

On April 25, 2015, a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. A second major earthquake struck less than three weeks later, adding to the destruction. National and international aid providers quickly responded with emergency aid, but developing effective plans for long-term recovery requires knowledge of the needs of the affected, how they evolve over time, and the effectiveness of aid. The Asia Foundation’s Independent Impacts and Recovery Monitoring Nepal project contributed to long-term sustainable recovery through research. Photo: Tenzing Paljor

EoY slideshow 4

On June 3, The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle honored journalist and author Sheryl WuDunn and Dr. Ranjana Kumari, a leader in the women’s rights movement in India, at the fifth annual Lotus Leadership Awards, for their contributions to empowering women and girls in Asia. Dr. Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research in India, was recognized for her efforts to create a gender just society. Photo: Whitney Legge

EoY slideshow 5

Books for Asia, in partnership with Library for All, is piloting Let’s Read! Asia, a project that uses low-cost technology to provide underprivileged children with access to colorful engaging e-storybooks. To support Let’s Read! Asia, the Foundation held its first-ever crowdfunding campaign. Photo: Joseph Yen

EoY slideshow 6

This year’s 12 Asia Foundation Development Fellows traveled to Singapore and Nepal in March, and in the United States in September where they participated in forums and met with local thought leaders. The program, now in its second year, recognizes and empowers a dynamic community of rising young Asian leaders in their pursuit of creative solutions to the region’s most critical development challenges.

EoY slideshow 7

On October 9, Asia Foundation President Arnold hosted Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, along with Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Beazley, and former U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich in San Francisco for a lively discussion on innovation and technology, and how Australia’s aid and development programs are transforming the way the country helps solve problems in developing Asia. Minister Bishop is driving an innovation agenda across her portfolio, including launching the InnovationXchange. Photo: Whitney Legge

EoY slideshow 8

On November 8, millions in Myanmar went to the polls to cast their votes for members of the Union Parliament as well as for the 14 state and region parliaments. With less than two months until Myanmar’s historic election, the Foundation mobilized the country’s technology community to empower and inform voters through the MaePaySoh (Let’s Vote) Hack Challenge. Photo: Thet Htoo

EoY slideshow 9

Released in Kabul on November 17, the 2015 Survey of the Afghan People provides insight into the views of Afghans on issues central to the country’s development. The survey interviewed 9,586 Afghan citizens representing 14 ethnic groups and all 34 provinces in June. More than 75,000 Afghans have been polled since 2004. Photo: Gulbuddin Elham

EoY slideshow 10

To learn from South Korea’s successes in climate action, The Asia Foundation’s office in Korea organized a study tour for participants from Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam ahead of December’s Conference of the Parties (COP21) to achieve a worldwide agreement on climate change. Participants had a chance to meet with key research institutions, business associations, and NGOs that play a vibrant role in building resilience to climate change in Korea. Photo: Whitney Legge

EoY slideshow 11

The Asia Foundation continued to offer on-the-ground analysis and insight in 2015 with a series of papers devoted to “Working Politically in Practice,” in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute. Our partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on knowledge exchange and joint learning produced a working paper series drawing out some of the rich lessons being learned through many country- and regional-level initiatives implemented by both partners. As part of the Nabilan (Ending Violence Against Women) project in Timor-Leste, the Foundation also conducted research on the dimensions of gender-based violence.


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InAsia is a bi-weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of renowned experts, InAsia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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