Despite their wariness, Afghans have not lost hope in their partners, or in the future of their country. An Asia Foundation survey of the Afghan people released in 2018 confirms that a widespread mood of optimism and sense of unity exists among Afghans: “Over half of Afghans surveyed (59.6 percent) report that the National Unity Government (NUG) is doing a good job. Perceptions of provincial governments have also improved, with 61.3 percent reporting their performance as ‘very good’ or ‘somewhat good,’ up from 56.9 percent in 2017.”
December 10, 2018 — Public Radio International features data from the 2018 Survey of the Afghan People in a news feature about the changing status of Afghan women and how recent peace negotiations with the Taliban has raised anxieties of a return to a “male-dominant society.”
A recent study by The Asia Foundation found that the number of Afghans who believe that reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban is possible has increased slightly since last year — or by 1.1 percentage points — to 53.5 percent today.
However, gender divisions remain, as “60.5 percent of males […] believe that reconciliation is possible, but just 46.5 percent of females do.”
A new poll from the Asia Foundation in Afghanistan suggests that despite serious security concerns and political situations, people have a steady vision of their country and are optimistic about the election.
December 5, 2018 — Reuters published an article, “Afghans pessimistic ahead of 2019 elections, survey shows” featuring the 2018 Survey of the Afghan People. The story ran in Yahoo! News, Daily Mail, EuroNews, and 18 other international news sources.
Afghans are pessimistic about their country’s direction ahead of elections next year, Afghanistan’s largest annual opinion survey said, citing concerns about security, lack of jobs and corruption.
Insecurity was the top reason for pessimism in the Asia Foundation survey, cited by 72.5 percent of participants, followed by the economy and jobs, poor governance and endemic corruption, along with irregular electricity and water supply.
Only a third of those surveyed – 32.8 percent – said the country was moving in the right direction, the same proportion as last year, the survey said.
The level of optimism reflected ethnic and local differences, with the highest confidence levels in mainly Pashtun areas of the east and the lowest in the capital Kabul, the center and the north, areas where many ethnic Tajiks and Hazaras live.
Asia Foundation Participates in ASEAN Regional Strategic Planning Workshop on Elimination of Violence Against Women and Combating Trafficking-in-Persons
December 1, 2018 — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) names The Asia Foundation as a participant in the ASEAN Regional Strategic Planning Workshop held November 21 – December 1. The three-day workshop, “The ASEAN Regional Strategic Planning Workshop: Development of ASEAN Campaign in support of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the Bohol Trafficking-in-Persons Work Plan”, was held to build on ASEAN’s commitment to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and to combat trafficking-in-persons, and was attended by our country representative in Thailand, Tom Parks.
The workshop was convened by Thailand’s ACWC Representative for Women’s Rights together with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of the Kingdom of Thailand and the ACWC, ASEAN Committee on Women, Senior Labour Officials Meeting, ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, and the ASEAN Secretariat. It was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Asia Foundation, the International Organisation for Migration, and UN Women.
November 6, 2018 — CNN Philippines features The Asia Foundation’s new report, From Analog to Digital: Philippine Policy and Emerging Internet Technologies in an article on the government’s November 7 announcement of a provisional new major telecommunications company. The article assesses the challenges the new company will encounter as the nation’s demand for better internet service increases.
According to the latest report of the Asia Foundation and Better Broadband Alliance, around 45 percent of the more than 103 million Filipinos, 61 percent of the 23 million households, and 74 percent of the more than 46,700 public schools nationwide have no internet access as of 2016.
October 23, 2018 — The Washington Post reports on the recent elections in Afghanistan and cites data from The Asia Foundation’s Survey of the Afghan People. The article highlights citizens’ perceptions of the Afghan government and features analysis from the Foundation’s InAsia blog, “By the Numbers: Is Afghanistan’s Democracy at Risk?“:
An Asia Foundation poll, conducted annually since 2006, found that public support for democracy and key institutions in Afghanistan is dropping. Less than half the population trusts the country’s Independent Election Commission, and confidence in members of parliament is falling.
The longest-running barometer of Afghan opinion, the Survey of the Afghan People has gathered the views of more than 97,000 Afghans since 2004, providing a portrait of evolving public perceptions of security, elections, the economy, governance and women’s issues.
October 3, 2018 — The Guardian features landscape architect and 2016 Asia Foundation Development Fellow Kotchakorn Voraakhom in an article about her efforts to address worsening floods in Thailand. The article details Voraakhom’s anti-flood park, the 11-acre Centenary Park at Chulalongkorn University, which houses vast underground water containers that can hold a million gallons of water.
Voraakhom’s ingenious answer was the 11-acre Centenary Park at Chulalongkorn University in the centre of the city. Hidden beneath the trees and grass lies its most interesting feature: vast underground water containers that, along with a large pond, can hold a million gallons of water.
Under normal conditions, water that is not absorbed by plants flows into these receptacles, where it is stored for watering during dry periods. When severe floods hit, the containers hold water and release it into the public sewage system after flooding has subsided.
Voraakhom and her architecture firm Landprocess will open a 36-acre park with similar water retention functions at Bangkok’s Thammasat University next year.
September 25, 2018 — 2017 Asia Foundation Development Fellow, Surya Karki from Nepal, has been named a Fellow in Facebook’s inaugural Community Leadership Program. The Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP) is a global initiative that endeavors to empower leaders around the world to increase their impact in their communities. The program selected from a pool of over 6,000 applicants and selected aspiring leaders with strong, clear and committed vision for their community.
Read Surya Karki’s profile as a Facebook Community Leader.
September 11, 2018 — The Manila Bulletin reports on the Philippines Supreme Court’s progress in processing and resolving criminal cases more efficiently since the implementation of the Revised Guidelines of Continuous Trial in Criminal Cases. The revised guidelines, which were put into practice in September of last year, aims to streamline procedure and create stricter requirements that improve the performance of processing criminal cases.
The Revised Guidelines on Continuous Trial in Criminal Cases took effect on September 1, 2017 after it was piloted in 54 trial courts in Metro Manila.
The program was implemented with support from The Asia Foundation and the American Bar Association, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“We are successful because of the technical and funding support from our development partners that helped us in this initiative,” [Supreme Court Associate Justice Diosdado] Peralta said.