Asia Foundation Chairman Dr. David M. Lampton Honored by Committee of 100 for Advancing U.S.-China Relations

May 30, 2018 — At its recent annual conference in Silicon Valley on May 5, 2018, the Committee of 100 (C100) honored Asia Foundation Chairman Dr. David M. Lampton with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Advancing U.S.-China Relations. Lampton, who joined The Asia Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2006 and became Chairman of the Board in 2014, is Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He formerly served as Dean of Faculty at SAIS, has authored many books on modern China and U.S.-China relations, and has been a friend and member of C100’s Advisory Council since 2007. In 2015, Lampton was named the most influential China watcher by the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, the country’s most prestigious university for diplomats. He spoke earlier this month at the Council on Foreign Relations on changing strategic circumstances in Asia.

At the May 5 C100 meeting which attracted more than 500 business, government, academic, technology, and media leaders, Lampton participated in a well-received panel on the Belt and Road Initiative. Moderated by C100 Governor Henry Tang, the discussion was among the significant presentations at the convening, which also included keynote addresses by Jin Liqun, President and Chair of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and U.S. Ambassadors Gary Locke, Max Baucus, and Chas Freeman. Lampton, who was surprised by the prestigious award, received sustained applause from the standing-room only crowd. “C100 is delighted to recognize someone who has made such monumental and consistent contributions to the betterment of U.S.-China relations over the past half century,” notes C100 President Frank H. Wu, who presented Lampton with an exclusive custom-made Tiffany crystal. “Dr. Lampton’s life’s work shows how it is possible to be an independent observer and also sympathetic to bridge building between cultures. We are forever grateful for his contributions.” David Arnold, president of The Asia Foundation, said of the honor, “Dr. Lampton is a remarkable scholar on China, and a natural bridge-builder and his insights and knowledge have benefited our work at the Foundation, as well as global and U.S.-Asia relations in numerous ways. We are so pleased that C100 has recognized our chairman for this prestigious award.”

The Committee of 100 (C100) is a nonprofit leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. Founded by world renowned architect I.M. Pei and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others, it is an institution for U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage to join by invitation based on their extraordinary achievements. For over 25 years, C100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the twin missions of promoting full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

The Asia Foundation Donates Books for DepEd Philippines Brigada Eskwela Campaign

General Santos City, May 29, 2018 — Under its broader support of English-language literacy and K-12 program implementation in the Philippines, The Asia Foundation participated in the Department of Education (DepEd)’s annual Brigada Eskwela or National School Maintenance Week to prepare public school facilities for the opening of the school year in June. The Foundation’s popular Books for Asia program donated 300 books to various schools in the city at this year’s launch event at the New Society National High School in General Santos City. Education stakeholders from local government, civil society organizations, and other development partners attended the 2018 kick-off event, spearheaded by DepEd.

Students from various elementary schools in Region XII with DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. and Assistant Secretary Revsee A. Escobedo receiving the donation from Books for Asia, represented by Reynald Ocampo, a program officer in the Philippines office.

In providing high-quality books and improving school libraries, The Asia Foundation hopes to contribute to making quality education a reality for all Filipino students. In addition to the donation in General Santos City, two public schools in Mandaluyong City will each receive a donation of 300 new books. The donations include reference books and technical-vocational learning materials required by schools for primary- and secondary-level instruction. Asia Foundation staff will also donate their time to help improve school libraries by cleaning, repainting, and rearranging bookshelves and tables to help make the space more welcoming for students.

Since 1954, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program has donated print books to thousands of needy educational institutions in 21 Asian countries each year. The Philippines alone has been a recipient of 14 million books and journals at public and private institutions across the country. More than 95 percent of Books for Asia’s donations are new textbooks donated by U.S. publishers.

Books for Asia has made a significant contribution to education in the Philippines where instructional resources, tools, and facilities can be scarce. Required textbooks and supplementary reading materials have been donated to schools throughout the country with all educational levels have benefited from the program. NGOs also receive resource materials from Books for Asia.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

 

The Asia Foundation, APEC Secretariat, and Google Host 2018 APEC App Challenge

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, May 24, 2018 — APEC economies boast some of the fastest-growing and most technologically innovative markets in the world. But though rich in culture, craftsmanship and entrepreneurial spirit, the informal sectors of APEC economies have yet to fully capture the benefit of technology-driven trade. With support from the APEC Secretariat, Google and The Asia Foundation, this Papua New Guinea initiative explores how new digital solutions can connect entrepreneurs in the informal sector with new customers and business opportunities.

The 2018 APEC App Challenge, held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 23–24 May is the first step in this process. Alongside the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting here, 14 teams of software developers and designers from nine APEC economies participated in a 24-hour app development competition centered on one essential question: how can technology bring trade opportunities to entrepreneurs in the informal sectors of APEC economies?

“During the 24-hour challenge, developers will work closely with micro and small enterprise entrepreneurs from Papua New Guinea’s handicraft sector,” said John Karr, senior director of the Asia Foundation’s Technology Programs. “The goal is to build an app or web tool that helps local entrepreneurs build their brand identities and reach broader market opportunities by selling to both local and international customers.”

The result will be local artisans using cutting edge digital technology to promote their traditional crafts and grow their small businesses. Alongside the policy discussions, the project is a very real and practical outcome for the Papua New Guinea host year theme of “harnessing inclusive opportunities, embracing the digital future.”

While many e-commerce platforms and open source solutions already exist for these products, what is needed from the teams are tools local entrepreneurs can use to amplify their products’ stories and connect with customers in ways that translate into sales.

Around a million people in Papua New Guinea are now using the Internet, and the use of social media among them is also high.

“The Asia-Pacific is an extremely dynamic region, and micro and small businesses here have huge potential,” said Karim Temsamani, president of Google Asia-Pacific, “what they need is the opportunity to showcase their craft to the world—online tools and platforms give them that chance.”

“In Papua New Guinea, those stories are quite literally woven into their products,” explained Karr. “The entrepreneurs participating in the challenge create and sell bilum bags, which are traditional, handmade bags synonymous with Papua New Guinean culture.” The intricately crafted bags are made for practical use among locals and to sell as souvenirs to tourists. The woven designs may represent a family tradition, a political message, or hold another meaning for the artist, making each a highly unique keepsake.

“The APEC App Challenge aims to not only help entrepreneurs expand their capacities to connect with customers, but to identify scalable concepts for online platforms that can be used to grow informal economies in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world,” said Alan Bollard, the APEC Secretariat’s executive director.

The challenge will conclude on Thursday when the teams pitch their concepts to diplomats, policymakers, and researchers. The winners will be announced to trade ministers when they meet on Friday.

“The developers participating in the APEC App Challenge are building on the momentum established during the APEC meetings this year in Port Moresby, where officials from member economies are focused on the prospects for enhancing digital prosperity throughout the region,” added Bollard. “As the 2018 APEC host, Papua New Guinea provides a fertile environment for inclusive digital opportunities to take root.”

Read about the 2017 APEC App Challenge in Hanoi.

Follow #APECAppChallenge on Twitter this week to find out about the exciting and innovative solutions the developer teams will create.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry Briefs Asia Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting

San Francisco, May 24, 2018 — The Asia Foundation hosted former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry for a special foreign policy briefing during the Board of Trustees meeting in Redwood City this past weekend. Dr. Perry served as Secretary of Defense under the Clinton Administration 1994-1997.

At Monday’s board luncheon, Dr. Perry reflected on the history of negotiations with North Korea in the context of the proposed, and now cancelled, summit meeting. Dr. Perry is currently the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford University, and is a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Center for Security and Cooperation, and the Hoover Institution, and director of the Preventive Defense Project, all at Stanford.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry speaks to Asia Foundation Board of Trustees

On Sunday evening, Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold held a fireside chat on developments on the Korean peninsula with Trustee Kathleen Stephens, U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008-2011; Trustee Karl Eikenberry, who has extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific region, including several operational assignments in Korea, and was both a military commander of the American-led Coalition forces and U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan; and Gi-Wook Shin, director at Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC).

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens rejoined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2015 after her posting in India as the charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. She is the William J. Perry Fellow in the Korea Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Amb. Stephens, a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, was previously Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and served in numerous posts in Washington, Asia, and Europe. Stephens’ overseas postings included service in China, Korea, Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland.

President David Arnold, Amb. Kathleen Stephens, Prof. Gi-Wook Shin, and Amb. Karl Eikenberry

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry is the Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow and director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), Stanford University. He is also a member of the APARC faculty, and an affiliate at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Relations Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law, Center for International Security Cooperation and The Europe Center. He joined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2012.

Gi-Wook Shin is the director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center; the Tong Yang, Korea Foundation, and Korea Stanford Alumni Chair of Korean Studies; the founding director of the Korea Program; a senior fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; and a professor of Sociology, all at Stanford University. As a historical-comparative and political sociologist, his research has concentrated on social movements, nationalism, development, and international relations.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Asia Foundation’s Kathmandu Conference Examines Asian Approaches to Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

Kathmandu, May 23, 2018 — Protracted conflicts in Asia have negatively impacted development and growth, nationally and regionally. Local conflicts, associated with land and natural resources, along with urban crime, are on the rise as Asian countries develop and urbanize. In response to the need to support peacebuilding efforts, The Asia Foundation, Korea Development Institute (KDI), and KDI School of Public Policy and Management hosted the 18th meeting of the Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation (AADC) dialogue series in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 9-10 to examine South-South and development cooperation approaches to addressing conflict challenges in Asia.

Participants at the Kathmandu conference from Korea, China, Japan, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan, ASEAN-IPR, DFAT, and UNOSSC shared perspectives and approaches from the public and private sectors in support of peacebuilding in Asia. The AADC dialogue is an ongoing series which addresses how Asian countries’ engagement in development and South-South cooperation is changing the global aid landscape and the development prospects for the region.

Half of the countries in South and Southeast Asia have experienced subnational conflicts in recent decades. Many countries also face challenges managing tensions between diverse ethnic and religious communities. The State of Conflict and Violence in Asia report, recently released by The Asia Foundation, identifies the critical need to support country-to-country learning within Asia on what has worked when it comes to peacebuilding. South–South cooperation’s emphasis on sharing a country’s own relevant experience holds significant potential for supporting peacebuilding efforts in partner countries.

Highlights of the 18th AADC meeting included a discussion of Pakistan’s approach to peace building in neighboring Afghanistan; how conflicts along China’s belt and road initiative may affect its implementation; how Indonesia’s experience of domestic peacebuilding in Aceh has informed it’s knowledge sharing with other countries, how neighboring country border regulations help or hinder peace efforts in Myanmar; and the role multilateral efforts play in peacebuilding and conflict prevention in Asia. The meeting also included a site visit to the Banepa Municipality, to learn about how community mediation is addressing local disputes over land and resources, which have escalated as a result of the 2015 earthquake.

In previous years, AADC conferences have focused on the changing aid landscape, rising inequality and pro-poor growth, climate change mitigation and adaptation, social mobility, advancing South-South cooperation, the role of NGOs and the private sector, planned urbanization, and women and girls’ empowerment.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Asia Foundation and Renaissance Institute Host Workshop with Municipal Officials of the Shan State Government

Municipalities gather to discuss landfill management and other urban challenges

A man speaks in front of many people at a workshop

Development Affairs Minister U Sai Son Hsai opening the workshop where he highlighted the importance of improving transparency in the DAOs’ work

Taunggyi, May 10, 2018 — The Asia Foundation and Renaissance Institute recently hosted a workshop bringing together 150 municipal officers and Chief Engineers from all 77 municipalities of Shan State to learn from each other and from international experiences.

As Yangon’s great garbage fire made news headlines, Shan State’s municipal authorities, known as Development Affairs Organizations (DAO), agreed that improving waste management was a priority and shared examples of good practices within the state. DAOs are the equivalent of municipal authority outside of Yangon and Mandalay. They raise their own revenues through taxes, fees and licenses and deliver services (mainly garbage collection, roads and bridges, street lighting, sewers and drainage) to the citizens of their cities.

The Asia Foundation and Renaissance Institute have been working with DAOs to improve urban service delivery, raise municipal revenues, and improve communication between government and the public. A key objective of the workshop was to “exchange and learn from each other,” a point emphasized by Shan Development Affairs Minister U Sai Son Hsai. Group discussions and scenario exercises on topics such as municipal revenues, mapping garbage routes and property tax created space for the participants to exchange experiences on areas for reform and improvement.

In his opening remarks, U Sai Son Hsai reminded participants of the importance of transparency in their work. By improving communication about their work and what taxes are, how they are collected and spent, DAOs can improve their relationship with residents, gain their trust and trigger positive feedback and actions, such as the willingness to pay taxes. Participants agreed that raising municipal revenues should be a priority so that DAOs can fund the improvements in municipal services provided to the people.

At the workshop, the DAOs of Kalaw, Muse and Hsipaw presented on challenges they face in waste management and the reforms they have taken to improve landfill management and reduce illegal garbage dumping. Tun Thet Aung, The Asia Foundation’s mapping analyst and garbage reform lead, presented the fundamentals of landfill management. This covered decisions on site selection and the criticality of landfill design, reducing organic content being collected, and covering the waste collected with soil on a daily basis to reduce methane gas emissions. All of these steps can reduce the risk of fire and address other environmental concerns, which State Director U Sai Tun Tun raised as a key challenge for municipal authorities in Shan State.

A consistent message from workshop participants was that in addition to improving their own waste collection services, municipalities needed to work better with residents to reduce illegal dumping and improve the cleanliness of cities. Better communication with residents on the consequences of illegal dumping was suggested as one way to combat bad habits, and trigger new practices of recycling and proper disposal of waste. In a workshop exercise, participants explored different ways of communicating, and defined housewives (who are generally responsible for disposing of garbage) and children as the most appropriate target groups when building an outreach campaign. Ideas for campaign communication activities included education workshops in schools and community events.

Two people working together to fill a garbage truck

Daily garbage collection in a Shan city

The workshop was funded through the support of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Swiss Development Cooperation.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

New Campaign Launches to Increase Employment for Persons with Disabilities in the Philippines

Manila, May 4, 2018 — On May 1, 2018, The Asia Foundation’s Fully Abled Nation (FAN) program, a partnership between the Australian Embassy and The Asia Foundation in the Philippines, launched a new campaign called “May 1% Ka Ba” (Do you have 1%?), a play on the May 1 Labor Day date, that aims to promote inclusive employment and raise the overall percentage of employees with disabilities in the workplace.

Participants and partners at the launch of the May 1% Ka Ba campaign.

Persons with disabilities make up approximately 15 percent of the world’s population. According to the International Labor Organization, there are 370 million persons with disabilities in the Asia-Pacific region, 238 million of whom are of working age. Their unemployment rate is usually double that of the general population and often as high as 80 percent or more.

In the Philippines, the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (Republic Act 7277) was amended in 2012 (Republic Act 10524) to state that “at least 1 percent of all positions in all government agencies, offices, or corporations shall be reserved for persons with disabilities.” The Act also encouraged private corporations with more than 100 employees to reserve at least 1 percent of all positions for persons with disabilities.

However, a recent study conducted by Philippine NGO, Upholding Life and Nature (ULAN), showed poor compliance with the law, primarily due to lack of awareness and knowledge and experience in working with employees with disabilities.

Working with the Unilab Foundation’s Project Inclusion, which over the last four years has placed more than 600 persons with disabilities in the workplace, the campaign is rolling out a series of videos and stories across social media channels featuring government agencies and offices that have successfully employed persons with disabilities to raise awareness of the 1 percent requirement, and to promote inclusive employment in government offices and in the private sector.

The campaign launch was attended by representatives from local media, government agencies, the Australian Embassy, Project Inclusion, and the persons with disabilities featured in the videos. The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) expressed their support to the campaign. “Pity is the last thing that we, persons with disability, want. What we want is an enabling environment that allows us to be who we want to be,” NCDA Director Carmen Zubiaga said in her message of support to the campaign, encouraging everyone to do away with the charity mindset when engaging with persons with disabilities.

To learn more, visit Project Inclusion’s Facebook page for updates and stories, including a launch video featuring Raphael Torralba of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) who rose through the ranks despite being a person hard of hearing. For interested government agencies or private organizations, Project Inclusion shares information on how persons with disabilities can be employed through their training and placement facility.

Fully Abled Nation (FAN) was established in 2011 as a multi-sectoral coalition with constituents from various government agencies, civil society organizations, disabled peoples’ organizations, and the private sector. In the 2013 and 2016 elections, FAN partnered with COMELEC and made elections more accessible for persons with disabilities. This year, under the Coalitions for Change (CfC) program of the Australian Embassy and The Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines, FAN is focused on inclusive education and inclusive employment.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Applicants Selected for YSEALI Critical Thinking in Classrooms Regional Workshop in Thailand

Bangkok, April 22, 2018 — The Asia Foundation is pleased to announce the successful applicants for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Critical Thinking in Classrooms Regional Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. This regional workshop will take place from May 21-26, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, and bring together 60 participants from ASEAN countries.

First, we would like to thank all applicants for their enthusiasm and interest in the program. The response to our call for applicants was overwhelming, with nearly 2,000 applications for 60 participant spaces. This was a highly competitive process, and as such, many excellent candidates were not selected. Applications were evaluated by the Asia Foundation together with U.S. Embassy staff in ASEAN countries. Participants were chosen based on the content of their application, and the relevance of their background, without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, marital status, or financial need.

We encourage those who were not selected to follow coverage of the event through YSEALI social media platforms and this website.

The following applicants will be participating in the workshop:

BRUNEI

  • Mrs. Lina Salwana Hussin
  • Mr. Md Syafiq Ridauddin Raduan

CAMBODIA

  • Mr. Vongrathayuth Hingphith
  • Mr. Pirun Chan
  • Ms. Leaphea Yang
  • Mr. Pheakdey Khun
  • Mrs. Monita Puth
  • Ms. Keomonyneath Phen

INDONESIA

  • Mr. Ade Brian Mustafa
  • Mr. Steven Sutantro
  • Ms. Mufidatunnisa
  • Mr. Arry Khaminov Rizky
  • Ms. Santi Widiasari
  • Ms. Ade Damayanti
  • Mr. Khairul Umam
  • Ms. Julia Jasmine

LAOS 

  • Mr. Vongmani Sitha
  • Ms. Thipphalath Sivilay

MALAYSIA

  • Mr. Tishan Gunasegaran
  • Ms. Rebecca Pei Ern Lee
  • Mrs. Suet Li Liew
  • Ms. Ainu Shazwani Mohd Yusof
  • Ms. Jo Ann Lee
  • Ms. Melissa Kong

MYANMAR

  • Ms. Khaingphuwai Wai
  • Dr. Nay Lin Tun
  • Ms. Nar Dar Vic
  • Mr. Zaw Tun Latt
  • Mr. Zay Yar Naing
  • Mr. Aung Naing Oo

PHILIPPINES

  • Mr. Louis Mark Nazareno Plaza
  • Prof. Jovar Pantao
  • Mrs. Roxanne Hambre Fuentes
  • Mr. Jaypy Tenerife
  • Mr. Jyron Rei Raz
  • Mr. Jan Adams Magtanong
  • Mr. John Mark Quijano Apellado
  • Ms. Ma Theresa Carlos
  • Ms. Glennie Marie Momblan Sina-on
  • Ms. Ma. Rhea Gretchen Abuso

SINGAPORE

  • Mr. Weixiang Wilson Yeo
  • Ms. Claressa Sim

THAILAND

  • Dr. Chantinee Boonchai
  • Mr. Worawit Dumklang
  • Mr. Itsaraphap Moonthiya
  • Ms. Napatsorn Leerasantadkul
  • Ms. Suthasiny Sudprasert
  • Ms. Rattinan Wuthiphantachai
  • Mr. Pii Arporniem
  • Mr. Surachate Takachote

VIETNAM

  • Ms. Thi Thanh Hoa Tran
  • Ms. Quynh Nhu Thi Dang
  • Ms. Trang Thi Minh Pham
  • Ms. Trinh Hồ Phương Nguyễn
  • Mr. Thang Nam Ha
  • Mr. Hong Vo Tuan Kiet Truong
  • Ms. Trang Thi Thuy Vo
  • Mr. Doan Dinh Vo
  • Ms. Ngoc Minh Nguyen
  • Ms. Thi My Hanh Ngo

Read more about the YSEALI Critical Thinking in Classrooms Regional Workshop.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Asia Foundation Launches New Initiative to Support Online Platforms and Inclusive Growth

March 19, 2018 — What can be done to help entrepreneurs with great ideas for positive social change to make their dream a reality? How can small and medium sized enterprises grow and access new trade opportunities? How can technology be used to improve lives across the Asia-Pacific region?

The Asia Foundation believes that by investing in new technologies, and creating an environment favorable to platform entrepreneurship, the Asia-Pacific can foster the kind of inclusive growth that can be transformational for the region’s economies and societies. In a recent report, titled Six Stories, Six Paths to Development, The Asia Foundation highlights examples of how online platforms are helping communities across the region to reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by enabling financial inclusion, supporting small farms, building human capital, improving the status of women, and promoting green growth.

One example of platform entrepreneurship is Safetipin, a platform that crowdsources information to help women travel safely in various cities around the world. Users rate the safety of a given area based on nine parameters which include street lighting; security; gender diversity; and how safe a person feels in a space. Launched in Bangalore and now covering 12 cities in India, Safetipin is expanding globally into Nairobi, Bogota, Manila, and Jakarta.

A second example is an education app from Vietnam called Topica. In response to mismatches in the supply of training opportunities and the requirements of the labor market, Topica partners with universities and vocational schools to offer educational courses. Topica has a bachelor’s degree program, titled “Topica Uni” which collaborates with 16 universities, including top-tier educational institutions in the US and in Asia to provide online degree programs.

To support more of these efforts, The Asia Foundation is initiating the Partnership for Online Platforms & Sustainable Development (POPS). It will be launched on March 30, 2018 in Bangkok during United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (UNESCAP) 5th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. Panelists will discuss the need for increased internet access, digital literacy, and the importance of creating a positive, open regulatory environment for platforms and users, among other issues. The event will be open to the public.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

To attend the POPS event on March 30 in Bangkok, please register by March 19, 2018 at: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4239236/APFSD-2018-Side-Events-Registration.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Asia Foundation and Fondation CHANEL Launch Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative in Gyeonggi, Korea

Seoul, March 14, 2018 — The Asia Foundation is pleased to announce it has received support from Paris-based Fondation CHANEL under a brand-new AccelerateGrowth Initiative aimed at enhancing opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship in South Korea. Under this new collaboration, The Asia Foundation is launching a one-year research project with Gyeonggi Family & Women’s Research Institute that will examine the factors that inhibit or facilitate the creation of women-owned companies in the province. Following the research phase, the Foundation’s Korea office plans to partner with the Gyeonggi Job Foundation on a series of targeted training programs and activities with job centers in four cities in the region.

The new collaboration aligns with Fondation CHANEL’s focus area of advancing women’s and girl’s independence and empowerment. Together, The Asia Foundation and Fondation CHANEL are committed to improving access to economic opportunities for women and girls in Gyeonggi Province, the most industrialized region of South Korea. Despite the province’s high level of industrial development, the unemployment rate of women (second highest in the country) remains at 4.6% as of June 2017.

South Korea has undergone a dramatic economic transformation in recent decades, and The Asia Foundation has been on the ground for more than 60 years assisting in the transition. Notably, the Foundation recognizes that engaging women in the labor force is a key factor to unlocking long-term growth in Korea’s slowing economy. Entrepreneurship is one important way to create a flexible working environment that can allow for household responsibilities while supporting women’s economic participation.

“The Asia Foundation has worked very hard over the decades addressing women’s empowerment issues in Korea,” said The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Korea Dylan Davis. “But with Korea ranking 118 among 144 countries surveyed as part of the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Gender Gap Report, we feel very strongly that there is still work to be done, especially on women’s economic participation. We are very pleased that we found the right partners, Fondation CHANEL and Gyeonggi Province, to address programming in this area. The highly industrialized Gyeonggi Province is the right region to better understand the opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship.”

The initiative will directly support women entrepreneurs in Gyeonggi Province by providing crucial data in support of promoting women-friendly policies, providing business training, and expanding access to networks.

“We are grateful to launch a joint research project focused on the improvement of women’s economic opportunities with The Asia Foundation supported by Fondation CHANEL,” said Han Ok Ja, president of Gyeonggi Family Women Research Institute. “Our institute has long been interested in establishing a foundation for women’s self-reliance, particularly by creating an enabling environment for women to work equally in the workplace.”

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.