2019 Australasian Aid Conference Slated for February 19-20

Canberra, December 14, 2018 — The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the Development Policy Centre at Australian National University, will host the 2019 Australasian Aid Conference February 19-20 at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy in Canberra. The keynote address will be delivered by former president of the African Development Bank and Rwanda’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Donald Kaberuka and will be speaking on the future of Africa.

In its sixth year, the Australasian Aid Conference (AAC) will continue to bring together researchers from across Australia, the Pacific, Asia, and beyond who are working on aid and international development policy to share insights, promote collaborating, and help develop the research community. With over 500 people registered last year, the AAC has become a premier forum for the latest trends and research in international development and aid policy.

This year’s conference will include sessions on the opportunities and challenges regarding China’s development cooperation, using evaluation to increase the effectiveness of development support, and mental health and inclusive development practices.

Among conference presenters are The Asia Foundation’s Director of International Development Cooperation Anthea Mulakala, China Country Representative Hongbo Ji, and Thailand Country Representative Tom Parks. Mulakala and Ji will be speaking on Chinese development cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, touching on the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as multilateral efforts by the United Nations and international financial institutions. Parks will be speaking at a pre-conference event on the Foundation’s recent report, ASEAN as the Architect for Regional Development.

View registration details here, and read more about last year’s conference in our InAsia blog.

The Development Policy Centre (Devpolicy) is a think tank for aid and development serving Australia, the region, and the global development community. Devpolicy was established in September 2010 and is based at Crawford School of Public Policy in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University.

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.

Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold Speaks at Pakistan Society of Development Economists’ Annual Conference

Islamabad, December 12, 2018 — On December 12, Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold presented on the topic of “Regional Connectivity: Prospects and Challenges for Pakistan” at the 34th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE), the only Pakistani professional association of economists and social scientists. This year’s conference theme is “Pakistan’s Economy: The Way Forward” and is held in Islamabad, December 12-14.

During his PSDE address, David Arnold spoke on how greater cooperation and regional economic integration can bring about gains for South Asia and Pakistan, and what factors will contribute to developing further connectivity. His remarks concluded with, “Regional connectivity requires enhancing regional infrastructure and agreements, improving conducive business environments, and investing in human development.”

Asia Foundation Board of Trustee Dr. Adil Najam also presented during the conference at the Mahbub-ul-Haq Memorial Lecture. Najam, Boston University’s Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies, spoke on bringing human capital back to Pakistan. His speech highlighted making girls’ education and health services top priorities with regards to human development in Pakistan.

Through a continuous presence in Pakistan since 1954, The Asia Foundation has developed strong ties and valuable expertise on local, regional, and international issues. The Foundation contributes to Pakistan’s regional economic cooperation and economic development through people-to-people exchanges, strategic research, and building the capacity of practitioners to better face growth challenges of middle-income countries through initiatives such as the Asia Foundation-Korea Development Institute Study Visit, Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s strategic sustainability plan, and its affiliation as a knowledge institution with the Asian Development Bank’s CAREC program.

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.

Applications Now Open for 2019 YSEALI Workshop on Eco & Sustainable Tourism

December 7, 2018 — The Asia Foundation is implementing this 5-day workshop in the world heritage site of Luang Prabang, Laos from March 4-8th 2019. We are looking for actively engaged students, entrepreneurs and young professionals, age 18-35, from across ASEAN who are interested in promoting ecotourism.

The 2019 YSEALI Workshop on Eco & Sustainable Tourism, to be held at the Le Bel Air Resort in Luang Prabang, Laos from March 4-8, 2019, will gather 50 participants from across ASEAN. The Workshop will showcase innovative approaches to sustainable tourism and socially responsibly business practices through field visits to successful small and medium ecotourism enterprises, and allow young innovators and entrepreneurs from across ASEAN and Timor-Leste to connect with each other and with participating experts. Throughout the Workshop, participants will showcase projects, receive mentorship, explore opportunities to expand their work, exchange ideas on how to foster sustainable and socially responsible tourism initiatives in their communities, and find avenues for building sustained economic development in their communities. The Workshop is supported by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by The Asia Foundation.

You will learn best practices through a hands-on tour of eco-projects in one of the world’s most beautiful boutique tourism cities. You will also learn from some of the best minds in the region, and network with other young leaders from across ASEAN. You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

Deadline is December 15th, apply now.

  

The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste’s Nabilan Program and Australian Government Launch Hamahon ‘Giving Shelter’ App and Media Kit

Dili, December 6, 2018 — Today, The Asia Foundation and the Timor-Leste Government launched an innovative mobile application and website for women and children victims of violence. Demonstrating a commitment to taking concrete steps to stop violence against women at all levels of society and ensuring women and children victims have access to support services, the government also launched a media kit for reporting on violence against women and children. These resources were developed by the Nabilan Program, an Australian aid initiative implemented by The Asia Foundation on behalf of the Australian Government.

Catalpa International generously donated their time to design the Hamahon (“giving shelter”) app which helps police, service providers, and women find contact information for support services. The platform also enables service providers to easily update their contact information and flag inactive phone numbers. Service providers and representatives from the Timorese government took part in the design and testing process in order to ensure that the app addresses their needs.

“I expect this innovative use of information technology will further strengthen the quality of services for victims,” said Timor-Leste’s Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus.

Chargé d’affaires for the Australian Government, Phillipa Venning, believes that the new app could be a lifesaver for victims of domestic violence by providing the means to quickly access high-quality assistance and support. At the launch event, she stated “working towards eliminating violence against women remains a major priority for the Australian aid program, and we are proud to support the Timorese Government’s strong leadership role on this issue.”

The media kit launched today contains resources to assist journalists in covering violence against women and children through a respectful and dignified lens. The toolkit aims to help members of the media achieve a deeper understanding of violence against women, and how to develop news stories that are based on evidence and presented in a sensitive manner. The media kit builds on media training provided by the Timor-Leste Government with support from the Nabilan Program.

“The media has to make efforts to learn about this important issue, and develop stories that are responsible, that don’t insult victims,” said Timor-Leste’s Secretary of State for Social Communications, Merício Juvenal dos Reis ‘Akara’.

Violence against women is widespread in Timor-Leste, with domestic or intimate partner violence reported as the most common form. According to the 2015 Nabilan Health and Life Experiences Study, 59% of ever-partnered women reported experiencing physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime. 47% reported having experienced violence in the previous year. The study also found high rates of childhood trauma and abuse.

The Nabilan Program is an eight-year $24 million (AUD 32 million) commitment from the Australian Government supporting Timorese society and government in ending violence against women and children and providing victims with high quality services. The program is implemented in Timor-Leste by The Asia Foundation.

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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

YSEALI Summit – Innovation Slam Competition Winners Announced

Singapore, December 6, 2018 — In Singapore December 3-5, The Asia Foundation organized and implemented the annual YSEALI Summit, a program sponsored by U.S. Department of State. On December 5, YSEALI announced the winners of the Innovation Slam competition.

After 3 days of intensive collaborative group work, drop-in mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs, and coaching from industry experts, representatives from each of 15 competing groups took the stage to pitch their projects before a panel of 6 judges, themselves experts in entrepreneurship. The Judges panel included:

  • James Toh – President, MIT Club Singapore
  • Jane Bocklage – Deputy Representative, U.S. Mission to ASEAN
  • Brian Ferinden – Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Mission to ASEAN
  • Gouri Mirpuri – Founder, Connected for Good; co-founder of Impact HUB Singapore
  • Laurence Lien – Lien Foundation/Asia Philanthropy Circle
  • Camille Dawson – Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Singapore

Projects were judged by how well they addressed the following requirements: measurable social impact; potential to scale across ASEAN; revenue generation model; demonstrable partnership (with team members from at least 4 countries), and the implications for support or partnership with U.S. business, organizations or institutions.

After much deliberation, six prizes were given out on Wednesday evening, each with a small “seed” grant award to be used toward implementing their projects.

The grand prize winner, taking home a $10,000 seed grant, was ASEAN Unboxed:


ASEAN Unboxed is an ecommerce and storytelling platform that seek to give access to the best products that come from 11 ASEAN countries. This platform will provide market access to social enterprises to reach the growing market of conscious consumers.

ASEAN Unboxed team members:
Janine Chiong (Philippines)
Nur Azrin Abu Bakar (Malaysia)
Joie Cruz (Philippines)
Pia Miraflores, (Philippines)
Adrian Koh, (Brunei)
Ouk Channita (Cambodia)
Lei Motilla, (Philippines)
Emil Tapnio, (Philippines)
John Si Thu, (Myanmar)

Taking second prize in the competition for a seed grant of $7,500, and winning the crowd favorite for an extra $2500, was iSpot:

iSpot is a mobile application that will help the LGBTQ+ community spot and review inclusive and safe environments and business establishments. This is a platform to connect an emerging social movement with the business sector recognizing that the economy can drive societal evolution while raising awareness of real issues confronting the LGBTQ+ community.

iSpot team members:
Chitsanupong Nithiwana, “Best” (Thailand)
Ravin Chobchai, “Win” (Thailand)
Chetsada Changmai, “Chest” (Thailand)
Val Amiel Vestil (Philippines)
Angel Allyne Abellana, “Ey” (Philippines)
Nam Nguyen, “Mason” (Vietnam)
Ratchamongkol Saenwandee, “Big M” (Thailand)
Bui Thi Minh Ngoc, “Mino” (Vietnam)

Stay tuned for future announcements showing the progress of the winning projects in the spring, as the teams begin putting their seed funds to work! If you would like to reach either team for interviews, please inquire with us directly.

More about YSEALI:
Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the U.S. Department of State’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community of leaders who work across borders to solve common issues. The 2018 YSEALI Summit is the third YSEALI program implemented by The Asia Foundation in 2018, and The Asia Foundation will be implementing two more in the spring of 2019.

The Asia Foundation supports cross-country and regional dialogues throughout Asia to enable government and non-governmental leaders to share lessons and best practices relate to governance and common
developmental issues. The Asia Foundation works to strengthen relations among Asian nations in the efforts to foster peace, stability, prosperity, and effective governance. 

Read more about the Foundation’s work

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

The Asia Foundation Releases 2018 Survey of the Afghan People

Despite security and economic concerns, annual poll of 15,012 reveals steady national mood and optimism around elections

Kabul, December 4, 2018 — According to a new survey released today by The Asia Foundation, the number of Afghans who say the country is moving in the right direction has steadied. The data reveals an incremental rise in Afghans’ confidence in democracy, elections, government institutions, and services. However, fears about insecurity and the worsening economy, coupled with the long delay in the recent parliamentary elections, continues to influence Afghan citizens’ views on the future of the country. Comprehensive data from the Afghanistan in 2018: A Survey of the Afghan People is based on face-to-face interviews with a national sample of 15,012 Afghan citizens representing all major and most minor ethnic groups in 34 provinces.

Read the executive summary, FAQ, and analysis here. Join the conversation on Twitter at #AfghanSurvey and @Asia_Foundation.

The longest-running barometer of Afghan opinion, the Survey of the Afghan People is a map of social change over time, presenting a clear picture of the gains and gaps that Afghans perceive in a rapidly transforming nation. The Survey, now on its fourteenth edition, has gathered the views of more than 112,000 Afghans since 2004 on security, elections, governance, the economy, essential services, corruption, youth issues, reconciliation with the Taliban, access to media, migration, the role of women, and political participation.

After four years in power, the National Unity Government (NUG) continues to face persistent challenges. Parliamentary elections were held in October 2018 across most of the country, after a three-year delay due to disputes over electoral reforms and instability. Insecurity has been a main concern for Afghans in every election since 2001 and this year was no exception, particularly given the deadly attacks on voter-registration centers across the country just before the Survey fieldwork was conducted.

“This year’s Survey reveals a mix of hope and fear as Afghans look towards their future,” said Abdullah Ahmadzai, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Afghanistan. “While the long delay in parliamentary elections, ongoing violence, and economic and employment challenges continue to color citizens’ views, the empirical evidence in 2018 reveals an incremental rise in Afghans’ confidence in democracy, elections, government institutions, and services. Clearly, even in the face of often seemingly imperceptible progress, Afghans are eager for a better future.”

“Beyond the lens of war, the country’s deep political divisions, structural governance challenges, and economic insecurity is impeding development progress and the prospect of durable peace,” said David D. Arnold, president of The Asia Foundation. “Against this backdrop, the importance of comprehensive, reliable data cannot be overstated. Through this annual research project, we are committed to closing data gaps to help advance informed policymaking and improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan.”

National optimism has stabilized and likely influenced positively by this year’s elections

The Survey has shown over time that public optimism increases significantly in any election year. In 2018, optimism about Afghanistan’s direction has remained unchanged (33%) despite the nation’s challenges to maintain security against the Taliban insurgency and the growing presence of ISIS/Daesh. Afghans cite improvements in security (52%), rebuilding (48%), governance (29%), rights for women (12%), and the economy (11%) as the reasons for optimism. The number who say the country is moving in the wrong direction is the same as last year (61%). Insecurity is the most frequently cited reason for pessimism, cited slightly more often this year than last (73% vs. 70%), followed by concern about the economy (38%), which includes the 24% of respondents who explicitly refer to unemployment as a reason for their pessimism.

Attitudes towards elections and democracy remain favorable 

Survey interviews were conducted in July 2018 and 80% of respondents say they were aware of the upcoming parliamentary elections. This is consistent with 2009 (82%), when the same question was asked regarding that year’s presidential election. Over half of respondents (52%) said they believe that the next election would be free and fair. Thinking the next election will be free and fair is positively correlated with national optimism. Respondents who say the next elections would be free and fair are significantly more likely to think the country is moving in the right direction than those who believe the opposite (42% vs. 24%). Rural respondents (71%) are more likely to say they plan to vote than urban (65%). Afghans’ satisfaction with democracy has increased from 57% in 2017 to 61% this year.

Rise in fear while practicing civil liberties 

Fear while voting has increased significantly, from 52% last year to 62% in 2018, the highest level of fear yet recorded. Fear while voting is negatively correlated with Afghans’ decision to vote. A majority of Afghans (73%) report fear while participating in a peaceful demonstration, a significant increase, by 13 percentage points, since 2006, when the question was first asked. Regionally, 79% of respondents in the North West identify the Taliban as the biggest threat to local security, while respondents in the East (57%) see Daesh/ISIS as the biggest threat to local security. Afghans continue to lose sympathy for armed opposition groups with 82% indicating that they have “no sympathy” for the Taliban. 

Deep concerns about the economy and food insecurity contribute to migration  

Among the 61% of Afghans who think the country is moving in the wrong direction, a majority express concerns about such things as: unemployment (24%), a bad economy (12%), and high prices (4%). When asked about the biggest problems facing youth, more than three-fourths of all respondents (75%) cite lack of employment opportunities and 15% cite economic concerns. As a direct result of the drought, affecting two-thirds of the country and damaging essential crops including the wheat harvest, an estimated two million additional Afghans will be affected by food insecurity. Unemployment (52%) and bad economy (18%), along with insecurity, are top reasons why Afghans are willing to migrate.

Strong support for women’s education, but views on political participation and work are mixed 

Afghan women’s lives have improved significantly since the Taliban were ousted. Most Afghans (70%) agree women should be allowed to work outside the home and the majority (84%) say women should have the same opportunities as men in education. Almost half of respondents (46%) cite illiteracy and lack of educational opportunities as the biggest problem facing Afghan women in 2018, up from 43% last year. The level of support for the cultural practices of baad and baddal continues to decline and support for women in leadership positions – apart from that of the President – has increased marginally.

Download the data sets and infographics here. Join the conversation on Twitter at #AfghanSurvey and @Asia_Foundation.

The Asia Foundation and the Confederation of Indian Industry Host Annual South Asia Power Summit

New Delhi, November 28, 2018 — The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry, organized the second annual South Asia Power Summit on November 16 in New Delhi. The event was organized as part of The Asia Foundation’s Sustainable Development Integrated Portfolio program in India; this program is supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Ministry of Power representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) shared current transboundary energy portfolios, plans for domestic renewable energy integration, and discussed policy and market implications of further strengthening transboundary energy trading in Southeast Asia. The summit provides a diverse group of strategic partners throughout the BBIN region with an opportunity to share success stories, challenges faced, and areas for future collaboration in strengthening and expanding transboundary energy trade.

A woman speaks at a podium, while a panel of others look on.

The panels focused on the future of seamless energy trade in the BBIN region, the importance in identifying innovative business models for open and competitive energy markets, and technology that upgrades both infrastructure and operations, specifically – improved battery technologies for enhanced storage, digitization and security of national/regional grids.

The aim of the summit is to encourage and enhance intergovernmental dialogue and the strategic execution of transboundary energy trading, including renewable energy generation, transmission, and trade.

The Asia Foundation supports cross-country and regional dialogues throughout Asia to enable government and non-governmental leaders to share lessons and best practices relate to governance and common
developmental issues. The Asia Foundation works to strengthen relations among Asian nations in the efforts to foster peace, stability, prosperity, and effective governance.

Read more about the Foundation’s work

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

Announcing the participants of the 2018 YSEALI Summit

November 16, 2018 — The Asia Foundation is pleased to announce the participants of the 5th annual Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) Summit! The 2018 YSEALI Summit, a program of the U.S. Department of State, will take place December 3-5, 2018 in Singapore at the Carlton Hotel, bringing together 150 participants from ASEAN countries and the United States. Learn more at ysealisummit2018.org.

Southeast Asian YSEALI Alumni

Angel Allyne Abellana
Philippines

Nur Azrin Abu Bakar
Malaysia

Evilita Adriani
Indonesia

Mary Rose Juliet Guevara Anatalio
Philippines

Kimberly Bongon Ante
Philippines

Junver Desoy Arcayna
Philippines

Htet Mon Aung
Myanmar

Risma Ayu
Indonesia

Ngoc Thi Minh Bui
Vietnam

Shan Chun Chak
Malaysia

Chetsada Changmai
Thailand

Vitak Cheav
Cambodia

Janine Mikaella Lim Chiong
Philippines

Ravin Chobchai
Thailand

Mark Anthony Santos Colentava
Philippines

Gil Ganzon Cruz
Philippines

Mary Joie Cruz Cruz
Philippines

Hang Thi Thuy Dinh
Vietnam

Huong Thi Lan Dinh
Vietnam

Thanh Thi Thanh Doan
Vietnam

Fahmi Dwilaksono
Indonesia

Nicholas Eng
Singapore

Novita Dyah Forentina
Indonesia

Francis Josef Cruz Gasgonia
Philippines

Aye Chan Hein
Myanmar

Irvandias Sanjaya Herlambang
Indonesia

Lucia Kusolo Herwening
Indonesia

Rachmat Hidayat
Indonesia

Salai Thawng Hlaing Lung
Myanmar

Binh Thai Ho
Vietnam

Trang Thu Hoang
Vietnam

Naw Thazin Hpway
Myanmar

Khin Yadanar Htay
Myanmar

Zaw Win Htet
Myanmar

Somchay Indavong
Laos

Firdaus Ismail
Brunei

Chonlada Janpum
Thailand

Luh De Dwi Jayanthi
Indonesia

Vimaljit Kaur
Singapore

Saw Kyaw Zin Khay
Myanmar

Kelvin Zhi Shern Koay
Malaysia

Adrian Yong Wei Koh
Brunei

Cheryl Lee
Singapore

Pin Qi Lee
Singapore

Maporn Lertsuridej
Thailand

Chakorn Loetnithat
Thailand

Porhour Ly
Cambodia

Katherine Mistica Maguad
Philippines

Rahmah Masturah
Indonesia

Ohnmar Aung Min
Myanmar

Maria Pia Carmela Reyes Miraflores
Philippines

Ainu Shazwani Binti Mohd Yusof
Malaysia

Liezl Ann Oro Motilla
Philippines

Musawwir Muhtar
Indonesia

Le Hua Thanh Nguyen
Vietnam

Nam Phuong Nguyen
Vietnam

Nam Hoang Nguyen
Vietnam

Quan Ha Nguyen
Vietnam

Thuc Minh Thi Nguyen
Vietnam

Chitsanupong Nithiwana
Thailand

Paundra Noorbaskoro
Indonesia

Zar Ti Nwe Nu Aung
Myanmar

Channita Ouk
Cambodia

Evandri Guliano Pantouw
Indonesia

Thansuda Pantusa
Thailand

Phaiboun Panyasavath
Laos

Chanintorn Pensute
Thailand

Bunnath Phann
Cambodia

Diane Phomsoupha
Laos

Hnin Wit Yee Phyo
Myanmar

Sreyneang Pok
Cambodia

Prandwinata
Indonesia

Dhimas Handhi Putranto
Indonesia

Vidya Spay Putri Ayuningtyas
Indonesia

Indira Nurul Qomariah
Indonesia

Siti Aisyah Rachmawati
Indonesia

Noorhafizah Rashid
Brunei

Odom Rithy
Cambodia

Tisha Eulean Cybill Rumbewas
Indonesia

Numan Afifi Bin Saadan
Malaysia

Thepmala Sadettan
Laos

Ratchamongkol Saenwandee
Thailand

Muharram Alifaturrakhman Salim
Indonesia

Anissa Megia Sari
Indonesia

Rachael Abigail Saveria
Indonesia

Viseth Sean
Cambodia

Gyaw Shine Oo
Myanmar

Angeli Monique Gregori Siladan
Philippines

Hnin Phyu Sin
Myanmar

Chanavee Suwanasri
Thailand

Veerappan Swaminathan
Singapore

Bunhourng Tan
Cambodia

Joe Tan
Singapore

Emil Benjamin Barbin Tapnio
Philippines

Ee Lynn Tee
Malaysia

Sakulthong Thongnongbua
Thailand

Chit Aein Thu
Myanmar

Si Thu
Myanmar

Yoke Pean Thye
Singapore

Pheakdey Tous
Cambodia

Trang Khanh Tran
Vietnam

Lemuel Clark Paras Velasco
Philippines

Mrinalini Venkatachalam
Singapore

Val Amiel Vestil
South Korea

Tien Thi Ngoc Vo
Vietnam

Souphanith Vongsengthong
Laos

Wanraimee Waedoloh
Thailand

Prued Wahachart
Thailand

Arief Wibowo
Indonesia

Lai Cheng Wong
Malaysia
 

United States Entrepreneurs

Michael Scott Peters
UN Youth Ambassador

Isabela Acenas
Student at NYU

Rishi Ahuja
PaySense

Paul Applegate
Synced Smiles

Dominique Carter
National Science Fundation (NSF)

Ololade Fatunmbi
Separation Methods Technologies, Inc. (SMT)

Oluwatobi Fatunmbi
Mami Wata

Katie Fogarty
Reboot

Yongjun Heo
Midwest Design Lab LLC

Kyle Horton
BabLab

Hetal Jani
SPEAK MENTORSHIP

Darren Joe
Touch MBA

Julie Joseph
New York Medical College School of Public Health

Monica Kang
InnovatorsBox

Erin Little
RxHackers

Matthew LoCastro
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)

Andrew Maguire
Fulbright University Vietnam

Jerusha Matthews
Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Ciara May
Johnson C. Smith University

Widya Mulyasasmita
Venn Biosciences

Jonathan Quarles
The BTL Group

Shraddha Rathod
Freshspire

Marium Raza
Elixir

Brian Reale
ProcessMaker

Steven Rodriguez
SUEGO LLC

Surya Sayed-Ganguly
World Bank (IDA)

Brendan Shultz

Kamille Tynes
TYNES CO LLC

Marlon Williams
Living Cities

Julie Yelle
University of Maryland
 

United States-YSEALI Reverse Exchange Program Alumni

James Birkemeier
Spring Green Timber Growers

Adam Brown
City of Ontario, Oregon

Allan Ekberg
City of Tukwila

Jerald Johnson
MassChallenge and Empower Success Corps

Deborah Muramoto
California Capital Financial Development Corporation

Colleen Rudio
Cascadia Business Development

Amy Snyder
 

About the Summit

Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the U.S. Department of State’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community of leaders who work across borders to solve common issues.

The 2018 YSEALI Summit, which marks YSEALI’s fifth anniversary, will gather participants around the theme “The United States and ASEAN: Partners in Growth and Innovation.” The summit will showcase innovative approaches to economic cooperation and growth by U.S. companies, organizations, and institutions present in ASEAN and allow young innovators and entrepreneurs from both the United States and ASEAN to connect with each other and with participating experts. Throughout the summit, participants will showcase projects, receive mentorship, explore opportunities to expand their work, exchange ideas on how to foster economic growth in their communities, and find avenues for stronger economic cooperation between the United States and ASEAN. The summit will also explore topics such as: best practices in innovation and partnership; the role of public private partnerships and corporate social responsibility in spurring economic growth; incubators; expanding digital literacy; entrepreneurship as a driver for community development; and healthy start-up ecosystems.

The Asia Foundation is implementing the 2018 YSEALI Summit, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy Singapore and the American Chamber of Commerce Singapore. 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.

Please direct any inquiries to The Asia Foundation by emailing YSEALIsummit@asiafoundation.org. Read more information on YSEALI.

Supported by:

Asia Foundation and Korea Development Institute Host Annual Author Workshop for Publication on Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

Seoul, November 1, 2018 — The Asia Foundation hosted the 8th annual author workshop of the Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation (AADC) dialogue series. Organized jointly with the Korea Development Institute, the AADC brings together development experts and government officials to address how Asian countries’ engagement in development and South-South cooperation is changing the global aid landscape and the development prospects for the region. From October 30 to 31, participants of the author workshop used the forum to discuss the upcoming AADC publication on conflict challenges in the region, “Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: The Role of Asian Development Cooperation.”

In recent decades many countries in South and Southeast Asia have experienced internal conflicts that have negatively impacted development and growth, national and regionally. Local conflicts, associated with land and natural resources, along with urban crime, are on the rise as Asian countries develop and urbanize. Many countries are also facing challenges in managing tensions between diverse ethnic and religious communities. South–South cooperation’s emphasis on sharing a country’s own relevant experience holds significant potential for supporting peacebuilding efforts in partner countries.

Participants from Korea, China, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation presented their theses outlines on peacebuilding in Asia. The upcoming publication will include chapters on how NGOs have played an important role in dialogue between the two Koreas; how Pakistan can improve its 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 its knowledge sharing with other countries; how cooperation with neighboring countries is important for the peace efforts in Myanmar; and the role multilateral efforts play in peacebuilding and conflict prevention in Asia.

During the workshop, Anthea Mulakala, director of International Development Cooperation, The Asia Foundation and Suzan Nolan, director of BlueSky International delivered lessons on how to write a strong thesis statement and to create an outline with topic sentences. They also offered one-on-one support to each of the authors.

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

The Asia Foundation supports cross-country and regional dialogues throughout Asia to enable government and non-governmental leaders to share lessons and best practices relate to governance and common developmental issues. The Asia Foundation works to strengthen relations among Asian nations in the efforts to foster peace, stability, prosperity, and effective governance.

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The Asia Foundation Names Dr. Adam Burke Conflict and Fragility Director

San Francisco and Yangon, November 1, 2018 — The Asia Foundation announces the appointment of Dr. Adam Burke as director of the Conflict and Fragility program. Burke is a distinguished specialist in conflict, peacebuilding and development, and worked in conflict prevention efforts across Southeast and South Asia for nearly 20 years. As director, Burke will oversee a program that works to strengthen and enhance access to formal and informal institutions that can help resolve disputes, reduce grievances, advance social justice, address the root causes of conflict and violence, and reduce the risk of fragility in the region.

Burke recently served as lead researcher and author of The Asia Foundation’s 2017 report, Contested Areas of Myanmar: Subnational Conflict, Aid and Development. Other notable assignments for the Foundation include an independent evaluation of programs in conflict-affected areas in southern Thailand and an analysis of the development trajectory of Malaysia and Thailand as Advanced Middle-Income Countries.

Burke has undertaken a variety of projects for the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. His most recent assignments have been an assessment for the ADB on the risks associated with reconstruction following the 2017 siege of Marawi, Mindanao; and context analysis for the UN in support of efforts to counter communal violence in Sri Lanka. He has also researched approaches to political risk in East Asia for the World Bank; given technical guidance on DFID’s peacebuilding strategy in Nepal; and provided technical support to the UK Government for the development of a post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization strategy for Pakistan.

Since 2014, Burke has focused attention on subnational conflicts in Myanmar, including a role as the conflict adviser to the $400 million, multi-donor funded Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT); conflict assessment of World Bank community-driven development initiatives; and scenario planning in Rakhine State for a coordinating group of UN heads of agency. Burke holds an honors undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford and two graduate degrees from the University of London School for Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS)—a master’s degree in the Anthropology of Development and doctoral degree in Development Studies focused on Thailand’s southern conflict.

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 programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work in Conflict and Fragility.

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