The Asia Foundation and Ateneo School of Government Host US-Philippines Bilateral Relationship Conference

February 8, 2019 — Scholars and policymakers across the region came together to this week to explore the longstanding partnership between the United States and the Philippines and future areas of cooperation. The February 7-8 conference, “The Future of the U.S.–Philippines Bilateral Relationship” was organized by The Asia Foundation and Ateneo School of Government, and supported by the U.S. government. U.S. Ambassador Sung Y. Kim opened the conference alongside Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manolo and Department of Defense Undersecretary Cardoza Luna. The Asia Foundation’s Philippines Country Representative Sam Chittick and Senior Director of International Relations Programs John Brandon were featured speakers at the conference.

The bilateral relationship has long been a stable and resilient partnership, and it continues to grow. In 2016, the United States was the Philippines’ largest trading partner, second-biggest market for the Philippines’ exports, and third largest investor into the Philippines.

The two-day dialogue addressed the future of the U.S.-Philippines military alliance, maritime and border security, countering violent extremism, and broader regional challenges. Sessions examined other issues related to economic engagement, trade, competitiveness, and the close cultural and intergenerational ties that bind the two countries.

“Throughout our shared history, we have together confronted and overcome numerous challenges. Our nations are strongest when we work together as friends, partners, and allies,” said U.S. Ambassador Kim as he opened the conference at the Manila Peninsula in Makati City. “However, as we face new domestic, regional, and global challenges, we cannot rest simply on our confidence in the strength of this longstanding relationship. We need to examine and analyze what lies over the horizon to ensure that we bring to bear the most effective tools and resources to not just overcome those challenges, but to seize opportunities.”

The first session, featuring former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, examined the Future of the U.S.-Philippine Military Alliance. This panel examined the Mutual Defense Treaty, evolution of the alliance to counter new threats, and how the U.S. and Philippine armed forces can enhance cooperation to handle future challenges.

It was followed by a session on Countering Violent Extremism, which focused on the social, developmental, and ideological factors contributing to violent extremism in the Philippines, especially the role of women not only as peacemakers and mothers, but also as leaders, teachers, fighters, and influencers.

The third session, Responding to Regional Challenges in Asia, looked broadly at regional challenges, including China’s rise and shifting strategic relationships, the connection between human rights advocacy and foreign policy, as well as how domestic political situations impact regional issues.

The final session examining security was on Maritime and Border Security. This session took a deep dive into issues around UNCLOS and international law, the ongoing dispute in the West Philippine/South China Sea, and ongoing militarization of artificial islands in international waters.

The second day of the conference focused on economic engagement. During the panel, Investing in the Future and Pushing through Middle Income Status: Areas of Cooperation, speakers analyzed the role of infrastructure in economic development, how the United States might best support the Philippines’ continued upward economic advancement, and the role of development assistance in the relationship, as the economy of the Philippines continues to grow.

The Trade, Business, and Investment session focused on a potential free trade agreement, its prospects for passage, and what this might mean for the two countries. This was contrasted to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other potential agreements, and how ASEAN might play a role.

The importance of technological advancement and innovation was outlined in Technology and Industry: Perspectives and Areas of U.S.-Philippines Growth. The panel examined technology’s role in propelling development and creating jobs in the Philippines, cultivating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and how Silicon Valley and other tech hubs in the U.S. can share lessons.

Concluding the conference with a look to the future, Emerging Leaders in U.S.-Philippines Relations, was live streamed with university students, and tapped into a youthful perspective on the bilateral relationship and opportunities for the next generation to write the next chapters in our shared history.

Click here for more information on the conference.

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.

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Announcing the Participants of the 2019 YSEALI Workshop on Eco & Sustainable Tourism

February 6, 2019 — The Asia Foundation is pleased to announce the participants of the 2019 Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) Workshop on Eco & Sustainable Tourism, a program of the U.S. Department of State. The week-long workshop will take place March 4-8, 2019 in Luang Prabang, Laos, bringing together 50 participants from ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste to learn best practices from industry experts and develop a regional network of peers.

Participants

Brunei
Aminah Faizah Kaharuddin
Wei Lee Chin

Cambodia
Bunly Say
Puthea Chea
Sarin Roeun
Sokhorng Kry

Indonesia
I Gede Adi Septiawan Koriawan
Mutiah Mutiah
Putu Pitanatri
Toni Sitania
Yoana Kristiawati
Yun Pratiwi

Laos
Alisa Luangrath
Maxly Inthaxai
Miss Phengphanh Southivong
Nalinh Inlatsamy
Phouthasone Khouangvichit
Saysamone Singbandith
Souliphone Dalavong
Souvit Chuekonhya
Thiladeth Sivixay
Xaiykhamla Maliya

Malaysia
Lai Cheng Wong
Muhammad Cheema
Rhonwyn Hagedorn
Samantha Liza Durit

Myanmar
Arkar Htun
Cing Deih Kim
Ei Su
Khaing Phoo

Philippines
Bryan Tomas McClelland
Clareziel Ladringan
Clark Ross Bautista
Kimberly Jane Lim
Rafael Ignacio Dionisio

Singapore
Ang Hong Chua
Dexiang Chen

Thailand
Manita Vivatsethachai
Napas Somsawad
Sarocha Sunthornthip
Thanakrit Thongfa

Timor-Leste
Dircia Belo
Emmanuel Correia Maia
Kerry Galhos
Shella Smith da Cunha

Vietnam
Hai Ly Thi
Huong Vu
Ngan Nguyen
Thanh Nguyen
Yen Le

About the Workshop

Launched in 2013, 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 2019 YSEALI Workshop on Eco & Sustainable Tourism will showcase innovative approaches to sustainable tourism and socially-responsible 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.

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 Announces New Report on Cross-Border Rice Trade in South Asia

New Delhi, January 31, 2019 — The Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF), supported by the Asia Foundation, launched a new report, The Political Economy of Rice Trade Between Bangladesh, India and Nepal, on January 22, at the India International Centre.

In Bangladesh, India and Nepal, rice is the staple food for most of the population and comprises approximately 50% of the total cereal production. While these economies boast significant domestic production of rice, only India produces a surplus, whereas Bangladesh and Nepal are dependent on imports to meet their domestic requirements. This report identifies key institutional practices of rice trade between India, Bangladesh and Nepal and examines political-economy motives that drive the rice trade.

At the launch event, Mohammed Saqib, CEO BRIEF, said: “Regional trade in food grains has the capacity for improving the bilateral and multilateral relations in South Asia, as well as the achievement of food security in order to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 2, the realization of zero hunger. This report highlights the challenges faced in rice trade between India, Nepal and Bangladesh in domestic procurement and trade at border points and suggests steps to be taken for redressal.”

The event was attended by Nandita Baruah, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in India; Afaq Hussain, the director of BRIEF; Vijay Setia, the president of the All India Rice Exporters Association; Sushil Choudhry, the president of the All India Rice Mills Association; A.K. Gupta, the director of the Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) at India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export and Development Authority (APEDA); and Syed Muazzem Ali, high commissioner of the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.

Key findings discussed from the report:

  • Rice production and trade in the South Asia region are strongly influenced by climate change associated external shocks.
  • While the overall import and export of rice in South Asia is dependent on the amount of rice produced, India’s rice trade stabilizes the supply and demand in the greater South Asia region. Export barriers are imposed to mitigate the threat to food security in the region.
  • The study observed that in India, the Minimum Support Price (MSP), a mechanism used to ensure that farmers are compensated, has no correlation to export volumes.
  • Lack of infrastructure at land-customs stations and misinformation among farmers on international pesticide standards are key challenges that will reduce long-term export opportunities for rice, especially high value Basmati varieties.

Read the report here.

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 Announces New Chairman of the Board, Vice Chairs and Trustees

San Francisco, January 30, 2019 — The Asia Foundation announces the election of Sunder Ramaswamy as chairman of the board; Timothy Kochis and Ambassador Kathleen Stephens as vice chairs; and Jerome L. Dodson, Patricia M. Loui, and Deanne Weir as trustees. Additionally, Iromi Perera and Dustin Palmer are joining the board as term trustees. President David D. Arnold welcomed them: “Our new board chairs and trustees bring diverse backgrounds, fresh insights, and strong community engagement in pursuit of the Foundation’s mission in Asia.”

The Asia Foundation made the announcement at a recent board of trustees meeting where it also marked a transition for three of the board’s longest-serving trustees: outgoing Chairman of the Board David M. Lampton, Vice Chair Mary Brown Bullock, and dedicated Trustee James Andrew Kelly, each completing their third and final four-year terms. The meeting also acknowledged the contributions of inaugural Term Trustees—Czarina Medina-Guce and Diana Won—who will be completing their two-year terms. Read more about the Foundation’s board of trustees.

Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy joined the board of trustees of The Asia Foundation in 2012 and became a vice chair of the board and member of the executive committee in 2014. He is an international development economist, an educator, and higher education administrator with extensive experience in U.S and India. He is currently the first vice chancellor of Krea University in India, a new innovative approach to interwoven learning designed to help students prepare for impactful leadership in a dynamic, uncertain, and complex world of the 21st century. Ramaswamy is on leave from Middlebury College, where he is a Distinguished College Professor of International Economics. From 2009-2015, he was the president of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. He has been a faculty and administrator at Middlebury College since 1990, and has had sabbaticals at the World Bank, Vanderbilt University, Institute for Financial Management and Research, and the Madras School of Economics. He has co-authored and co-edited 4 books, written scores of articles, and delivered over 150 lectures on globalization, economic development, Indian economic reforms, and economic literacy.

S. Timothy Kochis joined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2013. Kochis is the CEO of Kochis Global, the former CEO and chairman of Aspiriant, and has 46 years of experience in personal financial and investment planning. Throughout his career he has set standards for the profession and has served as chair of the CFP Board and of the Financial Planning Standards Board. He currently serves as a trustee of the Charles Schwab mutual funds and ETF board. Kochis has been included in Worth magazine’s list of the country’s Best Financial Advisors each year since the list was first published in 1994, and ranked number one in the Bay Area by the SF Business Times. Kochis served in the US Army, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he received a Purple Heart for wounds received in action.

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens rejoined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2015 upon her return from seven months’ service in India as the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. She is president of the Korea Economic Institute of America and was formerly 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 acting under secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011. During her diplomatic career Stephens served in numerous posts in Washington, Asia, and Europe, including serving as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Jerome L. Dodson is a Member of the President’s Leadership Council of The Asia Foundation and the Founder and President of Parnassus Investments. He is the lead Portfolio Manager of the Parnassus Fund and the Parnassus Asia Fund, and is the sole Portfolio Manager of the Parnassus Endeavor Fund. Prior to founding Parnassus Investments in 1984, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Savings of America from 1976 to 1982, where he started the “Solar T-Bill” program to finance solar energy installations and developed innovative programs to finance low- and moderate-income housing.

Patricia M. Loui is an international business and economic development executive in both the private and public sectors. She serves as chair and CEO of Omnitrak Group Inc., a strategic marketing, research and planning consultancy. From 2011-2015, Loui served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM), for which she was nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. At EXIM, Loui led initiatives to increase U.S. exports to Asia with authorizations growing multi-fold in China and ASEAN, and Indonesia becoming its fourth largest market. Loui chaired the board’s Audit Committee and provided leadership for EXIM’s women and minority-owned business initiative, encouraging small business exporting at hundreds of events.

Deanne Weir is a media entrepreneur, company director, and philanthropist with more than 25 years’ experience in media, communications, and law. Weir’s company, WeirAnderson.com, invests in several companies, including Ai-Media, a technology and social innovation company, and Seer Data & Analytics, a technology start-up that helps the social sector make better decisions using data and insights. Weir also launched The WeirAnderson Foundation, supporting organizations and projects that improve the lives of women and girls, including the International Women’s Development Agency and Global Sisters.

Iromi Perera is a Colombo-based researcher and activist. Her work currently focuses on Sri Lanka’s post war development related issues, specifically evictions and forced displacement in Colombo, contested sacred sites, and eminent domain. Perera was a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Sri Lankan public policy research and advocacy think tank, for nine years. She headed CPA’s survey research unit from 2011-2017 and led over 20 national surveys and opinion polls during that time. In 2017, Perera was selected as an Asia Foundation Development Fellow. She was a Fulbright Professional Scholar in 2015 and was based at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C as an academic visitor at the Institute’s Center on International Development and Governance.

Dustin Palmer is currently a program manager at Code for America, a national nonprofit that uses technology to improve government services. As a 2016-2017 Luce Scholar in Yangon, Myanmar, Palmer worked for MyJustice, a €20 million initiative to improve access to justice in Myanmar. He supported the program’s policy and evaluation efforts, including technical advice to the Myanmar Attorney General’s office and developing the first national survey on justice issues.

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.

Read more about the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. For media inquiries, please visit the News Room. Engage with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Vietnamese added to Asia Foundation’s Free Digital Library for Children

Hanoi, January 30, 2019 — The Asia Foundation collaborated with 90 volunteers in Hanoi to translate 100 children’s books into Vietnamese and publish them on Let’s Read, its free digital library for children. The events, held on December 20, 2018 and January 3, 2019, brought together editors from Kim Dong Publishing House as well as faculty members and students from University of Languages and International Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Hanoi, and Hanoi Pedagogical University 2.

Partnering with Kim Dong Publishing House, the largest book producer and publisher for Vietnamese children, these events are the first of their kind to gather book-enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds and inspire kids to read by making more books available in their local language. The two-day events began with teams of volunteers translating the colorful pages of books created in communities across Asia. On the second day, professional editors reviewed the translations and published the books to the platform.

These join the 1,800 books in 18 local languages already in the library. Each of them can be read and downloaded for free, anytime and anywhere.

Participants at the Let's Read Translation event in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Photo: Hoang Tuan Anh

In addition to working together to make these translations possible, Kim Dong Publishing House also signed an agreement with The Asia Foundation to provide 20 children’s books from their own collection to be featured on the Let’s Read digital library. These additions will enrich the library with stories created by Vietnamese authors and illustrators and will reflect the lives of Vietnamese children. To provide children in other countries a window into Vietnamese communities, these books will also be translated by Let’s Read’s network of volunteer translators across Asia.

Let’s Read draws on The Asia Foundation’s in-country capabilities, local partnerships, and technological expertise to empower communities to create, translate, and share high-quality, richly illustrated children’s books. Learn more about Let’s Read today.

Since 1954, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program has donated print books to thousands of under-resourced educational institutions in 21 Asian countries. While print remains an effective means of delivering information in many parts of the developing world, mobile technology is quickly becoming a cost-effective, scalable model.

Read more about the Foundation’s work. For media inquiries, please visit our News Room. Engage with us on Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

KOICA Presents The Asia Foundation with ‘Best Partnership’ Award

Seoul, January 10, 2019 — On December 28, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) presented the ‘Best Partnership’ award to The Asia Foundation for the Women’s Business Center and Incubator Project in Mongolia. KOICA President Mi-kyung Lee delivered the letter of appreciation to Kwang Kim, country representative of The Asia Foundation in Korea.

The Women’s Business Center project, a successful public-private partnership program, began in 2016. Since it opened in Ulaanbaatar in 2016, Mongolia’s first-ever Women’s Business Center has trained over 5,000 women and developed a regular client base of 2,000 entrepreneurs. The center supports a growing number of women business owners by providing high-quality business support services and an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs.

As the most active network of women entrepreneurs in Ulaanbaatar, the center is helping to create a vigorous ecosystem of Mongolian women entrepreneurs. Watch a short film featuring one of 28 graduates of the Women’s Business Center.

Currently, The Asia Foundation is expanding support for Mongolian women entrepreneurs by implementing a follow-up project through Inclusive Business Solution in partnership with Korean ICT company, ‘Solutek’.

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.

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.