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Sofia Shakil


Australasian Aid Conference Speaker Series: Debt Prospects and Challenges for Developing Countries in the Continuing Pandemic

Canberra, Australia, Tuesday, March 1, 2022


8am ET Monday, February 28, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) 11am AET Tuesday, March 1, 2022 (Canberra) Developing countries already held precarious levels of sovereign debt prior to Covid-19. Now, over half of all low-income countries are at high risk of or are currently in debt distress, and some middle-income countries face debt sustainability challenges… Read more

A group of young students in Malaysia pose for the camera. 

Peering into the Year Ahead in Asia

January 19, 2022

Blog and Podcast

The year is still young, but our country representatives are looking ahead to the trends and developments that will affect the course of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific in 2022.

Screenshot of the Financial Times live panel 

Financial Times ‘Digital Divide’ Panel Features Sofia Shakil

July 27, 2021

Media Coverage

The Asia Foundation’s Director for Economic Programs, Sofia Shakil, spoke at a July 22nd virtual webinar, “Strategies for Addressing the Asia-Pacific Digital Divide – Increasing Connectivity to Drive Economic Recovery,” organized by Financial Times. Examining the role of digital access strategies to reduce social inequality and drive post-pandemic… Read more

Lights of cars traveling around a busy traffic circle at night 

Asia Foundation Appoints Sofia Shakil as Director of Economic Programs

July 13, 2021


The Asia Foundation announces the appointment of Sofia Shakil as director of Economic Programs. She will oversee updates to the strategic focus of the Foundation’s support for inclusive economic growth in the Asia and Pacific regions, including policy and other support for advanced middle-income countries, Future of Work, women’s economic empowerme… Read more


GovAsia – More than the Sum of Their Remittances

April 1, 2021

Welcome to Issue 1.2 of GovAsia. Published four times a year, GovAsia provides a platform for The Asia Foundation and its partners to examine the critical social, economic, and political problems facing citizens and governments across Asia, drawing on the Foundation’s daily engagement with politically rooted development challenges. GovAsia aims to… Read more


Resilience in the Time of Covid

March 31, 2021

Blog and Podcast

A five-nation initiative to blunt the impact of Covid-19 in South Asia combines international scope, local partnerships, and a question: how to prepare the most vulnerable for the next crisis.


Our Predictions for 2021, Following a Year That Defied Prediction

January 19, 2021

Blog and Podcast

From a pandemic that quickly swept the globe, to the storming of the U.S. capital, 2020 was a year that defied prediction. So, what can we say about 2021? After a year that derailed development trajectories across Asia, our experts look to the year ahead.


Coronavirus Dispatches, April 1

April 1, 2020

Blog and Podcast

As the global health crisis unfolds, Asia Foundation staff send reports from the field.


2020 in Asia: A 20/20 Look

January 8, 2020

Blog and Podcast

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first edition of InAsia for 2020. To herald the new decade, our country representatives this week survey the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for a dynamic and rapidly changing Asia. Here, to kick off the new year, are perspectives from The Asia Foundation’s 18 country offices. 

Youth Civic Engagement in Bangladesh 

2019: The Year Ahead in Asia

January 2, 2019

Blog and Podcast

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first edition of InAsia for 2019. In our last issue we looked at some of our top stories from the year just ended, stories that chronicled the successes and failures, the triumphs, and the tribulations of 2018 through the eyes of our experts in Asia. This week, we invite you to look ahead with us to a still-young… Read more


Pakistan Election Day

August 1, 2018

Blog and Podcast

On July 25, I voted for Pakistan. The national elections of 2018, preceded by controversy and enveloped in political heat, were conducted in the true spirit of democracy that Pakistan so deserves. Observers and analysts will have their say, but I want to share my experience of three inspiring aspects of Elections 2018. First, after working with my… Read more


Three Revelations from Pakistan Election Day

July 26, 2018

Program Snapshot

Today, I voted for Pakistan. The national elections of 2018, preceded by controversy and political heat, have aroused the spirit of democracy that Pakistan deserves. Observers and analysts will have their say, but I want to share three revelations from Elections 2018. First, after working to educate first-time voters, including women, minorities, a… Read more

Respect Women banner 

Four Things to Know About Gender-Based Violence in Asia

March 14, 2018

Blog and Podcast

Globally, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. On March 6, The Asia Foundation in Washington, D.C., hosted a panel discussion on why gender-based violence remains so prevalent in Asia and the legal frameworks that exist (or don’t, but should) to protect women and girls. Here are four key takeaways f… Read more

Two girls walk to school in North Jakarta. 

Gender-Based Violence in Asia: Prevalence, Protection, and Perspectives from the Field

Washington, DC, Tuesday, March 6, 2018


3:30 – 5:00 PM 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. Globally, women experience gender-based violence at pandemic rates. About one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, mostly by an intimate partner. Despite variation between and within countries, rates of violence against women and girls are s… Read more


Legislation Alone Cannot Protect Pakistan’s Children

January 17, 2018

Blog and Podcast

The murder and rape of seven-year-old Zainab Amin, whose body was found on a heap of garbage a short walk from her home in Kasur, Pakistan, has resulted in thousands of people taking to the streets in fury, demanding justice. The outpouring of anger resulted in violent clashes that left two dead. Police on Saturday released a sketch of the suspect,… Read more

International Women's Day Pakistan 

Women and Leadership in Pakistan: A Conversation with Sofia Shakil

August 23, 2017

Blog and Podcast

Concerns over access to justice and women’s rights are high in Pakistan. The appalling revenge rape in mid-July of a 17-year-old girl, ordered by a tribal council, has again ignited outrage over the country’s justice system and the sustained level of violence against women. In this interview, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Pakistan… Read more

Commuters travel through one of New Delhi's 146 metro stations. 

Eye on South Asia: Challenges to Development and Democracy

Berkeley, Wednesday, March 22, 2017


5:00 pm – 7:00 pm University of California Berkeley Faculty Club, Seaborg Room Home to 1.7 billion people, South Asia was the world’s fastest growing economic region in 2016, and is expected to hold this spot in 2017. However, South Asian countries continue to face daunting challenges of persistent poverty, widening inequality, and growing instabil… Read more