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The Multiplier: Girls’ STEM Education

October 12, 2022

Blog Post

As Asian economies grow ever more online, STEM education has emerged as a vital pathway to the future of work for girls and young women.


Higher Education Institutions Information and Communications Technology Skills Gap Assessments Report

October 7, 2022


The USAID Digital Workforce Development project in Cambodia is a five-year project targeting Cambodian youth, equipping them with enterprise-driven skills, training, and qualifications that will enable them to contribute to Cambodian society and succeed in an economy that is becoming increasingly digital. In the interest of enhancing the informatio… Read more


Recommendations Towards Improving Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Malaysia

January 26, 2022


As part of The Asia Foundation’s commitment to supporting sustainable development in Malaysia, with funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Foundation has undertaken a project to support the growth and improvement of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Malaysia. For this initiative, the Foundation… Read more


Scholarships for Girls Education in Cambodia

December 15, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

In Cambodia, scholarships provide important pathways to enable girls to achieve both secondary and university education. The Cambodia Tertiary Scholarship Program is a project of The Asia Foundation in close partnership with KAPE. The program has enabled more than 146 female students from vulnerable families in Kampong Cham province to obtain bache… Read more


Pakistan: Safe Home Initiative

August 23, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

With schools closed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, poor communities lacking access to e-learning facilities in small cities and rural areas were severely impacted. The Safe Home Initiative mitigated the impact of Covid-19 on families disproportionately affected by the pandemic in remote districts of Punjab and Sindh, including Sajawal, Sukkur, Khair… Read more


The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation Expands Partnership to Transform Girls’ Futures in Vietnam and Indonesia

August 3, 2020

News Post

The Asia Foundation and The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation (ELCCF) have renewed their commitment to transforming the future of economically and socially disadvantaged adolescent girls in Vietnam and Indonesia through education and skills development programs. Since the launch of ELCCF’s Scholarship program in Vietnam in 2010, The Asia… Read more


Girls Can Do Anything

January 22, 2020

Blog Post

Michelle Obama came to December’s Grassroots Leaders Roundtable in Vietnam to deliver an urgent message: some of the world’s best minds are going undeveloped because of our failure to educate girls.


Insider Briefing: Girls’ Scholarship Programs in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Events Post

Featuring Meloney Lindberg, Country Representative, Cambodia, The Asia Foundation Todd Wassel, Country Representative, Laos, The Asia Foundation Michael DiGregorio, Country Representative, Vietnam, The Asia Foundation Nikita Desai, Associate Director of East Coast Philanthropy, The Asia Foundation (Moderator)


Life-Changing Scholarship Programs for Girls and Young Women in Vietnam

December 5, 2019


Educating a girl transforms her life and the lives of those around her to catalyze economic, social, and health benefits with lifelong impact. Providing girls and young women in Vietnam with opportunities to pursue an education and build 21st century skills is one of the most effective ways to support girls and women to exercise their voice and lea… Read more

Two young women check blueprints in front of construction equipment 

It’s Time for Large-Scale Investment in Girls’ Education Across Asia

November 20, 2019

Blog Post

Educating girls is one of the most effective ways for countries to achieve their economic potential, improve health, reduce conflict, and save lives. Yet many funders in Asia have been reducing education support, at precisely the time when growing inequality in a number of Asian countries is profoundly affecting girls’ access to education.


Shiseido Empowers Marginalised Young Women in Asia Pacific

October 24, 2019

News Post

Girls Learning & Leading Program Launches in Cambodia Shiseido Asia Pacific, in partnership with The Asia Foundation, officially announces the launch of the Girls Learning & Leading Program (GLL), which aims to equalize access to education, opportunity and mentorship for marginalized women in Southeast Asia. Greater access to education is o… Read more


The Asia Foundation Supports Launch of Education Project in the Philippines

Manila, August 6, 2019

News Post

RTI International, with support from The Asia Foundation, SIL LEAD, and Florida State University, are implementing the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) and the Philippine Department of Education’s (DepEd) ABC+: Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+) project. ABC+ is designed to improve education outcomes and… Read more


Enhancing Access to Education for Girls and Young Women

June 12, 2019


Educating a girl changes her life and the lives of those around her. Education catalyzes a range of economic, social, and health benefits that reach far beyond individual transformation, benefiting families, communities, and entire societies. Providing girls and young women with opportunities to pursue an education is one of the most effective ways… Read more


Investing in Cambodia’s Adolescent Girls

March 13, 2019

Blog Post

Cambodia has a very high rate of labor migration to other countries, and a dramatically changing economic landscape. It also has very high drop-out rates in secondary schools. Cambodia’s state education system has been slowly but steadily improving under a set of ambitious, long-term reforms by the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport…. Read more


The Boeing Company and The Asia Foundation in Vietnam Launch Project to Prepare Young Adults for Careers in IT

Hanoi, February 19, 2019

News Post

The Boeing Company and The Asia Foundation announce a one-year vocational training program in Hanoi and Hai Duong to provide a holistic training program focused on practical information technology skills development for disadvantaged young adults in Hanoi and Hai Duong provinces. The Asia Foundation has been working to support youth in Vietnam, par… Read more


The Asia Foundation Signs MOU to Enhance School Libraries with Cambodia’s Government

Phnom Penh, October 26, 2018

News Post

Today, The Asia Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), and Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE) to implement the Books for Cambodia program. Over the next five years, the program will distribute high-quality English storybooks and educational resource books to 1,000… Read more


Corruption in Mongolia: A Problem for Youth

September 12, 2018

Blog Post

The year 2007, according to traditional astrology, was the Year of the Golden Pig. It was believed that good fortune would come to families who gave birth during this auspicious time. Regardless of the role that astrology may have played, Mongolia’s annual birth rate grew from 50,000 in 2007 to nearly 90,000 in 2014, and Mongolia today is one of th… Read more


Building Critical Thinking in ASEAN Classrooms

July 18, 2018

Blog Post

Traditional classrooms in ASEAN countries are exceptional for turning out high-performing students, well-skilled in memorization, recitation, and deference to seniority, an approach some say doesn’t equip students for a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and rapidly changing world. According to the World Economic Forum, young people will best succeed in the… Read more

Asia Foundation trustee Tim Kochis as he apeared in A & S Marquette Magazine in 2018. 

Developing a Moral Compass by Understanding the Human Condition and Appreciating Differing Perspectives: Asia Foundation Trustee Tim Kochis

June 20, 2018

Blog Post

Asia Foundation trustee Tim Kochis in A&S Marquette Magazine In his wide-ranging career, Asia Foundation Trustee Tim Kochis has been a nationally prominent wealth manager and strategic consultant, a six-time author, a philanthropist, and an educator. At U.C. Berkeley, where he cofounded the university’s personal financial planning program, an a… Read more


Philippines: Tourism Industry Training in Senior High Schools

May 30, 2018

Program Snapshot Post

Turo-Turismo is a project run by The Asia Foundation in the Philippines, through our Coalitions for Change (CfC) partnership with the Australian government. Beginning with a pilot program in Bohol in 2014, later expanded to the adjacent island provinces of Cebu and Siquijor in 2016, the tourism-focused training and immersion program prepares high s… Read more


Cambodia: YSEALI STEM Education Regional Workshop

May 1, 2018


In 2018, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) STEM Education Regional Workshop brought together 50 YSEALI members from across ASEAN countries to promote STEM education among youth. Participants in the workshop had an opportunity to participate in informational sessions, discussions on STEM education and challenges, and break-out se… Read more


Myanmar’s Girls Speak Up Against Violence

February 14, 2018

Blog Post

As Myanmar emerges from decades of military rule, challenges surrounding urbanization, governance, and gender-based discrimination are becoming more evident. In this critical transition, a number of organizations are stepping up to ensure that women and girls are heard, including Colorful Girls, a grassroots organization leading a movement to empow… Read more


Transparency, Ethics, and Corruption Issues in Mongolia’s Education Sector

June 5, 2017


This study of corruption and ethical misconduct in the education sector was conducted in Ulaanbaatar and four aimags: the regional centers Dornod, Darkhan-Uul, Orkhon, and Khovd. A total of 1,240 respondents included 1,120 parents, representing the recipients of education services, and 120 teachers, lecturers, and education sector experts. Parents… Read more

Cambodian migrant worker in Thailand 

Cross-Border Labor Migration Surges in Cambodia, Raising Risk of Human Trafficking

December 14, 2016

Blog Post

On Monday, Cambodia celebrated a National Day Against Human Trafficking, drawing attention not only to the challenges the country faces, but also to the strides that it has made in combatting trafficking. Last year, Cambodia implemented the first national action plan against trafficking and in June, the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in… Read more


Building an Economic Foundation for Girls in Southern Thailand

October 5, 2016

Blog Post

The High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, created by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in January 2016, convened alongside the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month where it released its first-ever report. The panel was created to place women’s economic empowerment at the top of the global agenda and the 2030 Agenda for… Read more

Cambodian students in the school library during a weekly reading session. 

5 Lessons on How to Build a Digital Library Program

September 6, 2016

Blog Post

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day and a half century later there’s much to celebrate. However, one of the persistent problems faced by schools in developing countries still today is a lack of one of the most essential ingredients to encourage reading: engaging children’s books to build literacy from an early age. In… Read more

Students in the Philippines 

Despite Opposition, K-12 Education Reform Moves Forward in the Philippines

August 24, 2016

Blog Post

By August, 1.5 million students across the Philippines attended 11th grade for the first time, thanks to the newly established senior high school (SHS), a cornerstone of the country’s long-running K-12 education reform efforts. The education reform debate leading up to this moment had been centered on whether or not to defer implementation of the K… Read more


Where Are India’s Working Women?

March 9, 2016

Blog Post

India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a significant segment of its 1.2 billion population in the age group of 20-35. By 2020, it is estimated that the average age in the country will be 29. For an economy that is growing at an annual rate of 7 percent…


Photo Blog: Building Digital Libraries in Mongolia

February 10, 2016

Blog Post

Since the end of the socialist regime in the early 1990s, urban migration in Mongolia has continued to play an outsized role in the country’s evolving economic and social identity. With 45 percent of Mongolia’s traditionally nomadic population now living in Ulaanbaatar, public resources, especially those for schools and education, have been stretch… Read more


Int’l Day of the Girl Child: Celebrating the Power of Girls in Vietnam and Across Asia

October 7, 2015

Blog Post

On October 11, global communities will mark the International Day of the Girl Child to celebrate girls’ rights and to recognize the achievements and shortcomings since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals…


A Village of E-books

September 9, 2015

Blog Post

The village of Tanou lies in a quiet corner of Cambodia, about 13 kilometers down a dusty road off National Highway 1 as you head towards the Mekong Delta from Phnom Penh. Trees provide a canopy of shade for most of the way to the village, beating back the blazing sun and screening the vast, partially flooded rice paddies that stretch to the horizon on either side.


Lotus Circle Advisor Janet Montag: “Give Girls a Voice and the Tools to Change Their Lives.”

June 3, 2015

Blog Post

This week in New York City, The Asia Foundation’s fifth annual Lotus Leadership Awards honored two acclaimed women leaders – women’s rights advocate Ranjana Kumari, director of India’s Centre for Social Research, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist and author Sheryl WuDunn. In anticipation of the awards gala, In Asia spoke with Lotus Circle Advisor Janet Montag, a philanthropist and community leader widely traveled in Asia and a former trustee of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. We asked her what she thinks are the greatest challenges facing women in Asia today.


Educating Young Women in Rural Cambodia

May 20, 2015

Blog Post

The women of Cambodia have made progress in education. From 2004 to 2012, the proportion of women to men in higher education grew from 29 to 38 percent. Yet, as these numbers also show, gender disparity in education persists in Cambodia


American Foreign Policy and American Education

May 13, 2015

Blog Post

Two reports with ungainly titles and ostensibly nothing to do with each other were released by U.S. federal agencies last month. Together, these two reports should provoke a moment of reflection by anyone interested in the future of U.S. foreign policy.


Post-2015 Development Agenda Needs Standalone Goal on Gender Equality

March 4, 2015

Blog Post

It has been more than a century since the world first celebrated March 8 as International Women’s Day. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women when representatives from 189 governments signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action…


Former Korea Country Representative David Steinberg Reflects on A Nation in Transition

November 12, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation marked its 60th anniversary with a special day-long event and gala on November 6 in Seoul, Korea, hosted by former Foreign Minister Han Sung-Joo…


Poll Shows Fighting Corruption Drives Support for Education Reform in Cambodia

October 15, 2014

Blog Post

Earlier this week, Cambodia’s Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) held a second high school exam to provide a second chance for the over 70 percent of 93,000 high school students who failed to pass the first annual national high school exam, held in early August. The passing rate in the first exam…


A Conversation with UN Human Development Report Author Khalid Malik

October 8, 2014

Blog Post

Khalid Malik, lead author of the UNDP Human Development Report, sat down with The Asia Foundation’s Global Communications assistant director, Eelynn Sim, on a recent visit to the Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco and on the heels of the release of the 2014 report.


A Conversation with World Learning CEO, Development Expert, & Trustee Donald Steinberg

September 10, 2014

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman sat down last month with The Asia Foundation’s new trustee, Donald Steinberg, president and CEO of World Learning, and former deputy administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, White House Deputy Press Secretary, and U.S. ambassador to Angola.


Providing Children’s Books to A Stable but Fragile Tacloban

July 23, 2014

Blog Post

Last week, Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda in the Philippines) swept through the Philippines, killing nearly 100 people and continued on its deadly path battering China and northern Vietnam. Just 24 hours after Glenda hit the Philippines, I visited Tacloban…


Conversation with Burmese Publisher, Library Advocate U Thant Thaw Kaung

July 9, 2014

Blog Post

Publisher U Thant Thaw Kaung, head of the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation and the mobile library project under the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, recently visited The Asia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco as part of a three-week study tour…


Bangladesh’s Development Surprise: A Model for Developing Countries

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

By many metrics, Bangladesh’s development trajectory is a unique success story, especially since the 1990s when democratic rule was reinstated and extensive economic reforms were made. Poverty incidence has fallen from 60 percent to around 30 percent.


Fellow Marcia Czarina Corazon Medina-Guce on Reform in the Philippines

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently interviewed Philippine local governance leader Marcia Czarina Corazon Medina-Guce on President Aquino’s ambitious reform agenda and progress on poverty reduction and inclusive development.


Photo Blog: Improving Access to Information on Waste Management in Mongolia

April 30, 2014

Blog Post

More than half of the 1.2 million residents of Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, live in the city’s sprawling ger areas, and the majority of residents lack access to basic public services such as water, sewage systems, electricity, and safe waste disposal, and educational resources including libraries.


Picturing: The Promise of Libraries in Myanmar

April 2, 2014

Blog Post

Libraries and reading have a special place in Myanmar society. Yangon, the country’s largest city, is teeming with book vendors and libraries. The American Center and British Council libraries were venerated sources of up-to-date publications…


Asia Foundation Launches New Series on Subnational Governance in Myanmar

March 12, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation just released the first volume of a new discussion paper series that identifies subnational governance issues in Myanmar and how they inform policy and reform processes. Working together with the Myanmar Development Resource Institute’s Centre for Economic and Social Development, this first paper examines decentralization within… Read more

Curator Kong Vireak at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco 

In Cambodia, Culture Shapes Identity, Spurs Economic Growth

February 12, 2014

Blog Post

Last year, the United Nations called for culture to be given top priority in the post-2015 global development agenda, citing its importance to economic growth, social inclusion, equality, and sustainable development. It is difficult to quantify the impact culture has on a nation…


Myanmar’s Libraries: A Potential Catalyst for Community Development

February 5, 2014

Blog Post

Despite five decades of near-isolation, the culture and appetite for education and reading is still very much alive for the people of Myanmar. The country maintains one of the highest literacy rates in Southeast Asia – 92.7 percent, according to government figures.


Credible Reform, Not Shutdown, Needed to End Thailand’s Political Standoff

January 15, 2014

Blog Post

For more than two months, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have gathered at Democracy Monument and other major intersections throughout Bangkok. Initially, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by former long-time Democrat politician, Suthep Thaugsuban…


In Highly Literate Myanmar, Local Storybooks are Missing from Shelves

September 4, 2013

Blog Post

As we contemplate the triumphs and remaining challenges in improving literacy this International Literacy Day, consider the fascinating case of Myanmar. The country is one of the poorest in Southeast Asia, with decaying infrastructure and an economy that is just now starting to pick up after decades of stagnation.


The Silent Crisis in Timor-Leste’s Development Trajectory

September 4, 2013

Blog Post

As International Literacy Day approaches, the matter of literacy remains an enormous challenge around the world, including in Asia’s youngest nation, Timor-Leste. Amid the competing development agendas for this democratizing, fast-developing, and oil-rich nation, education, and literacy in particular, too often falls by the wayside.


Picturing: A Storybook Partnership

September 4, 2013

Blog Post

In developing countries, one of the impediments to early childhood education is the availability of high-quality, age-appropriate reading material in local languages. Children’s book publishing is limited by the lack of specialized skills among local publishers, authors, and illustrators, and a consumer base that can afford extracurricular books. To address this gap, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program and Room to Read are partnering to expand access to compelling and culturally relevant early reading material to children in under-served communities throughout developing Asia.


Mongolia’s Young Women Leaders Inspire Merali Scholars

June 19, 2013

Blog Post

On June 9, the Zorig Foundation held its annual Young Women Leaders Event, which brought together 115 young women recipients of the Shirin Pandju Merali scholarship program. The recipients had a chance to meet one another and to hear the experiences of three successful women who rose to the top in spite of barriers…


The Invisible Girl

June 5, 2013

Blog Post

Fourteen million girls under the age of 18 are married every year – one every three seconds. The rates are highest in South Asia, where 46 percent of girls marry before they reach 18. Child marriage can be one of the most devastating forms of violence and discrimination against women.


A Conversation with First Resident U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN

May 29, 2013

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman caught up with David Carden, the first resident U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN based in Jakarta, on a recent visit to The Asia Foundation in San Francisco, to discuss ASEAN connectivity, U.S.-ASEAN relations…


Elevating Education for Cambodia’s Growth

April 24, 2013

Blog Post

Yesterday marked the 18th World Book and Copyright Day, first introduced by UNESCO in 1995, in celebration of books, authors, and the joys of reading. It’s also an occasion to reflect on the importance of education, especially as a driver of poverty reduction.


Inaugural LankaCorps Alumni Share Experiences with Sri Lankan Diaspora

March 27, 2013

Blog Post

In July 2012, five strangers – Ann Selvadurai, Sabina Martyn, Seshma Kumararatne, Sahani Chandraratna, and Sivashankar Krishnakumar – boarded a plane to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, under the auspices of a unique Asia Foundation fellowship program.


How Can Burma’s Libraries Catalyze Development?

February 27, 2013

Blog Post

A delegation from The Asia Foundation, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), and International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) spent time in Burma (also known as Myanmar) last week to hear from citizens and representatives from government, civil society, and libraries…


In Post-Conflict Sri Lanka, Language is Essential for Reconciliation

January 16, 2013

Blog Post

As a Canadian of Sri Lankan heritage, I am part of the growing diaspora living in the West who grew up speaking English as my first language. Since arriving in Sri Lanka as a LankaCorps Fellow I have been able to explore my “mother tongue,” taking lessons in both Tamil and Sinhala.