Four Lessons for Improving RTI in South Asia

March 30, 2016

Blog Post

Globally, 100 countries have enacted right to information (RTI) legislation guaranteeing citizens the right to access information and records held by their governments. Over the last decade, South Asian countries have made significant progress toward recognizing this right.


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…


Not all Sun, Sea, and Sand: Reforming Prisons in the Maldives

January 28, 2015

Blog Post

The Maldives is an archipelago known foremost for its pristine beaches, exclusive resorts, and a vacation hideaway for the super-rich. In development circles the country is better known as a laboratory for all things climate-change related. Tourism and fishing have brought significant income…


Strengthening Right to Information in South Asia

December 3, 2014

Blog Post

All eyes were on Kathmandu last week as Nepal hosted the 18th annual SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit from Nov. 22-27, 2014. The annual meeting, convening the heads of state of the eight member nations…


Subnational Conflict: The Dark Underbelly of a Rising Asia

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

Asia’s rise has been momentous. Since the early 1960s, Asia has grown richer faster than any other region in the world. In 1990, 56 percent of people in East Asia and 54 percent in South Asia lived on under $1.25 a day (PPP). By 2010, these rates had fallen to 12 percent and 31 percent…


Top 3 Ways Sea Level Rise Threatens Asia-Pacific Region

June 4, 2014

Blog Post

On June 5, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will focus its World Environment Day campaign around “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level” to draw attention to the issue of rising oceans worldwide. Sea level rise is an inevitable consequence of the overall increase…


Unemployed Youth in Maldives Turn to Gangs, Reveals New Report

November 7, 2012

Blog Post

The Maldives – a stretch of islands in the Indian Ocean – is mostly known for its sandy white beaches and crystal clear oceans. Not surprisingly, tourism is the largest contributor to the island chain’s GDP and drives this popular perception. However, despite its undeniable beauty, healthy GDP growth of more than 8 percent…


South Asia Women Parliamentarians Take Lead

July 11, 2012

Blog Post

At the opening day of the South Asia Women Parliamentarians’ Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dr. Miria Matembe, former member of parliament from Uganda, voiced an increasingly common theme: “The issue of women’s participation in politics is no longer in contention. What is central to the debate now is how to make their participation effective enough to influence the governance agenda and make it responsive to women’s interests, needs, and concerns.” But, despite what seems like a growing consensus around this idea, still just 19.5 percent of the world’s parliamentarians are women.


Can Greater Regional Economic Cooperation Unite ‘Two South Asias’?

January 5, 2011

Blog Post

South Asia has seen remarkable economic growth since the 1980s, when the region began to adopt pro-growth policies such as foreign investment liberalization, privatization, and the dismantling of onerous business regulations. Since the mid-1980s, South Asia experienced an average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent in its per capita Gross National In… Read more


Climate Change and Water Sharing in South Asia: Conflict or Cooperation?

December 1, 2010

Blog Post

International climate negotiations began this week in Cancun, Mexico, with little fanfare or expectation of reaching a binding agreement on reducing rising global temperatures. The Cancun Summit builds on last year’s disappointing but massive Copenhagen climate talks in Denmark. Since then, governments have done little to follow through on their pl… Read more


Asia’s Prominent Religious and Community Leaders Challenge Status Quo

March 31, 2010

Blog Post

There is an instant before the start of a large event when, with logistical arrangements set and the agenda fine tuned, attention shifts to participants. One draws a breath and wonders what the chemistry of personalities, perspectives, and experience will yield. So I reflected at the start of last week’s regional conference on the role of leaders o… Read more


Reflections from Dhaka: Participants Share Perspectives from Leaders of Influence Conference

March 31, 2010

Blog Post

Upon their return from the Leaders of Influence (LOI) regional conference in Dhaka March 21-24 that convened over 80 participants from 14 countries, In Asia spoke with Rosita MacDonald, program officer for The Asia Foundation’s Governance, Law, and Civil Society program, and Russell Pepe, chief of party for the LOI program in Bangladesh, on what th… Read more


Religious Leaders Tackle Toughest Questions on Development in Asia

March 24, 2010

Blog Post

When President Obama declared in his Cairo speech last year “Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments, community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life,” a new sense of optimism charged those dedicated to building bridges between the two commun… Read more


In Maldives: First Democratically-Elected President Sworn In

November 12, 2008

Blog Post

Inauguration Decorations in Male, Maldives It was after 1:00 on Monday morning when I made my way out of the airport in Male, the capitol of Maldives. There was a cool tropical breeze and the smell of salt water in the air. Across a stretch of sea from the airport, Male’s skyline had grown noticeably since my last visit in 2002. I was tired after a… Read more