New & Noteworthy
Jon Emont asks whether Joko Widodo is a visionary or a cautious reformer in this assessment of his first two years as Indonesia's president.
Static and Dynamic Disparities between Monetary and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement: Evidence from Vietnam
There has been a rapid expansion in the literature on the measurement of multidimensional poverty in recent years. This paper focuses on the longitudinal aspects of multidimensional poverty and its link to dynamic income poverty measurement. Using panel household survey data in Vietnam from 2007, 2008, and 2010, the paper analyses the prevalence and dynamics of both multidimensional and monetary poverty from the same dataset.
Local elections in Timor-Leste are scheduled for October 29. Citizens will vote for Village Chiefs, delegates for Village Councils, and Hamlet Chiefs.
Timor-Leste has been undergoing a process of decentralization, which the current government has declared to be a priority. The new local, or suco, law stipulates expanded administrative authority for the Village Chief and Village Council including in community development, dispute mediation, and revenue collection.
Sidney Jones, one of the leading experts on extremism in Southeast Asia, writes that Islamist extremists are gaining ground because of a lack of political leadership in Indonesia.
Support for ISIS has deepened cooperation among extremists in maritime Southeast Asia, according to the latest report from the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. The report argues that law enforcement agencies in the region need to have expertise on groups outside their own borders, especially in Mindanao.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is now America’s fourth-largest trading partner. Two-way trade in goods and services has tripled since the 1990s and the United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in ASEAN. U.S.
The Philippines will serve as ASEAN Chair in 2017, at which time ASEAN will mark its 50th anniversary. Having successfully served as host of APEC in 2015, the country has demonstrated that facilitating massive, significant international events is well within its capability—thus observers’ attention can focus on substance instead of administrative details. And there is considerable attention directed to the Philippines at the moment, not least because of the outspoken new president, Rodrigo Duterte.
The potential effect of such extreme weather was shown in 2011 when Thailand was hit by the worst flood it had experienced in 50 years. This study produced the first comprehensive estimate of the economic losses experienced by households that were badly affected by the 2011 Bangkok flood. The study finds that the median household economic cost of the 2011 Bangkok floods was equivalent to about half of an average household’s annual expenditure.
Landowners’ Preferences for a Payment for Environmental Services Program: A Case Study in East Thailand
This study aimed to design a desirable payment for environmental services (PES) program to be implemented in Eastern Thailand. Landowners’ preferences on program factors were both identified and quantified using a choice experiment. The results showed that all hypothetical programs attributes were statistically significant to landowners’ participation decisions, except free-to-choose in-kind benefits. Willingness to accept (WTA) calculations suggested that higher monetary incentives could help induce landowners to participate in PES programs that generate desirable environmental benefits.
Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programs have been implemented in PES and PES-like forms in Cambodia focusing on watershed, biodiversity conservation, recreation/landscape beauty, and carbon sequestration and storage. However, a specific PES law or policy has yet to be developed. This report presents a review of selected current literature on PES and/or PES-like schemes implemented in Cambodia. Local and international NGOs were visited and interviewed in order to capture the elements of the individual programs.
In its latest report, The Anti-Salafi Campaign in Aceh, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) examines the background to the latest phase of the ideological struggle between traditionalist clerics in rural Aceh and their urban rivals. The report explores the the risk of violence this rivalry poses.
The ever insightful team at Action for Economic Reforms have released a new report analyzing the current state of the Philippine economy and the performance of the Aquino administration and proposes a framework for the Duterte administration and beyond that focuses on an innovative industrial policy that would address the structural weaknesses in the Philippine economy as well as policies to address vulnerability.
Declassified U.S. Documents Help Fill Void Left by Thailand’s Silence on 38th Anniversary of Thammasat University Massacre
This week marks the 38th anniversary of the student massacre at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand on October 6, 1976, which saw between 50 and 100 leftist student protesters tortured and killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands arrested. Thanks to the declassification efforts of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), over 75 previously classified documents are available, helping fill the void left by the Thai government’s silence on the event.
The events surrounding the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, seen by many as the darkest day in modern Thai political history, includes conferences, art works, plays and cultural events and come amid heightened political sensitivities in Thailand under a ruling military government since May 2014.
In 1980, Saudi Arabia started an all expenses-paid university in Jakarta. The Institute for the Study of Islam and Arabic (LIPIA)... Read more
Representative Zafar and Minister Zulkifli discussed current trends in the regional-level approaches to cultivating mutual respect in diverse... Read more
John Gershman of NYU discusses with Carnegie Council’s Devin Stewart the state of Filipino politics since the election of Rodrigo Duterte and where the country may be headed. Topics covered include the Philippines’ anti-drug campaign, extrajudicial killings, climate change vulnerability, and diplomatic relations with China, the U.S., and ASEAN. Read more
It is often difficult for members of local organisations to voice their concerns, especially about the shortcomings of international aid agency approaches. They may rely on funding partnerships, or simply find it difficult to communicate directly to international groups about the concerns they have. Yet their insights can be important. Today we hear from a staff member from a local organisation in Shan State on the U.N. and youth policy. Read more
Thailand's junta can breathe a sigh of relief, but only for the moment. The result of its Aug. 7 referendum on a new constitution has to be measured against a similar poll held in 2007: on both occasions, voters approved a charter drafted by a military-appointed committee created in the wake of a coup d'etat... Read more
The Islamic State’s butchery and takeover of territory in Iraq and Syria dominate the headlines, but a much less violent yet little-known conflict exists in Indonesia, where more Muslims live than in all of the Middle East. It is a battle to define Islam in Indonesia and it matters because it is taking place in one of the few democracies with a Muslim majority. There are more Muslims in Indonesia who can be loosely called progressives than there are anywhere else, but they are in constant struggle with conservative Muslims. Read more
For two days in April, many Indonesians focused on a dark and long-buried chapter in their nation’s history thanks to a government-supported conference entitled “National Symposium: Dissecting the 1965 Tragedy, An Historical Approach.” Already there is much debate...Read more