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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. Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC.

The Asia Foundation leads the X-Border Local Research Network. As part of the programme, it commissions research in the borderlands of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the maritime border area between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. A primary focus of this research is to document the effects of state intervention, policy changes and other events on the livelihoods of border populations, patterns of trade and cross-border movement, and security dynamics.

Partner Researchers

Senior Programme Officer
Tabea Campbell Pauli

Senior Programme Officer, The Asia Foundation

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Research Associate
Azizul Hoque

Research Associate, Brac University

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Lead Researcher
Starjoan Villanueva

Lead Researcher, The Asia Foundation

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Lead Researcher
Jessica Olney

Lead Researcher, The Asia Foundation

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Research Lead
Azeema Cheema

Research Lead, Verso Consulting

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Programme Manager
Nathan Shea

Programme Manager, The Asia Foundation

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Partner Content

PODCAST

21st July 2021

When the Myanmar military reclaimed power in February after a decade of democratic government, it disrupted the delicate peace process with Myanmar’s ...

NEWSLETTER

23rd June 2021

Joint bulletin from the X-Border Local Research Network about recent research and activities from The Asia Foundation, Rift Valley Institute, and Malc...

BRIEFING PAPER

14th June 2021

This policy brief, a joint publication by Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University (CPJ), and The Asia Foundation, conveys findings from a rapid ...

BRIEFING PAPER

14th June 2021

This policy brief, a joint publication by Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University (CPJ), and The Asia Foundation, conveys findings from a rapid ...

BRIEFING PAPER

30th March 2021

An analysis Covid-19’s effects in the Southern Philippines and health protocols in the Sulu archipelago.

RESEARCH REPORT

1st March 2021

This report by Verso Consulting unpacks the complexity of Pakistan’s border dynamics with Afghanistan by focusing research activity on three key bo...

BRIEFING PAPER

23rd February 2021

This policy brief, a joint publication by Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University and The Asia Foundation, conveys findings from a rapid analysi...

BRIEFING PAPER

23rd February 2021

This briefing paper examines the emergence of informal camp markets in the Rohingya refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the products sold, and t...

ARTICLE

23rd December 2020

A coronavirus outbreak in Tachileik has shone a rare spotlight on border-based hotels, KTVs and casinos with links to powerful armed groups, whose ...

ARTICLE

2nd December 2020

How political, security and socio-economic developments affect the people living in contested borderlands and, reversely, how border dynamics shape ch...

RESEARCH REPORT

20th November 2020

This report, prepared by the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research (ACSOR), conveys findings through a qualitative analysis to unders...

ARTICLE

21st October 2020

Activists in northern Shan State have been fighting for years to protect a culturally and environmentally important mountain range but face oppositi...

ARTICLE

19th October 2020

The session provides insights into the needs of refugees, their coping strategies, family ties abroad, and the adequacy and limitations of the current...

ARTICLE

30th September 2020

Complex crises tend to expose our worst faults and bare our best-kept biases. They also turn old inequalities into urgent problems, as crisis governan...

ARTICLE

22nd September 2020

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Kachin Independence Army have fought side by side for decades, but recent abuses against civilians underscore ...

RESEARCH REPORT

9th September 2020

This paper describes the ways that individuals and families living in refugee camps in Bangladesh cope with hardship and displacement.

ARTICLE

7th September 2020

The Kayah State government’s fast-tracking of a Chinese company’s proposal to invest tens of millions of dollars in a forgotten industrial zone in the...

ARTICLE

2nd September 2020

The Covid-19 crisis has once again focused attention on political fragmentation in Myanmar, especially along ethnic divides.

ARTICLE

11th August 2020

The government’s experiment with live cattle exports upset the political economy in northern Shan State, where armed groups are heavily involved in th...

ARTICLE

27th July 2020

A lack of opportunities in Mon State has turned some migrants to smugglers to cross back into Thailand illegally.

ARTICLE

23rd July 2020

Local politicians in a border region known for its frequent outbreaks of violence hope to transform it into the “next Macau”, but will have to overcom...

ARTICLE

17th June 2020

The safe return of migrant workers from Thailand amid the pandemic has required an unprecedented degree of cooperation between the government and arme...

BRIEFING PAPER

7th May 2020

An exploration of mobility, hardship, and livelihoods among refugee families living in the camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

BRIEFING PAPER

15th April 2020

Mindanao, despite its legacy as a strife-ridden region, is still known to us as the “Land of Promise.”

BRIEFING PAPER

14th April 2020

Disasters and crises—floods, earthquakes, wars, and of course pandemics—shine an unforgiving light on society’s problems and tensions. As the Covid-19...

BRIEFING PAPER

10th April 2020

As the coronavirus spread around the world from China in February, the Kayin State Border Guard Force smuggled into Myanmar thousands of Chinese worke...

BRIEFING PAPER

5th February 2020

A violent campaign of persecution has driven an exodus of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority from the northern state of Rakhine into neighboring count...

BRIEFING PAPER

22nd January 2020

In Games without Rules, author and former Asia Foundation colleague Tamim Ansary argues that bringing rural Afghanistan under centralized rule has bee...

BRIEFING PAPER

4th December 2019

It’s business as usual for cross-border trade in the Sulu Archipelago, off the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, where enterprising men and wome...

RESEARCH REPORT

31st October 2019

This study describes the networks involved in the trade of high value goods and commodities across the Sulu archipelago.

RESEARCH REPORT

30th August 2019

A study of the importance of cross-border trade for livelihoods and the economy of border districts.

RESEARCH REPORT

16th May 2019

An introduction to the work of The Asia Foundation, Rift Valley Institute, and the Carnegie Middle East Centre on the X-Border Local Research Network

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