Governance and public sector management

Stepping up civil service reforms in Myanmar

Stepping up civil service reforms in Myanmar
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has highlighted the importance of the civil service but has also, ironically, hindered its reform activities. Civil service personnel will have to work with government leaders to find the right balance between addressing public health and economic concerns and implementing policies for mitigating the effects of the pandemic. It is crucial that the civil service is equipped with the capacity and mindset to address this crisis.

Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Health, Regional cooperation and integration

The impacts of COVID-19 on financial stability and regional financial safety nets in ASEAN

The impacts of COVID-19 on financial stability and regional financial safety nets in ASEAN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is making strong efforts to maintain financial stability amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, mostly through national financial emergency measures for each member state. As a region, ASEAN has not yet formed a regional financial safety net to deal with a crisis like COVID-19.

Agriculture and natural resources, Health, Social development and protection

Enhancing agriculture potential in developing countries during the COVID-19 crisis

Enhancing agriculture potential in developing countries during the COVID-19 crisis
Much of the displaced labor force from urban centers is moving back to rural homes due to closures from restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is important that this displaced labor force is put in a working environment and kept engaged, specifically in the agricultural sector, so that such the young and energetic in the workforce are not left out. A disgruntled labor force without financial support might turn to unwanted or illegal activities.

Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

COVID-19 hitting migration and remittances hard in developing Asia

COVID-19 hitting migration and remittances hard in developing Asia
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has devastated economies worldwide, slashing jobs and incomes. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2020a) estimates that employment in Asia and the Pacific will fall by as much as 167 million jobs in 2020 should containment measures last 6 months from when the outbreak first intensified in the respective countries. In turn, wage incomes in the region are projected to fall from $359 billion to $550 billion.

Gender, Poverty, Social development and protection

How can trade liberalization boost women’s employment and well-being? An analysis of the Thai labor market

How can trade liberalization boost women’s employment and well-being? An analysis of the Thai labor market
As the economy is a gendered structure, trade liberalization affects women and men differently in various dimensions and through different channels. Trade liberalization causes structural transformation in terms of production and, therefore, leads to changes in employment patterns and income. However, the effect of trade is heterogenous across different sectors.

Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen

Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen
Over 50 years ago, a pioneering medical system was launched in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Known as the “barefoot doctors” scheme, the program liberalized healthcare beyond doctors and allowed some 1.5 million community health workers to practice basic medicine after 3–6 months of training. This effectively created a national network of healthcare services for the very first time, increasing rural healthcare coverage to 90%.

Poverty, Social development and protection

Achieving a peaceful world: What can intellectuals do to make it happen?

Achieving a peaceful world: What can intellectuals do to make it happen?
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought the world together, although in a somewhat disturbing manner. Every individual on the planet is hoping for relief from the pandemic via a cure for the afflicted and a vaccine for prevention. Notwithstanding the urgency of addressing this immediate problem, the world economy and society should use this challenge to undertake initiatives that last longer and hopefully forever.

Governance and public sector management, Health

Rare diseases in Asia and the Pacific must be tackled too

Rare diseases in Asia and the Pacific must be tackled too
Unlike the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), few people will have heard of the rare disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). It is an inherited genetic condition that affects the skin and can be fatal during infancy or early childhood for those suffering from its most severe forms. The condition causes the skin, both outside as well as inside the body, to blister and tear easily. Since the skin is unable to withstand normal wear and tear, it gets repeatedly wounded and the cells can become cancerous.

Economics, Environment, Finance sector development

Achieving policy objectives for green bonds in ASEAN

Achieving policy objectives for green bonds in ASEAN
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Global Warming of 1.5 ºC, notes the importance of mobilizing green finance for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and preventing catastrophic climate change. In line with this, some countries have been implementing policies to support green bonds. Green bonds are debt securities whose proceeds are used to fund environmental projects, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, unlike conventional bonds, green bonds finance projects with clear environmental benefits (ICMA 2018).

Economics, Health, Industry and trade

Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19

Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are significant contributors to economic activity and employment worldwide, and Thailand is no exception. In Thailand, SMEs represent the vast majority of firms and employ the bulk of the domestic workforce. According to the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP 2019), in 2018, approximately 3 million companies were classed as SMEs in the country, comprising 99.8% of all companies. SMEs also accounted for 14 million jobs, or 86% of total employment.