Going Global in Asia

For a couple of years, I’ve been delaying, desisting, and procrastinating on whether I should commence blogging again. Work has kept me busy. Really busy. And this made the decision easier as I couldn’t find the time to write and reflect on what was keeping me up and away for the past three years. In short, Asia has been keeping me up and away!

My life has revolved around policy and research in Asia – south, southeast, and northeast for the past three years. I have received a chance and many opportunities to dabble in interesting policy related issues and topics surrounding development and governance in Asia – the fastest growing, endlessly fascinating, awe-inspiring region that I have been privileged to call home for the past few years.

But this time, fingers crossed, blogging will, hopefully, be durable. I’m going to endeavor to track and reflect on the issues that have consumed my time and energies and passions over the recent post. Posts on this blog will largely revolve around three policy issues in Asia – global health, think tanks and the application of science and technology for regional development.

Global Health and Asia: Asia’s importance to global health is unparalleled. As the largest and arguably most integrated region economically, health concerns and issues are critical to regional and global stability. Hitherto, Asia has been largely seen as a bane to global health and a source of threats, not a source of ideas and insights. Despite this gap, Asia’s importance to global health will only rise and so will the attention given by the layered global health establishment. To analyze Asia’s role and potentials in global health, this blog will strive to keep a track of Asia’s ongoing involvements, financially and conceptually, with the global health trajectory and its attendant priorities, plans, programs, etc.

Asian Think Tanks: Think Tanks are everywhere. All across the world. Various kinds of think tanks exist. Some are influential, some strive for influence and others strive to strive for influence. Influence is the currency. In Asia, being close to power increases think tanks influence. Power matters in Asia. But most think tank studies seldom capture this dynamic. Across the region, think tanks are in demand to make sense of Asia’s rise and contribute to its growth. Through a series of posts and by following developments, I will endeavor to capture this thread.

Science Diplomacy for Development in Asia: Development is big and expansive. It means a lot of different things to different people. Big D (hardware) and Small d (software) development exists. One of the latest trends in the global development discourse deals with the push to integrate and apply science and technology for development. Specifically, there exists considerable scope to advance this thread through regional and transnational efforts. In several regions, Asia included, development challenges lend themselves to being tackled through enhanced scientific cooperation. For example, empowering farmers with digital technologies enables them to efficiently plan and grow their crop precisely, helping save time and resources. Through a project at the LKY School, we aptly demonstrated and witnessed this as scientists from South Asia engaged and jostled on food security. Through that meeting, it became clear to me that technologies and its applications hold tremendous potential for development.

My work, research and policy work has largely been manifesting on these three issue and from today, so will this blog – it will feature links, posts, opinions, forwards and anything else that’s bloggable.

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