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The Asia-Pacific region has become a key driver of global politics and economics. Asia represents over half the world’s population, and is the most dynamic and fastest growing region in the world, experiencing robust economic growth, rapid technological change and increasing interconnectivity. However, Asia also faces critical development challenges in areas like the environment and natural resources management, disaster risk reduction and infectious diseases that cross national borders. USAID seeks to increase the application of science, technology, innovation and partnerships to achieve, sustain and extend the Agency’s development impact in Asia. To this end, USAID supports a range of activities and events in Asia.
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To catalyze increased engagement between the development and science and technology communities we have launched the Frontiers workshop series, focused on exploring emerging opportunities at the intersection of science & technology, innovation, partnerships, and international development.
This Frontiers event, in collaboration with UNDP, UN Habitat, and UN Global Pulse, brought the science and technology sector together with the development community to discuss the rising challenges and opportunities facing Asia as the result of rapid urbanization and climate change. The workshop centered on accelerating urban climate change adaptation by bridging science-to-action knowledge gaps and encouraging partnerships between city officials, technology innovators, development planners, academic researchers and implementers.
The M4D Asia Forum 2015, in partnership with FHI360, focused on discussing how to develop and sustain impactful mobile technology interventions to address development challengesdevelopment. The forum provided an opportunity for partnership building and experience sharing between the mobile technology and international development communities, including local technology firms, USAID implementing partners, donors and others who are developing or using mobiles for development. The Forum also highlighted the finalists and winner of our M4D Asia Award, which focuses on recognizing mobiles services in Southeast Asia with the potential to advance development outcomes. This was our second M4D Asia Forum and Award.
Review Key Takeaways from the 2015 Mobiles for Development Forum Read about the 2014 Mobiles for Development Award winners, 8villages and Open Institute (update on our 2015 winner coming soon!)
Scaling Impact Summit (March 2015)
The third event in USAID’s Frontiers series was an interactive summit focusing on how to more effectively scale innovations to achieve, sustain and extend development impacts. The forum brought together development professionals with academia, entrepreneurs and private sector partners to explore potentially game-changing innovations that address development challenges and ways in which we can most effectively partners to evaluate and accelerate adoption of promising innovations.
Regional Initiatives and Programs
Additionally, USAID supports a variety of regional activities in Asia focused on advancing science and technology networks and partnerships, and strengthening evidence-based decision-making
The Lower Mekong basin is rich in biodiversity. However, in many areas there are considerable knowledge gaps regarding existing biodiversity and the threats it faces. Through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program, USAID is supporting three regional networks of scientists to better understand some of Asia’s most pressing biodiversity challenges.
SERVIR Mekong equips governments, regional institutions and other key stakeholders in the Lower Mekong countries to employ publicly-available satellite imagery and geospatial technologies such as mapping and analysis software. This information is essential for improving environmental management and building greater resilience to the negative effects of climate change.
The U.S. Government, in partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), launched the inaugural ASEAN-U.S. Science and Technology (S&T) Fellowship in April 2014. The fellowship places emerging science leaders from ASEAN countries into their home country government ministries to strengthen evidence-based policy making. In May 2015 the second cohort of 14 Fellows coming from 7 ASEAN Member States, began their fellowships and will be working on a range of national and regional priorities related to energy security, biodiversity, and fisheries & coastal management.
Last updated: June 24, 2015