Countering Violent Extremism in Bangladesh
Violent extremism has dominated the global landscape of violence and crime, and is increasingly extending its reach into South and South East Asia. In Bangladesh, a recent spike in terrorist incidents has threatened political, economic and social stability, thwarted development, and heightened the need for urgent and sustainable counter-measures. While the recent preponderance of extremism is closely linked to the globalization of radical Islamist ideology, the experience of Bangladesh serves to demonstrate that a diverse cocktail of international, regional and domestic factors often contribute to the rise in violent extremism. This study explores the various drivers of violent extremism in Bangladesh and proceeds to identify a suitable policy framework, engaging relevant stakeholders to sustainably address concomitant threats in the country.
Poverty reduction through eco-tourism in Atauro Island of Timor-Leste
Time: 2.40- 3.10pm
Timor Leste is joining the world’s tourism map as a new attractive destination. The government has given high priority to develop tourism as an alternative to its depleting petroleum reserves, making it a vibrant pillar of the local economy to contribute to the efforts for poverty alleviation. Atauro Island, an untouched beauty and located at the 25 km distance from the capital city Dili, is a perfect place for developing a prosperous community-based ecotourism, solving the puzzle of balance between rapid economic growth and environmental/cultural preservation. This project studies the prospects of community-based ecotourism in the island. By conducting evidence-based analysis, it identifies the opportunities for the development of the local ecotourism. Also, it looks into the best eco-tourism practices in the world, suggesting reproducing them to best fit the local context of Atauro. The cost-benefit analysis and the principles for ecotourism set out by the UN World Tourism Organization are used to evaluate the policy options, based on which, the study provides recommendations for the sustainable tourism development of the island.
Abuse Among Child Labourers in Jaipur, Rajasthan: Mechanisms, Challenges and Policy Recommendations
Time: 3.40- 4.10pm
Child labour is a form of abuse in itself, as it involves separation from families and deprivation of education, thereby negatively affecting children’s physical and mental development. Child labourers are further more susceptible to physical, emotional and sexual abuse when enslaved or exploited by employers. According to the International Labour Organization, the Asia-Pacific region has the largest number of working children (78 million). India is home to 10.2 million; the State of Rajasthan has the fourth highest number of child labourers in the country. Its capital city, Jaipur, is rampant with child labour and abuse, with almost 50,000 children working in extremely unsafe conditions. This is in part due to Jaipur’s proximity to the poverty-stricken states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and its own concentration of industries, such as gems, bangles, and textiles, which favour child labour. Despite penalizing the employment of children in hazardous industries and criminalizing abuse, the problem persists. Through an analysis of primary and secondary data, this study assesses the policy and institutional challenges in addressing child abuse among child labourers. Policy options are provided to the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation to supplement their efforts to end abuse faced by child labourers in Jaipur.
Developing Criteria To Assess The Prevention Of Islamist Radicalization Among Urban Youth in Jakarta, Indonesia
Time: 4.20- 4.50pm
As the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has to face constant threat from Islamist radicalization. The Indonesian government has made tremendous efforts to curb radicalization and crack down on terrorist groups. Nevertheless, transnational Islamist movements have resurfaced in Indonesia, even calling for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in this Southeast Asian country. This project strives to support ongoing efforts in Indonesia to prevent Islamist radicalization by Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the country’s largest Muslim societal organization with about 60 million followers. NU plays a key role in spreading and advocating moderate Islam and influencing all aspects of the Indonesian society. However, NU does not have criteria to assess the effectiveness of its efforts to prevent Islamist radicalization, especially among urban youth, a particularly vulnerable group. This study develops criteria to evaluate the prevention role of three main areas of activities: religion, education and information. The research focuses on the capital city of Jakarta, with the aim to develop a methodology that will be adopted by NU to evaluate its performances in other urban areas within the country.
Policy design for addressing the food security concerns of the conditional cash transfer beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Philippines
Time: 5- 5.30pm
This project evaluates three policy options for expanding the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (“4Ps”), a flagship conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine’s government that aims to reduce intergenerational poverty. The program has garnered marked success in targeting the most economically vulnerable families in the Philippines. In 2016, the Duterte administration declared an intent to pursue a new policy of adding a rice in-kind transfer to the “4Ps” beneficiaries with the aim of strengthening the effect of public social protection programs on tackling food security and related health issues, and reducing the prevalence of poverty. However, according to other countries’ experiences, in-kind transfers tend to be prone to implementation issues and the problem of clientelism. The study, therefore, examines the policy implementation process of the in-kind transfers, as well as two other policy alternatives – food vouchers and cash transfer top-up. The three policy options are assessed against the criteria of cost-effectiveness, political acceptability, administrative robustness and improvability, sustainability, transparency, and accessibility. The study identifies how to operationalize the proposed policy designs based on successful models from other countries and expert interviews. The results is expected to be used by the policy implementers in the Philippine’s government as part of their strategy to improve the “4Ps”.
Strengthening communities with low income families in Singapore
Time: 5.40- 6.10pm
Strong communities rarely exist in today Singapore’s neighbourhoods, despite their claimed potential to solve some pressing social urban problems. One key dimension highlighted in the literature is how a community’s social support and resource network can benefit low income families. This project investigates how to strengthen communities with low income families in the Bukit Ho Swee neighborhood of Singapore, focusing on three rental blocks, which is mostly comprised of low income families. The team conducted 46 interviews with its residents, including at least 27 interviews with low income households, to understand their perceptions of community building, and interviewed other actors in the community, such as those from BSS and the Resident’s Committee. The analyses involves both a micro-perspective on how to develop a web of relationships that makes up a community, and a macro-perspective that seeks to describe an optimum relationship among community actors. Overall, the study aims to shed policy insights that could contribute to reinvigorating the “kampung spirit” of the old days in Singapore.