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Asia

Asia

Home to 60 percent of the global population, Asia is comprised of multidimensional political systems including authoritarian governments, monarchies and competitive multi-party democracies.  In recent years, several Asian nations have taken positive steps toward more democratic societies, while the growth of authoritarianism in others has led to democratic backsliding.  

In Asia, IRI envisions societies in which citizens, civil society and government actors create increasingly democratic and inclusive societies where individuals can pursue their civic, economic and cultural liberties.  As the region continues to transform, IRI remains committed to strengthening the institutions that create and maintain inclusive, transparent and accountable political processes.

APPROACH
IRI’s technical approach to program planning and implementation in Asia is informed by more than 20 years of democracy and governance experience in the region.  We take a local approach, centered on supporting democratic-minded leaders and activists who seek to foster inclusivity in their own countries.  With an emphasis on facilitating customized solutions and building long-term partnerships with regional and local stakeholders, we utilize global best practices and a variety of methods such as public opinion research and communications technology, tailoring each project countries’ unique social and political contexts.

  • STRENGTHENING CITIZEN-CENTERED GOVERNMENT: We cultivate strong democratic governance practices assisting civil servants, legislators and their staff to effectively deliver services, develop policies that represent their constituents’ needs and interests, and combat corruption.  We also strengthen citizen engagement and support mechanisms that encourage public accountability and citizen feedback in decision-making processes.  IRI’s supply- and demand-side approach to governance ultimately contributes to sustainable communication between government and individuals.
  • SUPPORTING CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT: We equip civil society and activists to effectively engage in political processes, voice their interests and hold their governments accountable.  IRI collaborates with and strengthens both local and regional civil society organizations to improve their communities through government engagement, legal rights awareness, civic education and building networks within and between countries.
  • MAINSTREAMING MARGINALIZED GROUPS: Our programming is designed to create opportunities for marginalized groups such as women, youth, LGBTI, persons with disabilities, indigenous populations and ethnic and religious minorities to participate in civil society, elections and politics.  These demographics are empowered to understand and access their rights and call for more inclusive policies that are in line with international standards.
  • STRENGTHENING MULTI-PARTY POLITICAL SYSTEMS: We work with political parties to develop issue-based platforms and policies that address citizens’ concerns, to improve internal democratic procedures such as electing party leaders, and to conduct candidate training and voter outreach.  We help parties from across the political spectrum serve as a bridge between citizens and government and encourage constructive policy debate.