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Category : Informality

  • Asia Dialogue - The Risky Business of Betting on Vegetables

    The Risky Business of Betting on Vegetables

    Sarah Rooney and Nayan Pokhrel (Fixer)

    Behind the Lagankhel bus station two rows of vegetable stalls are lined up just inches away from a never-ending queue of vans. Here, amid the relentless noise and chaos of the bus station, Samjhana, 23, and her husband Bashu, 29, have set up their first vegetable stall. Their single table is laden with a plentiful array of over-sized bitter gourds, glossy green capsicums, okra, and chilies as thick as a child’s finger. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - “The New Urban” Publication is Now Released

    “The New Urban” Publication is Now Released

    Asia Development Dialogue Team

    The development landscape in Asia is changing. As more countries reach middle-income levels, new challenges emerge while old ones evolve, all of which demands increasingly innovative perspectives. The region is experiencing rapid urbanization, ageing populations, increasingly mobile and connected peoples, increased cultural and ethnic diversity, greater vulnerability to macroeconomic shocks, more devastating natural disasters, chronic poverty with widening disparities, a rising middle class and other political transformations that might open the doors for more active citizens, and robust economic growth, which means richer but not necessarily more effective governments. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - The Many Hazards of Driving a Rickshaw in Nepal

    The Many Hazards of Driving a Rickshaw in Nepal

    Sarah Rooney and Nayan Pokhrel (Fixer)

    “When I saw other women driving tempos I thought to myself, surely I can do this too,” says Shanti, a 25-year-old Nepali tempo driver [tuk-tuks are more commonly referred to as “tempos” in Nepal]. “Truth is, it was pretty difficult to begin with. I had an accident on my first day and injured a pedestrian. Because I didn’t want my boss to know about it, I settled the damages myself. But I stuck with it, and actually became a pretty good driver…” READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Rural, yet urban: The transforming crafts villages of the Red River Delta

    Rural, yet urban: The transforming crafts villages of the Red River Delta

    Mukta Naik

    As cities become the main engines of economic growth in Asian nations, the dependence of rural areas on cities has increased tremendously. Moreover, the urban-rural dichotomy is changing to an urban-rural continuum. The primate Asian city is now understood as an urban agglomeration that is closely networked with peri-urban areas, which make the transition from rural to urban over time. In this way, urbanisation is usually understood to spread outwards of historically established city centres. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Himalayan Scrapyard Living

    Himalayan Scrapyard Living

    Sarah Rooney and Nayan Pokhrel (Fixer)

    Rajkumar is in the backyard of a popular bar, sorting through rubbish. He comes here every few weeks to collect empty booze bottles and any other recyclable material. Today, there are five or six old posters – alcohol advertisements – that he can shred, reselling both the sheet on which the poster was printed and the aluminum frame. He adds to his haul a few used cardboard boxes and an old neon sign for Yeti Airlines. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - How to make a living two baht at a time

    How to make a living two baht at a time

    Sarah Rooney

    As early as 3 a.m. every weekday morning, people begin queuing to buy bah-tong-koh at Yai Nawm’s street-side stall. The secret to making the kind of bah-tong-koh that customers keep coming back for is all in the frying, explains the 54-year-old street vendor; the deep-fried dough sticks should be crunchy on the outside while still fluffy and cloud-like on the inside. And, as her most satisfied customers can attest to, they are best eaten still warm from the wok. READ MORE