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Category : Livelihoods

  • 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 - Adversity turned to advantage: The exciting ‘mumpreneur’ segment in India’s small cities

    Adversity turned to advantage: The exciting ‘mumpreneur’ segment in India’s small cities

    Mukta Naik

    Worldwide, women face several invisible barriers in being able to get to work. In India, where women’s workplace participation is a dismal 24% and women earn only about 62% of a male counterpart’s salary, the female gender struggles with a patriarchal social structure, in which women are expected to prioritise caregiving responsibilities for children and other family members with little regard for their own needs or aspirations. In cities, lack of safety and poor infrastructure like broken pavements, inadequate public toilets and unreliable public transport make it even tougher for women to get out of the home and earn a living. 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 - Doing Business in Asia: Why Competitiveness Depends on Regulatory Reforms

    Doing Business in Asia: Why Competitiveness Depends on Regulatory Reforms

    Nicolas Picard

    This year’s new Doing Business Report, the World Bank’s annual ranking of economies in 10 business regulatory areas, has garnered plenty of headlines in the media. Chief among these in Asia is the Philippines’ significant drop in ranking, despite the global business community celebrating the country’s strongeconomic performance in recent years, and gains in other indices such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. The drop is explained in part by the nature of the Doing Business publication, as well as by recent changes in the calculation of country scores by the World Bank. 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 - Online Work: The Game-Changer for Asia’s Entrepreneurs

    Online Work: The Game-Changer for Asia’s Entrepreneurs

    Nicolas Picard

    An exciting tech trend is reshaping Asian workforces. In countries like Bangladesh where the economy is expanding alongside faster broadband speeds and mobile penetration, entrepreneurs and skilled workers looking for employment are turning to online work, or eWork. A 2014 report on global online work by Elance-oDesk (a merger of two eWork “freelance” platforms) measured over 8 million registered online freelancers and 2 million registered business clients on its two platforms combined. It is predicted that in 2014, $930 million worth of work will be completed on the platform. READ MORE

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