The interplay between the duty bearers and the rights holders is a key focal issue for the Asia Development Dialogue project. The accountability of a state toward its citizens goes beyond its capacity to deliver services. Equally crucial is its provision of what is called a democratic space— the arena in which people are able to hold the state accountable, shape public debate, participate in politics, and express their needs and opinions. This webinar seeks to identify key challenges and opportunities for expanding democratic spaces in various contexts throughout Southeast Asia.


Title:                  Virtual Community Series I: Democratic Spaces in Southeast Asia

Date/ Time:       February 8, 2013 | 8 am – 9:15 am GMT | 3 pm – 4:15 Bangkok

Platform:           Blackboard Collaborate – See instruction sheet for more details on attending


1. Discuss lessons learned from development experts who have promoted democratic spaces in various contexts on local and national levels

2. To identify opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for the expansion of democratic spaces in Asia.


Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Advisor, Oxfam GB (Moderator)

Duncan Green is the author of From Poverty to Power and Oxfam GB’s Senior Strategic Adviser. He was Oxfam’s Head of Research from 2004-12. From Poverty to Power contains the accumulated knowledge of 25 years spent researching and writing about reducing poverty and combating injustice and, as he says, trying to “do justice to the complexity of the world, while still believing there is a story about how it can be changed for the better.”

Pauline Tweedie, Deputy Country Representative, The Asia Foundation

Pauline Tweedie joined The Asia Foundation in 2003 as regional ICT program officer based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There, she oversaw the Community Information Center for Democracy & Development which provided communities in many provinces with their first access to computers and the Internet. Her regional accomplishments included the implementation of a secure data transfer application for the National Human Rights Commission in Nepal, the creation of an online portal for regional women’s rights in Islam, and the development of election websites for Cambodia and Indonesia. Since then, she has worked for the Foundation in various countries in Asia, serving as a capacity building adviser for the local election observation organization in Afghanistan in 2006, working on fair elections and institutional reforms in Bangladesh in 2007, and as an election program adviser in Nepal in 2008. She has been the Foundation’s deputy country representative for Thailand since July, 2009.

Robert Boothe, Public Sector Specialist, The World Bank

Robert Boothe is a public sector specialist for the World Bank. He has engaged in the range of public sector engagement programs in Thailand as part of the Public Sector team including the planning and development of the Public Finance Practitioner’s Peer Learning Network for East Asia Pacific, the Public Financial Management Review (PFMR) for Thailand, composed and managed a Local Government Survey database in conjunction with partners in Thammasat University and National Statistics Office, comprising sub-national revenue, expenditure and household characteristic data from some 8,000 sub-national government units. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Boothe was with Towers Perrin and the Department of Finance in Alberta, Canada.

Dr. Tanet Charoenmuang, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Chiang Mai University, Advisor to the Minister of Education of Thailand, and former Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office 2001-2003

Dr. Tanet Charoenmuang, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University, has been leading a campaign for decentralization and localization since the early 1990s. His articles and books have been important parts of the campaigns for the people’s election of governors, the direct election of mayors, reconsideration of traditional Lanna costume, and the continuing use of dialect among people in local areas. 3 years of travels around the country working on decentralization and education at the national level have enabled him to gain much knowledge of the problems both at national and local levels.

His other positions have included advisor to Mr. Jaturon Chaisaeng, Minister of the Premier Minister’s Office, 2001-2003, and Minister of Education, 2004-2005; elected member of Chiang Mai University Council, 2002-2004, 2004-2006;  Chair, Local Government Studies Project, Faculty of Social Sciences, CMU, 1991-1996; Chair, Wiang Ping Council (Chiang Mai Citizens Group), 2000-2003; Chair, Chiang Mai Urban Studies Center, 1997-1999.

Dr. Carl Middleton, Lecturer, International Development Studies Programme, Chulalongkorn University

Dr. Carl Middleton has been working in the Mekong Region over the last eight years with international and local civil society organizations on issues related to sustainable development, with a focus on energy and water governance. He is presently a lecturer in the International Development Studies Programme in the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He teaches courses on public policy, environmental policy and politics, globalization, and development theory and practice.


Cherian K. Mathews, Deputy Regional Director, Oxfam GB

Mr. Cherian Mathews is the Regional Director for Oxfam GB Asia Regional Centre. Previously he worked with Actionaid.