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Volume 3 • Number 2

Rapporteur October

2009

N e ws l e t t e r

of

The Centre

on

Asia

and

G lo ba l i sat i o n

Transparency and Access to Information

Agents of Change Catalysing the shift in social enterprises

Governance and Transnational Pipelines From Azerbaijan to Indonesia, improving pipeline governance

Asia is Opening Up, Slowly Balancing the political and economic transparency


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Contents CAG SEMINAR

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  Agents of Change

CAG INITIATIVE

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Business Leadership for a       Sustainable Southeast Asia

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5

CAG RESEARCH

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Developing Common Intellectual       Frameworks in Global Health Governance

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Governance and Transnational Pipelines Setting the Benchmark for Good Governance

SPECIAL FEATURE on Transparency

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18

14 

Building Knowledge on Transparency      Innovations

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Unlikely Contenders in Championing      Transparency

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Asia is Opening Up, Slowly

CAG TRIBUTE

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25

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Cory Aquino: One Singular Moment,       One Great Legacy CAG INTERVIEWS

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Kelley Lee: Quest for Governance       in Global Health

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20

16

2

Simon Chesterman: Law & Order

CAG NEWS

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


About This Issue

Rapporteur Editor Sung Lee Contributors Toby Carroll, Teresita Cruz-del Rosario, Sumi Dhanarajan, Ann Florini, Jasmin Kaur, Melissa Ong, Saleena Saleem, Durreen Shahnaz, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Tan Hui Yee, Yeling Tan Design Sung Lee, Nadiah Jailani (Bob Associates) Production Bob Associates Design Consultants www.bobassociates.com Cover Illustration Danny Snell Photos Will Chua, Wayne Kao, Sung Lee, Durreen Shahnaz, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Teresita Cruz-del Rosario, Naeem Mohaiemen, M-CRIL. © 2009, CAG, LKYSPP, NUS. Rapporteur is published bi-annually. Printed on recycled paper

The Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy brings together leading scholars and policymakers to address innovations in governance in a rapidly changing world. In addition to providing a home for world-class researchers, the Centre convenes seminars, conferences and policy dialogues to advance understanding of the shifting political dynamics driving regional and global issues.

Director Ann Florini PA to Director Esther Yeoh Senior Research Fellow Teresita Cruz-del Rosario Research Fellows Toby Carroll, Melissa Ong, Benjamin K. Sovacool Research Assistants Ong Yanchun, Saleena Saleem Consultant, Public Roles of the Private Sector Programme Sumi Dhanarajan Head, Programme on Social Innovation and Change Durreen Shahnaz Executive Jasmin Kaur Head of External Relations and Special Projects Sung Lee

Words from the Director As the Centre on Asia and Globalisation enters its fourth year, we focus in this newsletter on a topic that has shaped much of our work from the beginning: Transparency. All of our work deals in one way or another with governance, and transparency is inherently part of that debate. In 2009, our transparency work included a major international workshop cosponsored with The Asia Foundation and numerous publications and interviews, described in the following pages. The year has also seen the beginnings of a collaborative research programme focused around transparency and other governance innovations in China, which will be the subject of future newsletters. On the research front, CAG Research Fellows Toby Carroll and Benjamin K. Sovacool are wrapping up their work on the forms of governance associated with pipeline promotion, implementation and operation. CAG Senior Research Fellow Teresita Cruz-del Rosario is examining the governance mechanisms in the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project in Laos, which has one of the most complex and diverse funding structures ever undertaken in Asia. Following up on the previous edition of Rapporteur, I’m pleased to report that our ambitious S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance, now in its second year, has become widely recognised as the leading Asia-based initiative addressing the growing crisis in global governance. Since the launch conference in late 2008, we have formed international study groups on health and energy bringing together top scholars in Asia and the West. With generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Health Governance (GHG) study group held its first research workshop in late September at the Rockefeller Foundation’s breathtaking conference centre in Bellagio, Italy. The interview with Dr. Kelley Lee, the group’s co-chair, gives a good sense of the rich complexity of the group’s work in this vital area. In late October, the Global Energy Governance (GEG) study group followed suit with a meeting in Singapore. The group on Concepts of Global Governance will meet in December – see the interview with Simon Chesterman for insights into those issues. The Centre continues to fulfill its responsibilities in public outreach and education through a number of programmes. In April, the Centre’s Programme on Social Innovation and Change (PSIC), headed by Durreen Shahnaz, launched the seminar series “Agents of Change”, marking the growth of a new sector – social entrepreneurs and enterprises who are playing a significant role in catalyzing the shift in social innovation. In early October, the Centre launched “Globalising Good” seminar series, which looks at some of the most compelling issues on the global governance agenda today. In the pipeline is a new seminar series entitled “Corporations to the Rescue?”, which builds on the CAG’s Public Roles of the Private Sector programme to address crucial questions about the roles of business in the age of crises. And to nurture the capacity of Southeast Asians to lead profound innovation in a world of fast-paced change, CAG will launch an executive education programme in early 2010. As the newsletter also shows, we have had few transitions since April. It’s a great pleasure to welcome to the CAG family Sumi Dhanarajan and Jasmin Kaur. Sumi is spearheading the Public Roles of the Private Sector programme at the CAG and Jasmin is providing valuable support in ever-so growing public outreach programmes of the Centre. Another newest addition to the CAG family is Olivia Sovacool, the beautiful daughter of CAG Research Fellow Benjamin Sovacool – Congratulations to Ben and his wife Kelly. The final transition involves Yeling Tan, who left in September to pursue graduate studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. Yeling’s contributions in shaping a number of CAG research agendas, in particular the Global Health Governance study group of the S.T. Lee Project and the transparency work described above, have been extraordinary – so extraordinary that we have persuaded her to remain on board as a CAG International Associate.

Ann Florini Director Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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CAG Seminar

Naeem Mohaiemen

Agents of Change The world is no longer overseen by governments alone, but by an evolving combination of actors that draw from both the private sector and civil society. words Durreen Shahnaz

The Programme on Social Innovation and Change (PSIC) at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) marked this tectonic shift in the sectors and the emergence of a new sector – social enterprise – by celebrating players who are contributing significantly to catalysing this shift. Through a seminar series, ‘Agents of Change’, audiences were exposed to these leading social innovators who have developed unique solutions to complex problems in their respective countries and sectors, and who continue to persevere in the sphere of social enterprise. The series was initiated by Mr. Sanjay Sinha, Founder and Managing Director of Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited (M-CRIL). M-CRIL is a company established to carry out professional assessments (ratings) of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and provide research and other services designed to promote the flow of investments into microfinance. Over the past 10 years, M-CRIL has undertaken nearly 600 ratings of some 330 MFIs in 32 countries, including Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Mr. Sinha’s work has been critical in the microfinance sector because he has brought about transparency and maturity in an industry that, although growing at a record pace, has

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not yet seen much analysis of its impact on its beneficiaries. His talk focused on the thinking behind M-CRIL, its methodology for rating MFIs, the impact of ratings on the growth of microfinance and emerging trends in the microfinance sectors of Asia and India. Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar was the next speaker in the series. Dr. Majumdar is the Founder and Secretary of Shushanar Janniya Nagorik (SHUJAN) and also the Global Vice President and Country Director for Bangladesh of The Hunger Project. SHUJAN made its debut in 2002 as an initiative of a group of concerned citizens of Bangladesh. Its purpose: promoting democracy, decentralisation, electoral reforms, clean politics and accountable governance. It is a volunteer-based movement in which citizens themselves invest both time and money to carry forward its work and not a non-governmental organisation supported by donors. As a non-partisan pressure group, it provides an effective platform for people to discover their voices and be heard. Under the leadership of Dr. Majumdar since its inception, SHUJAN has mobilised thousands of citizens from all walks of life who are disenchanted with the present state of Bangladesh’s politics and governance. In the process, it has become a large, decentralised network of committed individuals from the capital city down to the villages. SHUJAN has already achieved solid successes in its priority areas and its initiatives were featured in the 26 Dec 2006 issue of Time magazine. The third speaker was Mr. Sasa Vucinic who brought his passion for independent media to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School). Originally from Serbia, Mr. Vucinic is the Founder and Managing Director of Media De-

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Seminar

M-CRIL.

velopment Loan Fund (MDLF) and has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow and by the Ashoka Foundation as Senior Global Fellow. MDLF is a social investment fund for independent news media in the developing world. It provides low-cost capital, new technology solutions and management know-how to assist journalists working in challenging environments to build sustainable businesses around professional, responsible and quality journalism. Founded in 1995, MDLF has since provided about US$ 90 million in affordable financing to independent media companies in 24 countries. At the seminar, Mr. Vucinic discussed shifts in technology that have changed the way we create, deliver, and consume news and knowledge, thus rendering traditional media economics and business models untenable. Mr. Vucinic made the audience think – what is the value of independent media in these new circumstances? Are there any new, emerging, promising business models? And why should societies have to protect and support independent media outlets? Mr. Alfie Othman joined the series as a local social entrepreneur who has been a change maker all his life. Mr. Othman detailed a journey that he has been centrally involved in over the last five years in PERTAPIS, a Singaporean philanthropic entity. While there were undoubtedly bumps along the road, he noted that the end result was the birth of a new culture within the spheres of social enterprise development and preventative education. He also shared his view on how the Singaporean community embraces and understands the concept of social enterprise and, most importantly, what is required in order to move a social enterprise forward.

Mr. Khalid Quadir, another agent of change from Bangladesh, capped off the seminar series. Mr. Quadir built a successful career growing numerous social purpose businesses in Bangladesh and was a key member of the founding team of Grameen Phone – the most successful for-profit social enterprise in the world, with a current market value of over US$ 3 billion.

Sowing the seeds of future change agents for Asia Mr. Quadir’s talk focused on his work and on Bangladesh, a country once known for its cyclones and political unrest, but which is now known as a beacon of social innovation. He discussed the innovation factors that continue to propel the country forward – its tenacious people, creative organisations, entrepreneurial spirit and the important female workforce. Despite various economic and natural challenges, Bangladesh continues to produce innovative people, products and services which are transforming the development and social landscape for the world. With that note of optimism and passion, the ‘Agents of Change’ seminar series drew to a close, leaving its mark on the LKY School students and community, sowing the seeds of future change agents for Asia. R

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

Seminar presentations are available as podcasts on the CAG homepage.

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“When the storm clears, we cannot expect the “When the storm clears, we world to be as before… cannot expect the world to be in aftermath of the as the before…in the aftermath of the crisis, the redrawn global crisis, the redrawn global landscape will be less benign landscape will be less and predictable.” benign and predictable” CAG Initiative

SR Nathan President of the Republic of Singapore

Business L E A D E R for a Sustainable Southeast Asia

S H I P

Southeast Asia needs corporate leaders who can shape business models that are 'fit for purpose' in an environment where confronting sustainability challenges will be far more relevant to operations then ever before. The Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) has led in the development of an executive programme that nurtures such individuals through a unique blend of leadership methods, knowledge sharing and scenarios thinking.

words Sumi Dhanarajan & Melissa Ong

This is the age of crises – climatic, financial, health and governance. For Southeast Asia, the impact of these challenges will, if not managed effectively, disrupt current endeavours to create a prosperous and dynamic region. Consider the following: • Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. According to the Asian Development Bank, Southeast Asia’s exposure to

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increases in drought, severe weather-related disasters and rising sea levels will lead to economic and social impacts that could amount to a loss of 6.7% of their combined gross domestic product by 2100 – more than twice the world’s average – if urgent and immediate action is not taken. • The global recession will have significant impacts on the region. Many of its export-oriented economies will contract considerably leading to dramatic increases in unemployment, income inequalities, and decreases in

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Initiative

consumer spending. For example, it is estimated by the International Labour Organisation that the number of working poor living on less than a dollar a day could rise by some 40 million, and those on two dollars a day, by more than 100 million. A large proportion of these people will be from this region. For companies operating in Southeast Asia, ‘business-as-usual’ is no longer a viable option. Thoughtleaders speak of a new world order emerging post-crisis – one that emphasises the deep interconnectedness between markets, the environment and sustainable development; one that demands greater accountability for business impacts upon the environment and society; and one that requires businesses to be ‘future-proof’ in the face of unpredictable and complex disruptions of an unprecedented scale. Remaining competitive and sustaining profitability for the long run will thus require businesses being prepared for: • Risks to operations – production, distribution and sales – posed by climate change and far-reaching economic, political and social repercussions of the financial crises, businesses will need to embrace what were once seen as externalities – the environment, poverty, human rights – into core business operations; • Capital to come with conditions as investors increasingly equate a company’s ability to demonstrate good environmental, social and governance standards with strong long-term investor performance; • Supply-chain partners requiring compliance for companies to be more responsive to threats posed by climate change, through the provision of goods and services that are eco-friendly in the way they are made, used and disposed of; • Rising expectations from consumers for companies to be more responsive to threats posed by climate change through the provision of goods and services that are ecofriendly in the way they are made, used and disposed of; • Adapting to contextual realities of crises – intensifying vulnerability to poverty will be reflected in the purchasing power of consumers and productivity of workers, especially in emerging economies; • Promoting a process of generality where an individual organisation’s advanced beneficial behaviour transcends throughout an entire sector; • Governments ratcheting up their requirements upon businesses to operate in ways that support rather than sustain development efforts; and • Greater engagement with the public sector and civil society to address problems that are collective in nature through public policy frameworks as well as collaborative action. Critically, it also requires public sector actors who recognise the value of businesses that are committed to embracing these challenges, and who actively work with

Thought-leaders speak of a new world order emerging post-crisis - one that emphasises the deep interconnectedness between markets, the environment and sustainable development; one that demands greater accountability for business impacts upon society; and one that requires businesses to be 'future-proof' in the face of unpredictable and complex disruptions on an unprecedented scale. them to maximise sustainable approaches through the right policies and incentives. Similarly, it needs civil society actors who stand ready to lend their deep insights and experiences with societal needs to businesses, and who are also open to learning how businesses operate and how best to encourage change. Thriving in this new operating environment requires insightful, strategic and bold leadership that: • Makes sense of complex contexts, identifies key trends and strategic uncertainties related to these issues, and insights into how these can apply to their organisations, sectors and systems; • Employs change management strategies that deal not only with the complexities that crises bring, but also encourages innovative and transformational approaches to problems and solutions; and • Understands the collective nature of the challenges around climate change and sustainable development and actively seeks out opportunities to work crosssectorally to meet them. The Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) has developed an executive education programme to nurture the potential of Southeast Asians to become thought-leaders capable of profound innovation in a world of fast-paced change. The first course focusing on climate change will run from 22 to 26 Feb 2010. The course offers a unique blend of leadership methods, up-to-date insights into the climate change agenda and its impacts on businesses. There will also be opportunities to conduct scenario planning and a chance to hear practitioners share their experiences on implementing successful environmental strategies within their companies. R

For further inquiries, email   Sumi Dhanarajan sppv142@nus.edu.sg

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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CAG Research

Developing Common Intellectual Frameworks in Global Health Governance The Centre on Asia and Globalisation convened a workshop of the Global Health Governance (GHG) Study Group at the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Centre, Bellagio, Italy on 28-30 September, 2009. The Bellagio Workshop on Global Health Governance is part of the Centre’s S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance, a three year multi-disciplinary research project to develop insights and recommendations on how to govern a world that includes an increasingly important Asian region. The project is comprised of three study groups (Concepts of Global Governance, Global Health Governance,

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and Global Energy Governance). The Study Group on Global Health Governance (GHG) is chaired by Dr. Tikki Pang, Director of Research Policy and Cooperation at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Dr. Kelley Lee, Head of the Public Environmental Health Research Unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The GHG Workshop was attended by 15 researchers based in Asian, European and North American institutions. The purpose of the meeting was to agree on a common analytical framework for understanding GHG. Prior to the meeting, researchers completed ten-page ‘think pieces’ on a range of case studies, fleshing out key ideas and research questions to be addressed. The workshop allowed participants to share these initial thoughts and get feedback from the study group, as well as to develop a shared understanding of six important GHG issue areas: tobacco control, pandemic preparedness, international health regulations, global health and development, global health research governance and, finally, access to knowledge products. Specifically, the participants discussed the way GHG is being shaped by four broad trends: (1) the impact of globalisation; (2) the emergence of new actors exercising authority

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


Special CAG Seminar Feature

on global issues; (3) competing normative approaches to global health; and (4) the shifting geopolitical order, including the formation of regional bodies and like-minded clubs. With these broad trends in mind, the Study Group members also addressed three conceptual areas of global governance: • Sovereignty and World Order: The growing tensions between the need for collective action and the principle of national sovereignty in the field of GHG; • Conceptions and Contributions from Asia: the ways in which GHG is conceived in Asia and how Asia connects with concepts of GHG which were mostly developed in the West; and • Institutional Diversity and New Governance Mechanisms: emergence of new non-state actors, networks

and partnerships, new information sharing and disclosure mechanisms as well as new international rules. Based on the feedback gathered at Bellagio, field research and analysis for each research paper will now take place from October 2009 onwards and the final papers are scheduled to be completed by March 2010. R The final report of the Bellagio Workshop will be available on the CAG homepage in late 2009.

Read an in-depth interview with Dr. Kelley Lee, Co-Chair of the Global Health Governance Study Group of the S.T. Lee Project on P22.

A cart pulled by too many horses? The Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) launched a seminar of the S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance series titled “Globalising Good” on 12 October, 2009 at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The first series, titled “Global Health Governance: A cart pulled by too many horses” was delivered by Dr. Tikki Pang, Director of Research Policy and Cooperation at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and also the co-chair of the Global Health Governance Study Group of the S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance. Here is the synopsis of his talk: From pandemic influenza H1N1 to chronic diseases, and from fragile health systems in times of financial crisis to the health impacts of climate change, the world faces a staggering array of diverse and trans-national threats to health and well-being. Health equity remains elusive and the realization of the health-related Millennium Development Goals remains a distant dream. The developing world bears the brunt of the burden, with many of the largest developing countries located in the Asia Pacific region (home to 60% of the world's population). Global health governance has an important impact on contemporary health policy which, at the level of individual countries, must deal and respond to these health threats. Unfortunately, and despite

unprecedented resources, global health governance itself is in disarray due to fragmentation, poor coordination, inappropriate priorities, lack of accountability and transparency, and the absence of a common, shared vision. New measures and innovative thinking are needed to overcome these barriers to effective global health governance. Importantly, Asia has much to contribute in the form of ideas, experience, values and resources towards the development of more effective and sustainable models of global health governance. R www.lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/CAG

Watch Dr Pang’s seminar on the CAG homepage

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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CAG Research

Governance and Transnational Pipelines Empirical evidence suggests that the role transnational hydrocarbon pipelines play in energy policy and security, human rights, and international politics is complex. Transnational pipelines impact upon interstate and state-society relations, local-level community dynamics and, of course, ecosystems. In recent years, non-governmental organisations have raised critical issues associated with high-profile transnational pipeline projects, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, the Chad-Cameroon pipeline and the pipeline between Burma and Thailand. However, little scholarly work has been done to understand the patterns of governance associated with the promotion and operation of transnational hydrocarbon pipelines. Recognising this gap, in late 2007, we embarked upon a project that would both detail the forms of governance associated with pipeline promotion, implementation and operation, as well as analyse the interaction between pipelines and socio-cultural, economic, political, and environmental landscapes. words Toby Carroll & Benjamin K. Sovacool

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Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Research

Initially, the project focused upon the Trans-ASEAN gas pipeline (TAGP) network – an ambitious set of pipelines (existing and proposed) that traverse the borders of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. Subsequent external interest in the project, and the securing of a grant from Singapore’s Ministry of Education led us to expand our geographical focus and take a comparative look at one of the most important contemporary theatres for transnational pipeline governance: the Caucasus. The project has essentially looked at the governance of pipelines in two interrelated ways. Firstly, governance is understood in a quasi-managerial sense. That is, in analysing both the TAGP network and the BTC pipeline in the Caucasus, we were interested in assessing the structures and strategies associated with the construction and operation of oil and gas pipelines across national boundaries. Transnational pipelines incorporate complex financing arrangements which often necessitate the involvement of a mix of public and private funders that bring with them specific conditions for both companies and governments to fulfill. Hydrocarbon companies, having been earlier subjected to criticism from civil society, now operationalise environmental and social impact assessments to mitigate risks along pipeline routes and require new codes to be applied to sub-contractors and government agencies. International treaties, such as the Energy Charter Treaty and new transnational contractual arrangements are now regularly attached to transborder pipeline projects, impacting upon domestic legal frameworks. Further, pipeline projects are now important elements in broader regionalist projects. Taken as a whole, these structures and approaches constitute a technocratic form of pipeline governance that is now increasingly found around the world in pipeline and other infrastructure projects. The second form of governance that the project has focused upon has been the political formations and shift in state-society relations that transnational pipelines put into effect. The construction and operationalising of transnational pipelines affects many actors at varying scales. There are issues of land tenure and compensation, royalty and revenue expenditure and the consolidation of particular political regimes, not to mention the perennial concerns of transparency, accountability and issues of representation.

The TAGP Network

With these dimensions of pipeline governance in mind, our initial research focused upon the TAGP network.

Pipeline projects are now important elements in broader regionalist projects. Taken as a whole, these structures and approaches constitute a technocratic form of pipeline governance that is now increasingly found around the world in pipeline and other infrastructure projects. Once completed, the TAGP network would include a series of natural gas pipelines spanning 10 countries spread across 4.5 million square kilometres of land. Operating according to a master plan articulated by ASEAN, the primary stated purpose of the TAGP network is to connect the gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia to the rest of the region. Importantly though, despite ASEAN’s intention that the TAGP network be an important part of building regional cohesion, in reality, the project has unfolded in a fairly ad-hoc way, subject to the overriding concern of market demand and the vicissitudes of the global political economy. In this situation, energy-hungry ASEAN members, such as Thailand and Singapore, have sought to secure increasing quantities of gas from regional neighbours such as Burma and Indonesia, respectively. While this has meant that supplier countries have been able to earn incomes for their exports, this has not come without costs for domestic interests in gas supplying states. On Batam Island in Indonesia, which hosts one piece of the TAGP network between Sumatra and Singapore, the transnational connection has impacted industry and raised the ire of Batam residents. In the case of the pipelines between Burma and Thailand, there have been significant human rights concerns which have resulted in high-profile international court cases, bringing negative attention to the region and the relationship between particular regimes and the hydrocarbon industry. Further, on the specific issue of regionalism, the TAGP network operates as a network in name only, with the project really being a series of individual pipelines. The TAGP network demonstrates that talking about regional energy cooperation and regional pipeline projects is much easier said than done, with the TAGP network plagued by conflicting goals and priorities, differing concepts of energy security, increasing protectionism and suspicion.

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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CAG Research

The BTC Pipeline

The BTC pipeline transports crude oil more than 1,700 kilometers from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. The US$ 3.6 billion pipeline spans three countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey – and was financed by a complex array of international public and private investors. As the main conduit for exporting Azeri oil in the Caspian to world markets, the BTC pipeline traverses difficult terrain, passes through or close to several conflict zones, and impacts upon marginalised ethnic groups. The BTC pipeline is an interesting case of pipeline governance in that the BP-led consortium responsible for the project set out from the very beginning to make the pipeline an example of best practice. Significant efforts were made to ensure that villages were consulted on relevant issues, oil funds were used in responsible ways, and environmental social safeguards were applied. While some suggest that the impressive array of mechanisms that accompanied the BTC pipeline resulted in a better outcome, the BTC pipeline still raises very real questions of pipeline governance. Issues of land compensation, environmental risks, and the management of sub-contractors have been prominent with the BTC pipeline, as has the bigger issue regarding the use of oil revenues – in particular by a centralised and repressive regime in Azerbaijan. Further, there is the broader issue of how a project like the BTC pipeline figures within geopolitics, being a key piece of infrastructure that has come to symbolise a new ‘Great Game’ being played out in the Caucasus between the West and Russia.

Going Forward: Improving Pipeline Governance

From the outset, we intended that the research project would not only attempt to map the forms of governance accompanying transnational pipelines but would also provide policy suggestions that could mitigate or prevent some of the problems of existing forms of pipeline governance. In many ways, at first glance, the managerial form of governance noted above on a project like the BTC pipeline looks good and constitutes current best practice In the case of the TAGP network, even on paper, there is significant room for improvement.

However, in actuality, significant governance problems remain in both cases. Crucially, many of the least attractive elements of contemporary pipeline governance are issues of representation and could only be lessened and/or avoided by new opportunities for public participation in decisionmaking. Of course, these can be costly in terms of time, resources and the realisation of particular interests. However, if transnational pipeline projects are to remain viable and legitimate recipients of public money, not to mention contributors to more positive forms of regionalism, many of these costs cannot be ignored indefinitely. While modest improvements to pipeline governance have been made with efforts such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Publish What you Pay, not to mention the involvement of civil society groups in monitoring aspects of a project like the BTC pipeline, there is still a great deal of room for stronger transparency and accountability mechanisms and importantly, an expansion of the political space in which such mechanisms operate. Guaranteeing a fair and prudent representation of interests under repressive regimes (such as those in Myanmar and Azerbaijan) is far from straightforward. This said, it is not unfathomable that ASEAN (in the case of the TAGP network) or some of the parties involved in the BTC pipeline could establish supra-state governance institutions that could recommend, enforce and adjudicate on matters of pipeline governance. Of course, the everpresent issue of political will makes such endeavours a formidable challenge. However, to remain complacent on tackling issues of pipeline governance could have very serious implications for those promoting and operating transnational pipelines, not to mention the populations that the pipelines affect. To date, the research project has charted many of the key difficulties in the patterns of governance associated with transnational pipelines, the vastly more difficult task however remains establishing positive policy changes to effectively address these difficulties. R For further inquiries, email Ben bsovacool@nus.edu.sg Toby tcarroll@nus.edu.sg

Related Publications by Ben and Toby Benjamin K. Sovacool, ‘Reassessing Energy Security and the Trans-ASEAN Natural Gas Pipeline Network in Southeast Asia’, Pacific Affairs, vol. 82, no.3, Fall 2009, pp. 467-486. Toby Carroll, ‘Pipelines, Participatory Development and the Regionalism of the Caucasus’, Centre on Asia and Globalisation Working Paper no. 7, August 2009. http:// www.lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/CAG/Handler.ashx?path=Data/Site/ SiteDocuments/CAG/CAGWorkingPaper_007.pdf

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Benjamin K. Sovacool, ‘Energy Policy and Cooperation in Southeast Asia: The History, Challenges, and Implications of the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Network (TAGP),’ Energy Policy, vol. 37, no. 6, June 2009, pp. 2356-2367. Toby Carroll and Benjamin Sovacool, ‘Contested Regionalism in Southeast Asia: the Politics of the trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Project’, Centre on Asia and Globalisation Working Paper Working Paper no. 2, September 2008. http://www.lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/docs/fac/benjamin-sovacool/ Working%20Papers/CAGWorkingPaper002.pdf

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Research

Setting the Benchmark for Good Governance The Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project in Laos provides an illustrative case of an energy governance innovation anchored on multi-stakeholder participation. Despite ongoing criticisms, the project demonstrates a mechanism by which different stakeholders can propose, defend, and perhaps even adjust their perspectives. words Teresita Cruz-del Rosario

The Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project in Laos is potential negative social and environmental impacts of the easily the biggest and most ambitious hydropower project project, the Lao Government insisted on the participation for Laos. It is funded by a consortium of international of the multilateral institutions (MIs), specifically in terms funders that include nine of drawing up a “compliinternational commercial ance list”, that is, a series of banks, seven Thai commermeasures that will mitigate cial banks, and equity paran array of financial, social ticipation from the World and environmental risks as a Bank (WB), the Asian Deprecondition to their particivelopment Bank (ADB), and pation. Thus, the WB and the the European Investment ADB spearheaded a consultaBank (EIB). Altogether, the tion process to include interproject is financed under national, regional, national 11 different debt facilities, and local stakeholders. The making it one of the most affected communities in the complex and diverse funding Nakai Plateau were likewise structures ever undertaken consulted, and an elaborate in Asia. The total project resettlement plan was drawn cost is US$ 1.29 billion. up to include the replacement The underlying rationale of livelihoods that were lost for this project is primadue to their displacement. rily to provide Thailand with This case study is a declean energy in support of tailed account of the governThe Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project Thailand’s industrialisation ance mechanisms put in place programme. This will, in by the WB and the ADB to provides a “model” for other forthcoming turn, help reduce Thailand’s ensure that compliance is adhydroelectric projects in Laos that will be dependence on natural gas. hered to by all partners. More funded by private financiers without MI As hydropower is considered importantly, the Nam Theun a clean and safe source of 2 Hydroelectric Project (multilateral institutions) participation energy with very low carbon provides a “model” for other and sets the benchmark for future similar emissions, it is estimated that forthcoming hydroelectric undertakings both for the Lao Government Thailand will avoid generatprojects in Laos that will be ing, on average, a total of 2 funded by private financiers and its financing partners. million tons of carbon dioxwithout MI participation and ide per year. In turn, Laos will sets the benchmark for future benefit considerably from the sale of electricity to Thailand similar undertakings both for the Lao Government and its via an agreement between the two countries on a pricing financing partners. As this is the first of its kind in Southeast structure that commits Thailand to purchase hydropower Asia, the Nam Theun 2 project is an illustrative case of an from Laos over a period of 25 years. The estimated earnings energy governance innovation that could potentially be for Laos are US$ 2 billion, thus contributing substantially replicated in other countries facing similar concerns. The to the achievement of development goals for Laos. case study also incorporates the views of other stakeholders While formal construction commenced in June 2005, who remain opposed to the project. the process of consulting various stakeholders from all over the region began in earnest over a decade ago. The For further inquiries, email share of project lending from the WB and the ADB is small Tess tdelrosario@nus.edu.sg compared to the other financiers. However, due to the

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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Special Feature - Transparency

Building Knowledge on Transparency Innovations On 4-6 Mar 2009, The Asia Foundation and the Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore jointly hosted the International Workshop on Transparency and Access to Information. The event brought together academics, civil society and government officials from China, India, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, to discuss ongoing innovations and challenges in the use of transparency regulation in strengthening local governance.

Danny Snell

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Rapporteur  |  October 2009


Special Feature - Transparency Significant global-based trends are combining to make transparency and disclosure regulation among the most important and exciting areas in which government and civil society can work to transform and strengthen local governance architectures. Not only are advances in electronic and digital communications enabling people to access information that governments may not want publicised, ideas and norms have also fundamentally shifted. It is increasingly expected across societies that ‘good’ governments are transparent and open, and practitioners are also actively recognising that transparency can be a useful regulatory tool to improve performance across a range of governance sectors, from economic to environmental, health and corruption. The timing of the workshop facilitated prodigious sharing on the various approaches and obstacles for transparency regulations that spanned the whole policy-making process. At the policy-drafting stage, Vietnam’s National Assembly has agreed to include an access to information law into the 2009 legislative agenda and has assigned the Ministry of Justice to head the drafting committee, with the expectation for the law to be promulgated in 2010. At the implementation stage, China’s Open Government Information (OGI) regulation came into force on 1 May 2008 and efforts are ongoing to implement the regulation at the local level. On the enforcement and sustainability question, countries such as Korea and Mexico have had access to information laws in place for over a decade, placing them in a position of being able to share plentiful lessons in implementation, and efforts at improvement over time. The diversity of country experiences gathered in Singapore made for some intense discussion on the wide-ranging approaches to enacting transparency regulations. For example, India’s noteworthy transparency law was the result of a sustained and extremely widespread campaign carried out by a vast network of civil society groups across the country. China’s OGI regulation, in contrast, was driven by a combination of top-level political commitment and sustained bottom-up experimentations by local governments. The workshop saw participants engaging in lively discussion on the various roles of government, civil society and academia in advancing the use and understanding of transparency as a governance tool. Some emphasised that civil society demand for information is crucial to the successful practice and implementation of access to information laws and regulations, and underscored the need for civil society to be constantly vigilant and to act as a check against the government. Others placed greater emphasis on the need to have strong government leadership and political will to drive reform and overcome the myriad of vested interests within the system – so as to create an effective system of disclosure and transform the mindsets of public officials. Still more participants commented that it would be important to debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions leading to fears about the potentially destabilising effects of government openness. Academia plays an important role in this process, in building up research projects that rigorously investigate the relationship between transparency regulations and governance performance. Participants also tackled the relationship between transparency regulations and democracy. It was pointed out that in Mexico, a gradual and steady process of democratisation led to transparency being viewed as an important component

of the democratic system. Some argued that transparency can only flourish in a culture where the principle of transparency is tightly coupled with the democratic notion of access to information as an individual right. On the other hand, it was also argued that transparency regulations can work across a wide range of political environments. For example, Vietnam has an investigative media and a culture of strong public opinion, which has combined to create an environment that favours transparency – as evidenced by the vigorous debate in the media on the Vietnam government’s recent stimulus package. One presenter suggested a few broad guiding principles for the enactment of successful transparency laws: first, the laws should be compatible with the existing political environment; second, the It is increasingly expected law has to benefit across societies that ‘good’ public officials as well as the people governments are transparent so that there are and open, and practitioners are proper incentives also actively recognising that for successful implementation; transparency can be a useful and third, impleregulatory tool to improve mentation efforts performance across a range should involve participation of governance sectors, from from civil society economic to environmental, and the media. health and corruption. The workshop also saw substantive discussion on the challenges of the implementation process. It was noted that there are several challenges lying ahead for the implementation of the OGI regime in China. Areas for improvement include: a clearer articulation of the principle of openness in national and local legislation; a clearer definition of secrecy and exemptions to disclosure in existing laws and regulations; stronger participation from civil society; and stronger action from the courts. Particular attention was given to the work being done by the Legislative Affairs Office of Hunan Province, in partnership with The Asia Foundation. In general, participants noted a wide range of challenges on the implementation front. First, challenges can arise from a culture of secrecy within the government and bureaucracy, and a lack of political will and commitment. Second, is the challenge of having adequate resources, building the proper systems, procedures for archiving, record-keeping and disclosure, and training for public servants. Third, is to establish consistency between new disclosure regulations and existing laws, particularly secrecy laws. Fourth, it is critical to generate sufficient awareness within the government bureaucracy and publicly across business and society. Without outside pressure and demand for information, the government faces little incentive to implement disclosure systems properly. Moving forward, workshop participants agreed on an set of research and programmatic agenda for future collaborations. There was an enthusiastic reception to the idea of forming global networks between academic institutions, civil society organisations and governments so as to promote long-term sharing of knowledge and learning in transparency thus helping to create awareness and build norms across sectors. R

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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Special Feature - Transparency

Unlikely Contenders in Championing Transparency Imagine the global contest for leadership as a battlefield. The front lines aren't just military and economic: Ideas are at least as crucial. And in this struggle, openness and transparency are growing ever more important. The United States, which once had an enormous advantage in terms of transparency, lost its position during the Bush-era rollback of civil liberties. Meanwhile, two surprising contenders have entered the lists. words Ann Florini and Yeling Tan

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Rapporteur  |  October 2009


Special Feature - Transparency

The first is India. India's rambunctious, sprawling democracy has long been highly secretive, in keeping with colonial British traditions. But this started to change in the early 1990s, when grass-roots groups began demanding access to documents held by local governments. Day laborers, who are often left un- or undercompensated for government projects, demanded to know who else was getting paid, and how much. Villagers wanted to know why their schools remained unfinished. The movement spread rapidly, based on the notion that transparency was essential not just to liberty but to survival. By 2005, this nationwide grass-roots campaign led to one of the world's most sweeping right-toknow laws. Indeed, the Indian Right to Information (RTI) Act is proving to be a muscular instrument for empowering citizens’ vis-à-vis India's notoriously ponderous bureaucracy. When police can't be bothered to accept a complaint about a theft, citizens can file RTI applications to find out why not, which often prompt the police to do what they should have done in the first place. Public works contractors must publish their contracts at their work sites, allowing local citizens to measure how work is going. The government and nongovernmental organizations have launched evaluations of the act's impacts, both still underway. But already campaigners are finding that some two thirds of focus group participants said that greater access to information would help solve many of their problems. The far more surprising second contender is China. Conventional wisdom in the West portrays China as authoritarian, secretive, and rigid. Yet in 2008, China's State Council proactively established a set of nationwide open government information regulations. Now, via gazettes and Web sites, the government discloses an increasing array of statistics and details about health, education, budgets, economic programmes, and urban planning. The same regulations allow citizens to request the release of information from the government. This move, drawn from several years of experiments with transparency and accountability at local levels, represents a major political shift. China's system, traditionally dominated by secrecy and the rationing of information, is

increasingly premised on openness and public scrutiny. One year in, the regulations are actively being used by citizens addressing grievances in land requisition, by environmental groups monitoring corporate standards, and by lawyers and public intellectuals scrutinizing everything from government toll collection to budget spending. The sea change is likely due to strategic party calculations, rather than an embrace of democratic principles. Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party has found that secrecy can cripple its own efforts to foster growth and stability in a globalized world. For instance, China needed to improve its economic transparency to join the World Trade Organization. The global health and economic damage brought by the 2003 SARS outbreak and 2008 melamine poisoning scandal further spurred the government to become more open and stamp out malfeasance within its system.

Western countries no longer have a monopoly over the definition and value of openness and disclosure. The calculations are also domestic. China has to deal with official corruption that is not only endemic, but spreading. Its citizenry is increasingly informed, networked, and assertive. With pressures on these multiple fronts intensifying, the leadership has come to recognize that it must build in checks to its own administrative power if the country is to enjoy the economic growth and political stability upon which the party's continued dominance depends. Thus, the contours of a new global contest are emerging. Western countries no longer have a monopoly over the definition and value of openness and disclosure. India's grass-roots approach champions transparency as a critical means of empowering the poor. China's state-driven approach wields transparency fundamentally as an alternative (rather than a prerequisite) to democratic reform. If the United States and other Western countries want to avoid losing the battle, they'll pay close attention to developments in these two countries. R This article, originally titled "Transparent Warriors", was first published in Foreign Policy.

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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Special Feature - Transparency

Asia is Opening Up, Slowly The seemingly opaque world of Asian governments is anything but these days as several are trying to open up to scrutiny. Asia is a hotbed of experiments in this area, says Ann Florini, Director of CAG. words Tan Hui Yee

Asia, she declares, is a hotbed of experiments in this area.Democratic India passed the Right to Information Act in 2005, giving citizens the right to inspect and take copies of anything from contracts to circulars to e-mail of the government. Last year, China — with a longstanding reputation for closed government — allowed relevant government information relating to “production, livelihood, scientific research” to be released to citizens. Socialist Vietnam, meanwhile, is looking to implement similar regulations in the next year or two, she says. It was such developments that led the US researcher here three years ago, to head the newly formed think-tank Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. It aims to bring “Asians and Westerners together as equal partners in figuring out how we run the world”. The outfit, which is staffed by 12 people from around the world, has its premises in Bukit Timah and looks into topics like politics and energy policy. She says she came here to examine at close quarters Asia’s take on governance — a Western-dominated topic linked to issues like transparency. “You’re used to thinking of transparency, freedom of information as being

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Western concepts. They’re really not. They’re basic concepts of how you do governance,” she says. Singapore, she says, is “almost schizophrenic” on this score. World Bank governance indicators show that the Republic consistently gets top marks in areas like “government effectiveness”, and “control of corruption”. But it sinks near to the bottom when it comes to “voice and accountability”, which covers areas such as freedom of expression. In 2007, the Republic scored around the 35th percentile in that aspect globally, even lower than Timor Leste, Mongolia and Albania. The top performing countries on this score include Switzerland (99.5 percentile), New Zealand (97.1 percentile) and Sweden (96.6 percentile). In Singapore, she notes, there is a clear separation between economic transparency — which allows people to access information to run businesses, for example — and political transparency. On this duality, she says: “To what degree are other countries also trying to separate these two categories and is that sustainable? Over the long term, my guess would be: No. “Because once you get people in the habit of expecting the government to answer their questions and once you get up rules that say citizens have

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

the right to go to the government and demand this information, it becomes harder to draw limits.” In China, many citizens are using the recent open information rules to access records on land ownership in the light of recent land grabs by local officials, who seize plots for sale to property developers without proper compensation. “The question of who owns this land: Is that an economic issue or is that a political issue? Is that a power issue? It kind of straddles everything. It becomes harder and harder to say this information will be disclosed and this information will not.” All governments, she notes, habitually shy away from disclosure. “It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about an authoritarian government or a democratic government. Governments are always trying to keep secrets. How well they can get away with that depends on a large part on the strength of civil society.” But civil society, she maintains, does not stand in opposition to the government. “If you have a broad-based civil society, you have ways in which citizens can organise themselves to bring issues to the government or to deal with problems themselves directly...If you don’t have that, it’s not clear what the alternative mechanisms are.”


Special Feature - Transparency

A reliance on top-down decisionmaking prevents a society from becoming resilient enough to withstand the major shocks she expects Asia to face in coming years. The environmental havoc caused by climate change and threat of global pandemics, for example, are just signs of things to come. She thinks a resilient society is one where people are accustomed to looking to themselves and their peers and networks for solutions. A resilient society rolls with the punches, she says. “If you go back to the American response to the Sept 11 attack, on that day, there was no panic in New York City. And that was because you had a society where people were able to cope, were not waiting to be told what to do. If you talk to people who actually fled the scene in New York, obviously there was horror, there was despair, but there was no panic. That’s a strong sign of a pretty resilient society.” One can build resilience by “making sure that everybody has basic education, has been taught how to think, and think for themselves. It’s partly by making sure you have networks within the society so people can turn to each other without having to wait for some centralised decision-maker to do something’. Apart from organising workshops to bring regional governance scholars and policymakers together, her centre is now translating case studies of regional governance experiments into English to allow them to reach a wider audience. This is because the issue of governance has become more challenging in recent years, she says. While the bulk of resources to solve problems lies with national governments, “most of the problems don’t respect national borders”. And Western-dominated decision-making systems “don’t make sense in a world that is no longer Western-dominated”. In this new world, Asia needs to figure out what kind of responsibility it should bear, instead of waiting to “react to Western proposals”, she says. “Part of what comes with becoming a great power, which India and China are, is taking responsibility for managing the world. There has been a great tendency

to say: ‘We still have so many huge lectual community...you have to allow internal problems that we can’t take that kind of freedom. It’s messy, it can responsibility for anything outside.’ seem incredibly inefficient, but it’s how They are far poorer countries. But you build intellectual capacity. their own countries are going to suffer “Decision-makers often don’t know unless they play a more pro-active role what kind of questions they need to be on the global stage.” asking. That’s the role of the intellecShe stresses that this is not about tual community.” Asian countries putting in money that At this point, the question of they can ill afford, but about “intellec- “Asian values” crops up. The term is oftual engagement”. ten equated with Confucian precepts This means attending events like the like frugality and hierarchy, and has recent G-20 meeting in London with an been championed at various times by idea of what rules they want implement- regional leaders such as Singapore’s ed and what they are prepared to live by. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Asked what role “Asian values” would play in the intellectual interaction between Asia and the West, she replies without hesitation: ‘I have been married to an Asian for over 20 years. I’ve now lived in Asia for 21/2 years. I have yet to see what Asian values are that are distinct from Western values. “The claim is always made that Westerners are more individualistic and Asians are more communitarian. But certainly in terms of how that plays out in governance, you can use claims of individualism to avoid responsibility, and you can use claims of communitarians to avoid accountability.’ “Asian values” will be a point of contention on a global level only if Asian leaders “choose to hide behind If you want to have them”. “It’s the same way that the US was using freedom and democracy proa rich intellectual motion over the last eight years... you community... you can use it as a way of trying to beat the rest of the world over the head.” have to allow that But there will always be a range kind of freedom. It’s of people who are more deferential to authority and those who are not, and messy, it can seem this spectrum exists in all societies, she feels. incredibly inefficient, “When you actually look at how the but it’s how you build societies function and how the citizens want them to function, the similarities intellectual capacity. are much greater than the differences. People want government to be acSuch intellectual clout can come countable and they want power to be about only with more academic free- constrained, and they want services to dom. At the Brookings Institution, for be provided.” R example, donors may fund a project but have no say over its agenda. That This article was written by Tan Hui Yee and first published in The Straits Times is set by the scholars themselves. “If you want to have a rich intel- on 15 April 2009.

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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CAG Tribute

One Singular Moment , One Great Legacy Mrs. Cory Aquino, the only President I have ever served, would perhaps be best remembered for her inspiration to the global democratic movement. Hers was a one-term presidency dedicated to accomplish a monumental task --to restore a democracy, however imperfect and oftentimes flailing, so that it can resist any and all future attempts to demolish it. words Teresita Cruz-del Rosario

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In 1981, I went to Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Mason Fellow. There, I met Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino who was then in exile with his family. He was a fellow at the Center for International Affairs and had been giving speeches all over the intellectual community in Massachusetts. I made sure I listened to each one of them. From the first night he spoke at Kennedy School in the fall of 1981 to talk about Philippine-US history, I recognized the power of his speech. His voice was unwavering; he was sharp, fast, and crisp as he recanted the bitter memories of the Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century. Harvard honed his speaking skills as well as his propensities for methodical research. From the glib politician I listened to as a student activist in the early 70s just before Martial Law was declared, Ninoy became in my eyes a seasoned public speaker, the kind that held audiences at the edge of their breath, as he traveled across a range of topics that was the envy of any aspiring politician and public lecturer. Then he was shot dead on August 21, 1983, minutes after

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Tribute

his plane touched down, supposedly by an assassin on a hit mission by the New People’s Army --- the armed guerrilla force of the Communist Party. The television news showed both dead bodies on screen lying on the tarmac, deathly cold on the sweltering airport pavement. In Manila, the entire city was awake and agitated with the news of his assassination. Cory Aquino, his widow, was already being interviewed non-stop in her home. That old familiar rage of my undergrad years as a student activist returned. Shortly after the 1986 uprising, I returned to the Philippines and interrupted my graduate student career. Cory Aquino became president of the newly-democratized Philippines after a spectacular four-day people power uprising. I decided it was time to shed the cloak of safety at Harvard and venture into the messy task of democratic governance. For two years, I worked with Cory Aquino’s government, contributing my share to what I regarded was an important period in my country when the structures of democracy were being crafted and made to work. Her government, besieged by seven coup attempts, was struggling to recover its footing with each military misadventure and preserve the infantile democracy that it had just won through the popular uprising of 1986. At the same time, this period comprised the acid test of applying the lessons learned during my activist and graduate student days to the concrete tasks of reform and social change within the context of state power. It was tough. Cory Aquino inherited a collapsed economy that was the result of excessive cronyism and outright misrule. She also inherited a centuries-old social structure that was beset by severe inequality, made worse by years of government neglect for the conditions of the poor and the marginalized. At the Department of Agrarian Reform where I served as Assistant Secretary, I and my colleagues faced severe policy conflicts ---- those that in graduate school were termed “policy trade-offs.” Government however was non-textbook stuff, but constituted a real struggle between an industrialization agenda and a social redistribution programme. The tensions were clear: convert thousands of agricultural land into industrial zones to give way to domestic and foreign investment or award land tenure rights to farmers to provide them with economic assets. In the end, the policy choice

was made: economic redistribution and social equity took a backseat, and land conversion out of agriculture saw its heyday in Cory Aquino’s government even while the large landholdings owned by her family remained untouched. Not very long after, we --- a bunch of ex-activists wanting to give government a fair shake --- resigned in frustration. In circles too many to enumerate, Cory Aquino was often criticized for having missed the “reformist moment”, succumbing instead to the dictates of family and clan interest to preserve social status, power, and wealth derived from concentrated landholding. Perhaps this is a fair judgment of her six years as president. But it is a fairer judgment still, that her contribution to the global democratic movement through peaceful and direct citizen action cannot be discounted. If indeed she inspired the succeeding people power movements across the globe, this alone towers above her domestic shortcomings. Hers was a one-term presidency to accomplish a monumental task --- to restore a democracy, however imperfect and oftentimes flailing, so that it can resist any and all future attempts to demolish it. Back to the hallowed halls of academe, I reflect on Cory Aquino, the only president I have ever served. I recognize full well what she has left behind: she gave the Philippines its one singular moment when millions of Filipinos took their courage and ventured out into the streets, armed with nothing more than their faith to confront a bankrupt dictatorship and force its demise. That’s surely more than anyone can expect from one lifetime. R Tess Cruz-del Rosario is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. She served as Assistant Secretary for the Department of Agrarian Reform in 1990 and as Special Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture in the Philippines in 1991. In both these capacities, she worked to ensure that farmers, fishermen, and rural workers would receive tangible benefits from government. Her recently published book Scripted Clashes (Verlag Springer) analyzes three people power uprisings in the Philippines. An edited version of this article was published in The Straits Times on 4 August 2009.

She gave the Philippines its one singular moment when millions of Filipinos ventured out into the streets, armed with nothing more than their faith, to confront a bankrupt dictatorship and force its demise. Rapporteur  |  October 2009

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CAG Interviews

Quest for Governance in Global Health

Kelley Lee

Kelley Lee is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in global health governance. She is presently Head of the Public and Environmental Health Research Unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK and concurrently co-chairs the Global Health Governance Study Group of the S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance.

as told to Sung Lee

Q

What is “global” about global health governance (GHG)? Or is global health nothing more than the sum of the national health problems of all countries?

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(sub-national) to the global levels, and to include both state and non-state actors.

Q

If the challenge of global health is more than just the sum of each country’s national problems, then are there some distinctively “global” health functions that can only be discharged through collective global action, and which cannot really be fully discharged at the national level?

While the term “global health governance” has become widely used, a lot of imprecision persists about what the term actually means. In large part, this is because it has inherited a lot of conceptual baggage from the term “global health”, which has been even more widely used and, in my view, [used] with even less precision. This is correct. While much can, and must, be achieved My understanding of global health is rather strict – the through effective national level action, the transborder concept of “global” begins by seeing the world as a whole, nature of the global challenges faced requires new ways of as the unit of analysis, rather than individual states. If we thinking about collective efforts beyond the state. are speaking about states or collections of states, the term The classic example is global disease surveillance, moni“international” is more appropriate. Global health, as such, toring and reporting. concerns health deterNational level systems minants and outcomes GHG could be seen as encompassing collective play a central role in which transcend teraction at many levels, bringing together and this function, but there ritorial space and have must be global level systhe potential to impact adding value to many levels of governance to tems in place that bring on the world as a whole. address shared health concerns. together information Primary examples from both state and are the global spread non-state sources, and then collate and disseminate such inof pandemic diseases such as influenza, and the health impacts of climate change or global financial crises. GHG, formation to the world. Importantly, this suggests that GHG is not somehow detached from the national level. Rather, in turn, concerns the collective means by which societies respond to such issues through agreed rules, procedures GHG could be seen as encompassing collective action at many levels, bringing together and adding value to many and institutions. Such responses go far beyond national levels of governance to address shared health concerns. governments to embrace collective efforts from the local

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Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Interviews

Climate change, pandemic diseases, organised crime, financial crises, food and energy security, and many other issues require political leaders to see the world as a whole, and to act collectively, rather than as individual self-interested states.

Q

Global health issues concern the future of the world, and therefore all citizens. However, there seems to be a gap between political leadership at various levels and citizens. How would you narrow the gap between political leadership and citizens?

proved GHG. What are the major steps that need to be taken in order to improve this?

A

I see the underlying problems of GHG as normative rather than technical, financial or institutional. The tangled mess of global health initiatives we have today is a This is a critical question and perhaps one of the most reflection of a highly unequal battle of normative frames. difficult to address. The Westphalia states system, dat- For example, self-interested realists narrowly define global ing from the 17th century, to a large extent still provides the health in terms of acute pandemic diseases which threaten basic structure of international relations. Its two defining their national security. The funding of initiatives to tackle principles – territoriality and the exclusion of external actors these perceived disease threats, and the stockpiling [of] from domestic authority structures (i.e. sovereignty) – shape drugs to protect homeland security, is a particular interprethe relationship between political leaders and citizens. Thus, tation of GHG. national governments have defined themselves for centuries Similarly, a human rights approach begins with a very in terms of their authority over their territorial domains and different set of values which, in turn, frames GHG in terms the populations within it – governments see themselves as of initiatives that address social justice and health inequities. acting on behalf of their These are very different citizens. takes on GHG. Making As we all know, of these normative frames The real knowledge gap lies on the applied course, the world has explicit is an important side – how do we put existing knowledge changed remarkably starting point to having over the past 400 years an open and honest deinto effective practice where it matters? and especially over bate about which should the past half century. define GHG. Dressing We still have states but we also have many globalising up values as “common sense” or hiding behind “evidenceprocesses that cut across and transcend the state and its based” policies unhelpfully obscures how global health is authority. This is leading to complex political changes, being socially constructed in favour of some, [and] at the including the nature of the political leadership we need. expense of others. It is clear that the traditional “head down” form of political leadership, whereby governments pursue national What are the knowledge gaps on the GHG chalself-interests in the name of their territorial domains and lenges that require further research? domestic constituencies, is increasingly obsolete. Climate change, pandemic diseases, organised crime, financial There are many knowledge gaps in GHG that need urcrises, food and energy security, and many other issues regent attention. The 10/90 gap (10 percent of worldwide quire political leaders to see the world as a whole, and to expenditure on health research and development is devoted act collectively, rather than as individual self-interested to the problems that primarily affect the poorest 90 percent of states. the world's population) tells us that resources are heavily and In some ways, individual citizens are ahead of their politidangerously skewed in favour of high-income countries. There cal leaders in achieving this fundamental paradigm shift. This are initiatives to tackle “neglected diseases” which is seeking to is evident in the increased activism of civil society. I see this as rebalance this priority setting. a sign of discontent with current political leadership – people However, if we look at what really affects people’s health feel disempowered by current state-based governance and around the world, the biggest challenges are pneumonia, want a voice in how their lives are governed. Political leaddiarrhoeal diseases, tobacco use and obesity-related ers should not see this as a threat, but as a sign that we are conditions. Basic scientific knowledge on how to tackle in a period of political transition. This transition will require, these major public health problems is well-established. The above all, a renegotiation of political authority but this will real knowledge gap lies on the applied side – how do we put be necessary to achieve forms of governance that will allow existing knowledge into effective practice where it matters? humanity to tackle the critical issues that affect us all. Ensuring we have good data is a start. Do we really need yet another study of smoking behaviour among left-handed Many of the seemingly intractable problems in males in a small United States town when we do not even global health could be addressed through im- have basic prevalence data for whole countries? In terms of governance, we then need to better understand the legal

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Q

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Rapporteur  |  October 2009

23


CAG Interviews

willing to cede some of their decision-making authority. and regulatory measures needed to underpin public health gains. Should food companies face stronger restrictions in A number of ideas have been put forth to create a “higher body” that would make more collective decisions about terms of advertising and marketing, labelling and ingredients how scarce resources should be allocated. For example, it disclosure? More research on policy transfer across countries has been suggested that [the] World Health Organisation is much needed. Finally, we need [a] far better understanding of the (WHO) create a Committee C, as a forum for global health initiatives to meet. Such politics behind GHG. a body could lead to As I stated previously, more rational use[s] the problems we face in The problems we face in GHG are of resources, requiring GHG are fundamentally fundamentally political. We can tinker funding to be linked political. We can tinker all day with finding new coordination more closely to health all day with finding new needs or encouraging coordination mechamechanisms and setting up initiatives. open debate about the nisms and setting up What is [however] needed is some values underpinning initiatives. What is [howsuch initiatives. ever] needed is some fresh ideas about how we tackle the The interesting fresh ideas about how we intransigence of those who hold power. aspect of health develtackle the intransigence opment aid is that the of those who hold power – how do we get certain governments to buy into GHG? How face of the donor community is undergoing a transition. do we engage non-state actors effectively? What should be Asian countries, in particular, are rapidly becoming more the appropriate roles of various players and what political prominent. I hope very much that Asian countries can be systems are needed to ensure right political checks and bal- part of the solution, rather than add to the current probances? Where should accountability lie? Could we learn lem of weak governance of health development aid. from other issue areas grappling with global governance such as the environment or transnational crime? What are the limitations of GHG for controlling

Q

Global health initiatives have poured billions of dollars of health development aid to developing countries but due to poor governance, health disparities continue. Is this a fair assessment and if so, what would be some possible solutions in the future?

A

This is a fair assessment, although importantly, those guilty of poor governance are not exclusively located in developing countries. Those doing the pouring have a lot to answer for too! Indeed, a lot of questions need to be asked about how decisions are taken about where resources go, what these scarce resources are used for, and generally who sets the priorities in global health. Some serious soul-searching on the part of both the donor and recipient communities is needed. One possible solution is clear although it may not be politically palatable. Briefly, the key problem is that each funder holds tight to decision-making over how their money is spent. This is because they think they know best or because of fears that they will be held accountable to certain constituencies. The result is a plethora of different agendas, sometimes competing, rarely coordinated, which causes untold chaos for aid recipients. There is an opportunity in global health, where initiatives have proliferated significantly, to achieve better governance if funders are

24

Q

the global dimensions of the tobacco epidemic?

A

Tobacco, might be described as the most neglected public health challenge of the 20th century despite 100 million deaths worldwide. WHO’s successful framing of tobacco control as a global challenge led to the adoption of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), often cited as a key pillar of GHG. Ostensibly an international treaty, in practice, its longer-term effectiveness in preventing and reducing tobacco-related death and disease will come down to implementation at the national level. As difficult as it was to reach [an] agreement on the FCTC, the real work is turning the broad principles of the agreement into real action. There are two main hurdles to achieving this. First, in most countries of the world and among global health initiatives, there remains a stark lack of resources for tobacco control in countries where the tobacco pandemic is growing most rapidly. My research has found that Asia is a prime target of transnational tobacco companies, and that vast budgets are being devoted to tap this “emerging market”. The funding for tobacco control, in contrast, is relatively miniscule. By any standards – economic, public health, social, gender – tobacco control is money well spent. R

Rapporteur  |  October 2009


CAG Interviews

Law & Order

Simon Chesterman

Simon Chesterman is Global Professor and Director of the New York University School of Law Singapore Programme, and an Associate Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore. He is also a member of the Concepts of Global Governance Study Group of the S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance. as told to Sung Lee

Q

What is global administrative law? Why is it needed and what role would it play in global governance?

A

Global administrative law is the intentionally unexciting name given to the formalisation of certain global processes. It encompasses procedures and normative standards for regulatory decision-making that falls outside domestic legal structures and yet is not properly covered by public international law. The standards that are being imported into this new sphere of regulatory activity draw upon administrative law principles common in many jurisdictions, such as transparency, participation and review. As a response to the demand for accountability in globalisation, this is distinct from demands that globalisation be more “democratic”; instead, these developments aim to make it more “reasoned”.

Q

How is global administrative law understood in Asia?

A

I think the non-threatening approach of improving decision-making is being cautiously welcomed. New York University School of Law recently convened a meeting at Tsinghua Law School in Beijing that involved a large number of Chinese academics in a fruitful discussion on the topic. Within Southeast Asia, the move to transform ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) into a rules-based organisation is very much consistent with the global administrative law approach. We hope to organise a meeting to extend this conversation sometime in the next two years.

Q

What is lacking in existing global governance architectures? What is working, and not working?

A

There are, broadly, two types of criticisms of the current architecture. The first is that the liberal order constructed in large part by the United States after the Second World War is losing its claim to legitimacy. The second is that globalisation has revealed governance gaps suggesting that the present order is in any case, no longer effective. The first may be understood as a political challenge to the top-down hierarchy that dominates this order; the second, as a bottomup practical challenge to the relevance of existing institutions. Some things work – institutions such as the United Nations (UN) Security Council in peace and security or the World Trade Organisation in international trade – but the question that unifies these critiques is, “for whom?”

Q

Global issues concern the future of the world, and therefore all citizens. However, there seems to be a gap between political leadership at various levels and citizens.  How would you narrow this gap?

A

I think there [is] a preliminary question [as to] whether global institutions and processes should be improved in the sense of better “reasoned” decisions, or in the sense of more “democratic” processes. Making these institutions more “democratic” is understood by some in the sense of rearranging the membership of these institutions [to] better reflect global politics. [Therefore] change the members of the UN Security

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

25


CAG Interviews

Council; abandon the practice of the World Bank being headed by an American and the International Monetary Fund being headed by a European. [However] it can also be understood at a more local level, in the sense that populations should participate in the decisions of their governments, public interest should be considered in development projects and so on.

Q

Are there accountability deficits? Do these deficits weaken the effectiveness and legitimacy of global policy making?

A

Well, it depends on one’s perspective of what the problem is, and at what level solutions can be found. If you think the key problem is the legitimacy of existing institutions, political solutions would include rearranging or reallocating the seats at the table. If you think the key problem is the effectiveness of what we have got, you might plump for new institutions: the G-20 (Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors), a possible World Environment Organisation, and so on. Such system-wide reforms depend, however, on political will that has been available only in times of crisis. It took the First World War to bring about the establishment of the League of Nations, and a Second to see the creation of the UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions. It is possible that current crises – of climate change, public health, financial markets – will be sufficient to bring about similar tectonic shifts, but overcoming the underlying collective action problems requires a level of enlightened selfinterest that is rare in international affairs, even if one assumes that political or institutional solutions to these crises exist. For this reason, some accounts like global administrative law, focus less on institutions and grand politics and more on process. R

The real knowledge gap lies on the applied side – how do we put existing knowledge into effective practice where it matters?

A

Of course there are deficits, but some pose effectiveness problems and they are not always the same as those that pose legitimacy problems. A more legitimate UN Security Council, for example, might better reflect global demographics but that might in fact make it harder for the Council to do anything. A more effective way of dealing with climate change might be for a handful of scientists to prescribe realistic measures, but that is clearly not a regime that would be accepted by the vast majority of governments.

Q

And what can realistically be done to reduce such deficits?

CAG Calendar International Workshop on Energy Security Concepts and Indicators for Asia Corporations to the Rescue seminar series The Concepts of Global Governance Study Group Meeting, S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance WEF Global Redesign Initiative Singapore Hearing Executive Education Programme on Business Leadership For a Sustainable Southeast Asia

26

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

Date

14-16 November 2009

Venue

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date

3 November 2009 and 4 December 2009

Venue

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date

1 December 2009

Venue

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date

1-2 December 2009

Venue

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date

February 2010

Venue

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy


CAG News

Awards 2009 Nautilus Silver Award in "Ecology/ Environment/ Sustainability” to Benjamin K. Sovacool for his book: The Dirty Energy Dilemma: What's Blocking Clean Power in the United States

Selected Publications Scripted Clashes – A Dramaturgical Approach to Three Philippines Uprisings Teresita del-Cruz Rosario April 2009 Risky Riparianism: Cooperative Water Governance in Central Asia Teresita del-Cruz Rosario  Australian Journal of International Affairs, September 2009 Social Development as Neoliberal Trojan Horse: The World Bank and the Kecamatan Development Programme in Indonesia Toby Carroll Development and Change, 2009

Identifying Future Electricity Water Tradeoff in the United States Benjamin & Kelly Sovacool Energy Policy, July 2009 Contextualizing Avian Mortality Benjamin K Sovacool Energy Policy, June, 2009 Energy Policy and Cooperation in Southeast Asia: The History, Challenges, and Implications of the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Network (TAGP) Benjamin K Sovacool Energy Policy, June, 2009

Creating Social Stock Exchange Asia Durreen Shahnaz The Daily Star, 22 April 2009

Media Interviews Asia is Opening up, Slowly Ann Florini The Straits Times, 15 April 2009 The Energy-Water Nexus Benjamin K. Sovacool IEEE Spectrum, Aug 19 August 2009 Wind Energy in Denmark: What can the U.S. Learn? Benjamin K. Sovacool New Republic, 30 July 2009

Op Eds Cory Aquino’s One Great Legacy Teresita del-Cruz Rosario The Straits Times, 4 August, 2009

China, New Energy Technologies, and Climate Change Benjamin K. Sovacool Newsweek International, 12 January 2009

New Faces at CAG Sumi Dhanarajan sppv142@nus.edu.sg Sumi Dhanarajan is a consultant to the Public Roles of the Private Sector programme at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation (CAG). She is an experienced advocate and practitioner in the field of corporate responsibility with particular expertise on the impacts of the private sector on poverty reduction and human rights. She has engaged with companies from a number of key sectors including pharmaceuticals, retail, agricultural commodities and extractive industries with a focus on access to medicines, labour standards, fair trade, human rights and sustainable

development. From 1998 to 2008, Sumi served as Senior Policy Adviser and Head of the private sector team to an international development agency, Oxfam GB. Sumi also served as a Senior Legal Adviser to the Secretariat for Legislative Councilors of the Hong Kong Democratic Party and established the human rights desk for the Malaysian Bar Council. Sumi holds an MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and an LL.B from Durham University. She was called to the Bar in July 1997.

Jasmin Kaur jkaur@nus.edu.sg Jasmin Kaur is Executive at the Centre for Asia and Globalisation (CAG). Jasmin was previously with the American Association of Singapore where she worked as an Events & Sponsorship coordinator in-charge of organising a number of major events of the Association. Jasmin also assisted in sourcing for potential sponsors and managing the relations between the As-

sociation and the strategic partners. In addition, she performed administrative duties such as managing the membership database, accounting duties and website management. She holds a Double Major Degree in Marketing and E-Commerce from Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

Rapporteur  |  October 2009

27


Corporations to the Rescue ? Seminar Series of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation Public Roles of the Private Sector Programme

Corporations to the rescue?

Business responsibilities in the age of crises This is the age of crises: climatic, financial, health and security. For Asia, the impacts of these challenges, if not managed effectively, could disrupt current endeavours to grow, prosper and successfully fight poverty. Businesses, with their resources, their potential to create jobs and generate income, and their capacity to innovate, play a critical role in the search for solutions to these collective problems. This seminar series will ask crucial questions relating to the problem-solving role of business in the age of crises: Do current approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR) allow the business community to rise to the challenge? What role will government and public policy play in enforcing the social contract that exists between business and society? What pressures will drive more responsive strategies and long-term solutions from the private sector?

Planned Seminar Topics & Speakers Making Human Rights Your Business Speaker: Mark Hodge, Director, Global Business Initiative Health and Access to Medicines Christophe Weber, Senior VP and Area Director, Asia Pacific, Glaxo Smith Kline Climate change (Film screening of In Good Company: Corporate India and the Climate Challenge. Includes a commentary by the film’s producer) Malini Mehra, Director of Centre for Social Markets & Film Producer Poverty and Inequality Ashvin Dayal, Asia Director of the Rockefeller Foundation • Seminar dates to be confirmed – visit CAG homepage for details. • Contact CAG Research Fellow Ms Melissa Ong for more information (e) mong@nus.edu.sg

www.lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/CAG

Rapporteur Oct 09  

Centre on Asia and Globalisation newsletter

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