Call for Interest: Multi-Country Research: Assessing impacts of policy shifts in relation to implementation of the ASEAN Community on ASEAN Women
APWLD is inviting member organisations in Southeast Asia to be part of the Multi-Country Research Project, which aims to chart the impacts of policy reforms and institutional changes made in ASEAN countries in relation to the process of regional integration. As a milestone year for the ASEAN Community, 2015 provides an excellent opportunity to draw attention to and shape public opinion on the form of regionalism being advanced currently as well as possible alternatives that are centred on people’s rights and needs as the core of relevant policies and operations.
APWLD will provide a small grant to support research work in ASEAN member countries. Country research is expected to be completed by the end of September.
Objectives of the Multi-Country Research
The primary objective of the multi-country research is to create a platform for women’s organisations in the region to generate evidence and document specific ways in which the operationalisation of the ASEAN Community through domestic policies exacerbate women’s vulnerability and to affect policy changes at the national and regional levels. This research is set to:
(a) map the national policy changes, national plans and mechanisms in relation to the implementation of the ASEAN Community
(b) assess impacts of policy shifts in Southeast Asia in relation to implementation of the ASEAN Community on women
(c) rally ASEAN to ensure that advancement of women is consistently addressed in the implementation of the ASEAN Community
(d) mobilise women in the region to strengthen movement building and to campaign on an alternative regionalism that leads to equitable prosperity and eradication of inequality between and within countries
Scope of the Research
Each country research should reflect the following:
- Country context and information in relation to women and the following focus areas:
- Trade, economy, and decent work
- Access to and control over resources
- Peace and security
- Democratic participation
- Policy changes, national plans, and mechanisms in the country that are geared towards ASEAN Community and their impacts on women in different sectors at the country level. (the ASEAN legal instruments could be a reference). The focus areas of the research are as above.
- Changes that should be made to address such impacts in terms of:
- Capacity building needs
- Structural changes
- Changes in laws and policies
Researchers will collectively decide on the set of questions that would be covered in the research. This will be done in a physical meeting, tentatively planned for mid-April.
Support provided by APWLD
Successful applicants will be given a small grant to cover direct expenses of the country research. APWLD will also provide relevant resource materials and technical advice as needed.
Country research report
Submission of the Multi-Country Research to relevant ASEAN bodies at the national level
Press release highlighting the result of the country research
|17 March||Application Deadline|
|20 March||Acceptance Notification|
|April – August||Research Period|
|3rd Week August||Submission of Country Research – First Draft|
|Last Week of September||Submission of Final Draft of the Country Research and Financial Report|
Interested organisations should submit the following by 17 March 2015 to Reileen (email@example.com):
- Completed application form
- Expression of interest and concept note
- Budget proposal (not more than 3,000 USD)
Eligibility and Criteria
Applicants must be APWLD members who will lead country research, although the Project can be implemented in partnership with other organisations.
Applications and proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Involvement in ASEAN campaigns
- Experiences in advocacy work
- Experiences in conducting research
- Overall research proposal must meet the scope and objectives of the country research
Guided by the vision of a single ASEAN Community defined by the three pillars of ASEAN—Political-Security Community, Economic Community, and Socio-Cultural Community—ASEAN Member States (AMS) have been working to prepare the region towards becoming an interconnected and globally competitive market and production base.
Although the ASEAN Community Roadmap seems unlikely to be realised by the target date of December 2015, substantial advances towards market liberalisation under the banner of the ASEAN Economic Community have been made at the national level. Consequently, the trend on increasing inequality in terms of wealth, access to resources, opportunities, as well as gender inequality in the region has been noted alongside the expansion of current trade and investment systems. While the Political-Security and Social-Cultural Community pillars make reference to human rights principles and include mechanisms to promote and protect human rights and women’s human rights, these references are excluded from the Economic Community pillar and concrete human rights protections are altogether non-existent. The lack of safeguards against the impact of regional economic integration, namely in terms of rising inequality, will aggravate the uneven development both within and between ASEAN countries and will further devastate the lives of 620 million ASEAN people, of whom 314 million are women.
Within the past years, various cases have been documented on the negative impacts of globalisation in the lives of people in the region, especially those of women from marginalised groups. There remains the need to further understand ASEAN-specific trends and processes and to critique the neoliberal assumptions underlying the promotion of trade liberalisation, deregulation, and privatisation as part of the push towards regional integration. A necessary step is to chart the impacts of policy reforms and institutional changes made in ASEAN countries in relation to the process of regional integration that led to exacerbated social and economic inequality and the devolution of human rights including women’s rights. Presently, a number of ASEAN legal instruments are already in effect and it is critical that we are able to understand how these are being implemented in the national level and how these impact women.
As a milestone year for the ASEAN Community, 2015 also provides an excellent opportunity to draw attention to and shape public opinion on the form of regionalism being advanced currently as well as possible alternatives that are centred on people’s rights and needs as the core of relevant policies and operations.
 The ASEAN legal instruments have been agreed upon by country members of ASEAN. These are subjected to ratification and/or acceptance in the country level consistent with the internal procedures of the Member States.