Reflections: Governance to Drive Development in ASEAN Countries

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by Dondon Parafina

It feels good and very fulfilling when you return from a mission with a very tangible take-away. In the case of my recently concluded Jakarta trip, my take-away was a book and, less tangible but equally important, the insights it gave me about our regional work in East Asia.

While on the plane, I read and finished the book I got from a meeting with the ASEAN Secretariat. Entitled "Narrowing the Development Gap in ASEAN: Driver and Policy Options", the book presents a clear picture of where the countries are in various aspects of development and how they, together as a region, can help each other achieve inclusive development.

Even for people who are not familiar with ASEAN, the book is informative and eye-opening. It allows one to take a regional view and go beyond individual country concerns. It clearly articulates – in practical terms – the regional development discourse of ASEAN and points to sensible policy options.

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