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This primer is designed to support policymakers and government officials in their efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment of women in their countries. It lays out the basic concepts relating to what is called the “care economy” —the sum total of all paid and unpaid care work. It highlights the implications of a lopsided and gendered division of labour in unpaid care and domestic work. This strengthens the case for governments to invest in the care economy by addressing four care policy categories — care infrastructure, care-related social protection, care services and employment-related care. The primer includes the normative principles and levers of change that will help policymakers and practitioners to create a policy ecosystem that values care work and promotes women’s empowerment.

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Beginner’s Manual on Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Beginner’s Manual on Digital Marketing and E-Commerce
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The world economy has grown steadily over the last decade, and globally the gender gap in the workforce is narrowing. However, this progress saw a setback by an estimated two years due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people believe successful businesses require a full-time commitment from entrepreneurs, and that part-time businesses — or those operated from home — will not be successful. The e-commerce business provides an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to start and expand their businesses while working from home along with flexible timing that enables them to create their own schedules, including managing a competing household and childcare responsibilities while participating economically. The e-commerce industry has brought the world to their doorsteps with the consumers and sellers being just one click away on the computer. The flexibility and technological ease of the internet now allows women entrepreneurs to conduct businesses entirely online. In layman’s terms, e-commerce is engaging with trade and commercial activities online through electronic devices. Therefore, all transactions conducted through a website, via email orders, or another form of electronic communication fall within the realm of e-commerce. In South Asia, there is no dearth of skills among women to manage small or medium enterprises, but rather a gap or vacuum in the technological know-how to conduct an online business. With a small boost in capacity and the efficient use of information and communication technology, women can reach new heights of entrepreneurship. A multitude of online platforms offer women entrepreneurs virtual marketplaces where they can easily market their products. This training manual aims to introduce the basic concepts of digital marketing and e-commerce so that women entrepreneurs are equipped to carry out their online businesses and achieve their business goals. This manual is a step-by-step guide on how to start an online business to provide practical, hands-on training for women entrepreneurs, and can be used in future by any entrepreneur. The manual introduces existing e-commerce platforms and demonstrates how to set up an online business. For this purpose, a live demo portal has been developed, on which it is even possible to generate orders based on enquiries. The manual includes critical components for online startups, including how to register businesses and products and link businesses to bank accounts.

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 APCTT Working Paper on Harnessing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation in the Asia-Pac APCTT Working Paper on Harnessing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation in the Asia-Pac
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As climate change impacts are getting more intense, all nations around the world are eagerly ramping up joint efforts to ensure the planet's sustainability. Many initiatives are being undertaken with the hope to accomplish the target of net-zero emissions as soon as possible. However, over the past two years the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted global socio-economic conditions and aggravated the challenges being faced by countries. To address these social, economic and environmental issues and “build back better”, the development of advanced tools such as the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies would be crucial, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper discusses the opportunities, challenges, innovations and strategies to enhance climate change mitigation with 4IR technologies from sectoral perspectives and provides policy recommendations based on the analysis.

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SSWA Development Papers 22-01 - Strategies to Promote Regional Power Grid Connectivity and Cross-Border Electricity Trade (CBET) SSWA Development Papers 22-01 - Strategies to Promote Regional Power Grid Connectivity and Cross-Border Electricity Trade (CBET)
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Countries of the South and South-West Asia subregion have mutual complementarities in terms of their energy resource endowments as well as their aggregate energy supply-demand patterns, providing ideal conditions for implementing CBET at the subregional level. The levels of energy integration through an interconnected power grid in the subregion has been suboptimal so far due to various constraints by way of capacity limitations and lack of political consensus. However, there have been several bilateral and plurilateral initiatives for grid connectivity and trade in electricity, which can potentially become building blocks for broader CBET in the subregion. 

This technical paper takes stock of various initiatives in the SSWA subregion for promoting power grid integration and trade in electricity with the aim of exploring framing a forward-looking agenda for CBET in the subregion. It reviews existing legal and institutional frameworks on energy cooperation under the subregional intuitions of SAARC, BIMSTEC and ECO as well as various bilateral and plurilateral power purchase agreements (PPAs) and transmission service agreements (TSAs). The paper finds that existing frameworks at the subregional level provides several valuable overarching provisions which can guide broader CBET, while bilateral PPAs and TSAs can be scaled-up for creating a transparent, mutually beneficial and market oriented regulatory environment for promoting it. However, concerted actions from all member countries are needed in adapting their respective domestic policies and practices with respect to the energy sector and in harmonizing regulations at the regional level to cater to the needs of free trade in electricity. They also need to work together to improve coordination with each other and to create a conducive institutional architecture for CBET.      
 

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Virtual launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022

Submitted by NABARQUE on Mon, 28/03/2022 - 14:41
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About the event

The 2022 edition of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific Survey was launched last Tuesday, 12 April 2022, from 14:00 to 15:00 (Bangkok time). Published annually since 1947, the Survey provides analyses to guide policy discussion on the current and emerging socio-economic issues and policy challenges to support sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

The event was opened to media, policymakers, civil society, academics, researchers, and all other stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region as well as outside of the region. 

Survey 2022 presentation

About the report

The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific Survey 2022 discusses at length how the rapid development of Asia-Pacific economies over the past few decades has lifted millions out of poverty but the high economic growth has masked key social issues, particularly inequality, and the global financial crisis and COVID-19 pandemic have forced such issues into the mainstream.

This 75th issue of the Survey released during the auspicious occasion of ESCAP's 75th anniversary, suggests Asia-Pacific economies must prioritise inclusive growth – whereby citizens of all socio-economic groups are able to improve their livelihoods, incomes, health and education levels. An important opportunity to shift the paradigm that was missed in 2009, so it is vital that Asia-Pacific economies make full use of this post-COVID-19 rebuilding process.

 

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Mr. Mitch Hsieh, Chief, Communications and Knowledge Management Section

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Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

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Can Asia-Pacific region be the cradle of inclusive structural transformation?   

Professor Lant Pritchett, Research Director at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Fellow at the London School of Economics

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Ms. Sweta C. Saxena, Chief, Macroeconomic Policy and Analysis Section, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division

Mr. Hamza Ali Malik, Director, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division

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Presentation on the 2022 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific
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Moderated by Mr. Mitch Hsieh, Chief, Communications and Knowledge Management Section

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Launch - Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022: Building Forward Fairer
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General

The sixth session of the Committee on Transport is scheduled to be held from 12 to 13 November 2020.

The secretariat is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak and is putting into place measures to mitigate public health risks associated with mass gatherings. The secretariat continues to receive guidance from the World Health Organization, the authorities of the host country of ESCAP and the United Nations Secretariat.

Decisions on the schedule and modality of the Committee session to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants will be communicated as soon as practicable.

Credentials

Delegations are kindly requested to submit letters of credentials to Mr. Weimin Ren, Director, Transport Division, ESCAP, United Nations Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand, Fax: (66-2) 288-1067, 288-3050, at their earliest convenience prior to 1 October 2018.. Letters of credential should be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the ESCAP and emailed to [email protected].

Members of delegations are kindly reminded to bring official identification with them, duly signed by the appropriate authorities of their respective Governments/Agencies/Organizations, and provide them to the Secretariat staff at the registration counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC along with a copy of the letter of credentials indicating their appointment to the delegation.

Registration and identification badges

Participants are requested to register and obtain a visitor’s badge with ID picture on the first day of the meeting, i.e. Monday, 19 November 2018 between 08.00 hours and 09.00 hours. This is done at the Registration Counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC. Participants who are not able to register during the time indicated above are requested to do so immediately upon their arrival at UNCC and before going to the conference room. This procedure is important for security reason and will also ensure that all participants’ names appear on the list of participants.

Online registration

In conformity with standard United Nations security procedures, all participants must complete a mandatory online registration at https://meetings.unescap.org/. Participants are encouraged to complete this procedure well in advance of the meeting and no later than 1 October 2018. To facilitate the process, participants are encouraged to submit their photo in advance.

For identification and security reasons, all participants are requested to wear their meeting badges at all times when on the United Nations compound, and also during the meeting and at social functions. The loss of a meeting badge should be communicated to the Conference Management Unit, located on the ground floor of the UNCC behind the registration counter, so that a new one can be issued immediately.

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Mail intended for participants during the session should be addressed as follows:
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E-mail address: [email protected]

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The secretariat has adopted a paperless approach to meetings. As a result, participants are expected to get acquainted with all the meeting documents prior to the meeting. Should participants wish hard copies of the documents, they are expected to bring them to the meeting. These documents will be made available prior to the session at www.unescap.org/events/committee-transport-fifth-session

Participants wishing to circulate any papers or literature at the meeting are requested to consult staff from the secretariat servicing the meeting for the necessary arrangements.

Daily subsistence allowance

ESCAP does not provide financial assistance for participation in the 5th session of the Committee on Transport. However, it does cover the travel expenses of officials participating in the workshop on cross-border co-deployment of fibre optic infrastructure along road and rail networks. In that regard, the following shall apply:

Depending on which of the above applies, participants whose travel is sponsored (or partly sponsored) by ESCAP will receive a DSA to cover all costs associated with their participation in the meeting, including accommodation, meals and local transport while in Bangkok. A voucher to be cashed at the bank located on the ESCAP premises will be given to participants. Participants will receive their vouchers against submittal of a copy of their passports, copy of their air-tickets and the original boarding pass(es) for the flight(s) to Bangkok. To facilitate the issuance of vouchers, eligible participants are kindly requested to come with read-made copies of their passports. To date, the DSA for Bangkok is Thai Baht 7,150 (about US$ 216). Please note that this amount is subject to change without prior notice.

Participants who are unable to stay for the entire duration of the meeting are requested to inform the secretariat as soon as possible after their arrival so that the DSA can be adjusted accordingly.

In those cases where the participation costs are borne by ESCAP, the secretariat will provide only travel and DSA as expressed and will not assume responsibility for any other expenditures, including the following:

  1. You are representing your Government only at the 5th session of the Committee on Transport: ESCAP does not provide any financial support and participation is on a self-financing basis.
  2. You are representing your Government only at the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule.
  3. You are representing your Government at both the 5th session of the Committee on Transport and the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and DSA for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule and participants have to cover three nights on a self-financing basis (i.e. 18 to 20 November 2018).
    1. all expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for visa, medical examination, inoculations and other such miscellaneous items and internal travel to and from the airport of arrival and departure in the home country;
    2. salary and related allowances for the participants during the period of the meeting;
    3. cost incurred by participants in respect of travel insurance, accident insurance, medical bills or hospitalization fees in connection with attending the meeting;
    4. compensation in the event of death or disability of participants in connection with attending the meeting;
    5. any loss of or damage to personal property of participants while attending the meeting or losses or damages claimed by third parties as a result of any negligence on the part of the participants;
    6. any other expenses of a personal nature, not directly related to the purpose of the meeting.
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Nepal’s fight against the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic Nepal’s fight against the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic
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The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic hit Nepal between April and July 2021 and was substantially more devastating that the first wave. As of 31 March 2021, Nepal had been cautious over the possibility of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Surge in new cases in neighboring India was a cause of concern. Considering the frequent cross-border movement of people along the 1,800 km-long porous border, rising cases in India threatened to spill over into Nepal. This unfettered movement, together with continuation of political rallies, religious and social functions and other public activities where people congregate, resulted in the onset of the second wave in Nepal by mid-April 2021. This paper reviews some of the steps adopted by Nepal for curbing the second wave and policy lessons thereof.

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Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are fast embracing the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies and the coronavirus pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of such technologies. At the same time, the pandemic has adversely impacted the advancements towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While many developed and some developing countries are harnessing the benefits of 4IR technologies to achieve their SDGs, there is a risk that many developing and least developed countries (LDCs) could be left behind.

Given this situation, this paper presents an overview of the status, opportunities and challenges related to 4IR technologies for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific and draws some lessons for regional cooperation. It presents a comparison of the countries with respect to adaptation of 4IR, their strengths and the opportunities that they bring to the countries in the region. It presents cross-country examples of enabling policy mechanisms to promote 4IR technology, innovation and its applications for sustainable development; both at the national level and at the regional level. It outlines select initiatives related to facilitating innovation; 4IRbased partnerships/collaborations and transfer of technology. The paper then presents the key challenges related to innovation, development and transfer of 4IR technologies. These include low research and development spending, digital infrastructure and access gap, regulation and policy gaps, and skill and education gaps. These gaps are more prominent for the developing countries and the LDCs and are accentuated by the barriers related to cross-border technology transfer, investment and trade. To overcome these challenges, the paper makes recommendations on (a) how countries in the region can jointly harness the benefits of 4IR (b) work together to address their common concerns (c) learn from each other’s best practices (d) work together to reduce the digital divide and achieve SDGs and (e) how the Asia-Pacific region can utilize the platforms of South-South cooperation and Triangular cooperation for accelerating the adoption of 4IR technologies. The paper presents a ‘regional roadmap’ to accelerate innovation and transfer of 4IR technologies in Asia-Pacific to achieve SDGs by 2030. 

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APCTT Working Paper on Contextualizing Transformation of Healthcare Sector in Asia-Pacific in the Post-COVID-19 Era APCTT Working Paper on Contextualizing Transformation of Healthcare Sector in Asia-Pacific in the Post-COVID-19 Era
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The paper lays out a broad framework to reimagine healthcare systems using the digital technologies as one of the core pillars in the Asia-pacific countries. It argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious flaws in the design of traditional healthcare systems in both advanced and developing countries of the Asia Pacific. The experiences of the past two years with COVID-19 have proven that any highly infectious disease which make many people sick, will quickly overrun hospitals and lead to the collapse of the health system and economic ruin. Thus, it is clear that the healthcare systems in their present conditions are not able to withstand the pandemic. However, COVID-19 has also triggered a great pivot towards the use of digital technologies, AI, and big data in health industries across the Asia-Pacific region. The emergence such digital innovations have enabled policymakers and innovators to imagine the era of the “hybridtact” healthcare industry, where the traditional “contact” hospital and healthcare systems are “married” with digital and online systems (untact healthcare) to revolutionize how bio-health and healthcare services are delivered to millions of users. This paper lays out a strategic framework for stakeholders in healthcare, and highlights some of the key issues to consider in implementing hybridtact healthcare. 

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Products Policy Approaches to Direct Digital Frontier Technologies towards Inclusive and Sustainable Development, Studies in Tra Products Policy Approaches to Direct Digital Frontier Technologies towards Inclusive and Sustainable Development, Studies in Tra
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, amongst others, were mobilized to fight against the pandemic. To build back better from the pandemic and meet the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is imperative to ensure that these technologies are also directed towards inclusive and sustainable development objectives.

This report reviews the status of digital frontier technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. The report stresses that the impacts of a technologically driven future are far from pre-ordained. Therefore, digital frontier technological breakthroughs require us to think differently about how we have traditionally formulated policies in the use of technology. The policy framework for the next generation of technologies should focus on creating an enabling environment for digital frontier technologies to positively impact the economy, the society, and the environment, and to reduce inequalities. A few pre-requisites for the development and application of digital frontier technologies are:

  1. Inclusive ICT infrastructure;
  2. Developing a workforce fit for a Fourth Industrial Revolution future;
  3. Developing innovative regulatory frameworks;
  4. Incentivizing responsible frontier technology development in the private sector;
  5. Catalysing the role of the government in the evolution of frontier technologies;
  6. Creating a platform for multi-stakeholder and regional cooperation; and
  7. Making digital frontier technologies serve the poor people and the least developed countries.

Cross-government cooperation, inter-governmental knowledge sharing and consensus building, and honest, open and regular discussions with the civil society and the private sector, specifically technology developers, will be critical to ensure that digital frontier technologies have a positive impact for inclusive and sustainable development.

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Key elements for developing ageing policies in Asia and the Pacific Key elements for developing ageing policies in Asia and the Pacific
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The working paper provides guidance on what should be considered when policies on population ageing and older persons are being developed. It provides information on the policy context and existing global policy instruments that inform ageing policies. It further discusses how policy responses to population ageing and addressing the situation of older persons can be developed, ranging from establishing institutional arrangements, policy planning, stakeholder engagement as well as planning for implementation and monitoring. The paper provides a range of policy options and good practice examples of policies and processes from countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The paper concludes with a checklist of policy elements and processes to consider in the policy process.

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