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PROSPECT – Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities
19 MINUTE READ
February 6, 2024

UNLOCKING A COMMON VISION FOR A MORE SECURE, SUSTAINABLE, AND INCLUSIVE SOUTHEAST ASIA

BACKGROUND

Partnership between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States government (USG) is key to enhancing human security, resilience, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Therefore, the USG has been a trusted partner of ASEAN since 1977.

Collectively, the diverse and dynamic ASEAN member states boast the world’s third largest population and fifth largest economy. Guided by aspirations detailed in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and drawing upon the Sustainable Development Goals, ASEAN member states work together to set policies to build stability, prosperity, and resiliency in the ASEAN region. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with ASEAN, works to strengthen collective capacity to meet complex 21st century global and regional challenges to advance security and rights for ASEAN’s more than 670 million people.

Through the ASEAN-USAID Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT) project (2018 – 2024), the U.S. supported ASEAN efforts to enhance regional policies, cooperation, and capacity across its member states and partners to tackle shared challenges and strengthen common values. The ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project contributed to the U.S.-ASEAN collaboration on combating transnational crime and transnational security threats, promoting responsive and transparent governance, and expanding rights and opportunities for women and youth across Southeast Asia.

PRIORITIES
ADDRESSING TRANSNATIONAL CRIMES AND TRANSNATIONAL  SECURITY THREATS

ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT collaborated with ASEAN, civil society, and development partners to strengthen regional policies, systems, and capabilities to effectively coordinate on transnational threats. These threats include countering violent extremism, trafficking in persons and wildlife, and preparedness for public health emergencies and natural disasters. In addition, ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT assisted ASEAN efforts to strengthen governance, rule of law, compliance with ASEAN conventions and agreements, and facilitate civil society engagement in ASEAN policymaking. To ensure inclusive and connected ASEAN communities, ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT provided technical assistance promoting gender equality, human rights, and youth leadership.

KEY RESULTS 
  • Engaged 34 ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and ASEAN-Affiliated Entities across over 90 workshops, training initiatives, and conferences, supporting over 1,400 human rights defenders and training over 200 youth on community development, social enterprise, media, and peacebuilding.
  • Facilitated multi-stakeholder engagement and exchange leading to the establishment or enhanced implementation of 25 regional laws, policies, and resources related to anti-trafficking in persons, natural disaster management, promoting gender equality, civil society engagement, and other social protections.
  • Provided technical expertise for ASEAN counter-terrorism officials resulting in the drafting and launch of the Bali Work Plan and the creation of the Multi-sectoral Task Force. Supported two ASEAN-U.S. workshops on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Bali Work Plan Multi-sectoral Task Force and Partners Meetings in 2022 and 2023 to address emerging trends in the region.
  • Developed capacity-building resources for practitioners in line with the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP), including the ASEAN Regional Guidelines and Procedures to Address the Needs of Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2018), Practitioners’ Model Implementation Toolkit (2019), and the  Regional Training Curriculum on Victim Identification, Protection and Support, Recovery and Reintegration (2022). Drawing upon these resources, conducted training for 220 practitioners in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand on victim-centered approaches to identify and assist victims of trafficking according to regional and national policies, principles, and procedures. (2020-2023). 
  • Conducted research and drafted a regional assessment on forced labor in the fishing industry, which led to a new 4-year ASEAN-U.S. cooperation initiative—the Addressing Labor Exploitation in Fishing in ASEAN program, or ALFA. (2020)
  • Conducted research and drafted a regional assessment on the Capacity for Developing an Early Warning Early Response System for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE). Recommendations inspired the development of an ASEAN Declaration on Developing an Early Warning Early Response System for Preventing and Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism. (2023)
  • Designed and developed an Educator’s Toolkit to Address Disinformation and Promote Media Literacy, including tailorable modules for the classroom or individuals (2021). Using the Toolkit, conducted a Training-of-Trainers for over 60 educators from across ASEAN education institutions, who are now better equipped to integrate media information literacy into their institutions’ curriculums. (2022-2023)
  • Supported cross-sectoral consultations with law enforcement, forestry, and customs officials to draft ASEAN Guidelines for Detecting and Preventing Wildlife Trafficking, which lays out principles for inter-country data sharing and joint operational mechanisms. (2019)
  • Provided technical support for the first-ever ASEAN Strategy for Preventing the Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases from Wildlife Trade to guide ASEAN coordination of wildlife trade management at the regional level to prevent animal-to-human transmission of diseases. (2022)
  • Developed a tailored English language curriculum for disaster management professionals and supported the training of 19 ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) disaster management officials. (2019) 
  • Conducted the capacity-building assessment on logistics and supply chain management for National Disaster Management Organizations (NDMO), a critical reference guiding ASEAN capacity-building programs. (2021)
  • Building on ASCEND competency standards, developed an ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics Training Curriculum for Officer Level and trained practitioners to better manage complex logistics and operations during humanitarian crises. (2023)
  • Conducted a comprehensive regional assessment of AMS Capacity for End-to-End Early Warning Systems for Multi-Hazard Disasters, producing a set of recommendations to guide for future interventions.  (2023)
  • Designed the ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System (APHECS) Framework to improve preparedness and response that was adopted by the ASEAN health ministers in 2023.
  • Provided technical assistance to develop Terms of Reference for the ASEAN One Health Network, a deliverable under the ASEAN Leaders Declaration on One Health Initiative, adopted by the ASEAN health ministers and noted during the 43rd ASEAN Summit. (2023)
  • Provided technical expertise for the development and drafting of the ASEAN Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Framework (AGMSF), outlining a whole-of-ASEAN effort to enhance women’s participation, leadership, and economic security and counter systematic bias that limits women’s rights and opportunities. (2021)
  • Established a multi-sectoral ASEAN Gender Mainstreaming Steering Committee and Implementation Plan to accelerate the operationalization of the AGMSF. (2023)
  • Assisted the ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM) to promote gender mainstreaming across ASEAN civil service agencies through training on conducting gender audits, gender-responsive recruitment, and other human resources practices. (2023)
  • Supported the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) and ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) to hold the first ASEAN Symposium on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), as well as establishing the first ASEAN Women Peace Registry (AWPR) (2019). 
  • Supported the formation of the WPS Advisory Group to oversee the research and drafting of an ASEAN Regional Study on WPS. Drafted the Regional Study on WPS, launched in early 2021, which set the baseline for implementation of the WPS agenda in ASEAN. (2019 – 2021).
  • Over 290 women from across the region received leadership and professional development training through the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project.
  • Based on recommendations from the Regional Study, convened cross-sectoral consultations to inform the drafting of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action (RPA) on WPS and provided support for the RPA on WPS launch event in late 2022.
  • Through various programs, over 230 youth from all ASEAN member states were able to contribute toward security, prosperity, and inclusivity in their communities on regional challenges such as the pandemic recovery, clean energy, and PCVE.
  • Strengthened shared ASEAN identity and knowledge through multiple video and social journalism contests to amplify youth voices in raising awareness and helping to solve pressing regional challenges. Over 75 youth from across ASEAN participated as finalists in the ASEAN Youth Social Journalism and ASEAN Youth Video Contests. (2019-2023)
  • Convened a series of youth leadership workshops on PCVE to build and strengthen a network of youth and supported selected youth leaders to participate in two ASEAN-U.S. workshops on PCVE where they presented their perspectives and recommendations to ASEAN and U.S. officials. (2022-2023)
  • Provided expertise for the drafting of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) Working Group on Judicial Education and Training (WG-JET) Work Plan (2020-2025).
  • Worked collaboratively with the Indonesia Co-Chair of CACJ WG-JET, ASEAN Secretariat’s Legal Services and Agreements Directorate, and the Stanford University Center for Human Rights and International Justice to deliver an Introductory Training Program on ASEAN Institutions and Legal Instruments for over 30 senior judges and judiciary staff members, as well as developing a monitoring and evaluation framework to support implementation of training programs under the CACJ WG-JET 2020-2025 Work Plan.
  • Convened key stakeholders for an ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Consultation on Victim-Oriented Protection to Prevent and Counter Radicalism and Violent Extremism to promote rights-based approaches. (2023)
  • Supported the 6th AICHR Youth Debate, providing an opportunity for youth to learn about and engage with AICHR officials to debate key regional issues. (2019)
  • Provided technical assistance to produce recommendations on the implementation of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration Article 23 on Freedom of Opinion and Expression in ASEAN. (2019)
  • Supported the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Secretariat to hold a workshop to develop a Plan of Action on Promoting Women’s Political Participation (2024-2028). (2023)
  • Ensured Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and private sector involvement in ASEAN-led processes to develop the Bali Work Plan and Regional Plan of action on Women Peace & Security, ASEAN Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Framework, and others. (2019 – 2023)
  • Provided capacity building and grants to five CSO partners to implement activities promoting youth leadership on PCVE and entrepreneurship, protections for migrant workers’ rights, and capacity building for counter-trafficking practitioners involved in victim protection. 
  • Facilitated the engagement of over 400 CSOs and private sector partners in ASEAN-led initiatives. 

CONTACT USAID/RDMA ASEAN Office  jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov for more information.

Factsheet: 2024 ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT Fact Sheet (End of Project) [pdf. 826KB]