PROSPECT – Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities

  1. IGNITE – Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce
  2. PROSPECT – Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities


Partnership between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States Government is key to addressing regional challenges and advancing a free, open, and prosperous Southeast Asia.

Guided by the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Member States of ASEAN are working together to build a peaceful, stable, and prosperous ASEAN Community for their combined population of over 650 million people. Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Government supports ASEAN to harness the great diversity across Member States to more proactively address transnational crime and other complex regional challenges, strengthen rule of law, and achieve full realization of human rights, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized groups.



The United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and its three overarching pillars—enhancing shared prosperity, championing good governance and civil society, and ensuring peace and security—guide USAID’s engagement with ASEAN, encapsulated in the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership. To realize this vision, the U.S. Government and ASEAN advanced shared priorities and principles through the ASEAN-USAID Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT) project. Through comprehensive, multi-year initiatives, PROSPECT supports ASEAN to better respond to transnational challenges—including non-traditional security threats—and promotes sustainable, rules-based and inclusive growth by expanding rights and opportunities for women, youth, and other marginalized groups across Southeast Asia. PROSPECT emphasizes cross-sectoral, collaborative approaches and engages civil society to implement activities.



PROSPECT collaborates with civil society, the United Nations, and other partners to strengthen ASEAN’s capacity to more proactively respond to transnational crimes and non-traditional security threats. PROSPECT works with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children to help Member States more effectively implement the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children through demand-driven capacity building at the national level to better address the needs of victims of trafficking. PROSPECT also continues to support ASEAN to build upon the comprehensive, multisectoral five-year Bali Work Plan to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism, developed with PROSPECT support in 2019. Additionally, PROSPECT continues to advance common policy frameworks for ASEAN Member States to more effectively coordinate efforts to tackle wildlife trafficking and protect the region’s rich biodiversity. With a large part of the region inside the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” PROSPECT strengthens ASEAN’s ability to prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises, particularly those resulting from natural disasters. PROSPECT supports the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, as the regional coordination body for emergency response, through tailored English language training for disaster specialists across the region, as well as supporting National Disaster Management Authorities to improve logistical efficiencies when responding to disasters.



PROSPECT supports the ASEAN Secretariat, the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices, and the ASEAN’s Network of Institutes of Strategic and International Studies to promote a rules-based ASEAN, improve predictability and efficacy in the implementation of regional agreements, and strengthen analytical capacity of ASEAN institutions by drawing on expertise from civil society. In line with ASEAN’s 10-year blueprints for its Economic, Political-Security, and Socio-Cultural Communities, PROSPECT also helps ASEAN create platforms for civil society engagement on critical regional issues, such as corruption, protecting rights of migrant workers, and countering violent extremism. Through its grants program, PROSPECT provides resources to civil society organizations with expansive regional networks to mobilize citizens to engage in dialogue with government officials on a range of pressing challenges facing the region. PROSPECT also supports the ASEAN Parties Against Corruption advance its aspiration to build capacity in preventing and combating corruption among member institutions in all ten ASEAN Member States.



Building on earlier U.S. Government support to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, PROSPECT continues to enhance ASEAN’s ability to promote human rights and expand opportunities for underserved populations, including women and youth. PROSPECT engages youth to contribute to ASEAN through regional human rights debates, media and journalism workshops, and social entrepreneurship challenges, thus strengthening cross-cultural ties and a shared ASEAN identity. PROSPECT also works with the ASEAN University Network for Human Rights Education to improve access to and quality of peace and human rights studies for university students across Southeast Asia. In addition, PROSPECT supports ASEAN efforts to institutionalize gender mainstreaming across the three ASEAN Communities and advance gender equality in all ASEAN sector bodies and Member States. Finally, PROSPECT is providing technical assistance to ASEAN to take stock of and make progress against the ASEAN Joint Statement on Women, Peace and Security in the region.

Download PROSPECT Factsheet [PDF 465 KB]