Water Supply and Water Governance: A Promising Area for Further US-Japan-Southeast Asia Collaboration


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When: Mar 28 2019 - 12:00pm until Mar 28 2019 - 1:30pm
Where: 1819 L St NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036

Water Supply and Water Governance: A Promising Area for Further US-Japan-Southeast Asia Collaboration

An Indo-Pacific Political Economy and Trade Seminar featuring:

Ms. Kei Namba
Visiting Fellow, U.S.-Japan-Southeast Asia Partnership in a Dynamic Asia Fellowship
East-West Center in Washington

Dr. Ellen Frost (Moderator)
Senior Advisor, East-West Center in Washington

Southeast Asia is often considered a global “hot spot” for a serious water crisis. The supply of clean water and sanitation in many cities is fragmented and suffers from weak planning, monitoring, and investment. Southeast Asia is going through rapid Left to right: Kei Namba and Dr. Ellen Frosturbanization and, by 2030, its urban population will grow by 100 million, rising from 280 million today to 373 million. Even now, nearly 1.7 billion people lack access to improved drinking water and sanitation in the Indo-Pacific region. The structure of water governance in Southeast Asia is multi-level governance, linking local actors to transnational actors in various structures, which makes regulatory coordination challenging. As two major donors in the water sector, the United States and Japan already cooperate on water-related challenges in Southeast Asia. Further cooperation will not only promote effective water governance and effectively implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also further strengthen stabilization and conflict prevention in the Indo-Pacific region.

This seminar will be part of a series tied to the U.S.-Japan-Southeast Asia in a Dynamic Asia Fellowship program jointly organized and sponsored by the East West Center and Osaka University’s Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP). Generously funded by The Japan Foundation and U.S. Embassy Tokyo, this fellowship has brought together two American, two Japanese, and two Southeast Asian fellows for three months to explore the following theme: How should the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asia collaborate on trade, investment, and economic integration in Southeast Asia?

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Kei Namba recently defended her PhD dissertation (Political Science) at the Free University of Berlin. Her research interests focus on water and environmental politics, diplomacy, and development in Southeast Asia and Japan. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Southeast Asia and Japan and held visiting research fellowships at Waseda University (2016) and the University of British Columbia (2018). She has worked in the energy sector, particularly on thermal and geothermal power generation projects in Asia, and served as an onsite Administration Manager in Indonesia. She is currently a Junior Expert to the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement.

Dr. Ellen L. Frost is a Senior Advisor and Fellow at the East-West Center and a Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University's Institute of National Strategic Studies. She writes and lectures frequently on Asia-related topics, especially Indo-Pacific political-economic issues and their strategic and security implications. Her most recent book is Asia's New Regionalism. Dr. Frost previously served in the US government as Counselor to the US Trade Representative (1993–95), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Economic and Technology Affairs (1977-81), various positions in the Treasury Department (1974–77) and the State Department (1963), and as a legislative assistant in the US Senate (1972–74). During the 1980s she worked for two multinational corporations. She received an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 2023279755