Training Workshop

First Workshop on April 1-3, 2009 at AIT, Thailand

Capacity building for gender, poverty and mobility analysis of road transportation development in GMS region : Research Design Workshop ( Workshop proceedings will coming soon)



International workshop on
Gender, Economic Integration, and Cross-border Road Infrastructure Development:
Poverty and Mobility in the Context of Asia

May 6-7, 2010
AIT Conference Center, Thailand

Organized by
Asian Institute of Technology
Asia Pacific Regional Secretariat of the
International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD)

Supported by
Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund, ASEAN Foundation
Asian Development Bank

As Saskia Sassen noted, globalization is a process of differentiation. This workshop discusses how regional economic integration strengthened by cross-border road networks has differentiated effect based on gender, ethnicity and class.

Asia has historically experienced high intra-mobility of goods and people, but in the recent years, the quantum of such mobility has increased dramatically. Various factors have contributed to this increase, including economic disparity within the region; differences in economic/ employment/ business opportunities; transportation and communication infrastructure development, education opportunities, and a wider network of migrants in major cities and industrial areas in the region.

One of the largest factors is the heavy investment in the construction and renovation of road networks. Road networks are considered important for regional economic integration, and especially considered critical for the less developed countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Recognizing this, large investment has been put on improving connectivity through Asian Highways. The fact that people move both within and out of the region has implications not only for the well-being of migrants themselves, but also for the sending and receiving communities.

Although there have been studies on regional economic integration with the improved mobility of goods and capital, how this has impacted on the socio-economic condition and cultural practices among the local people along the road as well as at the border regions are still under-studied, especially from the perspective of gender and ethnicity.

Some of the aspects that need to take note of are:

  • Changes in agriculture production, such as changes induced by increase in contract farming and plantation with cross-border investment in agriculture
  • Changes in people’s livelihoods, which can occur through cross-border tourism, cross-border trade, cross-border transportation and investments.
  • Changes in cross-border migration and daily mobility of people, and how mobility is used by local women and men to cope with or take advantage of economic integration.
  • Changes in access to social services such as health and education
  • Changes in land use and land ownership under contesting demand for land

The workshop explores how mobility of goods and people are changing as a result of road infrastructure development and economic integration policies, how such changes affect the livelihoods of the people along the road, and how such changes further affect the way of life and practices of local women and men, especially in terms of gender-based power relations. The effects can be varied for different communities, ethnicity, gender and age, and their coping/ adaptation strategies will also be different.

During the workshop, research outputs from the ASEAN Foundation funded project “Capacity building for gender, poverty and mobility analysis of road transportation development in GMS region” will be among those that will be presented. Thus, there will be strong focus on GMS in the workshop, but presentations from other regions/ countries are also welcome.

Deadline for abstract submission:  March 20, 2010

Travel grants are available for limited number of participants from ASEAN member countries.


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