Bangi, 14 August 2014. UNESCO and the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, in collaboration with UNESCAP, University of Melbourne and Trinity College Dublin, organised a roundtable on “Inclusive policy approaches and data gaps, challenges and opportunities: Selected case studies in ASEAN” at Bangi, Malaysia from 12 August 2014 to 13 August 2014. The roundtable was opened by Dato’ Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur, Secretary General of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Vice-President of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Council (IGC) of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme for the Asia and the Pacific Region as well as Prof. Hubert Gijzen, Director and Representative of UNESCO Office Jakarta.
The meeting was attended by Datuk Dr. Ong Hong Peng, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, and Culture, Mr Mohd Khairul Adib bin Abd. Rahman, Undersecretary Policy and International Relations Division of the Ministry of Education of Malaysia, representatives of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, academics, civil society organisations as well as experts from Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Timor-Leste.
During the roundtable, Mr. Charaf Ahmimed, Programme Specialist for Social and Human Sciences with UNESCO Office Jakarta addressed how UNESCO promotes interdisciplinary and research networks on social transformation in South-East Asia. Mr Ahmimed explained that social transformation studies could address the needs of communities and disadvantage groups. Dr. Hasheem Mannan, Senior Fellow Researcher at Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne presented the need for dialogue among policy makers and researchers. Mr. Yanhong Zhang, Statistician with UNESCAP presented questions related to data management, including how data is being used and how improvement can be made.
The roundtable was designed to identify and discuss linkages between research, policy and practices related to social inclusion in selected Member States of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and identify data gaps, challenges and opportunities in relation to evidenced policy making. Participants agreed on a set of recommendations including ways to improve data accessibility, ensure that research is easily understood by public and policy makers as well as promote interagency coordination and cooperation. The outcomes and recommendations of this roundtable discussion will be presented to Dato’ Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur, Secretary General of MOSTI.
The recommendations of this roundtable will also be taken into consideration by UNESCO and its abovementioned partners in the implementation of a joint programme that aims at strengthening ASEAN Community 2015 through south-south collaboration and capacity-building on inclusive policies.
For further information about this initiative, please contact:
Mr. Charaf Ahmimed, Programme Specialist for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO Jakarta Office at c.ahmimed(at)Unesco.org, or Ms. Ailsa Amila, Programme Assistant for Social and Human Sciences at a.amila(at)unesco.org.