South & Central Asia


ISE is committed to supporting nationally led initiatives in South and Central Asia. Past work has been conducted in Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and state-level transformation in India. With extensive experience in Afghanistan, ISE also works to support reform programs in public financial management, infrastructure, social and economic development, and natural resource management. ISE’s engagement in Afghanistan has also formed the basis of a lessons learned program for continued analysis of reform efforts of the country’s public institutions, economy, and grievance redress mechanisms.

Asia Regional Connectivity Project


The Silk Roads had a rich history stretching back two millennia. An ancient network of routes connecting Europe and Asia, the Silk Roads facilitated prosperity and cultural exchange. More than a commercial network, it comprised reinforcing institutional systems, incorporating finance, transport, and cultural exchanges across vast distances. Today, some forty countries lie along the ancient Silk Roads, accounting for a majority of the world’s population and representing substantial opportunities. ISE’s Asia Regional Connectivity (ARC) project is examining the strategies of multilateral organizations, states, and private firms, exploring opportunities for synergies on the future shape of connectivity and exchange in the region. The ARC project builds on previous ISE analysis on the New Silk Roads.

Issue Brief: Re-examining the Terms of Aid

The current terms of foreign assistance mean that it often falls short of the goal of supporting countries on their development paths. The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, endorsed in 2011, represents a…

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Economic Tools Mapping: Export-Import Bank

This note sets out the role of the United States export-import bank, the official US export credit agency, and explores the significance of its role in filling gaps in international trade finance.

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State Function: Market Engagement
Insight & Analysis: Market Building
Topic: International Trade
Regions: Americas, South & Central Asia
Location: The Americas, United States
Publication Type: Economic Tools
Himachal Pradesh: Understanding State-Level Transition in India

How did Himachal Pradesh evolve to become one of India’s wealthiest states, with low poverty levels and above-average literacy?  The prospect appeared unlikely when 30 princely Hill states merged to form a state characterized by…

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Bihar: Transformation from a Dysfunctional to a Redistributive State

Confronted by set of deeply entrenched obstacles, the government of Bihar adopted a carefully structured approach to state-building. In this paper we assess the measures it took to consolidate the rule of law, build key…

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A Framework for a New Silk Road in Asia Report 1

The old Silk Road was not only a fixed route, but a constellation of rules, agreements, relationships and institutions that created an integrated economic and political system across Asia. The New Silk Road should similarly…

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