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.

Afghanistan Support Program


ISE supports Afghanistan’s vision of inclusive development and self-reliance via its Afghanistan Support Program (ASP). The program provides high-level strategic advice as well as technical inputs, when needed, to help Afghanistan implement its development strategy. ASP works within four major areas: public financial management and economic growth; strategic infrastructure management; and development strategy & national program design, including peacebuilding and justice, community-driven development (CDD) and overall development strategy; and global lessons learned. ISE’s work in Afghanistan informs our continued understanding and analysis of innovative development practice, including our community-driven development series and development practice notes on public financial management. Read more about ASP here.

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.

Gujarat: The Transition to a West Indian Tiger

Stagnating agriculture and a declining textiles sector characterized the Gujarati economy on its 1960 creation. Poor quality infrastructure compounded the challenge. We look at the five major market-building strategies it adopted to combine investment focus…

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Karnataka: Understanding State Level Transition in India

We explain why Karnataka is an instructive case study, containing both positive and negative lessons. In the last decade income growth has been spectacular; self-interested policy making have led it to be branded India’s most…

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Nepal: From Stalemate to State-Building

This paper considers how to resolve Nepalese political stalemate. It argues that progress on constitution-making requires agreement on core constitutional principles to underpin it. It then sets out recommendations to catalyze positive change, overcoming narrow…

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Nepal: From Politics to Progress

This paper considers how, at an ‘open moment’ in its history, Nepal might meet the challenge of moving from slogan to implementation. It suggests national programs have a role to play in facilitating this process…

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Recent Experiences in Linking Diplomatic Peacemaking with Development Efforts

Not only does the international community lack understanding of how to operate in fragile contexts, it often fails to diagnose its own role in perpetuating the problems it is seeking to resolve. This paper argues…

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Writing the History of the Future: Securing Stability through Peace Agreements

Peace agreements are a pivotal moment in the transition from long-running conflict to the establishment of a functioning state. Often perceived as offering a clean slate from which to start again, post-conflict conditions often present…

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