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.

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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The Aid Relationship in Afghanistan: Struggling for Government Leadership

This case study explores how, during the transitional years of 2001 to 2006, Afghan authorities shaped their ‘aid relationship’ with the international community. It describes the strategies, frameworks, policies and systems to manage aid that…

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Nepal: The Future in the Present

This paper explains how unstable dual power sharing defined Nepal’s predicament in May 2006. It explains why resulting structural uncertainty affects stakeholders and threatens further development – or even risks collapse. The paper then explains…

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