How a Trial became a Triumph for ACTION Asia

regional analysis 1Innovative thinking unlocked the energy that will become part of a renewed and invigorated Action Asia in the months and years ahead. By tapping into the individual commitments of the leadership collective Action Asia have been able to devise a clear strategy for unifying and strengthening this important family of Asian peacebuilders.

The ASC was honoured to be part of the Action Asia Leaders reflection, review and planning forum that took place in Thailand from the 6th to the 8th of February. The workshop was organised in response to a call from the 5th Asian Peacebuilders Forum in Myanmar to turn the resignation of the secretariat into an opportunity for growth and renewed sense of purpose.

Following a valued contribution as institutional support to Action Asia, Balay Mindanaw in the Philippines made the decision to pull back a little from their role and provide space for fresh leadership to take on more responsibilities. Despite having led a response to several catastrophic typhoons that had a devastating impact on communities across the Philippines Balay Mindanaw ably carried out their secretariat function and their contribution was appreciated by all of the leaders present.

The decision to pull back from the leadership role presented Action Asia with a number of challenges. With this in mind the workshop was organised around 3 objectives.

  1. To reflect on the current state of Action Asia and its history
  2. To discuss options and plan strategies regarding the future of Action Asia
  3. To strengthen commitment among Action Asia’s leaders

Following a rigorous internal reflection on strengths and weaknesses, an analysis of the regional dynamics and an effort to connect the current context with the history and desired future of Action Asia some ground-breaking decisions were made.

Instead of keeping with the traditional organising model leaders decided to share some of the secretariat functions, and in this way create more opportunities for leaders and members to contribute to the running of the network. A number of key events have also been planned, which will serve as the anchors around which relationships and connections between members will be maintained and strengthened.

The 6th Asian Peacebuilders Forum will be held in China in 2016, a reflective review of Peacebuilding in Asia will be hosted in Cambodia in late 2015 and several capacity building initiatives will take place in Manipur, Indonesia, Laos and Nepal.

Issac Khen from Knowledge, Dedication and Nationbuilding in Myanmar will coordinate the Leaders and facilitate the leadership collective and Baht Latumbo will continue to maintain the communications hub and be supported in his efforts to strengthen and extend the central database.

The ACTION Support Centre wish all of our Action Asia comrades, friends and ‘family members’ a prosperous and joyous Chinese New Year and all the best of transformative energies for the hard work that lies ahead.