Urbanisation has become a megatrend worldwide. In the ASEAN region, more than half of the population lives in urban centers. The projected growth of urbanisation will add a further 70 million people by 2025, and 90 million by 2030. Urbanisation has brought benefits as the engine of growth, but it has also come with some challenges including the formation of informal settlements, lack of access to adequate housing, clean drinking water, and sanitation, breaking down of social cohesion, intensifying city congestion, increasing air pollution, and increased vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. These are exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women, poor households, children, youth, people with disabilities, and elderly people are among the vulnerable groups that are impacted by rapid and unplanned urbanisation.
The Study on Urbanisation, People's Mobility, and Inclusive Development Across Urban-Rural Continuum in ASEAN has been conducted by RDI in 2021-2022, involving the ASEAN Member States (AMS), international organisations (including UN agencies), and think tanks/research institutes in the data collection process. The study aims to present comprehensive data and insights regarding the urbanisation phenomenon in ASEAN, as well as the recommendations that can be used further to improve overall people's livelihood.
Marking up the main deliverables of the Study, a launching event was conducted and hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat on Wednesday, 15 June 2022. This event aimed to disseminate the study to key stakeholders. Attended by representatives of the ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, AMS, UN Agencies, and think tanks/research institutes, the event was opened by H.E Ekkaphab Panthavong, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, and followed by Mr Valentin Musangwa, Second Secretary of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, and Dr Nenette Motus, Regional Director for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Regional Coordinator of UN Network on Migration for Asia and the Pacific.
The session then continued with the presentation of the Study by the RDI team. Dr Saut Sagala opened the presentation session and followed by Dr Fikri Zul Fahmi, Dr Ayu Krishna Yuliawati, Dr Indraswari, and Dr Mizan Bustanul Fuadi Bisri, conveying the findings and analysis of the study, and the recommendations to the attendee. This session is moderated by Dr Chusana Han, Head of Poverty Eradication and Gender Division (PEGD) of the ASEAN Secretariat.
The next session was the responses and reflection by some ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, conveyed by Ms Paterna M Ruiz, Chair of ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (SOMRDPE); Dr. Chanthanom Manithip, Chair of ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD); Dir. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla from the ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Meeting (SLOM); and Dr. Pham Quang Hung, Chair of ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED). In this session, the presenters shared their responses on the findings and recommendations of the study and explored areas that could be prioritised by policy makers and development partners. This session was moderated by Mr Miguel Musngi from PEGD.
The last session was the panel discussion. The speakers on this session highlighted good practices and shared their views for ways forward to foster sustainable and inclusive development across the rural-urban continuum in ASEAN. Presentations in this session were conveyed by H.E. Ngy Chanphal, Chair of ASEAN Smart Cities Network; Dr. phil. Vissia Ita Yulianto, Researcher from the Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada; Mr Riccardo Maroso, Project Team Leader for ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation; and Ms Marlene D Ramirez, Secretary-General of Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (AsiaDHRRA).