The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will cooperate to support innovative policy research on the development challenges confronting the countries of the Lower Mekong Region and promote institutional innovation in higher education. The Ash Center and USAID agreed to work together to strengthen public policy analysis capacity in the countries of the Lower Mekong Region —including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam — by planning new policy research projects focused on some the most vexing dilemmas in the region, including promoting knowledge-intensive economic activity, stewarding natural resources, and forging more effective regional cooperation mechanisms. A special emphasis will be placed on protecting the region’s shared water resources, including the Mekong River watershed.

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