Given the increasingly complex ASEAN agenda and the fast changing context, there is a need to further strengthen policy analysis and monitoring capability across the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC). ASEAN has recognised this need, resulting in the establishment of analysis and monitoring division/directorates across the three ASEAN Community pillars in the recent restructuring of ASEC. The relevant division/directorates are required to identify and monitor emerging policy issues that may require consideration or action by the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies.
Increasingly the issues facing ASEAN are cross-pillar in nature. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, for example, touches upon trade (AEC), cyber-security (APSC) and education (ASCC). This requires a more systematic collaboration and coordination mechanism across the three pillars. The current structure and culture of the Secretariat, however, may leave some room for improvement in this regard.
This project supported a number of ASEC delegates to participate in a 5-days intensive learning program in Australia, which took place in March 2019. The program seeks to pilot an approach to further strengthen ASEC staff capacity in policy analysis and monitoring through a facilitated introduction to Australian Government processes and institutions, including the consultation and coordination process that the bureaucracy goes through for major policy decisions and implementation, consultations between state and federal governments as well as government engagement with the relevant stakeholders (academe, business sectors, CSOs).