US Selects East-West Center for Human Capital Project on Southeast Asia, Pacific

HONOLULU, Feb 23: The US State Department has awarded the East-West Center a $1 million contract to research, design, and implement a project to heighten awareness of “All of America” efforts—including government, civil society, industry, and academia—to develop human capital in the strategically critical regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Collage of East-West Center human capital development projects.The “Best American Story Evaluations”—or BASE—project will consist of three major components:

A research study to collect data and stories about US human capital development efforts in selected Southeast Asian and Pacific countries, and create a searchable data hub for State Department use.
A public media campaign to share stories and raise awareness of US efforts, working with commercial partners to target digital and broadcast engagement.
Robust evaluation to provide an empirical assessment of messaging impact, including variance by country, age, gender, and education levels.
“A key element of United States influence abroad is the human capital development efforts that US agencies, companies, universities, and nonprofits undertake,” said East-West Center Chief Communications Officer Jake Hamstra, the BASE initiative’s principal investigator. “The Center is gratified to be chosen by the State Department to help craft an effective ‘All of America’ messaging campaign to enhance awareness of the impact of US investment, exchanges, and assistance in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.”

Eight Focus Countries
The BASE project will focus on four Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam; and four Pacific countries: Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Vanuatu. This selection reflects the countries’ strategic importance, as well as representing the diversity of the region in economic development, population, geographic size, and maritime access.

Through this cooperative agreement, the East-West Center will help the State Department shine a brighter light on “All of America’s” longstanding investments in the people of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and establish a tool for continued study and expanded engagement in the future.

The EAST-WEST CENTER promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the US Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.

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