Upcoming events

Community leadership for health: a story of rural Javanese women with Type 2 Diabetes


When: 17.30 - 19.30, 30 January 2017
Where: Abercrombie Refectory, Level 5, Abercrombie Building, The University of Sydney

The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre is hosting a group of 26 women activists from Indonesia in January 2017 for a two-week short course aimed at improving participants' leadership, management and organisational skills. We are pleased to invite you to a networking event at the University of Sydney with the group.

The event will feature a short presentation by Dr Dyah Pitaloka from the Department of Indonesian Studies about her research on the leadership strategies used by rural women in Indonesia with Type 2 Diabetes.

Funded by the Australian Government, the short course is part of the 'Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction' program designed to improve the lives of poor women in Indonesia by strengthening organisations that focus on female empowerment and parliamentarians.

Myanmar's rural transformation: emerging evidence of rapid structural change


When: 17.00 - 18.30, 15 February 2017
Where: Seminar Room 446, New Law School Annexe, University of Sydney

Most accounts of Myanmar’s rural economy paint a picture of stagnation, in a country characterised by chronic food insecurity, persistent poverty, and extremely low agricultural productivity. Here we present survey evidence from 2016, showing that a recent, rapid and profound transformation has begun in rural areas close to Myanmar’s main city, Yangon. Key findings are as follows:

  • A dramatic upsurge in rural-urban migration occurred from 2010 onwards;
  • Outflows of young workers resulted in rural labour shortages, causing the real wage to rise by 32% between 2013 and 2016;
  • A tightening labour market has driven extremely rapid agricultural mechanisation.
  • Access to credit from microfinance institutions and government supported cooperatives improved sharply from 2011 to 2016, causing average rates of interest paid on informal loans to fall;
  • Rural non-farm enterprise numbers grew quickly over the same period, most notably in retail and transport services.

In sum, these interlinked changes signal an extremely rapid deepening of market relations occurring in the areas surveyed. The immediate and longer run social implications of this multifaceted process require further exploration.

Dr Ben Belton holds the position of Assistant Professor in International Development at Michigan State University. He is based full-time in Myanmar in the USAID funded project 'Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy'.

Events 2017

Date Event
18 May Southeast Asia: politics in action (postgraduate research workshop)
19 May Southeast Asia: politics in action
20 May Southeast Asia: politics in action (early career researchers workshop)
20-22 June Honours bootcamp
5-6 July Digital research in Southeast Asia forum
10-24 July Women's empowerment in Indonesia field school
5 October ASEAN Business Forum
6 October ASEAN Forum: women in ASEAN
20 October Supervising Southeast Asia projects forum