Asia & the Pacific


ONLINE COURSE: Myanmar Constitution Academy is a free, self-guided, intensive online course on the fundamentals of democratic constitutionalism.

The online course is aimed at giving participants from Myanmar an introduction to key constitutional principles and comparative practice in terms of both constitution-building processes and constitutional design.


Myanmar Constitution Academy Online Course

The Asia-Pacific region is a centre of political and economic change with vastly diverse societies: some are firmly established democracies, others are undergoing democratic transition, while some face a long and difficult road to any form of democracy and rule of law.   

We work with electoral management bodies to create space for engagement of citizens in democratic constitution reform efforts at regional and country levels through our citizen-centered State of Democracy Assessment frameworks.

International IDEA works in the region from our regional office in Canberra, Australia and country offices in Bhutan, Fiji, Myanmar and Nepal.

In response to the February 2021 military coup, International IDEA has temporarily closed its offices in Yangon and Naypyitaw and provides its democracy assistance from outside the country.



We support democratic reform processes

Our work contributes to support selected processes of democratic reform within the region, for which IDEA’s global comparative knowledge resources and tools—notably in electoral processes and constitution building—provide an invaluable base. In responding to requests for assistance in specific countries International IDEA’s approach tailors support to each country, emphasizes local ownership and sustainability and respects the role and relevance of traditional customs and frameworks in people's understanding of democracy, law and service provision.


We promote understanding and debate on democracy

We encourage citizens to use its State of Democracy (SoD), State of Local Democracy (SoLD) and Democratic Accountability in Service Delivery tools. These tools have been developed by International IDEA to enable people to turn the spotlight on the strengths and weaknesses of their own institutions and government. We are supporting partners in assessments of local democracy in Mindanao, Philippines and in Indonesia. We are exploring both how democratic processes can realize popular aspirations and result in tangible advancement of people’s lives, and how citizen participation, engagement and monitoring can best contribute to and ensure effective service delivery.


Our previous activities in the region

In Indonesia, between 1998 and 2006, we provided strategic advice to national actors in government and civil society on options relating to the electoral system and on the management of election management bodies. Our institute has facilitated the publication of voter-education material and has translated the International IDEA Handbooks Women in Parliament: Beyond Number and Democracy and Deep-rooted Conflict into Bahasa Indonesian as a resource for political dialogue. International IDEA also held workshops on inter-faith dialogue and gender and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Attendees included policy makers and representatives from the Sinhala and Tamil communities.

Databases & Tools

Country & Regional Support


Bhutan’s road to democracy is in many ways considered unique. A small country nestled in the Himalayas, the Kingdom of Bhutan transitioned to democracy in 2008 after the former King voluntarily abdicated in favor of his son. This was done to create the imperative conditions for a smooth and successful transition to a multi-party democracy. This period also enabled the drafting of the constitution through extensive public consultation. International IDEA has supported the country’s transition to democracy since 2012, assisting the Election Commission of Bhutan through capacity building activities. From 2013 onwards, the support was extended to the parliament, helping them meet their constitutional mandates. 

The Parliament of Bhutan and civil society organizations can work together to improve legislative process. Under the Project ‘Nyamdrel | Support to Parliament of Bhutan and Civil Society Organisations, The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and Helvetas Bhutan will implement activities that work with targeted CSOs to engage effectively with Parliament and participate in legislative and oversight processes, and that enable Parliament to provide an enabling environment for public participation in parliamentary business.



International IDEA has been working in Nepal since 2004, initially offering its State of Democracy tool to enable citizens to assess the country’s democracy.

The Coherence Programme is a partnership between the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), in operation between 2017-2019. It aims to build common understanding of deliberative democratic local governance concepts and practice among federal, provincial and local stakeholders. The programme tries to achieve this through a combination of developing processes and materials for deliberative public decision-making, piloting support to their introduction and establishment in selected newly formed local governments, and structured policy dialogues and sharing of knowledge resources and experience with wider audiences. The focus is on establishing ‘deliberation’ as the overarching means of public decision-making and consensus-building in local governments.



International IDEA works with democratic stakeholders in Myanmar to consolidate the transition to democracy, contributing to strengthening of constitutional expertise, state-building, and governance in the country. International IDEA established its country presence in Myanmar in 2012. In response to the February 2021 military coup, International IDEA has temporarily closed its offices in Yangon and Naypyitaw and provides its democracy assistance from outside the country.

Our projects are developing knowledge resources, promoting institutional development and facilitating inclusive and informed dialogue about democratic reform options in Myanmar. 


The philippines

In order to respond to multiple types of discrimination that the indigenous communities are exposed to, the ’Indigenous Peoples Champions for the Philippines’ project will use a capacity development and local systems approach. Local champions empowered with knowledge and tools to resolve these challenges are more sustainable than institutions solely leading the advocacy initiatives.

National government plans being prepared to pursue, transition and operationalize autonomy in Cordillera and Bangsamoro, and there is an opportunity to advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ inclusion in the planning processes. The project serves as a light of hope for a more inclusive and prosperous future for the IP community of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the Cordillera on two levels: Advocacy and
Institution engagement.

Regional Partners

At the regional level, we have established a partnership with the National College of Public Administration and Governance at the University of the Philippines, which is hosting a regional centre and network for citizen assessment of democracy.  Other regional programme partners include the Non-Aligned Movement Centre for South-South Technical Cooperation, the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies, and several institutions and centres in Thailand devoted to democracy building and political development.

In addition, our organization is developing cooperation with the Secretariats of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has worked closely with the Government of Indonesia during its chair of ASEAN, and is seeking also to work with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). In South Asia, we support moves to develop a regional Democratic Charter.  Partnerships are also being developed with other organisations, such as the Election Commissions of India and the Republic of Korea, to help the process of democracy building.

Networks & Partners

Afghanistan Constitutional Studies Institute
Andalas University, Center for Constitutional Studies (PUSaKO)
Ashoka University, Trivedi Centre for Political Data
Asia Media Forum
Australian National University
Bhutan Network for Empowering Women
Centre for Policy Alternatives
Chiang Mai University, Faculty of Law
Constitution Transformation Network
Dialoge Fiji
European Union
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office / UKaid
German-Southeast Asian Centre for Policy and Government
India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management
Institute for Autonomy and Governance
Kathmandu University, School of Arts
Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat
Mid-West University
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
National Assembly of Bhutan
National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections
National Council of Bhutan
Nepal Economic Forum
Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (NETGRIT)
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Perludem (Association for Elections and Democracy, Indonesia)
Spring University Myanmar
Stockholm Environment Institute, Asia Office
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
The Commonwealth (Secretariat)
University of Melbourne, Electoral Regulation Research Network

Contact Our Offices

Asia and the Pacific (Australia)

Rm: 2.49 RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Crescent
ANU Canberra, Australia 2601

Leena Rikkilä Tamang
Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific

Rm: 2.49 RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Crescent
ANU Canberra, Australia 2601

Antonio Spinelli
Senior Advisor, Electoral Processes and Political Participation and Representation for International IDEA’s Asia and the Pacific Regional Programme

Sriniwas House, Ward No.4, Embassy Marg
Baluwatar, Kathmandu

Postal address: Post Box Number: 8975
Kathmandu, Nepal

+977 1 4432846
Phanindra Adhikary
Head of Programme, Nepal
Marcus Brand
Head of Programme, Myanmar
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