20 November 2017, Bangkok

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) awarded two projects to AIT Faculty Professor Kyoko Kusakabe of Gender and Development Studies, School of Environment, Resources and Development and Associate Professor Dr. Kuo-Chieh (Geoff) Chao, of Geotechnical Engineering Field of Study, School of Engineering and Technology.

The first project, headed by Prof. Kyoko tackles the Sustainable Development Goal number 5: Gender Equality. The main objective of the research is to gain a better understanding on women’s unpaid work in Lao PDR (including ADB project sites) that will inform the government and ADB about adequate policies and other measures that need to be taken at national level and at program/project levels to ensure a more equal distribution of unpaid work.

Globally, women spend more time working than men; but men spend more time in paid work, and women bear the burden of unpaid work. Unpaid work not only consists of household-related tasks such as cooking, cleaning, caring for children etc. but it also goes beyond the household chores and family care work. In the Asian region, women account for about 33% of the total workforce, but they also account for 76% of all unpaid work. This unequal distribution of unpaid work has been recognized globally as a major barrier to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The second project focuses on Road Network Development Sector in Timor-Leste. The planned output was to improve about 232 kilometers of national roads, develop a road maintenance program, climate-proof road designs, upgrade cross-border facilities with Indonesia, and boost the capabilities of road regulators and national contractors. It will also promote road safety. Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MPWTC) implemented the grant through Project Management Unit (PMU).

Dr. Chao is contracted as the audit consultant to undertake audit of the project design and construction with an objective to identify the root causes of road failure, recommend remedial measures to DRBFC and PMU, and provide guidance in implementation of these measures.