Southern and Southeastern Asia
The Global Philanthropy Environment Index “Southern & Southeastern Asia” region includes India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Beyond sharing strong socio-cultural foundations for philanthropy, the countries included in the Southern and Southeastern Asia region for the GPEI—India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—demonstrate distinct philanthropy environments and trends from 2018 to 2020. Overall, there was a modest increase in the score for the region, with all countries except for the Philippines staying close to their overall scores from 2018 or showing some improvement. Outside of Singapore and Pakistan, the countries in this region recorded developments supporting philanthropy and developments inhibiting philanthropy. Still, all the country narrative reports and ratings are overshadowed by the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. While it is clear the pandemic is having a significant impact on the philanthropy environment in each of these countries, whether these effects will be short-lived or transformative will likely depend, at least in part, on the actions taken by philanthropy organizations and governments in their respective responses.
Singapore continues to stand out as offering a particularly enabling environment for philanthropy in the region while Nepal and Vietnam continue to present the most obstacles. Pakistan and Myanmar experienced important improvements to their respective philanthropy environments; however, the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar appears to be reversing many recent advances. Outside of Singapore and Pakistan, countries in this region experienced both positive and negative changes to their philanthropy environment, presenting a mixed picture for the region overall. One illustration of this mixed environment is the ranking of Indonesia and Myanmar on two recent philanthropy studies. While Indonesia (#1) and Myanmar (#4) continue to top the Charities Aid Foundation’s (CAF) World Giving Index 2021 for the high proportion of their respective populations engaging in philanthropic actions, they simultaneously rank low for the region on the Centre for Asian Philanthropy & Society’s (CAPS) Doing Good Index 2020 due to limitations placed on philanthropy in both countries.
While there is a regional trend toward professionalization of the sector and the adoption of market models, what that looks like is different in each country. Access to resources and the type of organizations supporting these trends are also quite varied. India, the Philippines, and Singapore offer comparatively more support services within the sector and/or through cross-sector support organizations. There is also a small but growing number of regionally oriented philanthropy support organizations, including, but not limited to: Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) for high net worth philanthropists, Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) for organizations pursuing market models, CAPS, and two regional networks of academic associations focused on philanthropy research (ISTR Asia-Pacific and ARNOVA Asia). While philanthropy organizations across the region are adopting one or more market models, there are concerns about the growing market influence on philanthropy in Asia.View the full Southern & Southeastern Asia region report