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Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

KE Seetha Ram, Senior Consulting Specialist for Capacity Building and Training Projects

KE Seetha Ram

Joined Asian Development Bank Institute as a senior consulting specialist for capacity building and training projects in June 2017.

He is concurrently visiting professor at the Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo, Japan, and special advisor to East Japan Railways Company (JR East) for India High Speed Rail. Between 2013-2017, Seetha acted as the focal point for ADB-wide knowledge management, working to spur innovative solutions to the varied development challenges in Asia. From 2008 and 2012, Seetha was on secondment to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, as ADB visiting professor and founding director of the Institute of Water Policy and NUS-Global Asia Institute. Prior to joining ADB he worked as an expert in Japan on project finding, formulation, management, and technology transfer in about 30 official development assistance projects funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation in more than 10 Asian and African countries. Seetha has published numerous books, contributed to edited volumes, and refereed papers on water-related issues, including sanitation, water management, and climate change.


25 October 2022 Bringing lawyers back to the table for FIDIC contracts and dispute boards - Asia Pathways

A lack of legal advice during a project’s procurement process can result in unclear contractual terms that undermine the project and lead to costly and lengthy dispute resolution processes.

20 September 2022 Land value capture mechanism provides opportunity for sustainable urbanization in developing Asia - Asia Pathways

Land value capture methods can fill budget gaps in infrastructure projects while promoting sustainable transit-oriented development.

17 June 2022 How to meet Asia’s post-COVID-19 water and sanitation investment needs - Asia Pathways

Governments in developing Asia should adopt practical interventions to maximize the effectiveness of new and existing sources of funding for water and sanitation.

20 Aug 2021 How can the private sector help solve the sanitation challenge? - Asia Pathways

The private sector can play a vital role in solving the sanitation challenge. The following four aspects highlight the importance of private sector participation in sanitation in developing countries, including in Asia.

7 May 2021 Top journal articles on sanitation reveal new policy insights - Asia Pathways

An examination of the published journal articles on development economics reveals a striking pattern—very few are devoted to the analysis of sanitation interventions and development.

18 Jan 2021 Making citywide inclusive sanitation a reality through capacity development - Asia Pathways

Over a billion people across Asia and the Pacific still lack access to basic sanitation services (JMP 2019). Most low- and middle-income countries in Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia still do not have safely managed sanitation services.

10 Dec 2020 Does sanitation access improve schooling outcomes for girls and boys? - Asia Pathways

All the sanitation improvement projects and investments over the years beg the question of whether we have seen a significant increase in school enrollment and gender parity in education or not.

14 October 2020 COVID-19 reminds us to prioritize “water supply, sanitation, and hygiene” (WASH) to reduce child mortality - Asia Pathways

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has registered 959,116 deaths worldwide as of 21 September 2020. While the number is alarming, it is still not large compared with the 5.2 million children who died due to various causes in 2019, according to UNICEF.

17 September 2020 Stepping up civil service reforms in Myanmar - Asia Pathways

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has highlighted the importance of the civil service but has also, ironically, hindered its reform activities. Civil service personnel will have to work with government leaders to find the right balance between addressing public health and economic concerns and implementing policies for mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

24 March 2020 Improve handwashing access to combat COVID-19 - Asia Pathways

Medical experts and institutions tell us that a critical but simple lifesaving action to reduce vulnerability to COVID-19 is literally in our own hands—regular handwashing with soap. Public awareness efforts underscore the need for greater behavioral compliance.

8 November 2019 Land readjustment in Japan: Beyond the myth of Japanese consensus and harmony - Asia Pathways

The landscape of Misato City in Japan has changed drastically in the last 35 years. In the 1980s, Shin-Misato Station was the Mushashino marshalling yard for freight services. Most of the land near the station was used for agriculture, but once residential houses increased and more people came to settle in the area the government built a passenger train station.

3 October 2019 Thinking beyond the suitability of high-speed railway in India - Asia Pathways

In India, the project to build the country’s first 500-kilometer high-speed railway (HSR) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is underway. For comparison, all top 10 economies in the world except the United States have constructed several HSR lines in the past 30 years.

16 August 2019 Delivering safety for high-speed rail - Asia Pathways

As we are increasingly relying on technical innovations to solve some of society’s most complex problems, technological advancements such as artificial intelligence are contributing to new, modern modes of transportation, especially to enhancing safety.

20 June 2019 The spillover effects of digital platforms - Asia Pathways

“Over-the-top” (OTT) service providers are referred to as so because they allegedly ride exclusively on top of the infrastructure laid by telecommunications service providers.

1 April 2019 A step forward in attracting private sector financing for infrastructure projects - Asia Pathways

Many large infrastructure projects underline the complex relationship between physical structures and human resources. Such infrastructure projects would not be effective without proper operation and maintenance, and economic activities would be unsustainable without efficient infrastructure.

21 February 2019 High-Speed Rail: Necessary but not sufficient for socioeconomic development - Asia Pathways

Since its inception in Japan in 1964, high-speed rail (HSR), and its impact on the economy, has received attention from policymakers worldwide.

21 November 2018 No matter how poor you are, there is always a way to improve sanitation - Asia Pathways

The “out of sight, out of mind” attitude is proving to be critical for the slow progress toward target 6.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on global, safely managed sanitation.

16 October 2018 International partnerships for catalyzing the growth of India’s Smart Cities - Asia Pathways

The Smart Cities Mission, launched by the Government of India, aims to transform the urban governance ecosystem, especially urban local bodies (ULBs). It is hoped that the mission will help attract innovation, expertise, and financial resources for the holistic development of the ever-expanding urban areas.

10 October 2018 Universal health coverage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution - Asia Pathways

In October 2018, the world will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the seminal Declaration of Alma-Ata where the aspiration of “health care for all” was boldly declared. The realities have sadly fallen far short of the rhetoric—half the world lacks access to essential health services and 100 million people fall into financial catastrophe due to medical bills.

14 August 2018 Municipal bonds: Innovative mechanisms to finance smart cities in India - Asia Pathways

Reports from the United Nations estimate that India will add 404 million persons to its urban areas between 2014 and 2050 (UN DESA 2014) and that it will have seven cities with a population of more than 10 million by 2030 (UN DESA 2016).

14 March 2018 Minimizing the Cost of Fecal Sludge Management through Co-Treatment - Asia Pathways

The City Development Initiative for Asia, the Asian Development Bank, other multilateral agencies, and national governments are funding sewerage systems for medium and large cities throughout Asia.

15 September 2019 KE Seetha Ram, Senior Consulting Specialist for Capacity Building and Training Projects on Advancing Sustainable Development

ADBI Senior Consulting Specialist for Capacity Building and Training Projects KE Seetha Ram explains his work to promote quality infrastructure growth and sanitation access in developing Asia Pacific economies.

9 April 2020 Improving handwashing access is vital to combating COVID-19 - Asia's Developing Future

The novel coronavirus continues to test health systems and economies worldwide. In this podcast, ADBI’s KE Seetha Ram discusses barriers to a simple life saving action to reduce exposure to COVID-19 – handwashing – and how efforts to further strengthen sanitation management can help communities in developing Asia and the Pacific thrive again.

18 March 2020 How will the novel coronavirus impact the trajectory of Asian high-speed rail? - Asia's Developing Future

The novel coronavirus is affecting transportation connectivity worldwide. In this podcast, ADBI’s KE Seetha Ram and Shreyas Bharule, co-editors of the new Handbook on High-Speed Rail and Quality of Life, discuss the sector’s development prospects and socioeconomic effects in the fast-changing and uncertain environment.