Addressing Rising Income and Wealth Inequality in Asia: Reflections for Strategy 2030 from Civil Society | Asian Development Bank
Civil Society Program: Learning with Partners 2

Addressing Rising Income and Wealth Inequality in Asia: Reflections for Strategy 2030 from Civil Society

with Oxfam
Friday, 5 May 2017, 8:30 am–10:00 am, Annex Hall F205-206


Marie Lisa M. DacanayPresident, Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia

Marie Lisa M. Dacanay is the founding president of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia and is a pioneer in social entrepreneurship education and research in the Asian region. She leads the design and delivery of various courses on social entrepreneurship for practitioners, business, government, and academe. She has led various research studies on social entrepreneurship in Asia that catalyzed the development of platforms for addressing poverty, inequality, women’s empowerment, sustainable production and consumption, and inclusive growth towards achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Rayyan HassanExecutive Director, NGO Forum on ADB

Rayyan Hassan is a Bangladeshi national and the current executive director of the NGO Forum on ADB. The NGO Forum on ADB comprises over 250 civil society groups that include grassroots organizations, social movements, and affected communities across Asia which monitor programs and policies of the ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Mr. Hassan continues to advocate civil society concerns to the ADB and AIIB and their major shareholders, as he forges new alliances and campaigns with civil society groups across the world. His work in the Forum continues to advocate for environmental and social justice in the debate for responsible development financing in infrastructure across Asia.

Tomoyuki KimuraDeputy Director General, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, ADB

Tomoyuki Kimura has more than 30 years of work experience in corporate and development finance. He joined ADB in 2000 as energy sector specialist. Prior to the current position, he served as country director for Viet Nam and advisor for work force planning and human resource policy development. Mr. Kimura holds a master’s degree in business administration from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Northwestern University, United States and a bachelor of law from Kyoto University, Japan.

Max LawsonHead of Global Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam GB

Mr. Lawson is the current head of global policy and campaigns of Oxfam GB where he manages a team of policy and campaigns advisers working on Oxfam’s advocacies. He has authored, edited, and commissioned numerous papers for Oxfam, covering a broad range of topics including food security, climate change, essential health services, and inequality. Mr. Lawson has an MA in rural development from Sussex University and an MA in philosophy (with distinction) from Leeds University. He graduated with a degree in BA politics and philosophy (first class honors), also from Leeds University.

Trini Leung Director General, Oxfam Hong Kong

Trini Leung is the current director general of Oxfam Hong Kong. She is an expert on labor issues, climate change, corporate social responsibility, and international trade practices. She has 30 years of experience working in nongovernment organizations and participating in international advocacy initiatives. Ms. Leung acquired her PhD at the University of Hong Kong, focusing on the politics of reform and new social movements in China.

Christopher NgRegional Secretary, UNI Global Union, UNI Asia & Pacific


Nisha AgrawalChief Executive Officer, Oxfam India

Nisha Agrawal has been working on poverty, inequality, and development issues for more than three decades. She has been the CEO of Oxfam India since its inception in March 2008. Prior to that she worked with the World Bank on development issues for 18 years. Ms. Agrawal has extensive experience working in countries in the East Asia region (Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia) and in the East Africa Region (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda). She has a doctorate in economics from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, United States. She has also worked as a research economist at the Impact Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Seminar Summary

ADB is currently examining its approaches to development across the region, in line with new global agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with changes rapidly occurring across the region. One major challenge in the region is the growing economic inequality.

The session focused on inequality as a challenge but more so on finding solutions that can be driven together by all development actors. The session presented options that are available, those that have worked well, and those which have demonstrated positive impacts on poverty reduction and creating equal opportunities for all in four major areas: fiscal policies, fair wages, gender equality and knowledge and statistics. As ADB prepares its strategy for 2030, civil society panelists recommended that combating inequality should be at the core of the policy. In addition, the discussions suggested that the goal of inclusive growth should include indicators to measure women’s participation, among others.