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south and southeast asia

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South and Southeast Asia

The Sanford School of Public Policy’s connection to South and Southeast Asia is strong and growing. For example, after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, faculty members Elizabeth Frankenberg and Duncan Thomas collaborated with colleagues in Indonesia to develop a longitudinal survey to study the impacts of the tsunami and to track recovery. The project has followed 30,000 survivors, conducting surveys every year for the first five years, and is still working in the region.

Many Sanford students participate in a special summer programs in south and southeast Asia, like one based in India. Faculty members conduct policy research in both urban slums and rural villages. The school also helped design a master’s program in environmental public policy at Vietnam National University.

In addition, we offer custom-designed executive education programs to government officials in developing countries. Typically such training is offered through the Duke Center for International Development (DCID). Students come to study at Duke, and scholars often travel to provide training locally.


Sanford became a school on July 1, 2009, so this fall we're marking the 10th anniversary as a school. Previously, Sanford was organized as an interdisciplinary institute. Becoming a school raised Sanford’s profile and helped spark exciting changes and growth. To mark the occasion we’re sharing a series of stories about the last 10 years.  In this story, we share a small sample of the ways in which Sanford faculty's timely and relevant work is informing policymaking.

fire in a forest

Forest fires are more harmful than previously imagined, causing stunted growth in children who were exposed to smoke while in the womb, according to new research from Duke University and the National University of Singapore.