Following up on his recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand, Deputy Administrator spoke to the Bangkok Post for an interview dedicated to LGBT issues. During the Q&A session, Steinberg explained that the agency is launching the “Being LGBT in Asia” project. The project, the first of its kind, “is a comprehensive research initiative focusing on six countries – China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines- to reach out to LGBT communities to find out from them what their priorities are or what kinds of discrimination they face and how we can most support their efforts to join the political, economic and social mainstreams of their countries.”

Deputy Administrator Steinberg speaks at gender equality event in Bangladesh. Photo Credit: USAID/Bangladesh

In an op-ed featured in Politico co-authored by Shelly Esque, President of the Intel Foundation, and USAID’s own Maura O’Neill, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Counselor to the Administrator, the authors emphasize the need for affordable broadband in the developing world. Comparing the same barrier of phone lines and electricity to rural America, Esque and O’Neill iterate that the same phenomenon could close the digital divide through the expansion of mobile broadband. “Much research has proven broadband to be a catalyst to transformation in economic growth, social inclusion and the delivery of essential services like education and health care when coupled with strategic economic and social development policies.”

The Pakistan Observer reported this week on the Entrepreneurs Project in Pakistan. Through the project, USAID will train 26,000 women embellishers across Pakistan to improve their skills and ultimately increase their income. “Through this project, USAID provides female artisans with the skills to improve their products, access better markets, and increase their incomes.” Already, one participant exclaimed: “Now I don’t have to think about what I will feed my children anymore. Instead, I can think about my children going to school and learning things I don’t know.”