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Research and policy for today’s Asia

As Asia continues to develop at a rapid pace, its environmental and sustainability challenges are escalating just as rapidly. SEI Asia, located in Bangkok, meets these challenges through a focus on a number of major research themes that work to bridge science and policy with rigorous research, active collaboration and expert policy advice and support.

Photo: SEI.

SEI Asia is an integral component of the Stockholm Environment Institute, an independent international research institute headquartered in Sweden that has seven additional offices in Europe, Africa and North and South America. As a non-profit research institute, SEI acts as an honest and transparent adviser for decision makers in handling complex environmental, developmental and social issues through its objective scientific analysis. SEI Asia bridges this science and policy domain with a perspective unique to Asia that springs from its people, communities, governments and organizations.  We work both on the ground and within organizational settings to ensure the great diversity of Asia’s environment and development demands are met with equally diverse and customized responses and actions.

 Expertise in action

 SEI Asia employees have a broad range of skills, experience and expertise in environment and development research, programme management, policy and communications.  We work with boundary partners: individuals and organizations that are best placed to make a long-term impact on policy and practice. These include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), policymakers, researchers, civil society, community groups, the private sector and others that will set the pace for a sustainable, thriving and vibrant Asia in the coming decades.

Work themes

 SEI Asia tackles issues that reach into the heart of Asia’s environmental and sustainability challenges. We organize our work through dedicated groups that focus on a specific theme, in addition to guiding a number of local, national and regional projects dedicated to community policymaking and sustainability. The following work themes are helping to ensure Asia’s future is clean, green, progressive and just.

Gender, environment and development 

GED conducts research on key drivers of gender and social inequality in the environment and development fields, building partnerships to complement and enhance the capacities of development practitioners and civil society groups for effective gender and social analyses.

Water resources management

WRM seeks to provide safe and secure water for all through the promotion of innovative technical, institutional and policy solutions and providing expertise in river basin planning and management, water resources modelling, remote-sensing and GIS, hydrology, climate change, water resources engineering, development studies, valuing ecosystem services, river health monitoring and multi-stakeholder engagement.

Climate change, disasters and development

CCDD works with at-risk and vulnerable individuals, groups and communities to enhance their resilience to disasters and climate change impacts through responsive science-to-policy engagement and capacity building.

Transforming development and disaster risk and the International Centre of Excellence on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk

TDDR and the ICoE seek to integrate disaster risk reduction with equitable, sustainable and resilient development through context-specific research on a range of disaster risks to pursue development that enables society to take account of new and emerging risks.

Energy futures

Energy Futures supports decision makers by providing knowledge and developing their capacity to foster a just transition to low-carbon energy systems through enhancing capacity for alternative energy development, scenario modeling, political economy and ecology analysis, and socio-technical approaches to innovative systems thinking.

SEI Initiative on City Health and Well-being

The CHeW Initiative uses approaches including participatory GIS, well-being surveys, and citizen science to understand how urban public spaces such as parks and markets can affect the health and wellbeing of city residents, in order to inform governance processes towards greater urban equity in rapidly developing secondary cities in Asia and Africa.


SEI hosts the Sustainable Mekong Research Network secretariat, which supports policy-relevant research and outreach with partners working on sustainable development in the Mekong Region countries. This support nourishes analysis that informs and influences the Mekong Region’s sustainable development by backing credible collaborative research, catalyzing independent discussions on key regional issues, and engaging with decision makers.

Policy support

SEI Asia’s policy team supports our key research to ensure we deliver relevant information on issues at local, national and regional levels. Our policy work includes stakeholders from governments to interest groups to civil society and the private sector, working through three main channels: building evidence, policy advice and strategy development.