SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award 2011

The 2011 Award Selection Committee declared the research work titled "Improving School Readiness through Early Childhood Education in Rural Areas of Indonesia" as the best study among the seven entries from four SEAMEO Member Countries namely: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines.

The winner of the SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award 2011, Ms Ancilla Yinny Sakanti Irwan, Researcher, Faculty of Psychology, Atma Jaya Indonesia Catholic University, Indonesia was invited to the Opening Ceremony of the 34th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting to receive the Plaque of Recognition.

The Theme for the SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award 2011 on "Reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia" emphasizes the importance of accelerating the progress in reaching the unreached population groups in Southeast Asia as an essential means towards the realization of the Education for All (EFA) Goals by 2015.

2011 SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award

Theme: "Reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia"

The SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award was established in 1990 with the support of the Government of Canada as a way of recognizing exemplary research conducted by Southeast Asian nationals in the region. The yearly award aims to encourage young scholars to conduct researches on a relevant theme on social development in Southeast Asia and to facilitate continued interaction and knowledge-sharing among Southeast Asian and Canadian researchers.

The Theme for the 2011 SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award is "Reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia". The Theme emphasizes the importance of accelerating the progress in reaching the unreached population groups in Southeast Asia as an essential means towards the realization of the Education For All (EFA) Goals by 2015.

The commitment of the Southeast Asian Education Ministers to reach the unreached was expressed during the 43rd Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council Conference and the 3rd ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting in March 2008.  The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education declared in a joint statement to focus future cooperation on implementing Education for All, particularly in addressing the educational needs of those population groups that are disadvantaged and remain "unreached".

Across the Southeast Asian region, the unreached population includes: learners from remote, rural and isolated areas; learners from linguistic and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and minority religious groups; girls and women, especially from rural and ethnic minorities; underperforming boys including those that are at risk or have dropped out; children from migrant families, refugees and stateless children; learners with disabilities and special needs; children in difficult circumstances; learners from very poor families; child labourers, street children, trafficked children and abused children; children affected or infected by HIV and AIDS; and orphans and abandoned children. These population groups are in the lowest range in the indicators of education participation and performance, and they lack or have no access to educational opportunities and services.

With the aim to help address the needs of these population groups, a regional meeting was organized in 2008 in which SEAMEO collaborated with UNESCO and ASEAN Secretariat in developing 10 Collaborative Projects to Reach the Unreached in Southeast Asia. The implementation of the 10 collaborative projects has been underway and achieving encouraging results. More information on these initiatives can be accessed at the SEAMEO website.

The 1990 World Conference on Education for All (EFA) and the 2000 World Education Forum reaffirmed the collective commitment to education as a human right and to achieving Education for All Goals by the year 2015. The six EFA Goals are:

  1. Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
  2. Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.
  3. Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes.
  4. Achieving a 50 percent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.
  5. Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
  6. Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

As 2015 approaches, it is imperative for countries to scale-up efforts to speed up progress, taking into account the issues of access, equity and quality for all, especially the unreached population groups who have yet to receive a quality education.

The 2011 SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award recognizes the research that explores concepts, models, approaches and practical experiences on providing educational services to reach the unreached in an individual Southeast Asian country or in the region.

The researches may include traditional and innovative models, approaches and best practices in learning provision, innovative delivery modalities, materials, assessment methods as well as documented practices and cases of effective interventions in the formal and non-formal education streams.

The 2011 Research Award

The winner of the 2011 SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award will be invited to the 34th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in November 2011 to receive the Plaque of Recognition.

The winner will receive a travel fellowship to Canada to disseminate results of the winning research in relevant Canadian training and research institutions. The fellowship includes 8-day all expense paid travel to Canada (inclusive of travel time). The fellowship will include assistance by the SEAMEO Secretariat in travel and meeting arrangements.

It is expected that the award winner will take on the fellowship visit within 12 months from the date the 2011 winning research is announced.  

Eligible Applicants

  1. A national of a SEAMEO Member Country*;
  2. Holder of a master's or doctorate degree;
  3. Not more than 55 years of age at the time of application;
  4. Physically fit to travel to Canada; certification by a competent  physician may be requested before travelling;
  5. For studies/projects conducted by a team of researchers, only one author will be eligible for nomination. The submission should include a written note from the co-author(s) waiving any claim to the award, in case the research is selected; and a statement indicating the nominee's level of responsibility (in percentage) for the research work.

The Research Entry

  1. The research must be a completed research study/project conducted in Southeast Asia (covering one country or more in the Southeast Asian region) relating to the Theme;
  2. The research must have been completed within the past three years;
  3. If the research paper has already been published, the revised paper must incorporate some new aspects/dimensions and/or updated information, analysis and findings; and the original published research paper must also be submitted.
  4. All submissions, including photo captions and other materials, must be in English;
  5.  Researches conducted for graduate/post-graduate theses or doctoral dissertations will not be accepted.

Selection Process

A Selection Committee composed of representatives of relevant international organizations, experts in the field covered by the theme, previous SEAMEO-Jasper Award winners and officials of SEAMEO will convene to review the submitted entries. Selection will be based on the quality of the research, its relevance to the theme, to improving education in Southeast Asia and its potentials for promoting better understanding between Canada and Southeast Asia.

* SEAMEO Member Countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

Submission of Research Entry

Candidates are expected to submit one set of hard copy and one set of electronic file of the following:

  1. Completed application form (Download the form here)
  2. A 20-page summary of the research paper, including statement of problems,  rationale, objectives, methodology, findings, conclusions, recommendations and references/ bibliography;
  3. A one-page abstract of the research paper;
  4. Complete research paper.

Hard copy and electronic submissions must reach the SEAMEO Secretariat on or before 31 October 2011.

The submissions should be clearly marked and addressed to:

2011 SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award
The Director
SEAMEO Secretariat
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building
920 Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2391-0144
Fax: +66 (0) 2381-2587
E-mail: secretariat(at)