Managing and Mismanaging the Pandemic in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam: Approaches and Consequences


About the Webinar

As the three most populous countries in ASEAN, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam account for almost 500 million or three-quarters of the total population in ASEAN. Each has employed a different approach to trying to manage the pandemic at its different stages, with varying degrees of success. While the Philippines imposed one of the world’s longest general lockdowns at the start, Indonesia resisted doing so, while Vietnam responded early but with more targeted and time-bound measures. Vietnam emerged as a star in containing the initial outbreak, while both Indonesia and the Philippines could not avoid or contain a community outbreak. Vietnam avoided a recession in 2020, while Indonesia suffered a mild one, and the Philippines had the biggest drop in GDP.

Then Delta emerged in 2021 and changed everything, producing the worst outbreaks throughout the region. Vietnam succumbed early, Indonesia replaced India as its epicentre for a period and the Philippines eventually went through the inevitable spikes seen elsewhere. All three are still struggling to ramp up their vaccination drives and facing different supply, demand and other constraints. This webinar will consider not only the nature of the differences of the approaches taken by these countries at various stages but also why they were so. In explaining the variations in health and economic outcomes, it will look beyond the different responses to see what other factors may have contributed.

This webinar is supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

About the Speakers

Arief Ramayandi is a principal economist in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Prior to joining ADB, he was the director for the Center of Economics and Development Studies at Padjadjaran University in Indonesia. He has published in the field of macroeconomics and development and served as a consultant for different international institutions and organizations. He holds a PhD in economics from the Australian National University.

Siwage Dharma Negara is senior fellow at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute). He is Co-Coordinator for the Indonesia Studies Programme and Coordinator for the Singapore APEC Study Centre at the institute. Before joining ISEAS in 2014, he was researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). He has previously worked for the World Bank Office Jakarta (2008-2014). He is currently an editorial member of the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. His research interests include macroeconomic and development issues, regional connectivity, industrial and trade policies with a special focus on Indonesia. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Ronald U. Mendoza is a governance and institutional reforms specialist with over 25 years of experience in development policy and public administration reforms. Presently, he is Dean and Professor of Economics at the Ateneo School of Government. His work includes Children in Crisis: Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Recovery for All (2012) and Building Inclusive Democracies in ASEAN (2015). He holds a Masters in Public Administration and International Development (MPA-ID) from Harvard University, and a PhD in Economics from Fordham University.

Sheena Valenzuela is Research Associate and Program Coordinator at the Ateneo Policy Center, Ateneo School of Government. Her research work on health governance includes “The importance of effective risk communication and transparency: lessons from the dengue vaccine controversy in the Philippines” (Journal of Public Health Policy, 2020). She obtained a Master’s in Public Management in 2021 at Ateneo de Manila University School of Government, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 2014 at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

Nguyen Thang is the First Vice-Chairman of the Economic and Social Advisory Committee of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), which uses research evidence for policy engagement. He has led numerous research projects funded by international organizations including the World Bank, UNDP, IDRC, and DFID. He received a Master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (England) and PhD in Economics from Moscow Institute of National Economy (Russia).


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Nov 09 2021


10:00 am - 11:30 am