Democracy has been declining across Asia and the Pacific for more than ten years. Many believe information disorder or “disinformation”—a term in which distorted and manipulated information is ubiquitous—is playing a role in destabilizing democracy across the region. The USAID/Asia Bureau wanted to understand how distorted information contributes to unchecked and unaccountable power in Asia and the Pacific. They engaged Integra (under the Asia Emerging Opportunities contract) to analyze how information disorder may be affirming authoritarianism in Asia and the Pacific. Integra is a small business known for its capacity to rapidly assemble expert teams and produce actionable reports, assessments, and strategies for complex international development issue.

Integra approached this question through a series of in-depth country studies identifying supply- and demand-side factors contributing to information disorder at the national and sub-national levels. The study countries included the Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand—representing regime types ranging from relatively democratic political systems to de facto military dictatorships. Five regional experts conducted desk-based research, consulting open-source documents (academic books and peer-reviewed journal articles), think tank reports, publicly available government documents, and broadcast, print, and social media publications. In addition, the experts accessed and explored grey literature, unofficial documents, and other materials not readily available but drawn from their experience and local networks. Integra’s experts supplemented collected research and data with key informant interviews sourced from on the ground networks.

The analysis confirmed an extensive history and growing impact of information manipulation for political ends in Asia and the Pacific, focused almost exclusively on influencing operations by states in other states. The most sophisticated disinformation campaigns identify cleavages and rifts unique to a society. Constructed around local fears and anxieties, they can insert themselves into a political arena. China and Russia, in particular, are often singled out as dominant sources of information manipulation across the region, while actors in the United States and Western Europe also play roles in the region’s information disorder. The ultimate analysis revealed a more complex picture of current information disorder compared to historical trends.

In recent years, Integra identified that the disinformation landscape has seen an outward and downward shift of power. For example, politically motivated players with no direct links to regional governments and actors manipulating information for purely financial reasons play increasingly important roles in distorting information. Furthermore, information disorder varies among countries based on mediation from national contexts. This suggests that mitigation strategies to contain and counter information disorder must be tailored to specific local contexts. There are no silver bullets.

Study findings also identified that information disorder may be as much a consequence as a cause of the democratic decline. Focusing on improving the institutions and socio-economic structures on which democracies in Asia and the Pacific rest, rather than on technology, may yield the most effective mitigation strategies in the long term.
Integra’s assessment identified the need for mitigation strategies must be multi-faceted. To be effective, efforts should pursue holistic approaches that consider the many interconnected dimensions of information disorder. Mitigation strategies also need to focus on political and economic conditions rather than just the technical aspects of information disorder. Finally, they should be tailored to the local contexts to contain and counter-information disorder. This localization may also effectively respond to the challenge put forward by the USAID Administrator Samantha Power to engage with small partner organizations in each country.

These findings helped USAID to understand the causes and consequences of information disorder in Asia and the Pacific, identify strategies to effectively address the issues in the region, and adapt and replicate these solutions worldwide.

Position: Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Short Term Senior Technical Advisor


Location: Remote (with potential travel to Laos)

Integra is an innovative international development firm established in 2010 to bring creative solutions to 21st century challenges.  Headquartered in Washington, DC we use academically grounded analytical tools and private sector partnerships to address key development challenges in the areas of economic growth, agriculture and food security, gender and women’s empowerment, climate and environment, and information and communication technology.  Our work has resulted in effective project implementation and policy reforms in over 30 countries and has leveraged over one billion dollars in public and private sector funding.


Position Description

The short term senior technical advisor will lead the design and drafting process for the new Democracy, Human Right and Governance – Strengthening the Oversight Capacity of Provincial Assembly (SOPA) program for USAID/Laos.  The advisor will support USAID/Laos in drafting the concept note and program description, including any supporting documentation required for the procurement package.  Additional responsibilities include organizing and facilitating stakeholder engagement and/or co-creation processes, as necessary.



  • Conduct preliminary review of the Government of Laos’ governance and parliamentary-related national policies, strategies, planning documents, and other relevant literature, as well as develop a list of stakeholders and key informants with whom to engage and consult.
  • Facilitate stakeholder engagement activities, co-creation meetings with development partners and the Government of Laos, along with identifying and mapping development activities carried out by the National Assembly, donors, and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners.
  • Lead drafting process with USAID/Laos for the concept note for the SOPA program.
  • Prepare a Program Description/Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) or other relevant acquisition or assistance tool and supporting documentation for the procurement package.
  • Hold weekly meetings with the Health and Governance Office, to review progress, resolve any issues and coordinate the writing process.
  • Coordinate across design teams to ensure the completion of key deliverables.  This includes management of logistics, writing meeting agendas, leading discussions, among other tasks, in collaboration with USAID/Laos and technical support teams.
  • Assist in presenting the Concept Note and/or Program Design to internal and external audiences.
  • Conduct a Rapid Political Economy Assessment (RPEA) to contextualize the effects of the political landscape on related Mission programming.


  • Significant experience in the technical design and writing of Local Governance and Parliamentary programs;
  • Effective team leadership, coordination and facilitation skills and the ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary governance sector team (decentralization, local governance, rule of law, parliamentary, for example);
  • Advanced degree in governance preferred and strong analytical and communication (written and facilitation) skills.  The ideal candidate has employment history that demonstrates extensive writing experience, and an ability to craft information succinctly with a high degree of technical depth;
  • Extensive knowledge of parliamentary systems, local governance, key global governance interventions and trends, and substantial extensive experience designing programs; and
  • Extensive knowledge of USG governance programming and policies in Asia (preference for experience working on programs for Laos or similar settings in South East Asia).


To Apply Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and CV to Please include “Associate” in the subject line of the e-mail. No phone calls please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


USAID is seeking to place an experienced economic policy expert as an embedded Senior Advisor in the office of Timor-Leste’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs (MCAE). The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs assists the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in coordinating and supervising the members of Government responsible for implementing policies for economic governance areas including: the Ministry for Commerce, Tourism, and Industry; the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries; the Secretary of State for Employment and Vocational Training; the Secretary of State for Cooperatives; and the Secretary of State for the Environment. The MCAE also has oversight authority for 9 Government Autonomous Agencies and the state owned National Commercial Bank of Timor-Leste (BNCTL) Working with the Government of Timor-Leste, USAID has identified three broad baskets that capture the most pressing constraints to growth, diversification, and recovery: 1) Infrastructure, 2) Capacity Building, and 3) Business Enabling Environment.


The Senior Advisor will support MCAE in drafting policy options, policies, laws, regulations or protocols and advise on how to assess effectiveness of implementation efforts related to policies and regulations addressing identified constraints to efforts promoting a more diversified economy on its path to recovery and WTO accession.


USAID, through the Asia Emerging Opportunities mechanism, will bring onboard the Senior Economic Advisor and be responsible for supervision. As the Advisor works under the guidance of the Coordinator of Technical Team, the AEO team will ensure that the Advisor works collaboratively with both USAID and MCAE. Whenever appropriate, the Senior Economic Advisor will also work collaboratively with the Legal and Policy Advisor, the sector-specific Technical Specialists and the Technical Support Team.


Required Qualifications

  • 15 years of experience in analysis, implementation, and/or development of economic policy;
  • Expertise in economic policy as it relates to growth and diversification, in particular: prioritizing infrastructure options, expanding domestic commerce and trade; fostering entrepreneurship, increasing FDI and domestic investment, job creation, and economic inclusion for women and youth;
  • Familiarity with the economics of international trade and the ASEAN and/or WTO accession process;
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships and create consensus between governmental and non-governmental stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated ability to foster relationships across high-level government operating units and coordinate complex, policy-focused work;
  • Familiarity with the economic policy and trade environment in the region;
  • Public policy competency required in economic development, preferably in a governmental environment;
  • Bilingual English/Portuguese: Reading/Writing/Speaking.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise on agricultural policy and natural resource management policy a plus;
  • Familiarity with the US Government’s strategic and economic interests in the region, as defined by the Indo-Pacific Strategy;
  • Experience working with USAID or other donor agencies or implementing partners on economic policy programs;
  • Experience or familiarity working in Timor-Leste or a similar context;
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity building, coaching, mentoring and staff development preferably in a developing country environment.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Advise, mentor, assist and develop technical expertise of the MCAE in exercising its executive and governance functions, particularly in the areas of economy and development with a focus on the achievements of the following results:

  • Provide technical advice to the MCAE according to its mandate in policies and coordination processes in the areas of economy and development, as required;
  • Coordinate the drafting and submission of a Guide to Economic Reform and Growth (GRFE) for the period 2021 – 2023, with a focus on economic pillars and axes of reform needed to implement the Strategic Development Plan 2011 – 2030 (SDP);
  • Provide evidence-based advice to the MCAE, particularly in the areas of economy and development aligned with the Timor-Leste’s National Strategic Plan;
  • Provide technical guidance to relevant Focal Points of MCAE in conducting line Ministries coordination and in following-up on the recommendations arising from them;
  • Provide technical support to the MCAE to coordinate the line Ministries, Secretary of States and Autonomous Agencies which are under coordination of MCAE in the implementation of national plans, budgets and strategies related to economic  development;
  • Assists in analyzing National Economic Plan, Budget execution reports from the economic development perspective;
  • Support the MCAE in drafting technical opinions, analysis and reports, as required;
  • Engage with the MCAE and its coordinating entities to develop skills of staff, as required;
  • Advise the MCAE on international governmental best practices, in the areas of economy and development; and
  • Public policy competence required in economic development, preferably in a parliamentary environment.

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Team player with effective interpersonal skills
  • Energetic, positive and constructive attitude


To Apply Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and CV to Please include “Associate” in the subject line of the e-mail. No phone calls please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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