Digital Frontiers’ ProICT activity seeks a consultant or team of consultants to write a research brief and a subsequent artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap for member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The research brief and AI roadmap will be shared at two convenings—or as required to incorporate substantive feedback and generate buy-in—and will be used to regularly and proactively solicit and incorporate input from relevant stakeholders. Proposals will be accepted from organizations, firms, or independent consultants.

Collectively representing the fifth-largest global economy, ASEAN is a dynamic region with a population of 650 million people. As one of the fastest-growing regional economies in the world, the 10 member states—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—represent an economy of more than $3 trillion and an enormous market for U.S. products. Nearly 42,000 U.S. companies export to Southeast Asia, supporting 600,000 U.S. jobs.

As part of the U.S. strategic approach to the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) prioritizes cooperation with ASEAN. Partnering with ASEAN fosters regional economic growth, strengthens public health security, and reduces transboundary threats. USAID partners with ASEAN to promote unity, consensus-building, and solidarity to bolster ASEAN’s credibility, coordination, and institutional capacity to create policies and frameworks to implement endorsed commitments at the national level across ASEAN member states.

One of USAID’s projects working in the ASEAN economic pillar—ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade, and E-Commerce (IGNITE)—promotes close collaboration with ASEAN sectoral bodies and the regional and global private sector. This project will be a close collaboration between the consultant(s), the USAID-IGNITE team, U.S. Mission for ASEAN, and technical staff in Washington, D.C.

AI is one of the rapidly evolving technologies expected to impact the region’s economic outlook significantly. In light of the potential economic gains and challenges that AI can offer, ASEAN must continue to work toward building AI ecosystems that are open, inclusive, and secure. As a whole, ASEAN lacks a coordinated regional approach and response to AI. As such, the ASEAN Secretariat requested assistance to tackle two main issues that ASEAN member states are grappling with: (1) how to train people in the ASEAN region to both work with and respond to AI, (2) and how member states can respond to labor market impacts caused by the introduction of AI systems.

Who Should Apply?

DAI is looking for qualified organizations or consultants with:

  • At least five years of experience working in ICT policy, technology policy, and/or labor force policy in the development context.

  • Demonstrated experience with AI policy, including U.S. Government positions and perspectives on AI.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of ASEAN and ASEAN member states.

  • Ability to quickly synthesize information from literature reviews write clearly and concisely for non-lawyers on policy and regulatory topics.

  • Experience conducting cross-sectoral research.

  • Demonstrated experience presenting research findings and building consensus around evidence-based policies.

  • Demonstrated experience diplomatically conducting substantive stakeholder engagement and incorporating critical feedback.

  • Experience conducting qualitative research and analysis and writing reports.

  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills.

  • Demonstrated project management, organizational, and knowledge management skills.

  • Experience conducting client-facing projects.

  • Ability to communicate across diverse teams and cultures.

The ProICT: Technical and Policy Advisory Support for ASEAN AI Research Roadmap Request for Proposals can be downloaded here. Answers to questions can be downloaded in this modification here. can be downloaded in this modification here. If you are interested in receiving updates and further communications regarding this RFP, please email [email protected].

Digital Frontiers implements USAID’s Promoting American Approaches to ICT Policy and Regulation (ProICT) program activity. The ProICT activity, operating through the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, is designed to fund intensive, dedicated policy engagements to help countries adopt American models of telecommunications, internet, and ICT regulation, including promoting:

  • Open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet and communications networks;

  • Multi-stakeholder models of internet governance;

  • Pro-competitive and pro-investment spectrum, telecommunications infrastructure, and regulatory policies; and

  • Effective approaches to advancing cybersecurity frameworks, supply chain policies, and regulation of communications networks.

The activity is implemented in coordination with the USAID Technology Division in the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation.