Myanmar is in the early stages of a transition to a more open government with greater citizen engagement, as stated in its development strategy. However, the practice of engaging communities in the design, delivery and quality assurance of public services is in its infancy, and support for it is patchy among politicians and civil servants. With this project, Helvetas supported equitable and accountable civic engagement in Myanmar.
Project NamePEACE – Promoting Equitable, Accountable, Civic Engagement in Myanmar
Project Phase2016 to 2020
FundingThis project is co-funded by the European Union.
Governance, Peace & Migration
Myanmar has a dynamic and diverse civil society. However, because of the country´s recent history, citizens lack knowledge and confidence to exercise their rights. Before the current transition, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) primarily engaged in advocacy and demonstrations, opposing the government, and in delivering services outside government channels. In contrast, CSOs have relatively little or no experience in implementing long-term development projects, and in constructively participating in dialogue with the government. In order to be successful in long-term projects and with different kinds of local authorities, local CSOs therefore need to enhance their knowledge, skills, and experiences.
The four-year project PEACE contributed to enhance resources and strengthen capacities of local CSOs for an empowered and accountable civil society in Myanmar that embraces diversity, promotes social inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and civic responsibility. The project collaborated with 785 civil society organisations in Myanmar.
The PEACE project helped CSOs to develop stronger relationships with national and sub-national levels of government and to make community voices heard.
The PEACE project delivered:
1. Training for CSOs. Training addressed civic engagement such as anti-corruption, budget transparency, social accountability, conflict sensitivity and advocacy skills, as well as proposal writing, project cycle management and grant management, among other things.
2. A small grants program for CSOs. Securing a grant meant that CSOs could practice what they were learning in training sessions.
3. Advocacy for civic engagement from villages, districts, states and regions to national level and back again. Together, CSOs formed regional and national networks for civic engagement.
4. Strengthening the Local Resource Centre (LRC). The LRC is the leading nongovernment umbrella organisation in Myanmar and over 1000 local organisations are members of it. Helvetas and its partner Partnership for Transparency (PTF) supported LRC in strengthening its competencies so that it can successfully shape its dialogue with the government and implement long-term projects in future. This knowledge is passed on by LRC to its members.
information on the EU representation in Myanmar can be found here.
Promoting Equitable, Accountable, Civic Engagement in Myanmar
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