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. Helvetas Germany wants to improve this situation.
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 project PEACE will contribute 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 Local Resource Centre (LRC) is our partner organisation in Myanmar. LRC is a registered CSO umbrella organisation and over 1000 local organisations are members of it. Like many other CSOs in Myanmar, LRC has only been able to carry out short-term projects due to the national history. Helvetas Germany, together with Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF), is supporting the LRC in strengthening its competencies so that it can successfully shape its dialogue with the government and implement long-term projects in the future. This knowledge will be passed on by LRC to its members.
PEACE will strengthen the capacities of local CSOs in the long term. They will be able to play a more influential role at national and sub-national level and contribute to a more equitable development of Myanmar.
The project is funded by the European Union. More information on the EU representation in Myanmar can be found here.
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