© Helvetas / Peter Schmidt

Equitable and accountable civic engagement in Myanmar

© Helvetas / Peter Schmidt

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 Name
    PEACE – Promoting Equitable, Accountable, Civic Engagement in Myanmar
  • Project Phase
    2016 to 2020
  • Funding
    This project is co-funded by the European Union.
  • Thematic focus
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

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.

TV Broadcast Panel Discussion PEACE | © Helvetas Myanmar
Final panel discussions of representatives of the PEACE project with two TV broadcast channels © Helvetas Myanmar
© Helvetas / Peter Schmidt
In Bago, the participating civil society actors are taught important techniques during a "Training of Trainiers" (ToT)... © Helvetas / Peter Schmidt
© Peter Schmidt / Helvetas
and in Mawlamyine, important civil society issues are also discussed and small loans are granted for civil commitment. © Peter Schmidt / Helvetas
© Peter Schmidt / Helvetas
As such, local civil society organizations have a more influential position at national and subnational level through our PEACE project. © Peter Schmidt / Helvetas
Campaign Covid19 Peace Project Myanmar | © Helvetas Myanmar
Together with our partners Partners, the Local Resource Center and the Partnership for Transparency Fund e.V, we support civil society organizations to reach out to communities with donations of hygiene materials and food... © Helvetas Myanmar
Covid 19 Campaign PEACE Project | © Helvetas Myanmar
...and information on how to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID19. © Helvetas Myanmar
Covid 19 Campaign PEACE Project Myanmar | © Helvetas Myanmar
© Helvetas Myanmar

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.

Co-funded by the European Union

Promoting Equitable, Accountable, Civic Engagement in Myanmar

Here you can find more Information about the Work of the Helvetas Network:

How Helvetas Supports People in Myanmar

Learn how the rural communities in Myanmar improve their income and strengthen civil society in its new role.

Multimedia Story: Protecting fish stocks in Myanmar

Helvetas is helping Myanmar fishermen develop sustainable fishing in the Gulf of Mottama. Click your way through our multimedia story!

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.


Real change requires open dialog between policymakers and society. So Helvetas promotes exchange between decision-makers and those affected by their decisions.