Promoting Equitable, Accountable, Civic Engagement in Myanmar (PEACE)

Myanmar is in the early stages of an uneven 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 service programs and projects is in its infancy, and support for it is patchy among politicians and civil servants. Helvetas wants to improve this situation...
Context
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. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have had extensive experience primarily in opposing the government through advocacy and demonstrations, delivering services outside government, delivering short term relief and humanitarian focused activities among others. This is in contrast with having relatively little or no experience implementing development projects with longer term perspective, and constructively participating in socio-political transitions and dialogue. In order to be successful in long-term projects and with different kinds of local authorities, local CSOs need to increase their knowledge skills and experiences in effective practices.
 
Objective
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.
 
Our partner
Our local partner in Myanmar is the 'Local Resource Center' (LRC), a registered Myanmar non-governmental organization and NGO-umbrella network. Until now, like most CSOs and networks, the LRC has made the best of the support it has received, however this support has been fragmented, short term and does not allow for more holistic and predictable planning and implementation over a longer period. Because of this, LRC needs also to be better equipped to negotiate, anticipate, strategize and provide professional services which respond to these shifts in development frameworks in the country. Together with Partnership for Transparency Fund e.V. (PTF) we will bring the experiences and expertise to jointly support the LRC to more comprehensively fulfil its role as an important change agent and mandate as a local CSO service provider and key platform in Myanmar.
 
Approach
LRC provides capacity building and networking services to over 1000 local civil society member organizations. The LRC is strengthened as an accountable, inclusive and professional service provider and coordination structure among its peer networks and approximately 1000 local CSO member organizations. These 1000 local CSOs are supported in strategic initiatives promoting civic engagement and responsive local governance. Finally, at least 500 CSOs are equipped and capacitated to participate in multi-stakeholder platforms, development projects and decision-making with local authorities and public/private service providers for influencing policies and plans at national and sub-national levels. The project contributes to the enhancement of Civil Society Organizations' participation in Myanmar’s public policies and programs as a precondition for a more equitable, open and democratic society.
 
Results
PEACE will contribute to local CSO`s participation and influence in the planning, implementation and review of development projects, services delivery and policies at national and sub-national levels for more inclusive and equitable development in Myanmar.