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Thematic Analysis 2011

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
in Myanmar

This work is a collective effort of the United Nations Country

Mozaharul (UNEP); Abeykoon Palitha and Saramma Mathai

Team (UNCT) in Myanmar, supported by the United Nations

(UNFPA); and Amarsanaa Darisuren (UN Women). Additional

Development Group Asia Pacific (UNDG A-P) team in Bangkok.

thanks to Nicholas Rosellini and Tshering Pem of the UNDP Asia
Pacific Regional Centre for coordinating the two missions.

A team of national experts, supervised by Prof. Aung Tun Thet
and led by U Aung Kyaing, have worked on the Technical Back-

The Thematic Analysis was overseen by Mohamed Abdel-Ahad,

ground Papers, in consultation with Government counterparts.

UNFPA Representative and Chair, Millennium Development

Team members comprise of Dr. Maung Aung, Dr. Myo Tint, Daw

Goals/Monitoring & Evaluation (MDG/M&E) Group. Members

Khin May Aung and Prof. Kyaw Htun.

of the MDG/M&E Group, UN Strategic Planning Focal Points and
Kanako Mabuchi, UN Coordination Officer, contributed to the

Additional technical support was provided by the regional of-

process at various stages and in finalization of the document.

fices of the various United Nations Agencies, who undertook

The report has also benefited from extensive inputs from UNCT

two joint technical missions to Myanmar. Special thanks go


to Anuradha Rajivan, UNDP Asia- Pacific Regional Centre Poverty and Human Development Practice Team Leader, who led

Finally, many thanks to Daw Myat Myat Soe, Director-General,

the missions and provided off-site support thereafter, together

Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of National

with Taimur Khilji. The work greatly benefited from the inputs

Planning and Economic Development, and various Govern-

of the following UNDG A-P members: Sumiter Broca (FAO); Zhi-

ment Ministry Focal Points for partaking in the United Nations

jun Chen (FAO); Syed Nuruzzaman (ESCAP); Margarita Guerrero

strategic planning process and sharing with the UNCT insights

(ESCAP); Thomas Beloe (UNDP); Jonathan Gilman (UNEP); Alam

and information that have helped in formulating this work.

Thematic Analysis 2011

Myanmar, with its dedicated and resilient human resources, fa-

same period. Under the Strategic Framework, United Nations

vorable geographic location and rich variety of natural resourc-

Agencies, Funds and Programmes in Myanmar, as well as

es, has potential for growth. However, it remains one of the

non-resident Agencies, Regional Commissions and other UN

Least Developed Countries, ranked 132nd out of 169 countries

entities, will work with common goals and objectives and in

in the 2010 Human Development Index. Serious concerns thus

partnership with development partners to meet the socioeco-

exist over poverty and equity issues.

nomic and humanitarian needs of the people of Myanmar.

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Myanmar is com-

It is our hope that this Thematic Analysis also will contribute to

mitted to continue to support Myanmar’s equitable socioeco-

an increased dialogue between national and international ac-

nomic development and inclusive growth, in partnership with

tors, leading to strengthened relationships based on respect,

the Government, non-Government organizations, civil society

confidence and trust, to serve the people most in need of our

and other stakeholders. To do so most effectively, the UNCT


has formulated this Thematic Analysis to analyze the development situation and trends in achievement of the Millennium
Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, identifying challenges and root causes and assessing the potential for
The Thematic Analysis has guided identification and agree-

Bishow Parajuli

ment on the UNCT strategic priorities for 2012-2015 and for-

UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar

mulation of the United Nations Strategic Framework for the

from May 2008 to June 2011

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
in Myanmar


Photo : © UNDP

............39 2.................................10 2.............. 24 2......................................................................3 Key Barriers to Ensuring Environmental Sustainability.....................................................................1 Introduction.....4 Development Priorities for Accelerating Strengthened Education.....................................6...............5 Achieving MDGs 4..........................................................................7..........................................................................3.......................................... 5 and 6: Spurring Progress in Improved Health including Reproductive Health Outcomes............................................7................1 Introduction ......................................................................................2 Development Situation and Trends........................................13 2.................................1 Introduction.....................................29 2.............42 3 ......................... 13 2..................23 2.....................18 2.....26 2.............................................................................1 Map of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar........................ 27 2............................4............................. 15 2........................36 2.......................................20 2....................................................................................... 14 2............................................................22 2....................................................2 Development Situation and Trends.....3.............................................................................................................................. .............................7 Achieving MDG8: Strengthening Global Partnerships for Development............................................3 Key Barriers to Deepening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment..4 Developing Priorities for Strengthening Global Partnerships............................................................................3 Key Barriers to Spurring Progress in Improved Health..................................................................1 Introduction.........................................................................................................................4......1 Introduction..2...1 Country Context....6...................................... including Reproductive Health Outcomes.........4 Achieving MDG 3: Deepening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment........................2 Development Situation and Trends.......... 37 2..............39 Section III: Conclusion...................................................3...........Thematic Analysis 2011 Contents Foreword ..........4 Development Priorities for Ensuring Environmental Sustainability...............2 Development Situation and Trends...2 Development Situation and Trends.........................................................3 Key Barriers to Accelerating Poverty Reduction and Food Security...........6...............................................................................................37 2.................................................................................8 Section II: Analysis of Key Issues...................................3 Achieving MDG 2: Strengthening Education for Human Development Gains...............7.....2................10 2................................................................4 Development Priorities for Accelerating Poverty Reduction and Food Security...............................................4 Development Priorities for Spurring Progress in Improved Health Outcomes..............................................3 Key Barriers to Accelerating Strengthened Education...................................6 Section I: Introduction.....27 2.................................................21 2.................................................................................................................................................................4.............5.................................................5.......4 Acronyms and Abbreviations...........................................................................2 Achieving MDG1: Accelerating Progress Toward Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity..........................................................................................................................................2 Development Situation and Trends...............23 2.............................................................................................30 2...........1 Introduction.31 2.................4..........................................41 The UN Millennium Development Goals.........24 2..............7....................................34 2.........................................5....2....................19 2.............6 Achieving MDG7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability......................................3 Key Barriers to Strengthening Global Partnerships...............................................................................................................5....................31 2...................12 2.............................................................................................2....... including Reproductive Health Outcomes.............6..............4 Development Priorities for Deepening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment...............28 2..3.......................5 Executive Summary...34 2.........19 2.....

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar Map of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar 4 .

Thematic Analysis 2011 Acronyms and Abbreviations ACEMEC Ayeyarwaddy-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ASEAN Association of South East Asian Nations BIMSTEC Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation CBD Convention on Biological Diversity CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women CFS Child Friendly Schools CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child ECE Early Childhood Education EMIS Education Management Information System ESCAP United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific FAO Food and Agriculture Organization FDI Foreign Direct Investment GBV Gender-Based Violence GDP Gross Domestic Product GHG Greenhouse Gas GMS Greater Mekong Sub-Region HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus ICT Information Communication and Technology IHLCA Integrated Household Living Conditions Assessment IMR Infant Mortality Rate ITN Insecticide-Treated Net LDC Least Developed Country MDG Millennium Development Goal M&E Monitoring and Evaluation MMR Maternal Mortality Ratio MNPED Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development MTEF Mid-Term Expenditures Framework NAPA National Adaptation Programme of Action NFE Non-Formal Education ODA Official Development Assistance ODS Ozone Depleting Substances OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development SME Small and Medium Enterprises 3DF Three Diseases Fund TA Thematic Analysis TRIPS Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training U5MR Under-5 Mortality Rate UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS UNCT United Nations Country Team UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNEP United Nations Environment Programme UNESCO United Nations Educational. Scientific and Cultural Organization UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFPA United Nations Population Fund UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UN-Habitat United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN Women WHO United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women World Health Organization 5 .

ombining both national priorities and the urgency of ac- national goals. i. it points a focus on vulnerable groups. The answers to the questions posed by the Thematic Analysis serve as the basis for identifying strategic priorities to inform Other key criteria for proposing these four strategic priorities the United Nations Strategic Framework for Myanmar for 2012- are: priority national needs. particularly in areas that are off-track or making slow progress toward achievement of the MDGs by the (4) Support to empowerment of civil society. including the setting of international norms and standards. a participatory approach and nation- broader Millennium Declaration and begins to answer the al ownership. 6 . Promoting good governance and strengthening with a more concerted engagement of domestic and interna- democratic institutions and rights tional partners alike – local governments and communities. the media and These strategic priorities emerge again and again throughout academia. international donors. four such strategic priorities will rep- nities to strengthen both national capacities and international resent the focus of United Nations Country Team engagement cooperation. joint efforts are necessary in Myanmar during the relevant period: a network of public. The United Nations can do much to support a rights- limate change based approach that underpins the development agenda. question: Where and how can the United Nations have the most impact between 2012 and 2015 on accelerating and sustaining (3) Support to address inequalities and disparities. and impartial policy advice. Encouraging inclusive growth.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar Executive Summary In this Thematic Analysis for Myanmar. private and civil society actors who can help clarify and develop norms. combined with cross-sectoral to key constraints to development while highlighting poten- technical expertise. While they are not edented opportunities for sustainable human development. line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the capacity development. the United Nations can help the people the analysis of underlying and root causes of remaining barri- of Myanmar capitalize on their potential as well as on unprec- ers to development progress in Myanmar. and monitor performance. Increasing equitable access to quality social services efforts if the MDGs and their targets are to be fully realized by iii. both rural and urban. intended to be fully inclusive of all stakeholders’ interventions. and tial for improvement. and opportu- celerating MDG progress. the United Nations (2) Support to effective public administration and quality Country Team analyzes the current development situation in public services. Reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and c 2015. particularly in emphasizing gender equality. they do represent an explicit common response for MDG acceleration in which the United Nations Country Team offers important comparative advantages: (1) An enabling environment for implementation of international/national standards and commitments. embark on integrated activities. based on international experience and good practices. For each of these areas. the business community. Myanmar must accelerate its ii. employment of international expertise. including agricultural development and enhance ment of employment opportunities Despite progress in some areas. iv. lessons learnt and good practices. In so doing. including progress towards the MDGs in the country? In so doing. potential for long-term impact on 2015. wledge sharing and strengthening stakeholders’ capacity to engage in democratic processes. based on kno- global 2015 timeline.

Thematic Analysis 2011 Photo : © UNDP 7 .

Forestry. nator and key Ministers (Planning.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar Section I Introduction The Thematic Analysis (TA) is a strategic. and environment and climate change. which enabled important access to data collected by the Ministries that can help guide strategic initiatives. to engage with the United Nations in its strategic planning process. including several meetings tions comparative advantages in supporting Myanmar to ad- between the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordi- dress constraints toward achieving the MDGs are delineated. in climate change line with the MDGs and the broader Millennium Declaration. this will inform United Nations Country Team efforts to collectively focus on off-track and These are fully consistent with the emerging analysis. 12 Ministries appointed focal points. as well as to specific goals and objectives in the context of Myanmar. development priorities and United Na- sultations with the Government. analysis of the status of MDGs has led to identifica- nium Development Goals (MDGs). these focal points were oriented to the United Nations’ global strategic planning processes in general. Some assessment and analysis has already been done ii. In summary. Reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and on specific themes and builds upon available material. the Thematic Analysis offers a brief situation analysis as well as examines continued barriers to accelerating This Thematic Analysis was prepared after a number of con- progress. try Team is mindful of the need to work to accelerate the Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s progress toward the Millen- Critically. the TA thus draws upon national expertise iii. a number of them at Director General level. At their first meeting. particularly related to data. mar during 2012-2015: From the onset. In turn. thematic area. the United Nations Country Team agreed i. As a result. evidence-based A team of national consultants. MDGs. Education. with technical support from relevant United Nations Agencies and the United Nations Development Group Asia In preparing the Thematic Analysis. Follow-up meetings were held with individual Government focal points on technical issues. iv. with expertise on health. Encouraging inclusive growth. Increasing equitable access to quality social services in the country. population. As such. For each slow-progress areas. moni- Nations but also other development partners for the period toring and evaluation. Health) and Secretary of State 1. it is independent of individual United Na- prepared Technical Background Papers on each of the eight tions Agency and Member State agendas. Agriculture. the United Nations Coun- Pacific team. given the 2015 global MDG tion of four strategic priorities for UNCT engagement in Myan- deadline. including agricultural development and Analysis and the United Nations Strategic Framework 2012- enhance ment of employment opportunities 2015. both rural and to adopt a parallel approach to preparation of the Thematic urban. agriculture and food security. 2012-2015. study to guide development priorities of not only the United education. Promoting good governance and strengthening which points to barriers to development yet highlights poten- democratic institutions and rights tial for improvement. 8 . Foreign Affairs.

Thematic Analysis 2011 Photo : © Veronica Wijaya/UNHABITAT 9 .

1988. with trade soaring by more than a factor of 20 by 2009- sustainable economic development. This too presents an important demographic 10 Photo : © UN .3 and The population of Myanmar was estimated at 57. Myanmar’s pop- endowment and has seen recent improved performance in ulation is in the last stages of a demographic transition.1 Country Context In its national strategies and vision. Myanmar retains a huge natural resource while two-thirds of people live in rural areas. with an annual growth rate of 1.52 percent. which remains dominant.4 Myanmar’s a decline in the proportion of those younger than 15 and an strategic location between South and South East Asia – which increase in the proportion of working age (15-59) and elderly some prominent observers deem “likely to be the most pros- (60 and older). 2007-2008. At the same time. 2010. reduced inflation.5 million in relatively minor impacts from the global financial crisis. The country has achieved trial and service sectors remains limited because of numerous economic growth since adopting a market-oriented system in constraints and will need to be encouraged for longer-term. with the agricultural sector.6 Ethnic minorities constitute about 15 percent of the total population.2 combined with a continuous trade surplus in recent years.1 Growth rates have been moderate. Myanmar aims to build perous region in the world in the next decade”5 – further gives an economically developed nation that exceeds the human it potential growth momentum.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar Section II Analysis of Key Issues 2. although growth of the indus- development targets of the MDGs.

interlinked and crosscutting. Cambodia (124) and Bangladesh (129). the availability. 7 Noeleen Heyzer. The gap between urban and The timing of this TA is particularly strategic. including Thailand (92). This places it behind other neighbouring countries. “Toward a More Productive Agrarian Economy for Myanmar. Myanmar faces tal. such as gender equality Overall. such as land. Central Statistic Office.8 billion in 2009-10. food and education. Annual Report 2010). placing pressure on towns and cities. although international sources point to more moderate rates of 3 to 5 percent (Asian Development Bank. portive environment for boosting income level are some of the factors that will lead to inevitable migration of rural communi- The development goals strategically prioritized by the TA are ties to urban areas. 1 Trade data of Ministry of Commerce. important dilemmas in promoting progress: how to resolve The poor are also highly vulnerable to internal as well as exter- tradeoffs of economic growth versus sustainable management nal economic shocks. At absence of a significant change in the current local context. 3 From more than 20 percent to less than 10 percent. Lao PDR (122). and employing some two-thirds of the total labour force. Most poor people. high-impact solutions and focused action can help lence of multi-dimensional poverty and pockets of food inse- Myanmar to potentially transform slower rates of progress on curity. information and basic social services. Stiglitz. 11 . live in rural on the threshold of possible significant change. 6 Statistical Year Book 2009. 2007. while focusing on areas that remain off track of growth and remunerative employment opportunities. December 2009. continued preva- so doing. Bud- sustainability and its promotion of stability. 5 Joseph E. 4 Contributing more than 40 percent of GDP and 20 percent of total exports.7 including low education deadline for achievement of the MDGs on the horizon. These too demonstrate Myanmar’s abundant of 0. inadequate coverage and quality of social services. low or exhibiting only slow progress. given the fact that rural development is increasing. Viet Nam (113). Central Statistical Organization. if taken advantage of by appropriate economic planning and invest- Nevertheless. the level of agricultural. First. programming and participatory frame- working-age population could result in economic growth and works. and chal- The poor in rural areas cannot sustain their livelihoods in the lenges of global engagement amid international sanctions. provements. and some MDGs to realistically reach its targets by 2015. of natural resources such as forests and oil. Myanmar showed foreign trade values of US$400 million in 1988-89 and $11. Myanmar Economic Management and Poverty Issues. Yet while economic growth is critically important for Myan- human development indicators might have been much more mar. 15 December 2009. ensuring minimum shelter. the same time. lation and its receipt of the lowest level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) among all Least Developed Countries (LDCs). quality and reliability of devel- Lack of access to basic social and economic services and a sup- opment data also remain strong concerns. Human develop- dhist monasteries – supported by the communities – provide ment conditions in the country remain low despite recent im- a social security system that does not exist in most countries. job creation to absorb the increasing incomplete policies. in light of the country’s relative international iso- ment in human capital. it is the pattern of such growth that will determine its severely compromised in the absence of two factors. “ESCAP-Myanmar Partnership: Regional Support for Inclusive and Sustainable Development. with a Human Development Index health systems. This synergistic. many of recent stirrings of internal dynamism indicate that Myanmar is them smallholder farmers or agricultural labourers. 8 The State of Asian Cities 2010 report. development potential. Statistical Yearbooks 2000 and 2008 and UNDP.” in ESCAP/Government of Myanmar Development Partnership Forum: Economic Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction.9 In technological advancement and investment. Nay Pyi Taw. Where progress is good. credit. capi- for MDG acceleration in the country is critical. It will be critical for the is also evidenced regionally by the rapid urbanization of Asia’s United Nations Country Team (UNCT) to recognize and lever- population that has taken place over the past 60 years or so. continued reliance on forced labour and low-paid. increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. technology.” paper presented at the Second Myanmar Development Forum. 2 Officially reported at more than 10 percent annually since 2000. Second. sys- The global Human Development Report 2010 ranks Myanmar tems of traditional medicine also help to balance gaps in public 132nd out of 169 countries. as recommended in MDG Acceleration Framework. With the 2015 areas and face multiple challenges.Thematic Analysis 2011 window of opportunity. industrial and service sector productivity aim must be to minimize the risk of reversals in current achieve- resulting from absence of market-oriented policies and lack of ments.451. age Myanmar’s advantages in human development areas that 8 are more on track to meet MDG targets. development deficits include an inadequate pattern and environment. the need and limited access to factors of production. unpaid or child labour. Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development (MNPED). and sub-national inequalities remain substantial.

with immediate effect. more comprehensive and dynamic pro-poor and inclusive development strategies will need to be formulated and implemented.2 Achieving MDG1: Accelerating Progress Toward Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity To realize the poverty target of MDG1.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2. 12 Photo : © WFP .

11 MNPED and UNDP. Additional atten- 2. which has proven critical to many countries in combating erty and improving other indicators of human development. to achieve these goals it will need to signifi- workers are sending remittances home. 13 . By 2010. cal. as revealed by the IHLCA maintained growth at around 5 percent annually despite the surveys.12 Other poverty indicators also offer promise: The poverty gap Poverty and food insecurity remain two of the most pressing ratio – which shows the aggregate income deficit of the poor challenges for Myanmar as it works to achieve inclusive. global financial crisis. at 36 percent. poverty and eliminating food insecurity. declining trends in all pov- rural populations to urban areas in search of better education erty-related indicators are evident. IHLCA 2010. with rural poverty. so that all social groups – irrespective of Myanmar’s performance in reducing poverty during the last income. This represents a major gain within a short period of time. If the MDG poverty target is set at 16 percent in 2015 rural development and the agricultural sector also will be criti- – half of the IHLCA 200513 – and if current trends continue. the most recent IHLCA showed a comparatively better performance of poverty-related indicators. Nationally. In turn. the first revitalize their livelihoods.Thematic Analysis 2011 2.2. September 2010. tion services.and Myanmar is no exception. showed that the national poverty ty gap will also have to take into consideration the increased headcount index in 2005 was about 32 percent. far surpassing ODA and foreign direct investment. The country likewise will need to pay attention to crafting then the country needs to reduce poverty by yet another nine an ecologically sustainable development path without com- percentage points to reach the target in time (Figure 1). inequality remains high.11 Myanmar thus had a lower incidence of poverty in 2010 than comparable Asian LDCs. with immediate progress on reducing poverty and food insecurity be reports/shtml 10 See the proceedings of the ESCAP/Government of Myanmar.14 resources. December 2009 for a discussion on some of these issues in the context of Myanmar.2 percent and urban poverty down to 15. race.5 percent) in 2008. Human Development Report 2010. at 22 percent. An increasing number of Myanmar At the same time. Myanmar has percent in 2005 to 4 percent in 2010. 12 UNDP. from 7 tainable development by 2015 under the MDGs. which may make growth simultaneously upgrading technology and developing human strategies less effective in reducing poverty. and has reduced the incidence of income poverty and food insecurity since 2005.1 Introduction Bangladesh (40 percent) and Lao PDR (33. sharply higher than urban poverty. Only then can long-term sustainability of will need to be formulated and implemented. Unlocking Progress: MDG Acceleration on the Road to 2015. In particular. measures will be needed to make these more inclusive and equitable. with acute economic all of Asia.6 percent. including Cambodia (30. while same time. more comprehensive as well as to undertake appropriate policy reforms to acceler- and dynamic pro-poor and inclusive development strategies ate its achievements. Addressing the rural-urban pover- of its kind in the country.2.7 percent. these will need to give sufficient attention to reducing sub-national as well as gender inequalities and full and effective participation of all stakeholders.2. Development Partnership Forum: Economic Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction. Crucially. through increased consumption and investments in housing. with rural poverty declining to 29. geographical location. 10 health and education. Even so. At the promising its ability to create employment opportunities. is a multifaceted phenomenon. ethnic group several years has important implications for achieving MDG1 and gender – can access and use such services. To realize the poverty target of MDG1. A nationwide Integrated opportunities. even as total remit- cantly increase public spending on quality health and educa- tances worldwide have reached unprecedented high levels. better health services and alternative skills to Household Living Conditions Assessment (IHLCA). sus- to the poverty line – has been substantially reduced.undp. 9 UNDP. The MDG Acceleration Framework assists countries to develop their own action plans by systematically identifying and addressing bottlenecks to MDG progress. It is taking steps to- Regional experience suggests that remittances sent home by wards promoting a pro-poor and inclusive “green growth” strat- migrant workers can play a significant role in reducing pov- egy. Myanmar will need to invest more resources in strengthening capacities of the institutions of governance. Investment in by 2015. Development Situation and Trends tion also is required to revitalize the rural economy through rural development programmes and other policy initiatives Income poverty in Myanmar. the migration of and social deprivations. as elsewhere in the Asia Pacific to bridge the rural-urban gap. http://www. poverty fell to 25. as well as clean water and improved sanitation. occupation. The demographic trend across region.1 percent).

many people in Myanmar are of households. high wastage. types of Government programmes are essential components iodine deficiency disorders.5 percent. include inadequate urban planning. Although a food surplus exists and variations by region and income group.3 percent by 2015. is a critical factor determining poverty and hunger ries. but further intensive interven- Access to food.17 and food insecurity has been At the same time. To achieve this target the growth trend in most of the main food items is satisfac- by 2015. Enhancing local capac- abolished the state procurement system. As a result. with rural food poverty declining from 11 to 5.18 influence cities’ livability and stability. production. food for work. major nutritional problems. and expanding informal settlements. How elimination of food insecurity. Inadequate access to food the country is potentially on track to reduce such prevalence to a target of 19. from 10 to Although the Government has implemented several rural de- 4. and Vitamin A deficiency) as its for any poverty reduction strategy to succeed. water crops have featured in Myanmar’s strategy. this implies that gender concerns and rights.16 poverty reduction as an explicit goal. The IHLCA surveys 2005 and 2010 also showed that national food poverty fell sharply. sown area. including low levels of security with regard to land use women and children. even as urban food poverty declined at a higher rate – lacks public safety net programmes. inefficient land food insecurity generally have a disproportionate impact on policy. although the agricultural sector possesses immense planning done today is likely to lock cities and towns in devel- potential to develop as an epicentre for poverty reduction and opment consumption patterns for the next 20 or 30 years. Lao PDR and Viet Nam shows. lack of microcredit. none had percent and urban food poverty down from 6 to 2. tiple crops. low utilization of im- Because poverty and proved seeds and fertilizers. poor service and utilities delivery. even though targeted again indicating the need for additional pro-poor and pro-rural programmes like school feeding. The country also years. in- education and health services for the rapidly increasing urban sufficient rural physical and social infrastructure. Cambodia. purchasing power tions are required. and feeding policy initiatives. In addition. these cronutrient deficiencies (including iron deficiency anaemia. With successive improvement in the prevalence of underweight children under age five years. tenure and ownership. hance urban-rural linkages through provision of environmentally sound basic infrastructure. has taken steps to- ities for sustainable urban planning will negate the possibili- ward commercialization of agriculture. This has led to a prolif- Myanmar thus managed to halve food poverty within five eration of sporadic and fragmented projects. These include low investment.2. develop adequate strategies and programmes that en- essary.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar pressure placed on Myanmar towns and cities and in anticipa- disparities and developing of additional safety nets will be nec- tion. Significant strengthening of readily and adequately available employment-related data – based on which prourgent. As the experience of neighbouring countries such as Myanmar has identified protein energy malnutrition and mi- Bangladesh. crop production and exports more than doubled in 20 years. and limited access to market and children’s issues must be incorporated in formulating such information networks. functioning markets and physi- undernourished because they do not consume enough calo- cal access. 15 initiatives. determined by food prices. more targeted interventions for narrowing regional tory. expansion of safer settlements In attaining food security. 2. remaining urban development challenges declining. access to food remains a huge challenge for some parts 14 .8 percent. The Government sanitization facilities and other utilities. hold back its development.3 Key Barriers to Accelerating Poverty Reduction and Food Security Trends in food poverty somewhat reflect the broad trends in Lack of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy employment policies and programmes can be drawn – also is income poverty in Myanmar. agriculture and production of food with sufficient emphasis on ensuring adequate housing.6 velopment programmes in the last two decades. major constraints continue to cities invest and manage income generating opportunities. moreover. and has overseen trans- ties of such economic migrants living in slums and contribute formative changes from monocropping to production of mul- to the achievement of MDG 7. satisfactory national averages hide significant outcomes in Myanmar. inadequate population will determine levels of poverty and inequality and agricultural loans. Settlements However. for vulnerable groups are delivered by humanitarian organizations.

worse-off areas accelerated by existing vulnerability factors and meagre coping mechanisms of vulnerable households. 14 According to the ILHCA 2005. Thus. can enable poor communities living in remote areas Myanmar. These issues cannot be tackled without poorest state in the country. limited access to produc- the true nature of income. For example. Other strategies to galvanize agriculture-led gies could help address the issue. to the opportunities created by the growth and highest incidence of poverty have widened even further process – needs to be at the centre of Myanmar’s development since 2005. Kachin. the share of the poorest quintile of the population in national consumption stood at only about 12. especially in remote. According to WFP studies in 2009 and 2010. inequalities between areas with the lowest and vulnerable.4. inclusive finance and poverty and social deprivations agriculture-based development Despite Myanmar’s poverty reduction at national level. 2. the UN. partly due to high transral disasters. in 2005 the average number of poor strategy to steadily increase the share of consumption of the people was 2. including the poor At the same time. technology. Kayah and Rakhine suffered from a Inadequate data and information relatively high incidence of food poverty. The IHLCA surveys 2005 and 2010 indicated that Chin. limited diversification of household economies. including through inclusive finance opportunities. 15 . Most are considered food-deficit regions. A well-functioning microcredit market. access have been carried out by the Government in cooperation with to food was the main factor behind food insecurity in Chin.2. wages and income. Severe poverty and food insecurity in remote and hilly regions Disparities in food poverty are similar. Until recently. several food security assessments. based on growth that not only creates new economic opportu- portation costs. Shan (North).and non-income poverty in the tive assets. 19 the first Crop and Food Assessment. and high prevalence of shocks including natu- nities but also ensures equal access for all. poverty and hunger still ities remain wide between different states and regions. where international transformation of the rural economy. low country. inclusive growth 20– remittances appear to be a factor in relatively lower poverty. During the last few years. Myanmar had very limited data on poverty and despite traditional and widely practiced safety nets such as food insecurity. four independent provision of food and social services by monastic schools and household surveys on income. poverty stood at 72 percent more broad-based. major causes of food insecurity in these regions arise However. with the highest incidence of poverty than those with the lowest incidence. with limited access to productive assets. as opposed to 12 per- focus on agriculture – still the main economic sector – and cent and 2 percent respectively in Kayin. essential for purchase of high-quality All this implies that poverty and food insecurity reduction agricultural inputs. disproportionately suffer not only deprivations related to physical remoteness. however in Myanmar’s case 2005 is used as a baseline due to data availability. particularly must be addressed. Chin. dispar- Despite Myanmar’s economic growth. Shan (East and North). have been conducted.75 times higher in the four states and regions poor and accelerate achievement of MDG1. high food prices. capital. and as such.69 times higher. Development Priorities for Accelerating Poverty Reduction and Food Security Disparities at sub-national level and cumulative effects of Promoting inclusive growth.Thematic Analysis 2011 of Myanmar. Many of the residents of these areas are members of ethnic minorities. Northern Rakhine and Magwe regions. more inclusive growth strate- with remoteness. Lack of these basic services make poverty and social deprivations mutually reinforcing. pro-poor economic growth. microcredit. IHLCA 2005 and 2010. In the exist in the country. In turn. by 2010. Again. expenditure and livelihoods donations. this had grown to 3. 13 Ordinarily a 1990 baseline is used.2 percent of total consumption expenditure. likewise. with a special and food poverty at 40 percent in 2005. for efforts are still limited in the worse-off states and regions of example. 15 ‘Cities of Opportunity: Partnerships for an inclusive and sustainable future’ –Fifthe Asia-Pacific Urban Forum 16 MNPED and UNDP. which often are remote and have limited access to to use innovative information technologies such as mobile cultivable land. hilly regions and drought- with disparities in poverty and hunger between better-off and prone areas. information phones to overcome some of the disadvantages associated and basic social services. more in-depth surveys are needed to understand from low agricultural productivity. including Kachin. but also low levels of education and poor health.

setting standards and rural linkages as part of a comprehensive and inclu strengthening regulations. The poor. In designing policies and programmes i. The Government likewise will need to agement. and improved supply chain man- such a growth strategy. including microcredit facilities for poor from economic crises and natural disasters. including a tions. Promote of non-agricultural rural employment position to reduce poverty and achieve other MDGs by 2015 by vi. iii. Develop and promote tourism offering a minimum social floor that takes care of extreme poverty and food insecurity and income insecurity. Myanmar will need to put in place social protection iv. infrastructure development. communitybased groups and the private sector in organizing the poor and Developing small and medium enterprises delivering financial services to them. promoting decentralized service ii. Any such programme should be gender- part of an effective inclusive finance programme is the involve- responsive and include those working in the informal sector. Currently. will increasingly have to focus on domestic and intra-regional youth and other vulnerable groups. An important sub-national levels. Development of agro-based small and medium enterprises In addition. Public revenues from extractive other forms of deprivations. the Government can use re- invest in a comprehensive social protection programme that gional experience in devising suitable inclusive financial mech- can minimize or attenuate the risks and vulnerability arising anisms and instruments. Such a programme and vulnerable groups. (SMEs) can provide wider access to decent work for women. it can With regard to inclusive finance. A comprehensive social protection system ness of microcredit by investing more in infrastructure. Myanmar can be in a better v. enhancing urban- efficiency. Diversification of the range of services able. information on markets. and promote land reform offered also is critical. China already has ment of such SMEs needs continued. if taken out of their poverty and depriva- and skilled workers. Institute legal structures that provide security of provision wherever feasible. decoupling in- sector in devising a comprehensive support programme for clusive development from the potential creation of undue en- agro-based SME development so that these enterprises can vironmental stress. is vitally needed for reducing poverty and overcoming other social de- Several countries in the region have emerged as top remit- privations. play an increasing role in promoting employment and reducing poverty. their own funds on such services or forgo them if their incomes thereby helping its poor people to overcome poverty and are too low or access is limited. Providing quality social services and social protection Managing remittances to reduce poverty Provision of quality basic services. for example. develop- demand as a source of growth. electricity). ment of non-government organizations (NGOs). along with other countries in the region. ensuring policy coherence. provide a potentially vast domestic market for sustaining regular supply of electricity. Invest in physical infrastruc ture and connectivity. and Myanmar has the potential to join them. includ- can also go a long way in breaking inter-generational cycles of ing Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Over time. to offset poor people’s dependence on likewise can assist in removing the poor’s precautionary motive informal credit at terms and conditions that significantly con- for savings and enlarge the domestic market by stimulating tribute to their indebtedness. It also can improve the effective- their consumption.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar pro-poor growth may include: 21 industries could be set aside to further finance the provision of basic social services. predictable provision of capitalized in this respect by forging links with the Myanmar credit facilities. Myanmar. particularly in rural and remote 16 . for raising its contribution. many people in Myanmar must spend tance earners. The Government will need to work with the private ensure that “green growth” is further pursued. and investing in data and informa- property rights. and poverty and food insecurity as well as reducing disparities at putting in place a suitable regulatory framework. at affordable prices. the Government needs to pay care- particu larly connecting rural areas to cities/town ful attention to improving governance. Encourage small-scale farming and improved agricultural marketing In addition. irrigation. including enhancing ships (roads. increasing voice and participation of sive urban development strategy poor and marginalized groups. particularly to the poor and vulner tion for better targeting. At the same time. Restructure rural debt and underscore social safety measures with a view to protecting poor and vulnerable groups nets to protect vulnerable groups in lean times from internal and external shocks. appropriately trained economy.

No. Allowing microcredit institutions various climate change consequences and adopt appropriate and credit unions to transfer funds to rural households could measures.Thematic Analysis 2011 areas. it is vital to strengthen data region. In particular. fisheries and forestry. an urgent need exists to up- effect of strengthening and diversifying employment opportu- grade the system of national accounts. Because the poor depend primarily on resource-based activities. op. and Delta area in 2009 and Kokang in 2010. Government also may wish to explore million) are in an irregular situation in the region and most of options for international cooperation in mitigating the climate their remittances seem to focus on survival needs of the fami- change consequences. Magwe. The Government will benefit from undertak- ing the access of poor migrant workers and their families to ing comprehensive measures to assess the likelihood of the formal financial institutions. expanding government-to-government liaison (such as the existing dialogue with Thailand) with As the economy of Myanmar grows in complexity and its peo- neighbouring countries to increase opportunities for regular ple come to expect that the Government will be a key player international migration of Myanmar workers within the ASEAN in the provision of social services. 21 Based on Stiglitz. and developing measures to assure the protection of and information management systems to contribute to effec- workers during the migration process could have the overall tive policymaking. for their livelihoods. and agricultural censuses. conduct the population nities for the country’s workforce.” Asian Development Review. and improve the MDG data set. op. Wa. Investing in the Upgrading data and information systems skills of migrant workers. Laishio. 1. lies. cit. including increas- affect agriculture. Given the current measures and putting in place an effective natural disaster risk situations that a great many Myanmar migrant workers (2-3 management system. cit. Northern Rakhine. Hwa Jon. Vol. including strengthening adaption and mitigation significantly reduce high transaction costs. 19 WFP carried out various food security assessments and surveys in Kachin. a number of parallel measures could be helpful in looking into this eventual development potential. Stiglitz. as well as invest in improving the overall statistical capacity of the Reducing vulnerability to climate change and natural di- country.cit. including agriculture. 2007. Poor and marginal farmers in Myanmar’s Dry Zone Photo : © Chistopher Davy Central Statistical Organization. “Meeting Inclusive Growth. sasters Regional experience suggests that poor and vulnerable groups bear a disproportionate cost of the consequences of climate change and natural disasters. The Government can take several measures to derive are particularly vulnerable to changes in weather patterns that full advantage from this important resource. 20 I. 24. climate change consequences affecting these activities also adversely affect the poor more than others. Ali and H. MNPED. op. 17 18 17 .

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2. updated technical skills. decision making at decentralized levels. the problems faced by the education sector in Myanmar reflect issues of governance. with a need for more policy openness.3 Achieving MDG 2: Strengthening Education for Human Development Gains As in many low-income countries. and to increase Government resources for basic education. focusing on basic education. and civil society participation in school management. 18 Photo : © UNESCO . An urgent need exists to develop a costed medium-term action plan for the education sector.

For exam- sources. although participation in tertiary educa need exists to address the heavy reliance on rote memorization tion is significantly higher for femalesthan males and low levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy skills.1. putting Myanmar at high risk of not achieving MDG2 v. Ministry of Education data from 2008-2009 show a Gross Enrol- 2. Development of standards for Early Childhood for universal primary education. in particular. Expansion of secondary edu cation through the Moreover.6 percent.29 although this rep- iv. It links closely to all other MDGs.26 Coverage tainability. Considerable variations still exist between and inclusion and providing Myanmar with qualified human re- states and divisions in education sector performance. dropout rates in primary education are high. inequities are vi. Moreover. however.3. it can contribute significantly to appropriate ple. Near-universal initial enrolment in primary school ii. 24 Ibid. is shared among 13 Ministries. 22 19 . 25 The Education For All Fast Track Initiative suggests an international norm of 40:1. rates of Early Childhood Education are low by regional standards. better alignment with employment prospects. The mean years of schooling for Education (ECE) and Child Friendly Schools (CFS) adults stands just short of four years. isolation Myanmar has demonstrated key achievements in indicators for from international technical assistance. given national levels. the lan- 23 28 guage policy does not permit instruction in languages of ethnicBasic education consists of primary (5 years). A key issue is the absorption of graduates schools that continues to serve primarily poor children. with net enrol- include: ment at this level averaging only 46. Despite progress. all costly endeavors.3. 23 The ratio of females to males in higher education was 193. middle (4 years) and minority children. and ing (TVET) is mainly delivered post-basic education and is there- the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Introduction basis for a level jump in quality. in border and ceasefire areas. as well as to the use of ICTs at education represent a huge financial burden to the Government that level. quality is an issue at all levels of education.24 An increased number of teachers has in turn resulted in the primary school pupil-teacher ratio reducing from 30:1 to 25:1 between 2006 and 2010 alone. and poor communica- These tions in border areas. i. high schools (2 years) and is the responsibility not only of the Ministry of Education but also the Ministry of Development of Bor- At the same time. a comprehensive and fully disaggregated set of data on education is not available. as well as their readiness and qualifications bility for higher education. although females outnum- distance education modality. An acute ary schools. a large number of children are still drop- curriculum and pre-service teacher training ping out. the high unit costs of higher ogy education in higher education. indicating a mismatch in the skills demand and A high priority has been given to expanding science and technol- supply of the economy. which runs a system of monastic fore limited in access. Education For All Country Progress Report 2010. deeply rooted challenges remain in as well as to economic growth. 22 constrained at secondary level despite expansion. Expansion in the number of schools offering ECE and arising through the levying of user charges. Moreover. and reduction in inequalities and gaps at sub- Education is a right and is particularly crucial to Myanmar. ber males in secondary education. Development Situation and Trends ment Ratio in ECE of around 20 percent.Thematic Analysis 2011 2.25 These achievements provide a At the same time. the share of the education budget allocated to basic education has risen from 75 percent in 2005-06 to 88 percent in 20102011. While the Govern- piloting of a Grade 1 transition curriculum in 12 ment has introduced a language enrichment programme for townships non-Myanmar-speaking children in some townships. Responsi- by the labour market. With the expanding secondary education system. Inclusion of life skills education in the primary resents an improvement. their labour force participation remains very low. according to the Ministry of Education. in which most students study using a to meet market needs. the country’s young population and its history of placing high value on education and culture. for service delivery and skills development which are if graduates do not use their acquired skills in their employment. while promoting social cohesion the education sector.96 percent in 2008-2009.2 percent). with a opening of post-primary schools survival rate to grade 5 of only 77. iii. Gender parity in enrolment in primary and second Critically. the highest Net Enrolment Rate is reported in Kachin (94.27 The education sector also has been affected by years of underinvestment.4 percent during 2001-2010. Access to education remains particularly basic education targets during the decade 2000-2010.8 health-seeking behaviour and the support of environmental sus- percent) and the lowest in Shan (East) (61.2.30 In addition. technical and vocational education and train- der Areas and National Races.

The burden of private financing of basic education thus falls most Inclusive education has been given a higher priority by the Min- heavily on poor households. Ministry of Education 2010. Despite the high enrolment rate. although policy strengthening in these households – including the need for children to contribute this area is still required. despite an townships is generally poor in delivering basic learning outcomes official policy of free and compulsory primary education. Education for All Mid-Decade Assessment Report 2007. cit. op. and for programmes to support the continuing least three years. 32 . 2009. but UN A direct consequence of the limited public allocations for edu- assessments indicate that the performance of schools in selected cation is substantial private expenditure at all levels. with some 13 percent behind by at school dropouts. textbooks. with direct and opportunity costs to istry of Education since 2004. 2. particularly tions. backed by analytical work to guide decision making and education reform. However. but appears to have increased to around 1. As a result. Post-Nargis Periodic Review II. the resources allocated meet only a fraction of overall costs. from MMK 290 mil- mark in standardized tests. and finances are tralized and requires modernization.123 million (or USD xxx) cantly disadvantaged. represents a key gap. in some cases. Direct costs are met by parents to ized achievement tests can be used to help assess progress in im- purchase uniforms. While education has a high priority in national development. 30 UNDP 2010. Learning outcomes and language policy represent two further important policy issues.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar A need also exists for a strong non-formal education (NFE) sys- some areas more than 1 in 4 children are at least a year behind tem to provide alternative education for the large population of their expected school level. In Myanmar language. Attention needs to be paid fragmented among the 13 Ministries that run educational institu- to strengthening education management at all levels. given that demand for places currently exceeds supply. 34 Ministry of Education. the system of education planning remains highly cen- overall education budget is not shared publicly. Despite focus on the delivery of special to agricultural livelihoods or care for siblings – proving a signifi- education.6 and 1 percent in the previous decade. Even within the Ministry of Education. for example.3. 33 Tripartite Core Group. but these will need to be strengthened and broad- very low by international standards. 29 2008-2009 data. cit. Civil society participation in school management its own functionally independent budget. Ministry of Education. current provision of NFE also is cent of school-aged children did not attend school at all because limited in coverage.3. Data on public expen- remains very limited.3 percent or more. 0. 31 26 20 Education For All National Action Plan. in of children with disabilities. op. stationery and other supplies. with proving learning outcomes at a systemic level. It was estimated at between ened in content and participation. national development organizations. creasing amount of cash donations to the formal education sec- most students would have failed if 50 percent had been the pass tor is recorded by the Ministry of Education. nearly 30 per- education of adults. Few data exist on learning outcomes. a clear policy remains to be developed on the inclusion cant factor in school non-attendance and dropout. despite high levels of parental financial sup- diture for education are therefore difficult to obtain and estimates port to school operations. op. issue. The introduction of School Self Assess- of levels need to be treated with caution. only 21 percent of students in 2009-2010. Education sector planning is framed by the overarching 30Year Long-Term Education Development Plan. a major limiting factor to Policy and management issues quantitative expansion and qualitative improvement. 36 Church-based organizations provide a significant number of teachers and learning materials in these areas. The equitable ex- ostensibly voluntary contributions – including. provided primarily by local NGOs and inter- of the cost burden. pansion of secondary education also remains a significant policy salaries of teachers and school maintenance – also applied. That All Flowers May Bloom. 35 Education For All National Action Plan. Key Barriers to Accelerating Strengthened Education Policy development for basic education. An in- in literacy and numeracy. the education achieved 50 percent of the competencies. each department has at school level. In mathematics. However. 27 Ministry of Education 2010. but a detailed and Education financing costed action plan that can be used to develop a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) is lacking. cit. Without such private contributions. No specific department of NFE exists in the Ministry of Education. it is apparent ment processes and School Improvement Plans are steps in the that public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is right direction. speakers of other languages are signifi- lion (or USD xxx) in 2002-2003 to MMK 1. 2005. Currently no standard- system could well be imperiled. The In general. 28 As shown through the application of standardized tests in selected schools.

while strengthened NFE and continuing education services could provide alternative education for the large number of those who have already dropped out of school. Myanmar Teacher Education Review. ECE policies require review. Development Priorities for Accelerating Strengthened Education Improving education governance As in many low-income countries. 37 21 . support productivity and incomes. with a need for more policy openness. the problems faced by the education sector in Myanmar reflect issues of governance. mission report. Redden. there is an urgent need to develop the quality of pre-service and in-service teacher education to positively affect education quality. with basic education linked with skills development for the world of work through curriculum reform. and civil society participation in school management. quality and employmentrelevant education improve market opportunities. The curriculum should be reviewed for content quality and gender stereotyping to support quality teaching and learning. very little education research and analytical work has been carried out to ensure that planning is evidence-based. Yangon. since children may attend ad hoc schools with few. while strong focus must be given to improving learning outcomes in primary education. including for multi-grade teaching and special education. which is a significant equity concern that would need to be addressed. Development Study for the Improvement of Quality of and Access to Basic Education in the Union of Myanmar. reduce disparities. particularly in literacy and numeracy skills. Strengthening quality and equity of education It will be crucial to reduce the high number of dropouts and narrow gaps across regions of Myanmar if quality and equity are to be attained under MDG2. as reported in the Education For All National Action Plan). secondary and higher education are accessed largely by the richest quintile of the population. Improving Access to Quality Basic Education in Myanmar 2006-2010. if any. However. Critically. Community participation in school management needs to be enhanced. Yangon. Yangon. Greater clarity is needed in the MTEF process and to ensure that key programmes are appropriately prioritized and funded. 2007. while implementation and monitoring of early childhood development standards will be critical. reliability and comparability. shortages in teacher supply also require solutions. Teacher attrition and high turnover in remote areas represent important issues concerning educational quality and equity. overall reform of pre-service and in-service teacher education and management is required to transform teaching practices. would allow the Government’s greater economic assessment capabilities to serve as a base for enhanced policymaking. Overall. 2006. A comprehensive policy review will be beneficial. Likewise. updated technical skills. Myanmar may be able to learn from several Asian countries that have recently published how they implement MTEFs in education. resources. 2004. Beyond the EMIS. Significant data and research gaps Among the most significant challenges in education is the management of data.Thematic Analysis 2011 Issues with teacher placement and turnover While most primary school teachers are qualified (95 percent. In addition. Strengthening such resources. 2. including remote communities. including the Education Management Information System (EMIS). Low coverage in Early Childhood Education ECE faces both issues of participation and equity. and to increase Government resources for basic education. 38 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).3.4. given that official data generally lack timeliness. At the same time. UNICEF. providing education for displaced populations in conflict and post-conflict areas is one of the most challenging areas of service delivery. Furthermore. so that service delivery needs to be further targeted at the most disadvantaged communities and households. there are serious difficulties in deploying and retaining teachers in remote school locations despite Ministry of Education incentives in the form of rice and housing. practice of a child-centred approach must be strengthened and learning improved overall. decision making at decentralized levels. An urgent need exists to develop a costed medium-term action plan for the education sector. 39 E. as does the need to build expertise in assessment practices and removal of financial barriers by way of a review of teacher remuneration and conditions of work. Bilingual education for ethnic-minority children also could help them become literate in their mother tongue before they are required to become literate in the Myanmar language. School-based ECE benefits mainly urban children. Achieving pro-poor growth Pro-poor growth and better incomes will contribute to school retention and education attainments. focusing on basic education. Issues of overcrowding and lack of appropriate teaching methods must be addressed.

4 Achieving MDG 3: Deepening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment For the advancement of women in Myanmar. especially the most vulnerable.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2. development of gender-responsive policies and plans for economic development. can complement enhanced economic opportunities for women. including a National Poverty Reduction Plan. 22 Photo : © FAO .

to achieve equality for women in eco- and Viet Nam (40. gaps still exist in other important areas for women. ticipation in the region. while women comprise Myanmar is committed to numerous international policy initia- about half of all staff in state administrative organizations and tives to improve the situation of women. political and social cultural or domestic workers in neighbouring countries.2 A wide gap remains between men and women45 in higher ranks of paid employment. deprivations are linked less ment outside the agricultural sector has been increasing gradu- across gender lines than to the fact of general deprivation in ally. Myanmar thus has potential to leverage a founda- significantly. IHLCA 2005. progress on this MDG3 indicator is on track and is ahead of Cam- Critically. Asia-Pacific MDG Report 2010-11.48 In all. 46 Central Statistical Organization.7 percent of senior-lev- crimination Against Women40 (CEDAW). unlike in more high-growth economies in 2007. Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to achiev- women’s labour force participation rate is significantly below ing all the interlinked MDGs. Most Myanmar decision-making power at all levels. For example. the Government has shown leader- also still exist between the sexes: For comparative type of jobs.9 per- bodia. only 43 women are found Myanmar became a State Party to CEDAW in 1997. with a goal of ensuring that all women of largely “invisible” and unrecognized care work at home. op. but lower than Cambodia and Lao PDR. The equal participation of female migrant workers end up as low-skilled industrial. ago. 40 41 44 45 23 . 47 Central Statistical Organization. ship by drafting41 a National Plan of Action for the Advance- while men earned an estimated income of US$1.4. tory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Dis- In 2008-2009. women provide unpaid. the proportions a nationality law with respect to marriage to foreign nationals. political and legal participation. Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation. equal marital property rights in case of divorce.cit.Thematic Analysis 2011 2. and in 2010. Most wom- has been minimal. 2008. often life is vital in the State's endeavors to build a developed nation.50 Overall. the share of women in paid employ- such as China and India. Lao PDR and Viet Nam in the region. while serving from Myanmar was higher than from Viet Nam and Bangla- as a basis for conventional views on the division of labour and desh. The draft has been submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers and is expected to be adopted soon. In general. tion based on general deprivation. Myanmar has achieved relative equality between men risk of sexual exploitation). Many women from Myanmar migrate to neighbouring countries in search of bet- At the same time. despite an advantage in secondary education enrollment.49 After elections in November 2010.2. at 50 percent compared to 82 percent respectively sic survival level exists. According to the global Human Development prevalent in Myanmar society and shape the hierarchical rela- Report 2009. in ad- Myanmar are empowered and able to fully enjoy their rights. No women Ministers or Deputy Ministers inequalities in educational access of girls and boys is largely a have been appointed since independence more than 60 years function of whether they come from a rural or urban context. With support from the el posts (Deputy Director and above). into local action. MNPED. Women’s representation in the national legislature also their social class.46 they are concentrated in lower-level positions. Development Situation and Trends 44 Myanmar ranks slightly behind Lao PDR (50. they occupied only 31. in terms of women’s political participation. agri- women and girls in education. even as data for specific regions of the country may vary the society.3 percent in the People’s Assembly. in exploitative workplaces (including those where they are at Indeed. 43 UNDP 2010. ment of Women 2011-2015 to translate its global commitment women earned only US$640.4 percent in 2004) in women’s economic par- nomic.47 Disparities in wages United Nations and NGOs. with women concentrated in lower ranks and lower-skilled jobs. the volume of international migration of women tionships within the family and community alike. Gender Statistics in Myanmar 2006.8 percent as regional However. Introduction including economic. remaining remains off-track. or their linguistic and ethnic group. of women are 4. Similarly. cit. Myanmar In all. 42 cent in the National Assembly and 3. patriarchal cultural norms and values remain ter-paid jobs. Asian Development Bank and UNDP.5 percent in 2004) uities will not emerge. gender equality at ba- that of men. and state representatives. economic. including as a signa- Ministries. MNPED. In Myanmar.4. as also noted under MDG2.1. and women in the area of education. 4. dition to their paid work in public sphere. 42 ESCAP. in the hope that other ineq- percent in 2008) but ahead of Cambodia (43. even as the share of women in parliament en in Myanmar also enjoy equal rights in inheritance laws (land/ globally has increased from 11 percent in 1995 to 19 percent property). Statistical Profile of Children and Women in Myanmar 2009. legal and political power as well.43 nonetheless.043 in 2007. UNDP and MNPED. 2. op.

Public awareness of the issue is With regard to mainstreaming gender in national policies. 24 . by age. customary laws and and Bangladesh (18.6 percent). equality and women’s empowerment remain insufficient. 54 in large part because of operational knowledge. locality. Strengthening the For the advancement of women in Myanmar. while budget allocations on gender high-risk behaviour of their spouse or partner.51 These figures are very Policy and legal frameworks low compared to the situation in Cambodia (21. as well as for women’s economic advancement women. plans and programmes to deliver basic Maternal health remains a key issue of concern for the Govern- services are still required in the area of sexual and reproduc- ment. especially to vulnerable wom- 2.52 statutory provisions may need review. while regional disparities are exacerbated by deeply rooted gender norms and values.4.53 arises primar- tegrated as the policy of the Government as a whole. In Economic benefits for women particular. can ther attention. in part ily because of lack of access to sex education. Viet Nam (25. health. while more genderresponsive policies. survivors of gender-based violence. Similarly. with men still seen as the main providers of the family and women’s unpaid work and contributions to the care economy undervalued. ethnic-minority women. Lao PDR (25. Postpartum haemorrhage.2 percent).4. and cases appear seriously underreported. political life. development of more sex-disaggre- Socio-cultural traditions and low awareness of issues gated data. their families and communities. ethnicity and other variables. Critically. In turn.3 Key Barriers to Deepening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment en. with including issues of maternal mortality. women in rural and/or remote areas. the Maternal Mortality Ratio critical issues of women’s rights and gender equality. the issue of violence against women requires greater recognition as a serious development issue. eclampsia and complications from unsafe abortions are the leading contributing factors to maternal mortality. at 16. development involvement of men in sensitive gender-related issues. female-headed households. and poverty alleviation. although it has Penal Code provisions against sexual assault/rape. is key to stronger evidence-based policymaking. Development Priorities for Deepening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment public and the authorities alike.4. few tem- stands at 240 per 100.000 live births. At the same time.56 Trafficking in plans and programmes. gender mainstreaming is not adequately in- a high rate of adolescent births. Awareness and understanding of gender equality issues is low among the 2. low. This figure is higher than porary special measures and other policy measures have been those of other Asian countries.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar among 1. policymakers and health planners as well as individual tive health. combat trafficking in women a national cause since 1997. prepared by WHO. UNI- sectors. In addition. coordination mecha- issue with serious implications for economic and social devel- nisms among key Government agencies require additional opment in Myanmar.9 percent. Traditional beliefs that reinforce attitudes and behaviours that do not favour women remain prevalent.104 elected representatives.1 percent in the Lower House). Rising numbers because of a need for strengthened conceptual clarity and of women also are contracting HIV. Malaysia (31) and India (230). complement enhanced economic opportunities for women. UNFPA and the World Bank. The Government has made its work to support to address priority commitments for gender equality. including Viet Nam (56). a need exists for more legislation to address CEF. espe- of gender-responsive policies and plans for economic devel- cially in reproductive and sexual health issues. and women living with HIV/AIDS. According to the Re- and empowerment in the services. Moreover. Myanmar does not have specific legislation against Gender Institutional capacities and structures Based Violence (GBV). also calls for fur- opment. sexual and reproductive an Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law enacted in 2005. including those with disabilities. improved delivery of basic services will be necessary.8 percent) To eliminate barriers to gender equality. industrial and agricultural port on Trends and Maternal Mortality. Thailand adopted to strengthen women’s participation in public and (48). institutional capacity is limited in key persons also is a form of GBV and has become a challenging line Ministries and sectors. including a National Poverty Reduction Plan.

including the use lence. United Nations. Millennium Development Goals Report 2010. Human Development Report 2009. 53 UNFPA and Ministry of Immigration and Population. 48 49 Photo : © UNDP 25 . Myanmar 2008-2015. law enforcement and victim protection. HIV Estimates and Projections. will be useful to reduce the impact political. social and cultural spheres. 51 Ibid. based on the notification numbers 118/2010 to 142/2010. 56 UNFPA 2010. Ad- and reproductive health. with sufficient More gender-responsive governance budgetary resources allocated for this purpose. especially sexual human trafficking. 52 UNDP 2009. accompanied by clear guidance on implementation. Lastly. thereby improving overall resilience of com- (CRC). cit. cit. op. op. referrals and services for women mar is fully complying with its international commitments in emergencies can help to reduce vulnerabilities of women under CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in high-risk areas. and HIV/AIDS. November 2010. Women farmers particularly ditional emphasis on the positive. 50 Collected from The New Light of Myanmar newspapers. water and sanitation. development and adoption of a national policy well as increased credit and loans. Development of a gender-sensitive National Adapta- and deepen understanding among Government agencies tion Programme of Action and Nationally Appropriate Mitiga- and other influential stakeholders on women’s empower- tion Action. UNDP. 55 UNDP. 54 UNAIDS. Fertility and Reproductive Health Survey 2007. to reduce emissions by harnessing local resources ment and the inter-linkages of women’s equal rights in the such as solar or wind power. civic. Capacity development may help to raise awareness munities. the system of disaggregat- approach to address the complex issue of gender-based vio- ed data collection requires strengthening. Improved legal and policy frameworks can ensure that Myan- In times of natural disasters. At the same time. of measurable indicators to assess trends in the situation of women and in progress toward gender equality.Thematic Analysis 2011 especially the most vulnerable. Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2010. economic. participatory role of men. health. as In particular. will benefit from improvements in access to land and its use. while strengthened inter-agency Equitable access to quality services coordination mechanisms should be introduced. with ad- of climate change on women. a comprehensive approach aimed at legal empowerment Development of more gender-responsive services must be en- of women and girls should be combined with prevention of couraged in the areas of education. is critical. ditional policy measures can improve women’s participation More in-depth research is required to develop a multi-sectoral in public and political life. on gender mainstreaming. WHO and Ministry of Health.

Photo : © UNFPA . most critically.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2. arising from a combination of policy constraints. and. with active participation of all stakeholders. insufficient investments in public health. socioeconomic factors. It will be necessary to strengthen all aspects of the national health system. deficiencies in the health system.5 Achieving MDGs 4. 5 and 6: Spurring Progress in Improved Health including Reproductive Health Outcomes Analysis shows that Myanmar still faces considerable challenges to MDGs 4 and 5 in particular.

even as it still faces numerous challenges. Specific interventions will be necessary during the neona- in key health indicators show some improvement. weaknesses in management and coordination of services. The total amount available through these trust funds was reported as MMK 5. most components of MDG6 (reverse the spread of HIV/ With regard to MDG4 (Reduce child mortality). although 2008 UN estimates placed the fig- eas.7 percent in 2007-2008. malaria and other major diseases) seem to be on track. tion has increased from 67. total Government health ties.30 per- or lack of transport. Overall.8 in 2007. a need with maternal deaths overwhelmingly found in rural areas. life joint Government-United Nations surveys. Delays in reaching health facili- international sources. Regardless.5 per 1. data and analy- health) represents a major challenge in Myanmar and will re- ses indicate significant disparities between regions and groups quire significant efforts to meet the Goal.5. immunization data are encouraging.7 percent in 1990 to 83. lack of knowledge. the 2015 target of 90 percent is ex- (rural) in 2007 for males. Reducing maternal mortality under MDG5 (Improve maternal Yet in spite of overall advances in health status.1 in 2007. including low birth weight.2 (urban) and 60. has Malaysia. and links on international aid for many key components of health ser- to all other MDGs. According to declined between 1988 and 2007.Thematic Analysis 2011 2. in terms of to support needy patients. Based on these trends. among regions of the country. 1988 to 69 (urban) and 67. and thus have a high probability of achievement. Over the same period. Introduction cent in 2000-2001 to 0. health services. Ma- for a strengthened information and monitoring system and sup- jor causes of maternal mortality in the country include not only ply chain management.4 million using average Myanmar has demonstrated some progress toward reaching the UN exchange rate of 1. Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).49 million (or USD 5. and quality of. Modern sys- reduction to 62. declined steadily.5 tems of medicine. Viet Nam and India in maternal mortality. 57 health-related MDGs. Cambodia and Lao PDR. the overall target of 38. 2. However. trends 2015. IMR.2 Development Situation and Trends meanwhile. since 2005 the decline of MMR in Myanmar is slower than that in Cambodia At the same time. Many of these challenges arise from low postpartum hemorrhage and eclampsia.000 live births in 2003) almost twice that of urban rates (37. but likewise faces challenges to meet the MDG target of 28. 27 . According to tal period to combat the leading causes of post-neonatal deaths. and from 63. particularly affecting from the latest health survey in 2004-2005 stood at 316 per ethnic minorities. and remote location expenditures as a percentage of GDP decreased from 0. For example. but profound effects on the next generation.6 percent in from 59 (urban) and 56. where numbers of doctors and nurses have in 2015 remains challenging. to 53. The Ministry of Health is dependent person-days lost in absenteeism from school and work. tality Rate (U5MR) and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) have all Meanwhile. All this appears to place Myanmar behind mar. and the budget share of the Ministry of Health fell from 6.2 (rural) in 1988 to 64 (urban) and 63. and poor maternal health. the official sources. and people living in remote ar- 100. vices. Moreover. Under Five Mor- including premature birth. private contributions have been established at public hospitals but also has implications for national productivity. because of poverty. Maternal mortality represents a particular concern in Myan- ure at a still-high 240. About 88 percent of deliveries take place at home. At by the Government and United Nations Agencies. with rural U5MR (72. The MMR estimate in access to.1. but also complications investments in the health care system. ahead of Pakistan. Vital statis- the same time.026) in 2009. also indicates a decreasing trend. also are common.21 percent in 2007-2008.000 live births. are supplemented cate significant differences between urban and rural areas and by widely used traditional health systems. Thailand.4 (rural) in pected to be fulfilled. septicaemia and birth asphyxia. the U5MR has AIDS. U5MR surveys indi- more than doubled in the last two decades.5.2 2007.1 percent in 2002-2003 The importance of the right to health needs little justification: to 3. the health system is constrained because of and Lao PDR. both from domestic and arising from unsafe abortions. according to surveys conducted jointly of partners.3 by As the country endeavors to attain its health objectives. Special trust funds supported by It affects not only individual physical and mental well-being.000 live births in 1990 to 77. poor people. from 130 per 1.77 with improved coordination and implementation with support in 1999 and 65. Strong additional attention thus must be given to rural needs. obtaining more investments for health remains tics provided by the Central Statistical Organization indicate a a critical challenge to achieve all the health MDGs. measles immuniza- expectancy (in years) has increased for both men and women.2 in 2007.1 (rural) in 2007 for females.3).

Even to sustain achievements with regard to MDG6. inadequate financial investment and trend. the MDG4 and MDG6 is relatively slow.000 population is significantly low- These include (1) barriers within the health system. MDG6.3 Key Barriers to Spurring Progress in Improved Health. Imbalanced distribution among the regions remains an issue. about 300. To continue this positive and logistical capacities. since the current level of adolescent fertility rate stands at 17 percent of total births. therefore. related to social. particularly midwives and other basic health staff.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar As a positive consequence of expanding reproductive health Overall. economic and environmental factors. it will be further necessary to strengthen ITN supplies with lack of skilled health personnel. But in order to meet the tar- increased. Em- 28 . Current investments in the health sector remain low.5. challenges also remain in providing preven- Poor access to health care in Myanmar as a result of poverty and tion services to a larger proportion of men who have sex with socio-cultural issues remains significant and exercises a profound men and persons who inject drugs. significant resources and concerted management 2001. among the general population (15-49 years old) of 0. to 38. it will be important to find integrated – sex workers. offers a major opportunity for achievement by 2015.61 percent. tuberculosis quality of care. with “hot spots” of high HIV compounded by inadequate human resources with the req- transmission in several locations. the Government’s goal to secure at least one midwife per village to provide professional care remains ambitious.2 percent in 2007. resistant tuberculosis. and developing coun- one-fourth of under-five children now sleeping under ITN. Even so. The slow progress made toward achievement of prevalence and death rate targets also have been achieved. such as packaging of interventions from ject drugs – to maintain initial positive achievements. from 62 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in for continued and expanded service delivery. education and health literacy represents a particular barrier. In 2. including Myanmar. The MDGs 4 and 5 in Myanmar thus indicates persistent health sys- challenge in this regard will be to sustain an adequate supply tem weaknesses that prevent the delivery of a comprehensive of tuberculosis drugs and avoid the emergency of multi-drug- package of quality reproductive health services. nurses and midwives per 10. Myanmar already has Barriers within the health system achieved the goal of a 50 percent reduction in malaria morbidity and mortality since 2007. data indicate that progress on targets of services and raising awareness on reproductive health. given Generally. Nonetheless. A generally low level of enabling policy environment.000 pregnancies per year are not efforts by all stakeholders will be required. condom use is increasing ditional technical support and resources will have to be required among these groups. and youth require strengthened efforts to be met. While prevalence of modern methods of contraception has increased considerably. male participation in contraception needs to be further encouraged. For example. face three that in Myanmar as a whole the average proportion of doctors. Including Reproductive Health Outcomes addition. and in their absence attended by skilled attendants. com- tries such as Myanmar suffer from weak administrative. As a result field level to first referral facility and above. and efWith regard to HIV/AIDS. requiring considerable ad- proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel has ditional investments and resources. or across the life of the promotion of targeted behavior change communication cycle. major challenges exist Barriers related to social and environmental factors to scale up HIV treatment. and in strengthening the influence on achievement of the MDGs. their clients and MSM. categories of barriers to progress on the health-related MDGs. (2) barriers er than the internationally recommended figure. men who have sex with men and persons who in- health delivery models. The needs of unmarried women the target is likely to remain out of reach. which now covers only about 1 in 3 of those in need.11 percent in 2000. In There exists a need for continued focus on most-at-risk groups a resource-poor setting. appropriate use of funds must be ensured. as noted in the Introduction. and (3) barriers related to global trade and economic factors. including multi- 2009.58 Moreover.4 percent in 2007. ad- for sex workers. with use of insecticide-treated nets Both under-five mortality and maternal mortality reflect the (ITNs) more than doubling between 2004 and 2008 and nearly overall effectiveness of health systems. all of which significantly affect the support of all stakeholders. from 21 percent in 2003 to 75. 24 with correct knowledge of HIV has increased. developing countries. the proportion of young people aged 15 to sectoral collaboration and coordination. the epidemic is considered to have ficient. All this is stabilized nationally since 2000. to 65 percent in 2009 from 51 percent as recently as gets of MDG5. This is reflected by prevalence uisite skills. At the same time. technical pared to only 0.

ethnic minorities health development and delivery of quality social services will be and those living in remote.4. social protection load and may create additional burdens for the health system. arising from a combination of pol- able forum for cooperation and coordination among partners. deepening decentralized health on people in order to fully implement the National Strategic Plan system governance. improving supply systems and logistics. most critically. remains at the heart of all poverty issues. an inter-sectoral national-level response that strengthening of the health management information system. 2. deficiencies in the health system. Encouragement of policy and legal frameworks to protect people from health risks. this can exercise positive impacts on governance issues as a the addressing of environmental issues. ensuring universal coverage. including private health service providers. Including Reproductive Health Outcomes Promote strategic partnerships and coordination Many of Myanmar’s health care challenges may be best addressed through partnerships. This should interventions in preventing HIV infection. insufficient investments in The national Reproductive Health Strategic Plan 2009-2013 pro- public health. This can be Strengthen the national health system achieved. will be critical to promote beneficial to achievement of the MDGs by the 2015 deadline. A schemes and conditional cash transfers should be further consid- further issue to be addressed is related to control of the prolifera- ered in this regard. including not only strengthened Government invest- border trade in health services. Health insurance mechanisms.Thematic Analysis 2011 powerment of individuals. Similarly. NAP National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS in Myanmar Progress Report in 2007 and 2009 57 58 29 . In stronger health-seeking behavior and healthy lifestyles. tion of counterfeit and unregistered drugs that are readily available on the market. icy constraints. and. socioeconomic factors. exacerbated by limited external assis- promote equity. is sensitive to specific local needs and supported by communities It will be necessary to increase equitable access to quality health will be required. the private sector and voluntary and the movements of patients across borders also adds a service contributions. neutrality. hilly areas. will be needed. Development Priorities for Spurring Progress in Improved Health Outcomes. with active participation of all stakeholders. national and international development partners.5. to upscale coverage of effective system. and on AIDS (2011-2015). sex workers and persons who inject drugs. turn. mitigate the negative impact of HIV grading health infrastructure. Increased cross- support. and backed by adequately staffed. inadequate income and economic assets of as well as partnerships between the public and private sectors to households in the country. malnutrition and financial burdens related to Barriers related to economic factors health care will be essential. equipped and managed basic and referral facilities. tance. high level of accountability. and civil society alike in an active partnership for national Ministry of Health. such as its technical expertise. maximize the coverage include addressing human resource constraints. A particular need exists for a clear policy and legal framework to encourage private sector involvement At the same time. services and to encourage the promotion of rural health services. vides an excellent framework to address reproductive health in It will be necessary to strengthen all aspects of the national health a coordinated fashion. newborn and child health. Similarly. Trade agreements such as the Scale up health sector financing Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) can have an impact on the cost of essential drugs Investment in and financing for the health sector requires urgent and access to affordable medicines for the poor. Punitive laws pose obstacles for effective HIV interventions to reach key Address policy constraints populations such as men who have sex with men. through joint programming on maternal. migration of health care personnel ments but also from donors. including those related to health and nutrition. particularly women. including the availability whole and make growth more inclusive. led by the Ministry of Health. convening power. particularly using the comparative advantages of the United Nations. building or up- of life saving AIDS treatment. Leveraging engagement of the Government. provides a vi- to MDGs 4 and 5 in particular. private sector. and linkages to regional and global networks and best practices. of safe water and improved sanitation. for example. the National Reproductive Health Analysis shows that Myanmar still faces considerable challenges Working Committee. Health in Myanmar 2010.

while slower progress is being made with regard to safe drinking water. including those related to protected areas.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2.6 Achieving MDG7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability Myanmar is an “early achiever” of several MDG7 indicators. and improved sanitation. The country is. however. 30 Photo : © UNDP . regressing in indicators for forest cover and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. ozone-depleting potential consumption.

No. or potentially on track if changes are made according diseases. Although Myanmar also has the potential to generate 51. It capacity. resulted in the deaths of at least 24 jade miners. ap- is. biomass families or the community. providing criti- progress.1 economy. including hydropower. inadequate infrastructure and lack of institutional tal considerations into all aspects of the development process. Climate change also may initiate a and coal. abundant water resources. 2007. The country is. including on the MDGs. and children north. according to the Ministry of Energy. and deeply affect future gen- cal products and environmental services that contribute to both Simon Feeney and Matthew Clarke. “Global Food Security Under Climate Change” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The elderly and The country also is endowed with abundant and varied sources people with disabilities also may be dependent on support from of energy. For example. com- The National Environment Policy calls for balance between envi- bined with still-low economic strength and low levels of social ronment and development through integration of environmen- development. cit. however. including who are normally less likely to have access to services. 2008. catastrophic events can intensify the vulnerability of already marginalized members of the community. 104. 60 http://www. including water-borne MDG7. 62 In 2010. makes the It is an “early achiever” of several affected population more susceptible to those diseases. including those related to protected areas. however.Thematic Analysis 2011 2. 64 J. a landslide in the Kachin State town of Hpakant. Launglon. Asian Development Bank and UNDP. Myanmar is assessed as on track to achieve vicious circle where infectious disease. “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific Region. fuelwood and biomass. cit. Conventional energy consumption is still low. cfm?c=MMR&cd=104 61 ESCAP. crude oil.000 terra watt hours per is “ahead of the curve” with regard to some aspects of climate year from solar power and 365 terra watt hours per year from change. million tonnes in 2008. Vol.9 million tonnes in 2009 compared with 8. complex sources or have the capacity to anticipate and recover from the coastal habitats for mangroves and coral reefs. and improved sanita- poverty. but the country common in the rain-shadowed central area. critical to recognize the tensions between economic pears to make the country highly vulnerable to climate change growth and environmental management. Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and Cyclone Giri in 2010. violence and exploitation after disasters. may include declines in labour productivity and an increase in ozone-depleting potential consumption. in turn. Hydropower is the while droughts are most highly developed renewal energy source. and alpine and effects of the disaster. In particular. More recent disasters have included the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Myan- and extreme weather events.1.6.63 Women and children are at greater risk grassland ecosystems beneath snow-capped peaks. stronger global partnerships for development under MDG8 (see also Section 2. Either slow or sudden-onset disasters can very quickly reverse Forests cover nearly half of Myanmar’s land area. with laudable carbon sinks through green cover and wind power. In the of abuse. morbidity and mortality. in Bago Division. Myanmar is renowned for its wealth of biodiversity. cation as families struggle to rebuild livelihoods. Addressing this issue in a positive most severely affected by such extreme events between 1990 fashion may provide a vital entry point for the country to build and 2008. op. US Energy still-low emission broke its highest 24-hour rainfall record. Overall. Introduction erations. 63 ESCAP. natural gas.2 Development Situation and Trends At the same time. cause or compound hunger. The Global questering. 64 59 to United Nations statistics. 60 tion. 2. but the pursuit of economic growth may be at odds Climate Risk Index 2010 ranked Myanmar among the countries with this global public good.” Asia-Pacific Viewpoint.N. for example. Asian Development Bank and UNDP. 49. Schmidhuber and F. 62 59 31 . 50. Myanmar’s wide range of topography. with nearly two- severe flooding and landslides associated with intense rainfall thirds from charcoal. Results MDG7 indicators. No. are evident in many parts of the country. control re- diverse tropical forests. and high dependency on the natural resource base. Vol. while slower progress is being made with regard to safe drinking water. caused by more than 10 inches of rain in a day. 61 2.7). Tubiello. All this places additional stress mar has very significant potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) se- on natural systems and the human society at large.09 inches of rainfall in a single day. the country is known as a biodiversity “hot spot” because may face difficulties such as being unable to continue their edu- of its location in the transitional zone in the eastern Himalayas.mdgmonitor. to 6. op. regressing in indicators for forest cover and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. which. this is in part due to the lack of domes- Information Agency data indicate that crude oil production is tic economic dynamism and limited integration in the global falling rapidly. with 17.

has identified a three-tier institutional structure to address United Nations statistics showing an increase from 57 percent issues of biodiversity. analysis. Myanmar’s considerable diversity of coastal habitats recently at 2005. Illegal logging remains an issue. Control and the protection of the ozone layer. While The country also is endowed with abundant water resources. In addition. to close to 2 million.4 mar has been an early achiever of this MDG indicator. but this structure has yet to be formed.050 species of birds. 80 with the 2015 target set at 66 percent. 78 About 56 percent of 100 species of insects. transboundary smoke haze remains a re- heavily reliant on wood and non-wood forest products for shel- curring challenge.01 percent Government sources.71 Myanmar’s reefs also are threatened. great emissions mitigation potential.66 Although Myanmar is one of only 23 countries the number of fires spikes. which suggests that overfishing. the Government has The country also is an early achiever of the MDG indicator on initiated plans for the use of compressed natural gas in place of access to improved sanitation. according to a Reefs at Risk Myanmar thus is particularly at risk from the illegal wildlife trade. Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).97 percent.69 a designated national authority set up for implementation of the with very substantial scope for further development of these Clean Development Mechanism. increasing from 0. the Government already has conducted a GHG inventory cubic metres annually. coastal development although it has acceded to the Convention on International and sedimentation represent primary threats.76 Meanwhile. Biodiversity is very rich: Recorded fauna include 256 spe- with the fourth-largest expanse of mangrove areas in Southeast cies of mammals. while United Nations statistics show CO2 emissions mar and China. as well as the Montreal Proto- management of surface water and groundwater are therefore col on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its London critical for sustainable development of the country.725 in 1997.70 with more than 10. in 1990 to 71 percent in 2008. Myan- ita consumption declining from 1. progress in this MDG indicator is Emissions of CO2 per capita appear to remain among the lowest regressing. use of the nation’s water re- and is preparing a National Communication on emissions.3 percent of total area of the country.000 ciency. that have set country-specific targets to address the increase or maintenance of forest cover. The Myanmar has achieved progress on the proportion of people first National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. emissions per capita have fallen from 1. mangroves.68 However. In response. cent in 2005 to 81 percent in 2008.5 percent in A primary source of air pollution stems from the transport sec- 2010. had fallen to 47. at only about 5 percent of the potential. with sources is quite low. at 55. with 2006. with per-cap- With regard to the ratio of protected area to land area.000 hectares in 2005. with the number of vehicles on the road doubling since been fulfilled. but current momentum still requires acceleration. pressure is increasing on the The Government also has acceded to the Vienna Convention for use of surface water and extraction of groundwater. areas. resources. Asia. Mangrove coverage has decreased.8 by 2010. By 2010 tonnes in 2005. this already has tor. According to est cover in 1990. promoting sustainable forest management and energy effi- with per-capita water resource availability of more than 18.2 metric tonnes in 1995 to 0.75 indicating a down- been made in reducing the trade in illegal logs between Myan- ward trend. according to United Nations 72 32 . importing chlorofluorocarbons since 2006.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar national economic development65 and poverty reduction.79 The proportion of people using an improved drinking water source stood at 69. It has been an early achiever of the MDG indicator with regard to ODS. with access soaring from 49 per- petrol and diesel in the short term and bio-fuel in the long term. A providing loans to vehicle owners for the purchase of conver- total of 70 percent of the population in poorer rural areas are sion kits.500 hect- 119 species of amphibians. when ter and food. sandy beaches and mudflats. 1. with similar potential to 67 access significant international funding and technologies. up from 3. 77 there were 42 existing and proposed protected areas. especially during dry El Niño periods. for- in Asia.73 In addition. Myanmar’s heavily forested land area has ging routes in Myanmar.10 metric tonnes per capita in 1990 to 0. although progress has metric tonnes in 199074 to 0. With the increase in population and enhanced need for water for economic activities. 2004. covering 7. but enforcement nor exports Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and has stop poses serious challenges. Myanmar has six marine protected includes coral reefs. Myanmar neither produces systems for groundwater extraction are in use.27 in given the link between armed conflict and control of illegal log- 2007. prepared in with sustainable access to an improved water source. Licensing and Copenhagen Amendments. An urgent need exists to address illegal logging. although emission data require updating.000 plant species.77 percent as Meanwhile. According to data from the Ministry of Forestry. from 555. 409 species of marine fishes and ares in 1980 to 507. 100 species of reptiles.

Asian Development Bank and UNDP. a study by Harvard University and Inter- the UNFCCC and the Protocol remain limited because of a lack national Development Enterprises during early 2010 found that of relevant human and institutional capacities. damaging local liveli- has signed and ratified the United Nations Framework Conven- hoods as well as reducing access of the most vulnerable to food tion on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol and is in and basic services. 77 ESCAP. cit. For example. Bangkok. compared to two or three acres a de- go Framework for Action and formulation of a National Strategy cade ago. At the same time. Myanmar. with inadequate in the education system. 73 ASEAN. 69 Government of Japan. 74 MNPED. 2001. While there has been progress. the Dry Zone. Hydrology provides ample evidence of climate change in Myan- it also is promoting crop rotation. in line with the National soon shrank by about 10 days. severely affecting not only people’s liveli- by the Government and private entrepreneurs to address slum hoods but also food security. Hanns Seidel Foundation. the Govern- Township indicate that for the last three years the township has ment has adopted a number of important policy instruments. National Commission for Environmental Affairs and UNEP.1 percent and 45. op.wepa-db. 75 Ministry of Forestry. It experienced severe drought conditions. Diversification of agriculture has been recognized as tablished multi-hazard early warning system requires numerous an important means to reduce risk.cit. the destruction of mangrove tively. 78 ASEAN. To boost productivity. such as fruit trees. country’s coastal regions are considered the most vulnerable to 81 climate change and natural disasters. Asian Development Bank and UNDP. http://www. 2000 and 2005. 80 IHLCA 2010 81 Asian Development Bank. Hanns Seidel Foundation.html 70 Convention on Biodiversity Country Profile. access levels of food consumption and high indebtedness among the to disaster risk reduction information remains limited and an es- rural poor. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2010. decreasing average rain- 79 percent and 86 percent respectively in 2008. to an average of 144 days. Forests Out of Bounds: Impacts and Effectiveness of Logging Ban in Natural Forests in AsiaPacific. through being a signatory to the Hyo- cultivate crops for a family. Yields have plummeted by 80 percent. Yangon. Enters and T. and the process of formulating a National Adaptation Programme of livestock has increased considerably due to the scarcity of water Action (NAPA).6 percent respec- areas of Myanmar.Thematic Analysis 2011 statistics. op. op. At the other end of the spectrum. The Health Plan and Health for All Programme. however. Myanmar Country Brief 2010.shtml?country=mm#status 71 66 72 ASEAN. households in the Dry Zone in central Myanmar reported a fall the Government has progressively recognized the importance in productivity of the land. Ministry of Transport. 87 Similarly. 82 fallen significantly again. 76 ESCAP. 67 P. op. to 27. Ministerial Statement. forestry and livestock. cit. even so. Hanns Seidel Foundation. 65 10 percent of Myanmar’s exports are based on forest products. Cheng.cbd. T. 2009. A major factor fall and wide variations between regions. 33 . 68 ASEAN. National Sustainable Development Strategy. with increased frequency Approximately 23. Between 2005 and 2009 alone.83 showing an upward trend. Durst. http://wwww. already is one of try of Education has been mainstreaming disaster risk reduction the most food-insecure regions of the country. comprising much of Mag- and Action Plan for Disaster Management 2009-2015. field reports from Pakokku Turning to climate change and natural disasters.6% by 2007. by 2010 this had forests and ecosystems by Cyclone Nargis in 2008 resulted in the ters in the middle of Myanmar. with five to 10 acres now needed to of disaster management.” October 2008. 86 84 dwelling. Annual Reports 1995. national response to obligations under and fodder. Hanns Seidel countries/profile. National Millennium Development Goals Report 2006. Mandalay and lower Sagaing Divisions. Alarmingly. Mitigating factors loss of habitats of aquatic species and decreases in fishery and include implementation of low-cost housing and other projects agricultural products. with urbanization patterns concentrated in about 27 urban cen- All these changes may bring about changes in natural resources Estimates for the proportion and ecosystems that can seriously affect the livelihoods. T. 79 ESCAP. Water Environment Partnership. ASEAN State of the Environment Report 2009. 2010. and increasing tem- in the dramatic increase has been the initiation in 1998 of the peratures. cit. Waggener. Use of improved sanitation facilities has risen from 39 mar. revealing a decreasing trend in the length of monsoon as a percent in rural areas and 77 percent in urban areas in 1995 to result of late onset and early recession. the improvements. cit. “Pollution Control and Air Quality Management in Myanmar. the length of the mon- National Sanitation Week movement.5% of the Myanmar population was living in of floods and cyclones. urban areas in 1973 and this figure has risen to 31. The Minis- way. em- of urban population living in slums or marginalized settlements ployment and income of millions of people living in affected in 1990 and 2005 were 31. 85 Government is encouraging farmers to expand new agricultural land and to diversify by introducing on-farm activities that gen- Recent analysis of data by the Department of Meteorology and erate multiple incomes.5 percent.

Myanmar will need to undertake numerous initiatives to mainstream environment. as could ensuring that local as a relatively weak regulatory framework and enforcement for communities participate in and benefit from local natural re- protected areas and for pollution monitoring. climate be required to mainstream environment. strategies and action plan for adaptation and mitigation. Economic development and industri- Significant data gaps alization also are significant factors. A short- 2. 85 First Myanmar Hyogo Framework for Action Progress Review and Reporting Workshop. For example.and disaster-resilient in- with normative and legislative frameworks. Transparency and accountability in and regulatory frameworks to promote pro-poor “green growth. Myanmar 83 United Nations Statistics Division. with available technologies for economic development increasing vulnerability and directly Critically. tably and sustainably for long-term development gains that are pro-poor.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2. . in sive growth. Enhance livelihood options and increase awareness Governance and management issues Overall awareness related to issues of environment. climate change and disaster risk management into national development planning as a Human and social pressures whole. It has not yet prepared a national climate change policy.4 Development Priorities for Ensuring Environmental Sustainability on the natural resource base. 84 IHLCA 2010. cies and plans. while Widespread poverty and lack of enviornmental awareness in relative cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses of adapta- Myanmar leads to overexploitation of natural resources. the adaptive capacity of Myanmar society is limited because of the high dependence 2.3. 86 34 Tripartite Core Group. A needs ex- information for scientific planning and informed decision mak- ists to ensure that local communities participate in and benefit ing are highly insufficient. Use of indigenous knowledge systems in Government Turning to the significant issues of governance raised in Section environmental planning activities also remains limited. op. with clarification of responsibilities among relevant agencies and more Encourage innovative governance planning mechanisms and systems to ensure participatory planning. 87 Personal confirmation with staff of Save the Children in Pakokku Township. such pressures on natural resources. Myanmar result from governance issues. Ministry of Construction. based on global experience in addressing what has been called the “resource curse.6. and the natural sites are suffer- ternational cooperation on environmental issues. With regard to inclu- climate change adaptation and mitigation capacity exists. limited and could be well addressed by NGOs. Limited financial source-based businesses and industries. includ- tion and disaster risk reduction options and technologies need ing illegal activities. will addressed to improve understanding of environmental. climate Many of the barriers to ensuring environmental sustainability in change and disaster risk management must be strongly raised. Millennium Indicators Database 2010. systematic technical and institutional capacity building. enhancement of livelihood options could reduce part arising from incomplete strategy and policy systems.” environmental governance require strengthening. Government should be resources are allocated to management of the natural resource supported to set priorities for investment and establish financial and environment sector. 21-22 June 2010. integrated vulnerability assessments. There are eight cul- frastructure for early warning. Climate.6. Nay Pyi Taw. this results in a lack of compliance to be identified and assessed.6. as does regional and in- tive list of World Heritage Sites. reliable data and affecting food security and the agriculture sector. ing from the environmental effects of increased population and explitation of resources. Similarly. age of qualified environmental practitioners must be urgently including in linkages between poverty and environment.3 Key Barriers to Ensuring Environmental Sustainability In particular. a need exists to tion but also monitoring of initiatives on the environment. cit.” 88 Overall. In turn. Compliance with international conventions and 82 UN-Habitat via Department of Housing and Human Settlements. emergency response and social tural and natural heritage sites in Myanmar on UNESCO’s tenta- safety networks require strengthening. cli- ensure that revenues from natural resources are managed equi- mate change and disaster risk management. climate change and change and disaster risk management issues as well as potential disaster risk management issues into overall development poli- for coordination and resource mobilization. This inhibits not only policy formula- from economic planning and growth. More than half of households living in the most affected townships were reported to have lost all food stocks during the cyclone.

government mismanagement of resources. for example. Strengthening decentral- Improve data and information apacities ized planning and management likewise should be encouraged. volatility of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings. while demonstration of pilot initiatives should play an impor- Strengthening capacities in information systems. natural resources and wildlife.Thematic Analysis 2011 standards should be heightened. Data systems will need to be built to tial. The Environmental Impact As- international community should support Myanmar in accessing sessment regulatory regime and enforcement capacity require international funding and building regional and international strengthening. particularly for climate change adaptation. statistics and tant role in engagement of numerous stakeholders at different research will be essential for achievement of MDG7 as well as levels. or weak. while in ened science and technology development. Including environmental costs in national accounts will be beneficial. unstable or corrupt institutions. in support of the environment must be encouraged. 88 Photo : © Veronica Wijaya/UNHABITAT 35 . the The paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. Corporate Social Responsibility programmes ucation activities sho-uld be increased. as do similar regimes related to illegal use of cooperation. underpinning strength- enhance effectiveness of planning and implementation. Stronger coordination among Government agencies will track and monitor important indicators. use of regional best practices in community- progress on climate change adaptation and mitigation and di- based disaster and adaptation activities offer excellent poten- saster risk management. This is hypothesized to happen for many different reasons. including a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors. Environmental ed- the private sector. Lastly.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar 2. This can build necessary social capital to assist in achieving the MDGs.7 Achieving MDG8: Strengthening Global Partnerships for Development Myanmar has the potential to unlock manifold increases in its ODA receipts. 36 Photo : © Veronica Wijaya/UNHABITAT . electricity and other exports. in turn raising social sector allocations as a result of reallocation within existing budgets and increased State revenues from natural gas.

of the to89 Many development partners continue to work in Myanmar under a number of restrictions.90 Myanmar does not have access to loans and grants from in- 2008. percent provided as humanitarian assistance. creased Official Development Assistance (ODA). showing again a downward trend.6 in 2010. dia received USD 51. For Myanmar. with about 60 Development Bank. Introduction tal USD 364 million provided. 2. ODA flows have continued to rise to 2009 and are 2005 10 2000 Gleneagles G8 and UN Millenium+5 summits. this has restricted GovernAll LDCs ment access to international technical support and funding.1. the lowest dens and give developing countries fair access to their markets amongst all LDCs in the world. Myanmar’s ODA per capita stands at USD 7. Myan- developed countries.8 per capita.0 and Lao PDR USD 79. Between 1990 and 2007. globally ODA has followed an upward flows are committed to LDCs. both in real terms and community.92 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 0 offer considerable promise for development investment.8.Thematic Analysis 2011 2. 1985 50 ment held in Monterrery.the year of Cyclone Nargis. The Repub- 37 . ic low in 1996 to approximately USD 39 million. This Goal calls on developed countries to provide in- per capita. ODA to Myanmar ODA is predominantly provided by bilateral development agen- increased gradually between 1997 and 2007 in real terms. Lao PDR and Myanmar (Source: OECD) ODA flows to Myanmar had decreased dramatically in conjunc- The downward trend demonstrates that serious challenges re- tion with the political crisis in the late 1980s. Cambodia 80 1970 trend over the past 50 years and has been boosted following a 90 1965 As illustrated in Figure 1. This is the highest 2007 0 2006 financial crisis. Figure 2: ODA per capita Cambodia. relieve debt bur- Myanmar’s ODA per capita has been less than USD 5. particularly Thailand. In 2009. the agreement to establish an ASEAN free trade area by 2015 is likely Figure 1: ODA to all LDCs USD million (1960-2010) (Source: OECD) to have an impact on Myanmar in the coming years. the International Conference on Financing for Develop- Laos 70 1975 series of high-profile international conferences in the early 2000s. which is designed to strengthen development partnerships between In contrast to other developing countries in the region. Despite the recent 1995 20 1990 30 donors made further commitments to increase their aid at the 1960 40 and marked the upturn of ODA after a decade of decline. as can be seen in Figure 2. including Myanmar. Mexico.91 over the last five years 25000 there also has been an increased focus on longer-term develop- 20000 ment assistance. of which some one-third of total aid 2010 2009 2008 expected to reach USD 126 billion in 2010.7. dropping to a histor- main to establishing development partnerships in Myanmar. set firm targets for each donor 1980 In 2002. several donors have expanded their presence in 40000 the country recently. 15000 10000 Trade and Foreign Direct Investment by members of the Associa- 5000 tion of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).2 Development Situation and Trends Myanmar 60 USD figure ever recorded. In 2005.1 in 2009 and USD 5. In turn.saw a 170 percent increase in ternational financial institutions such as the World Bank or Asian ODA from the previous year at USD 534 million. USD 179 million were for humanitarian assistance. Even in 2008. In 2008. and cies. Achievement of MDGs 1 to 7 critically depends on MDG8. At 45000 the same time.7. when Myanmar was and technology. Cambo- environment is vital to achieve overall development progress. While restrictions on many members of the 35000 international community have traditionally led to the focus on 30000 humanitarian assistance noted above. developing countries and the international mar is lagging far behind in aid allocation. taking advantage of this enabling at its peak in real term allocation at USD 10.

according to official statistics. including tariff- be considered a priority in Myanmar’s development. wheth- velopment Assistance Committee of the OECD. progress on the MDGs gional.7. eight active in the labour force each year. other lessons from successful with ASEAN. Netherlands. trations are involved in the 3DF effort.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar lic of Korea and Japan also are increasing their presence in the As an LDC. China and India becoming major trading partners partnerships also indicate that there needs to be adequate space (see Figure 4 and Section 2. Engagement with local-level actors. Meanwhile. Lastly. Donors include Australia. Statistical Yearbook 2008. er at current levels or upscaled. Tens of thousands of lives have been affected: For those living with HIV. which include strong programme monitoring and evaluation using reliable data. Norway improved considerably. resources are more widespread and easily accessed for supportive care and treatment. About 1 million youth become of June 2010. can be accelerated. a Revolving Drug Fund has been established in every township. The Ministry of Health and local adminis- turing sector. with the Government holding primary responsibility to takes place at the World Trade Organization and through the De- develop its capacities and prioritize its investments. Denmark. will prove crucial.4). there exists improved access to treated bed nets. and for Aid for Trade. for example. access to essential drugs has Kingdom. predictable and tential exists to upscale ODA by at least a factor of 10 and should non-discriminating market access under MDG8. Economic Indicators 2010. the United ing the target in time.5 and Sweden. the global monitoring of which MDGs. while the United Nations and NGOs work as percent in 1997 to 74 percent in 2005. The evidence suggests that these catalytic There exist significant trade and investment opportunities in the investments are possible in Myanmar. for evidence-based policy dialogue.8 percent in 2010. for people living in malaria-endemic re- America 20% Europe Others 2001 2004 2006 2008 2009 Sources: Central Statistical Organization. and free provision In terms of other MDG8 targets. MNPED. Myanmar Exports by Regional Bloc (2000-2009) 60% 50% Box 1: Three Diseases Fund in Myanmar In three full years of implementation. By the end in 2005 and 3. Essential drugs are avail- implementing partners. and quota-free access for LDC exports. Myanmar exhibits progress but of directly observed treatment and availability of drugs still has some way to go. with IHLCA sur- country and led to an 85 percent treatment success rate veys indicating that youth unemployment stood at 4.000 cases detected in 2009. however. 3DF was supporting 27 HIV projects. As in any country context. will always constitute only a catalytic contribution. from 17. Some observers have estimated that the po- agreed support measures for open. and Further commitments from development partners and Govern- more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduc- ment alike will be necessary to deepen such positive experienc- tion. Economic Commission.1 percent for more than 41. sub-regional and South-South cooperation. through dialogue supporting a legal system for SME development and developing at central level and support for services provided at town- an efficient banking system all represent key elements in reach- ship level. with US$91 million in ODA used 0% between 2006 and 2009 alone.93 enhanced programmes of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC). Figure 4. strengthening a business-friendly environment. diagnosis and care. Lack of employment oppor- tuberculosis projects. gions and migrant workers. Unemployment of young people is a has relieved the lives of people with tuberculosis across the major determinant of poverty in the country. ODA. the telecommunications sector has shown 38 . Meanwhile. the Three Diseases 40% ASEAN 30% Rest of Asia Fund (3DF) has proven that aid can effectively be deliv- 10% ered within Myanmar. and that with ap- region that can be exploited by Myanmar through greater re- propriate action from the public sector. public sector investments in health opment initiatives to assist LDCs to better manage trading op- and education will be paramount to achieve progress against the portunities. rule-based. Myanmar has the potential to use internationally Myanmar economy. Explicit recognition also exists for domestic capacity devel- es. nine malaria projects and four inte- tunities overall is exacerbated by slow growth of the manufac- grated projects. including local authorities and Civil Society Organizations. able free to the poor and on a community cost-sharing basis for the non-poor.

Government and the United Nations. elec- resource-based industries such as power.95 Internet users increased 2.57percent and 25. the composition of Myanmar’s exports clearly shows its de- agement of ODA and public debt. 34. 92 Myanmar’s largest trading partner and a source of foreign remittances through the 2 million workers from Myanmar currently in Thailand. Myanmar has the potential to ties. The same source mentions that the percentage of population in 2009 with telephone lines. while the European Commission committed about US$43 million in the same year. 2. For example. showing that the benefits of new technologies are still out of reach for the Unlock the ODA potential vast majority of the population and that supportive measures are needed to accelerate ICT growth in Myanmar. This can build necessary social capital and mining rather than the labour-intensive manufacturing in- to assist in achieving the MDGs. cit. such as less than 0. 122. Internal barriers. 100.7. forest products. sufficient attention must be given to man- time. In another challenge. Public sector reform likewise will be critical to encourage hampered trade and foreign exchange revenues.Thematic Analysis 2011 notable growth in recent years. agriculture. Removal of the Gen- key restrictions on United Nations programmes in the coun- eralized System of Preference on Myanmar’s exports has further try. there has been no substantial impact from FDI on community should strengthen its capacity development initia- employment creation and technology transfer to Myanmar.02 percent in 2003 to only 0.4 million mobile phones are in use in the country.17 percent in 1990 to 1. natural gas exploration tricity and other exports.7. 93 Further highlighted in the Brussels Programme of Action for LDCs.8 percent in Thailand. political considerations remain a ment – are of equal importance also may lead to the review of barrier to global partnership with Myanmar. such as through the successful post-Cyclone Nargis partnership between ASEAN. gar- unlock manifold increases in its ODA receipts. while more than 1. It needs to create and strengthening efficiencies in the FDI law. cellular subscriptions and Internet use stood at 10.37. At the same such partnerships.22 percent in 2009. as well as in pro- an environment where the private sector can play its due role in moting good governance and strengthening democratic institu- creating the productive capacity required to help the country tions and respect for human rights. humanitarian aid stood at almost 30 percent – still a huge proportion in comparison with other country ODA profiles in 2007. far-reaching tunities that can stimulate pro-poor growth. recent foreign direct cial sector allocations as a result of reallocation within existing investment (FDI) flow to the country has been largely focused on budgets and increased State revenues from natural gas.53 in Cambodia. A recent agreement among the United Nations Secretary-General’s External barriers Group of Friends for Myanmar that the three pillars of United Nations engagement – political.78 and 0.2. 90 The United Kingdom is the largest provider of bilateral assistance. tives in Myanmar so that the country can have the right human resources and institutions to undertake and implement recom- Internal barriers mended policy reforms. as with progress toward other MDGs.7. Through appropriate fiscal pendence on a limited range of primary products and commodi- management and policy reform. exacerbated by limitations on private sector oppor- Myanmar will need to undertake a series of bold. which is likely to be significant but is difficult to quantify. are pri- Promote market access marily focused on limited capacities and incomplete policy frameworks. op.56 and 27. and 0. Particular attention policy reforms if it is to benefit from the internationally agreed needs to be given to creating an enabling business environment support measures that are in place for LDCs. 94 39 .37 percent. in turn raising so- ments and fisheries.94 but ICT usage remains low compared to neighbouring countries. 95 Ibid. particularly natural gas. committing about US$50 million in 2008.85 percent. 89 These data do not include ODA from China and India. the proportion of telephone lines increased from 0.1 percent in Cambodia and less than 0. 91 Even before Cyclone Nargis. the international dustry. humanitarian and develop- As indicated in Section 2. For its part. and Ministry of Industry/Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.3 Key Barriers to Strengthening Global Partnerships The international community has many good experiences upon which to build stronger partnerships in Myanmar.5 percent in Lao PDR.62 percent in 2009. 37..4 Developing Priorities for Strengthening Global Partnerships from 0.25 percent in Viet Nam. Chronicle of National Development: Comparison Between Period Preceding 1988 and After (Up to 31/12/2009). Asian Development Bank. Thus.

Myanmar strongly sure employment generation and technology transfer. China. It Regional and South-South cooperation provide excellent op- also will be necessary to modernize rules and regulations that portunities for a developing country like Myanmar to over- govern foreign investment in the country and design an effec- come the constraints of small market size as well as to reap tive incentive structure so that FDI flows into activities that en- the full benefits of economic specialization. who generally come from very poor rural households. The country will benefit from bustly engage with regional groupings such as ASEAN. India and Bangladesh also can work to sus- text. architecture that will efficiently meet the investment requirements of the economy and facilitate trade financing needs of Undertake regional and South-South cooperation exporters and importers alike so that the private sector can effectively exploit opportunities in the region and beyond. measures to gradu- integration process before the 2015 deadline. Myanmar will need to intensity its work with destination tain overall development. the having a clear labour and migration management migration Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS). Continued ally regularize the transfer of remittances. In this con- as Thailand. In particular. constitute a particularly economy for the benefit of its people. To transform its employed in neighbouring countries. Myanmar should ro- important resource for Myanmar. STEC) and the Ayeyarwaddy-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Some key dimensions of a national migration management Cooperation Strategy (ACEMEC). the Bay of Bengal Initiative policy to protect and promote the interests of migrant work- for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIM- ers. Myanmar needs policy could include the expansion of bilateral labour migra- to move quickly to position itself to benefit from the ASEAN tion agreements within the ASEAN region. 40 Photo : © Veronica Wijaya/UNHABITAT . including utilizing creasingly benefit from working abroad while enjoying social market access preferences set aside for LDCs. most of which are sent home by migrant workers growth and reduce poverty and inequality. Myanmar also rights and increasing protection from exploitation at destina- would be well advised to put in place a banking and financial tion. requires both the mitigation of negative impacts of economic sanctions and market diversification to maintain economic Remittances. significantly boosting intra-regional countries and other stakeholders so that migrant workers in- trade and investment and bringing fresh opportunities. and skills training South-South cooperation with neighbouring countries such and awareness-raising among potential migrants.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar effectively participate in international trade.

3. of employment opportunities (MDG1. Promoting good governance and strengthening demo with Government and civil society. ority national needs and potential for long-term impact on na- Combining these considerations with the diversity of man- tional goals. and monitor progress and per- i. private and serving as a foundation for broader change. impartiality and credibility iv. Encouraging inclusive growth (both rural and urban). particularly by region. then act together to help cratic institution and rights (foundation for all MDGs) conceptualize. 41 . Increasing equitable access to quality social services progress that the people in Myanmar hold. Reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and organizations in their mandated activities within the United climate change (MDG7. lessons learnt and good practices. and opportuni- dates of the United Nations has yielded the four broad areas ties to strengthen both national capacities and international in which support for Myanmar can be concentrated. While each United Nations Agency in Myanmar has its distinct but they do represent an explicit common response for accel- mandate. so that the country can accel- The selected strategic priorities to guide cooperation are not erate its efforts toward all eight MDGs. joint efforts can create a source of further legitimacy including agricultural development and enhancement that complements traditional structures. underdeveloped support for rights holders’ people. In so doing. 7) New windows of opportunity exist to address the desire for ii. root causes of many of these key issues can be traced Myanmar must accelerate its efforts if the MDGs and their tar- to: governance structures still in the process of development. Overall. these are: civil society actors who can help clarify and develop norms. By embracing a network of public. formance. implement and monitor country-owned development programmes and projects. The United Nations can do a shortage of qualified human resources that can propel socio- much to assist in ensuring more secure future for all Myanmar’s economic reforms. supporting a rights-based approach that underpins claims. The main with global and national development agendas complement criteria for proposing these four areas of cooperation are: pri- one another – and thus incorporate the roots of collaboration. 4-6. Again. with implica tions for MDGs 2. 4-6. for United Nations Country Team development cooperation in Myanmar in the years to come. embark on integrated activities. the United Nations can society participation. intended to be fully inclusive of all stakeholders’ interventions. with implications for MDG1) ties will be coherently reflected by individual United Nations iii. gets are to be fully realized by 2015. along with a need for strengthened traditions of civil the development agenda.Thematic Analysis 2011 Section III Conclusion This analysis of the development situation indicates priorities elimination of practices that can harm the environment. indicators. 3. climate change and disas Nations Strategic Framework 2012-2015. which are interlinked. and a need for strengthened sustainable resource use and development. thereby cooperation. The strategic priori- (MDGs 2. rural-urban divide and gen- and on unprecedented opportunities for sustainable human der. some strategic goals and shared values consistent erating MDG progress as against business as usual. Organizations can ters) build on their strong field presence. persistent variations in socioeconomic work with the people of Myanmar to capitalize on its potential.

make • Reduce maternal mortality by three quarters. Ensure environmental sustainability • Integrate principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources 2. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 6. income is less than $1 a day. available the benefits of new technologies.Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar The UN Millennium Development Goals 1. • Achieve universal access to reproductive health. • Reduce biodiversity loss. Develop a global partnership for development secondary education preferably by 2005. by 2010. • Halt and reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. • In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies. landlocked countries and small island 4. 7. 5. achieving. all levels of education no later than 2015. Reduce child mortality • Reduce by two thirds the mortality of children under five. especially information and communications technologies. and in • Develop further an open. 3. for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it. non-discriminatory trading and financial system. • Halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation • Improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. • Achieve. • Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt. Combat HIV/AIDS. Promote gender equality and empower women • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and 8. Achieve universal primary education • Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling. 42 . • Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. by 2010. rule-based. a significant reduction in the rate of loss. provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries. • Address special needs of the least developed countries. Improve maternal health • In cooperation with the private sector. universal access to treatment • Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all. including women and young people. developing States. malaria and other diseases • Reduce by half the proportion of people whose • Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. predictable.

UNDP Photo on back cover: © Veronica Wijaya/UNHABITAT Myanmar Phone: (+95) 542911-9 Fax: Photos on front cover: © Veronica Wijaya/UNHABITAT. Natmouk Road.Thematic Analysis 2011 Photo : © UNDP © 2011 United Nations in Myanmar Office of the UN Resident/Coordinator No. 6. 544523 E-mail: Website: http://yangon. Tamwe Township. Yangon.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Myanmar .