Myanmar is in the midst of a process of gradual change from 50 years of military-dominated rule to a more democratic and more decentralised government structure. Since 2011, a range of reform initiatives has been launched on good governance, poverty reduction, peace making with armed ethnic groups, economic development and decentralization. Decentralization and poverty reduction measures increase the pressures on local authorities to deliver basic services in an effective and equitable manner. The World Bank is supporting such development processes, among others with the sizeable National Community Driven Development Project for Myanmar. The development objective of the intervention is to enable poor rural communities to benefit from improved access to and use of basic infrastructure and services through a people-centred approach. The overall project is implemented by the Myanmar Department of Rural Development. The approach will empower villagers to manage and participate in their own development. The objective will be achieved through 1) financing community-identified rural infrastructure investments, 2) strengthening the capacity of communities in partnership with local authorities to effectively identify, plan and implement their development priorities, and 3) facilitating the participation of the poor throughout the project cycle at the community level.
Since December 2015 VNG International supports this large and important World Bank intervention by implementing the US$ 2.93M assignment ‘Township Level Technical Assistance in Mon and Tanintharyi’. Specific objectives of the assignment are to provide institutional support and technical assistance to the township offices of the Department of Rural Development in Chaungzon and Bilin townships in Mon State and Tanintharyi township in Tanintharyi Region and to provide technical assistance to the village and village tract level to familiarize communities with participatory approaches in the process of establishing inclusive village and village tract project development committees. The duration of the assignment is four years.
For this project VNG International has formed a partnership with Loka Ahlinn Social Development Network based in Yangon. VNG International and Loka Ahlinn have currently deployed over 100 staff to deliver the technical assistance.