Administering the State in Myanmar

Basic administration in Myanmar is provided by the General Administration Department (GAD) of the Ministry of Home Affairs. GAD administrators manage subnational administrative structures stretching from states and regions down to districts, townships and all of the country’s approximately 16,700 wards and village tracts. Although the GAD is exceptionally important to governance in Myanmar, particularly at subnational levels, it is also poorly understood, and indeed, rather enigmatic. As the Myanmar government works to implement public sector reform, a better understanding of the GAD is imperative. This paper accordingly details the origins of the GAD and then details its mandates, structures and working processes.

The Myanmar Development Resource Institute’s Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD) and The Asia Foundation are pleased to present this sixth volume in the Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series.

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