Assessing Reform in Myanmar: A Discussion of Peace and Policymaking

Event: Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Washington, DC


Photo/Geoffrey Hiller

9:00 am – 12:30 pm

As Myanmar struggles to emerge from decades of authoritarianism, ethnic armed conflicts, and entrenched poverty, its government faces continued challenges in achieving political and economic reform. With the NLD’s strong electoral mandate to push for democratic reforms, citizens continue to hold high expectations for change across many sectors of the country and in the structure of government itself. Given the wide-ranging nature of this transition and the lack of experience and capacity in government to design and implement reforms, results to date have been mixed, risking a widening gap between public expectations and what government can realistically deliver. Within this context, The Asia Foundation continues its efforts to understand the needs and trends in the country through an ongoing series of analytical research studies, taking advantage of its on-the-ground knowledge and to further inform its own programs and others active in development efforts in Myanmar.

The Foundation’s half-day conference on October 17 will introduce two significant new reports. The first examines executive policy-making, including the policy-making process historically in Myanmar, and how the NLD government is reshaping policy-making structures and processes to support its reform vision. The second report focuses on the national peace process and builds upon the Foundation’s seminal regional study, The Contested Corners of Asia, to examine the role international development assistance can play in supporting or hindering a transition to peace in Myanmar’s subnational conflict areas. The Asia Foundation will convene two panel discussions, on peace and policy-making, to present its new findings in these areas central to the future of governance in Myanmar.

Su Mon Thazin Aung, Deputy Director, Institute for Strategy and Policy – Myanmar
Matthew Arnold, Deputy Country Representative, The Asia Foundation, Myanmar
Patrick Barron, Regional Director, Conflict and Development, The Asia Foundation
Kim N. B. Ninh, Country Representative, The Asia Foundation, Myanmar
Nicola Williams, Senior Program Officer, Peace Process Support, The Asia Foundation, Myanmar
Min Zin, Executive Director, Institute for Strategy and Policy – Myanmar

9:00 am – 10:30 am
An Examination of Policy-making in Myanmar
Matthew Arnold and Su Mon Thazin Aung, the co-authors of a forthcoming assessment of executive policy-making, will present preliminary findings from their research over the past year, focused on the key actors, structures and processes that define current policy-making practice in Myanmar, and will discuss how this affects Myanmar’s wider transition. This research study was made possible by support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

10:45 am – 12:30 pm
Contested Areas of Myanmar: Subnational Conflict, Aid, and Development
Patrick Barron and Nicola Williams will present The Asia Foundation’s new report, Contested Areas of Myanmar: Subnational Conflict, Aid, and Development, which examines the intersection of conflict, development and international assistance, and will discuss its implications in the context of the Myanmar government’s ongoing peace process. The Contested Areas of Myanmar report was made possible by support from The World Bank, with additional support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the UK Department for International Development.

Reservations are required as seating is limited – to RSVP please email [email protected] or call 202-588-9420

This presentation is generously supported by Chevron Corporation

Related locations: Washington DC
Related programs: Conflict and Fragile Conditions, Good Governance

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