The Foundation’s office in Myanmar from 1958-1962 provided wide-ranging support for the country’s political, economic, social, and educational institutions. We re-established a resident country office in Yangon in 2013, working with partners in government, the private sector, and civil society to address Myanmar’s critical needs as it continues to undergo the challenging transition from military authoritarianism to democracy and from war to peace. Our work includes building the country’s capacity for regional and global integration; strengthening institutions and processes of democratic governance; contributing to informed dialogues on key issues related to the peace process; supporting initiatives for inclusive economic development; promoting women’s empowerment and political participation; and increasing public access to information.
Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series
The Asia Foundation’s research on governance provides Myanmar’s policymakers, civil society organizations, the business community, and international development partners with data and analysis on subnational governance issues that directly inform policy and reform processes. Subnational governance issues under consideration range from decentralization and the evolving structures of local government to gender dynamics, economic governance, public sector reform, and public financial management.
Peace and Conflict in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series
The Asia Foundation’s research on conflict dynamics in Myanmar strengthens awareness of issues critical to the country’s challenging peace process. The research focuses on governance dynamics in contested areas, including social service provision and local public administration by ethnic armed groups, local justice systems, and the role and presence of militias. Research findings provide evidence and analysis to key stakeholders in Myanmar’s peace process — from government to ethnic armed group negotiating teams as well as civil society and the general public.
NEWS FROM MYANMAR
A Front Row Seat to Five Years of Rapid Change in Myanmar
March 14, 2018
Attitudes Towards Taxation in Myanmar: Insights from Urban Citizens
March 9, 2018
Improving Efficiency and Transparency
Myanmar’s state and regional governments are key institutions in the country’s nascent democratic transition. As the government units closest to the people, they are responsible for public financing of social services. The Foundation’s program focuses on strengthening government performance and accountability through briefings and trainings to state and regional officials on governance, budgets, and public financial management. We piloted a new mobile app that for the first time allows municipal staff to review and input data in real time, greatly improving efficiency and transparency. Myankhon provides complete information about individual households and businesses, and their taxes due; reduces the time needed to update tax records, generate tax bills, and record payments; and simplifies the process for tax collection. The application also features analytics that allow staff to monitor the performance of tax collectors and forecast revenues. These efforts build on the Foundation’s unique position in Myanmar, and its relationships of trust in the country’s new environment of democracy and reform.
Addressing Ethnic Conflicts
An overwhelming number of ethnic conflicts persist in various forms and intensity in Myanmar, and numerous small militias control parts of the country in remote and frontier regions. To support a partial ceasefire signed in 2015, we produced a series of reports assessing governance dynamics and social services in conflict afflicted areas. We also published the first major report on militias in Myanmar, which has been used in the extended peace process on both government and insurgent sides.
HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS ASIA
Inaugural Lotus Leadership Awards Dinner in San Francisco Honors Japan’s Akie Abe and Myanmar’s Colorful Girls
February 22, 2018
Asia Foundation and Lotus Circle Honor Japan’s Akie Abe and Myanmar’s Colorful Girls
February 14, 2018