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    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Kim Joliffe

    The Asia Foundation carried out research in 2015 to examine and compare de jure and de facto administration systems in Myanmar’s conflict affected areas, and how they relate to long-held disputes over constitutional arrangements for subnational governance. This report seeks to provide a better understanding of the complex political geography in contested areas, and highlights how challenging it will be to achieve a political solution to conflict. This is of particular importance to international actors, given the heightened interest in supporting the peace process and increasing levels of humanitarian and development assistance to conflict-affected areas.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Ashley South and Marie Lall

    Education and language policies and practices are at the heart of ethnic conflicts in Myanmar. For decades, the state has emphasized a centralized, Myanmar language only education system that many ethnic groups felt provided no place for their own languages to be practiced which by extension, threatened their cultures and ethnic identities. The country’s democratic transition of the past few years, however, has enabled issues of mother tongue-based education (MTB) to be discussed more openly, and growing acceptance of decentralization within the government at all levels and among the wider public is providing an opening for consideration of how MTB education can be productively integrated into the education system. In this context, The Foundation is pleased to present this research report on the state of MTB education in contested areas in Myanmar, specifically in the Kachin, Mon and Karen context, by Ashley South and Marie Lall who have long been engaged in researching this important topic.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    Preface

    In many of Myanmar’s contested regions, healthcare services are provided through two parallel governance systems – by the government’s Ministry of Health, and by providers linked to ethnic armed organizations. Building upon efforts to build trust between these two actors following ceasefires signed in 2011 and 2012, the new National League for Democracy-led government offers an unprecedented opportunity to increase cooperation between these systems and to ensure health services reach Myanmar’s most vulnerable populations.

    In view of this, The Asia Foundation is pleased to present this research report on health equity and healthcare provision in Myanmar’s contested regions. The report provides an overview of existing health service arrangements in these areas, from both the Ministry of Health and from ethnic and community-based health organizations. It then unpacks the concept of “convergence”, highlighting key opportunities and policy recommendations for both government and non-government actors.

    The key message here is that given the reality of parallel service systems, and the likelihood that they will remain in place for quite some time, the focus of all involved should be to carefully and patiently support greater coordination and cooperation between them to build both trust and viability for the challenging convergence process over time. In particular, attention must be paid to ensure that the political demands of the peace process and any related timelines do not undermine the goal of healthcare equity. We hope that this report will contribute to the ongoing discussion of the complex set of issues that must be considered to achieve durable peace.

    This research paper is authored by Dr. Bill Davis and Mr. Kim Jolliffe, independent researchers based in Myanmar. Bill Davis specializes in public health, while Kim Jolliffe works on security, aid policy, and ethnic conflict. The report was generously funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

    The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of DFAT, DFID, or The Asia Foundation.

    Dr. Kim N. B. Ninh

    Country Representative

    The Asia Foundation


    0 0
  • 08/07/16--21:56: Myanmar: Militias in Myanmar
  • Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    Preface

    Understanding the history and role of militias in Myanmar’s armed conflicts is a critical element in the country’s ongoing peace process, but the study of these groups has generally been neglected, relative to the analysis of the military (Tatmadaw) and ethnic armed groups. Militias take many different forms in Myanmar, varying in size, allegiances and modes of operation. Though estimates of their numbers vary, all indications are that militia groups are present throughout conflict-affected parts the country, and can be highly influential armed actors in their areas of operation.

    In light of this situation, The Asia Foundation is pleased to present this research report on Myanmar’s militias. It provides the historical background and evolution of militias over time, offers a typology of the different types of militias operating in the country, and reflects on their contemporary role. Given the militias’ longstanding existence and their varied allegiances, how they will be taken into account in the peace process needs to be considered by both national and international actors working to support a durable peace in Myanmar. In concluding, the author also draws on examples of peacebuilding in other countries, to better illustrate some of the challenges that may arise in addressing the role of militias as the peace process moves forward. We hope that this report will provide a useful contribution to illuminate a lesser known but important piece of the complex conflict situation in Myanmar.

    This research paper is authored by Mr. John Buchanan, an independent researcher and doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, who specializes in civil conflict, state formation, and the politics of Southeast Asia. The report was generously funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of DFID or The Asia Foundation.

    Dr. Kim N. B. Ninh

    Country Representative

    The Asia Foundation


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Kim Jolliffe and Emily Speers Mears

    Preface With many of the decades-long conflicts affecting areas of Myanmar still ongoing, parallel governance systems have been developed by ethnic armed groups and their affiliated organizations to provide vital services to impacted communities. The delivery of basic education by ethnic groups is one such critical social service reaching an underserved and vulnerable population of children and youths.
    While still small compared to other countries in the region, government spending on education has significantly risen in recent years and with new ceasefires in place, the Ministry of Education has been able to expand its provisions to previously inaccessible areas. However, the growth and expansion of government services into the conflict-affected areas also generates political and administrative concerns from ethnic groups. The reality is that parallel systems will remain for the foreseeable future, and there is a need to recognize the diversity in the delivery of education and complementarity with the parallel systems of government and ethnic groups. This paper is a part of the research project “Social Services in Contested Areas” which undertakes the study of governance structures of non-state disputed territories and its interaction with parallel state structures and services.

    The Asia Foundation is pleased to present this research on basic education in eastern Myanmar. This study details the role and operations of non-state education providers in ethnic areas, specifically Mon,
    Shan and Karen States, and the interface with state education. This paper terms education providers connected to ethnic armed groups, and other community-based providers, as ethnic basic education providers (EBEPs), which have been providing vital pre-tertiary education services to conflict-affected communities. Given the political grievances arising out of the Burmanization of government education in the past, as well as the inaccessibility of state services in some of these areas, EBEPs have filled a significant gap and have been educating youths that live daily with conflicts and are at risk of hindered educational development. Valuing a diverse education sector and recognizing existing providers as important partners, will not only contribute to universal education goals and ensure access for all, but is a durable component of a successful peace process. We hope that this report will contribute to ongoing discussions of critical governance and reform issues that are cornerstone to Myanmar’s transition and peace process.

    This research paper is authored by independent researchers, Mr. Kim Jolliffe and Ms. Emily Speers Mears. Kim Jolliffe specializes in areas of security, ethnic conflict and aid policy, while Emily Speers Mears works in conflict and education. The report was generously funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of DFID, DFAT or The Asia Foundation.

    Dr. Kim N.B. Ninh
    Country Representative The Asia Foundation Myanmar


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Shwe Shwe Sein Latt, Kim N. B. Ninh, Mi Ki Kyaw Myint and Susan Lee

    Sixty years of military rule in Myanmar has seen the critical role of women’s political participation marginalized. From an extremely low base, the 2010 general elections increased the opportunity for women’s participation in governance. The 2015 general elections presented another opportunity for a more inclusive representational government, and Myanmar saw a significant increase in the number of women parliamentarians. However, there remain substantial challenges to addressing the gender gap in political participation in Myanmar. Given the nascent but evolving context for women’s political participation in Myanmar, The Asia Foundation thought that it would be useful to document the experiences of the first generation of women parliamentarians to understand better their motivations and the challenges they face. We hope that the insights that they have about their own situations and what can be improved will be useful for the next generation of women’s parliamentarians as well as informing relevant support provided by government, political parties, and civil society organizations to increase gender equality in Myanmar.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Renaud Egreteau

    This report reviews the organizational structure and functioning and legislative performance of the Union Parliament since 2011, and compares the two legislatures elected in 2010 (Union Solidarity and Development Party) and 2015 (National League for Democracy). Currently, the legislature’s ability to direct policymaking is weak, and its understanding of vetting mechanisms also needs to be strengthened. For Myanmar to move away from the remnants of executive dominance and top-down directives in order to deepen the democratization process, the Union Parliament must play a central role and its institutions must be strengthened to do so. Despite the numerous challenges facing the Union Parliament and the inexperience of many of its members, the Union Parliament has surprised many domestic and international observers with its active legislative agenda and open discussion of issues once untouchable. It is a critical moment to provide support to Parliament to further reform its institutions and practices and build its capacity to become a genuinely professional and independent legislative body. We hope this research will contribute to the ongoing public discourse in Myanmar on parliamentary development and democratic transition.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Kim Joliffe

    The Asia Foundation carried out research in 2015 to examine and compare de jure and de facto administration systems in Myanmar’s conflict affected areas, and how they relate to long-held disputes over constitutional arrangements for subnational governance. This report seeks to provide a better understanding of the complex political geography in contested areas, and highlights how challenging it will be to achieve a political solution to conflict. This is of particular importance to international actors, given the heightened interest in supporting the peace process and increasing levels of humanitarian and development assistance to conflict-affected areas.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Ashley South and Marie Lall

    Education and language policies and practices are at the heart of ethnic conflicts in Myanmar. For decades, the state has emphasized a centralized, Myanmar language only education system that many ethnic groups felt provided no place for their own languages to be practiced which by extension, threatened their cultures and ethnic identities. The country’s democratic transition of the past few years, however, has enabled issues of mother tongue-based education (MTB) to be discussed more openly, and growing acceptance of decentralization within the government at all levels and among the wider public is providing an opening for consideration of how MTB education can be productively integrated into the education system. In this context, The Foundation is pleased to present this research report on the state of MTB education in contested areas in Myanmar, specifically in the Kachin, Mon and Karen context, by Ashley South and Marie Lall who have long been engaged in researching this important topic.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    Preface

    In many of Myanmar’s contested regions, healthcare services are provided through two parallel governance systems – by the government’s Ministry of Health, and by providers linked to ethnic armed organizations. Building upon efforts to build trust between these two actors following ceasefires signed in 2011 and 2012, the new National League for Democracy-led government offers an unprecedented opportunity to increase cooperation between these systems and to ensure health services reach Myanmar’s most vulnerable populations.

    In view of this, The Asia Foundation is pleased to present this research report on health equity and healthcare provision in Myanmar’s contested regions. The report provides an overview of existing health service arrangements in these areas, from both the Ministry of Health and from ethnic and community-based health organizations. It then unpacks the concept of “convergence”, highlighting key opportunities and policy recommendations for both government and non-government actors.

    The key message here is that given the reality of parallel service systems, and the likelihood that they will remain in place for quite some time, the focus of all involved should be to carefully and patiently support greater coordination and cooperation between them to build both trust and viability for the challenging convergence process over time. In particular, attention must be paid to ensure that the political demands of the peace process and any related timelines do not undermine the goal of healthcare equity. We hope that this report will contribute to the ongoing discussion of the complex set of issues that must be considered to achieve durable peace.

    This research paper is authored by Dr. Bill Davis and Mr. Kim Jolliffe, independent researchers based in Myanmar. Bill Davis specializes in public health, while Kim Jolliffe works on security, aid policy, and ethnic conflict. The report was generously funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

    The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of DFAT, DFID, or The Asia Foundation.

    Dr. Kim N. B. Ninh

    Country Representative

    The Asia Foundation


    0 0
  • 08/07/16--21:56: Myanmar: Militias in Myanmar
  • Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    Preface

    Understanding the history and role of militias in Myanmar’s armed conflicts is a critical element in the country’s ongoing peace process, but the study of these groups has generally been neglected, relative to the analysis of the military (Tatmadaw) and ethnic armed groups. Militias take many different forms in Myanmar, varying in size, allegiances and modes of operation. Though estimates of their numbers vary, all indications are that militia groups are present throughout conflict-affected parts the country, and can be highly influential armed actors in their areas of operation.

    In light of this situation, The Asia Foundation is pleased to present this research report on Myanmar’s militias. It provides the historical background and evolution of militias over time, offers a typology of the different types of militias operating in the country, and reflects on their contemporary role. Given the militias’ longstanding existence and their varied allegiances, how they will be taken into account in the peace process needs to be considered by both national and international actors working to support a durable peace in Myanmar. In concluding, the author also draws on examples of peacebuilding in other countries, to better illustrate some of the challenges that may arise in addressing the role of militias as the peace process moves forward. We hope that this report will provide a useful contribution to illuminate a lesser known but important piece of the complex conflict situation in Myanmar.

    This research paper is authored by Mr. John Buchanan, an independent researcher and doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, who specializes in civil conflict, state formation, and the politics of Southeast Asia. The report was generously funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of DFID or The Asia Foundation.

    Dr. Kim N. B. Ninh

    Country Representative

    The Asia Foundation


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Kim Jolliffe and Emily Speers Mears

    Preface With many of the decades-long conflicts affecting areas of Myanmar still ongoing, parallel governance systems have been developed by ethnic armed groups and their affiliated organizations to provide vital services to impacted communities. The delivery of basic education by ethnic groups is one such critical social service reaching an underserved and vulnerable population of children and youths.
    While still small compared to other countries in the region, government spending on education has significantly risen in recent years and with new ceasefires in place, the Ministry of Education has been able to expand its provisions to previously inaccessible areas. However, the growth and expansion of government services into the conflict-affected areas also generates political and administrative concerns from ethnic groups. The reality is that parallel systems will remain for the foreseeable future, and there is a need to recognize the diversity in the delivery of education and complementarity with the parallel systems of government and ethnic groups. This paper is a part of the research project “Social Services in Contested Areas” which undertakes the study of governance structures of non-state disputed territories and its interaction with parallel state structures and services.

    The Asia Foundation is pleased to present this research on basic education in eastern Myanmar. This study details the role and operations of non-state education providers in ethnic areas, specifically Mon,
    Shan and Karen States, and the interface with state education. This paper terms education providers connected to ethnic armed groups, and other community-based providers, as ethnic basic education providers (EBEPs), which have been providing vital pre-tertiary education services to conflict-affected communities. Given the political grievances arising out of the Burmanization of government education in the past, as well as the inaccessibility of state services in some of these areas, EBEPs have filled a significant gap and have been educating youths that live daily with conflicts and are at risk of hindered educational development. Valuing a diverse education sector and recognizing existing providers as important partners, will not only contribute to universal education goals and ensure access for all, but is a durable component of a successful peace process. We hope that this report will contribute to ongoing discussions of critical governance and reform issues that are cornerstone to Myanmar’s transition and peace process.

    This research paper is authored by independent researchers, Mr. Kim Jolliffe and Ms. Emily Speers Mears. Kim Jolliffe specializes in areas of security, ethnic conflict and aid policy, while Emily Speers Mears works in conflict and education. The report was generously funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The opinions expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of DFID, DFAT or The Asia Foundation.

    Dr. Kim N.B. Ninh
    Country Representative The Asia Foundation Myanmar


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Shwe Shwe Sein Latt, Kim N. B. Ninh, Mi Ki Kyaw Myint and Susan Lee

    Sixty years of military rule in Myanmar has seen the critical role of women’s political participation marginalized. From an extremely low base, the 2010 general elections increased the opportunity for women’s participation in governance. The 2015 general elections presented another opportunity for a more inclusive representational government, and Myanmar saw a significant increase in the number of women parliamentarians. However, there remain substantial challenges to addressing the gender gap in political participation in Myanmar. Given the nascent but evolving context for women’s political participation in Myanmar, The Asia Foundation thought that it would be useful to document the experiences of the first generation of women parliamentarians to understand better their motivations and the challenges they face. We hope that the insights that they have about their own situations and what can be improved will be useful for the next generation of women’s parliamentarians as well as informing relevant support provided by government, political parties, and civil society organizations to increase gender equality in Myanmar.


    0 0

    Source: The Asia Foundation
    Country: Myanmar

    By Renaud Egreteau

    This report reviews the organizational structure and functioning and legislative performance of the Union Parliament since 2011, and compares the two legislatures elected in 2010 (Union Solidarity and Development Party) and 2015 (National League for Democracy). Currently, the legislature’s ability to direct policymaking is weak, and its understanding of vetting mechanisms also needs to be strengthened. For Myanmar to move away from the remnants of executive dominance and top-down directives in order to deepen the democratization process, the Union Parliament must play a central role and its institutions must be strengthened to do so. Despite the numerous challenges facing the Union Parliament and the inexperience of many of its members, the Union Parliament has surprised many domestic and international observers with its active legislative agenda and open discussion of issues once untouchable. It is a critical moment to provide support to Parliament to further reform its institutions and practices and build its capacity to become a genuinely professional and independent legislative body. We hope this research will contribute to the ongoing public discourse in Myanmar on parliamentary development and democratic transition.