UNDP in Myanmar

women windowEmpowering women is a common thread along UNDP’s three areas of work. Photo: Shobhna Decloitre/UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the global development arm of the United Nations and has been working in Myanmar since the 1950s to improve the lives of people. UNDP supports the democratic transition in Myanmar through three main areas of work: democratic governance; local governance; and environmental governance, agreed upon with the Government through the Country Programme Action Plan (2013 -2017). Empowering women is a common thread along these three areas of work.


Through its Democratic Governance work, UNDP supports the Government in strengthening public administration, development effectiveness, rule of law and access to justice as well as parliament's performance.  Some of the recent key achievements include the induction programme for parliamentarians in Myanmar’s new Parliament, the set up of the rule of law centres in 4 major cities – Mandalay, Myitkyina, Taunggyi and Yangon, and the development of a Framework for Administrative reform to bring about greater efficiency in the public service.


As part of its local governance work, UNDP provides support to develop the capacitities of local government institutions, strengthen civic engagement for social accountability, peacebuilding and human rights, foster access to inclusive finance, and promote social cohesion, peacebuilding capacity development, community resilience and recovery at township and community levels.  In 2014-15, UNDP in close partnership with the General Administration Department conducted a nationwide local governance exercise. In response to the findings of local governance exercise, UNDP supported government to set up 316 "One Stop Shop" public service office across the country. UNDP also helped rural women form May Doe Kabar, the Myanmar Rural Women’s Network that has 22,000 members.



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UNDP works closely with the Government to improve environmental governance, address climate change and help in disaster risk reduction.  In the Dry Zone of Myanmar, through the country’s first Adaptation Fund project, UNDP helps farmers get better prepared to address the effect of climate change on farming and water resource management. Together with UNESCO, and the government, UNDP has helped get the Inle Lake enlisted as a man and biosphere reserve. Working with communities living on and around the lake, UNDP has demonstrated that sustainable lake management practices can allow communities to earn a living while protecting the lake.


UNDP supports the Government at Union, State and Township level and communities recover from crises and natural disaster and provides technical assistance to the Government on recovery needs assessment, information management, recovery planning and overall coordination. UNDP brings its development expertise to support the transition from relief to development.


The Governments of Australia, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Japan and Norway – and development agencies and facilities such as Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN REDD) Joint Programme and the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) provide financial support to UNDP’s programmes, while  UNDP’s core resources are used as seed funding to kick start programmes, demonstrate initial results and help attract additional funding from donor partners.