Burma

Burma OTI
An 8-year-old novice Buddhist monk, Shway, poses inside the monastery adjacent to the Chaukhtatgyi pagoda.
VOISHMEL / AFP
 

Working to deepen and sustain the reform process and foster legitimate, inclusive peacebuilding processes through support to the government, civil society and other key stakeholders.


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN BURMA

On April 1, 2016, the National League of Democracy (NLD) formed the first democratically elected Government of Burma in decades. Yet Burma continues to face complex, simultaneous and multi-dimensional challenges as it transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy, intercommunal and armed conflict to peace, and a centrally controlled, planned economy to market-led economic policies. USAID/OTI provides a fast and targeted tool to promote Burma’s peace process and address intercommunal conflict, both essential for long-term stability, further democratization and advancing U.S. strategic interests in the region.

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN BURMA

USAID/OTI entered Burma in 2012 during a window of opportunity created by initial reforms under the military-led government. USAID/OTI works to deepen and sustain reform and foster legitimate, inclusive peacebuilding by focusing on:

  • Enhancing the ability of key stakeholders to engage in the peace process;  
  • Supporting the government and civil society to advance reforms; and  
  • Reducing the influence of the drivers of intercommunal conflict.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • USAID/OTI brings together political parties, civil society and ethnic armed groups to engage in the peace process. These efforts, which contributed to the signing of a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015 by eight ethnic armed groups, helps maintain momentum toward a sustainable peace between all groups after decades of armed conflict.
     
  • According to a July 2016 independent evaluation, USAID/OTI’s projects demonstrate tangible success and “were able to stop brewing tensions simply by having gained the knowledge of, trust of, and access to community leaders of multiple faiths.” Conducted by a Burma expert, the evaluation pointed to the program’s role in creating inclusive networks and conflict-mitigation committees that monitor and intervene to stop new outbreaks of violence. 
     
  • USAID/OTI strengthens civil society engagement with the Government of Burma in drafting legislation, creating opportunities for dialogue and providing civil society with access to technical and subject matter expertise. Critical laws such as the Disability Rights Law, Anti-Violence Against Women Law and Association Registration Law better reflect democratic principles and more effectively protect the rights of Burma’s citizens because of civil society’s involvement in the legislative drafting process.
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Last updated: June 12, 2017

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