Burma

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

Addressing urgent transition needs and fostering greater participation in peace and reform processes, through support to government, civil society, and other key stakeholders.


 

Why USAID/OTI is in Burma

The United States recognizes Burma’s recent reform efforts as the most significant opportunity in decades to engage with the people of Burma and their government in the pursuit of democracy, peace and human rights. As the country emerges from isolation, it faces complex, simultaneous and multi-dimensional transitions: from authoritarian rule to democracy; from armed conflict to peace; and from a centrally managed, planned economy to market-led economic policies. In late 2015, eight ethnic armed groups and the government signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, followed by peaceful parliamentary elections in which the opposition National League of Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory. On April 1, 2016, the NLD formed the first democratically elected government of Burma in decades.

USAID/OTI’S Role in Burma

USAID/OTI seeks to deepen and sustain the reform process and foster legitimate, inclusive peacebuilding processes by focusing on these objectives:

  • Enhancing the ability of key stakeholders to engage in the peace process;
  • Facilitating public engagement in the reform process;
  • Reducing the influence of drivers of inter-communal conflict; and
  • Enabling survivors of explosive war remnants and persons with disabilities in conflict-affected areas to participate in social and economic life.

Program Highlights

  • Contributed to the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement after decades of armed conflict by bringing together political parties, civil society organizations and ethnic armed groups to discuss the process and build a culture of dialogue, laying the foundation for achieving a sustainable peace.
  • Partnered with local media to mitigate the risk of electoral violence by training journalists in responsible coverage of the 2015 election, increasing public access to factual information through print and TV media, and distributing 20,000 pamphlets promoting responsible campaigning.
  • Empowered more than 350 community members in civilian ceasefire monitoring efforts, who hold parties to the conflict accountable for their impact on civilians in conflict-affected areas.
  • Increased conflict-sensitive reporting by training more than 500 journalists in responsible journalism to reduce the spread of hate speech and misinformation, which are historic catalysts for intercommunal violence.
  • Contributed to a multi-donor Joint Peace Fund which supports the formal peace process and local peacebuilding activities.
Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: May 27, 2016

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