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Discussion paper series: Subnational governments in Myanmar

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A discussion paper series examining the decentralisation process in Myanmar – including the political, administrative, and fiscal aspects of decentralization – provides timely research on subnational governance issues to inform ongoing policy and reform processes.

The discussion paper series is a collaboration between MDRI-CESD and The Asia Foundation.

The initial research paper, State and region governments, (September 2013) examined the state and region government structures created under the 2008 Constitution, and their role within the broader governance, peace and decentralization processes within Myanmar.

Subsequent papers in the series are as follows:

  1. A preliminary assessment of decentralization in education: experiences in Mon State and Yangon Region: provides an overview of the relevant history, policy structures, and reforms affecting the education sector.
  2. Subnational governments and business in Myanmar: examines the role of local government institutions in economic governance, and the impact of small- and medium-sized businesses.
  3. Women’s participation in the subnational governance of Myanmar: outlines women’s participation in subnational governance in Myanmar, with a discussion on why women’s participation is important, and the barriers and enabling factors to their participation.
  4. Natural resources and subnational governments in Myanmar: provides an overview of the current role of subnational government in natural resource management and revenue collection, and the potential sharing of resource revenues between the national government and subnational governments.
  5. Fiscal decentralization in Myanmar: toward a roadmap for reform: introduces a roadmap for Myanmar’s fiscal decentralization to strengthen public services, encourage development, and secure peace and stability.
  6. Administering the state in Myanmar: an overview of the General Administration Department (GAD): examines Myanmar’s General Administration Department (GAD) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which acts as the civil service department for the state and region governments and provides the administration for the country’s districts and townships.
  7. Municipal governance in Myanmar – An overview of Development Affairs Organizations (DAOs): looks at how DAOs are structured and how they operate, outlining their history, functions, key business processes (at the state, region and township levels), and how they have been redefined in recent years.
  8. State and region public finances in Myanmar: looks at expenditure allocation, revenue mobilization and the distribution of fiscal power and responsibilities across state, region and Union-level governments.
  9. Local development funds in Myanmar: an initial review looks at the way these types of funds operate in Myanmar, how they support local development, and the impact they have on fiscal decentralisation.
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