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Supporting administrative reform in Myanmar

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The Government of Myanmar’s administrative reform agenda is aimed at improving government service delivery by streamlining procedures, cutting red tape, increasing transparency, ensuring clean government and investing in an efficient civil service. To support the reform agenda, representatives of Union, state and region level ministries, civil society organizations, international experts, and others met in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss the necessary steps for reform. MDRI-CESD’s Executive Director, Dr Zaw Oo, assisted in the delivery of the two-day consultative workshop, held 23 – 24 May 2015.

The discussions on administrative reform focused on four themes:

  1. capacity development in the civil service,
  2. public service delivery,
  3. decentralisation, and
  4. transparency and accountability.

Discussions and ideas from the workshop will provide input to a Framework for Administrative Reform, being developed under the leadership of the Administrative Reform and Coordination Committee (ARCC). The Framework for Administrative Reform will provide a strategic direction for the government’s reform program, and identify short, medium and long term actions to deliver the changes.

Decentralization of the functions of government and empowerment of state and region governments are major focus areas of the administrative reform program. Administrative reforms are aimed at improved service delivery by district and township administrations, promotion of a ‘clean government’, improved efficiency and effectiveness of government services, and higher levels of citizen involvement in decision-making.

Dr Zaw Oo facilitated and presented at a number of workshop sessions, focusing on the theme of decentralisation, including the criteria and characterisation of decentralisation, fiscal decentralisation and the delegation of responsibilities to lower levels of government.

The workshop was attended by approximately 350 participants from across Myanmar, including representatives of Union, state and region level ministries and institutions, members of parliament, members of the Supreme Court, civil society organizations, academia, media and development partners and international experts.

The workshop was organized by the Government of Myanmar, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Finland, Sweden and UK Aid.

Further details on the workshop are available from the UNDP website, “President opens brainstorming workshop on administrative reforms facilitated by UNDP“, dated 23 May 2015.

Groups discussed the four main themes which underpin the administrative reforms – civil service capacity development, public service delivery, decentralization, and transparency and accountability.Photo: Shobhna Decloitre/ UNDP

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