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Conceptualizing public sector reform in Myanmar

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The Asia Foundation, together with CESD, launched their report “Conceptualizing public sector reform in Myanmar” on 7 July 2015. The Asia Foundation Country Representative, Kim N. B. Ninh, said the report is important for bringing together different voices and approaches for the ongoing conversation about public sector reform in Myanmar.


The report explains how reform of the public sector is essential to the transition from a form of authoritarianism to democracy, and it sets out some of the issues involved in the reform process.

Research for the report included interviews with stakeholders from government and non-government sectors, including representatives from academia and the media, to understand their views on public sector reform.

The report concludes with possible options for public sector reform in Myanmar. It notes that for Myanmar to transition to democracy, the transition must address two key issues that have dominated Myanmar’s politics for more than 60 years, namely:

  1. the relationship between the military and civilians, and
  2. the relationship between Bamar and non-Bamar citizens.

The report’s concluding framework for public sector reform covers seven key results areas, as follows:

  1. Strengthening the center of government
  2. Progressing public financial management reform
  3. Promoting a professional civil service
  4. Establishing effective state and region governments
  5. Improving service delivery
  6. Clean government and anti-corruption
  7. Reforming state economic enterprises

The launch event in Yangon was attended by representatives of international and local non government organisations, donor organisations, civil society organisations and members of the media. Five additional briefings were held in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon from 7 – 10 July for targeted audiences including members of parliament, parliamentary committee members, the Union Civil Service Board (UCSB), permanent secretaries, and committee members from the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The report, summaries of the report, and an overview presentation are available for downloading via the following links:

Launch of the report on 7 July 2015: David Hook, TAF, Kim N. B. Ninh, TAF and Tin Maung Than, MDRI-CESD

Launch of the report on 7 July 2015: David Hook, The Asia Foundation, Kim N. B. Ninh, The Asia Foundation, and Tin Maung Than, MDRI-CESD

CESD staff at the launch of the report, "Conceptualizing public sector reform"

CESD staff at the launch of the report, “Conceptualizing public sector reform”