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A review of local development funds

A recent review of local development funds looked at the way such funds operate in Myanmar, how they support local development, and the impact they have on fiscal decentralisation.  The review was undertaken by MDRI-CESD, together with The Asia Foundation and ActionAid Myanmar.

LDFsLocal development funds (LDFs) are financial transfers to local government bodies and communities, typically to fund small-scale infrastructure projects, such as small bridges, roads connecting villages, and drainage and irrigation projects. In Myanmar, such funds are part of a series of development reforms introduced in 2011 to promote a more “people-centred” and “bottom-up” approach to government planning and budgeting.

Local development funds are relatively new in Myanmar, and are evolving at a rapid pace. The rate of change in the use of these funds has generally happened without the concurrent development of formal procedures, guidelines and laws to guide and govern the operation of these funds. Procedures and criteria for project selection, tendering, implementation and monitoring also lack clarity and consistency. Separate management structures for different funds has also resulted in the duplication of needs identification activities, and an undue administrative burden on local governance bodies.

The review conducted by MDRI-CESD, The Asia Foundation and ActionAid Myanmar examines the major local development funds, their individual objectives, amount of funding, relevant policy or legislative framework, and fund management structures. The review also analyses the impact and effectiveness of these funds, and offers recommendations on improving the effectiveness of these funds.

The report was launched on 21 October 2015, and is the ninth in the sub-national governance series of papers.

Publication name: Local Development Funds in Myanmar: An Initial Review

Author(s): Bart Robertson, Cindy Joelene and Lauren Dunn

Supported by: The Asia Foundation and ActionAid Myanmar

Publication date: October 2015

Language(s): English

Download a copy of the report from the following link:

Authors Bart Robertson and Cindy Joelene present their findings and recommendations for local development funds (21 October 2015, Yangon)

Representatives of civil society, development agencies and the media at the launch of the report, “Local development funds in Myanmar: an initial review”

At the launch of the report, “Local development funds in Myanmar: an initial review”, 21 October 2015