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Ongoing discussions on reform of state and region governments

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The initial research paper on state and region governments, prepared by CESD and The Asia Foundation (TAF) and released in September 2013, continues to support discussions on the operations of state and region governments, and the challenges and opportunities they face. The state and region governments were established under the 2008 Constitution and experienced significant changes to their composition following the 2015 elections.

A recent article in Frontier Myanmar, examined the reasons why State and Region legislatures have been “largely ineffective over the past five years”, referencing research from the 2013 CESD and TAF report.

The CESD and TAF “State and Region Governments in Myanmar” report describes the government structures created under Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution, their operations, and  the limitations on their ability to “be a conduit for local priorities, a check on central and local executive power, and a channel for grievances.”

Recommendations in the report to improve the operations of the State and Region governments included broadening the responsibilities of state and region governments and strengthening their autonomy, as well improvements to public expenditure management, budgeting and resource allocation.

The research paper led to the development of a subsequent series of research papers on subnational governance in Myanmar, which explored specific issues including the natural resources sector, education, women’s participation in State and Region governments, public finances and the business sector.

CESD and TAF led initial research into decentralisation in Myanmar, and the research and publicly available reports from their collaboration will continue to support further discussions and change in Myanmar’s governance structures.

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