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Our history

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Since its establishment in late 2012, CESD has played a vital role in initiating economic and social reform in Myanmar.

Some of the highlights of CESD’s work include the following:

January 2016:
As coordinator of the Leading Authority for the Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MEITI), CESD is supporting the publication of the first annual EITI report by Myanmar Government, to be submitted by January 2016.

September – October 2015:
Two additional research papers in the series on subnational governance were released by CESD and The Asia Foundation, bringing the total number of released papers in the series to nine. The papers explore diverse topics related to the structure and hierarchy of government in Myanmar – at the Union level, and State and Region levels – and the move towards greater decentralisation of public decision making, finances and administration. Read more >

August 2015 – ongoing:
Following extensive flooding across Myanmar in August 2015, CESD has provided assistance to the Government of Myanmar’s disaster management efforts. Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director, is a special coordinator for the National Natural Disaster Management Committee (NNDMC). Read more >

July 2015:
Dr Tin Maung Than, CESD Director of Training and Senior Research Fellow, and one of the authors of a recent report on federalism, was a panelist at a discussion on federalism in Sagaing. Participating in the discussion on “Federalism in the Myanmar context and out of a comparative perspective”, U Tin Maung Tan spoke of the ongoing public sector reform in Myanmar, and links to a federal reform process. Read more >

December 2014 – August 2015:
CESD, Myanmar Marketing and Research Development (MMRD) and International Labour Organization (ILO) conducted a survey on existing salaries and wages, and workers’ daily expenses for input to the establishment of a minimum wage. In collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLES), CESD, MMRD and ILO also conducted a literature review, and presented their findings, rationale, calculations, and possible policy implications to the National Minimum Wage Setting Committee, which also received submissions from business and labour representative groups. A minimum wage was established by the Government of Myanmar in late August 2015. Read more >

March 2015:
CESD launched a three year research programme on ‘Reforming the Labour Market in Myanmar’, to be undertaken by CESD and the International Development Research Centre (Canada). The programme will support efforts to improve labour market conditions across the country, and will deliver statistical evidence and expert analysis to support improved labour laws, policies and programmes. Read more >

February 2015:
Conclusion of six week training course, led by Dr Zaw Oo, for 50 senior civil servants. The training was part of ongoing civil service reform, including the establishment of Permanent Secretary positions, and topics included policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation of policies and projects, international and media relations, internal auditing, human resources and capacity building. Read more >

February 2015:
Release of Myanmar Trade and Investment Strategy Consultation Paper, prepared by CESD and the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. The paper sets out policy recommendations for accelerating the development of the Myanmar economy by expanding international trade and foreign investment, and through greater integration into the regional and world economies. Read more >

January 2015:
Release of report developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and CESD, on migrant worker knowledge, attitudes and practices. The report examines survey responses from 625 potential migrant workers at three target sites within Myanmar. The pioneering study will be used to shape the design and evaluate the impact of policy measures, capacity building training sessions and support services to protect the rights of migrant workers throughout the migration process. Read more >

November 2014:
Launch of the UNICEF and CESD report, “Making public finance work for children in Myanmar”, and accompanying review of public finance trends from 2011-12 to 2014-15. The report, which was based on consultations and an analysis of government revenue and expenditure data, provides one of the first comprehensive analyses of the fiscal trajectory of Myanmar, with specific focus on resources currently devoted to health, education and social welfare. Read more >

November 2014:
Announcement of the review and reform of Myanmar’s statistical system, to be coordinated by CESD’s U Myint. Read more > (link to external, Myanmar Times website)

November 2014:
Conference on Natural Resource Governance in Myanmar, Nay Pyi Daw. Read more > (link to external, MEITI website)

November 2014:
Roundtable discussion on social protection in Myanmar, organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), International Labour Organisation (ILO), and CESD. The event discussed social protection globally and implementation issues in Myanmar. Read more >

October 2014:
EITI Board meeting and side events in Nay Pyi Daw, attended by stakeholders from all over the world. Read more > (link to external, MEITI website)

September – October 2014:
Outreach and awareness-raising events held by the MEITI Coordination Office and MEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group, in collaboration with the MATA civil society coalition and Myanmar Federation of Mining Association (MFMA). Participants included representatives from local government, the private sector, civil society organisations, and ethnic armed groups: 250+ participants in Hpa’an, Kayin State; 250+ in Mandalay; 120+ in Myitkyinar, Kachin State. Read more > (link to external, MEITI website)

September 2014:
Release of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015. CESD was a partner institution for the report, which drew on data from the World Economic Forum’s annual Executive Opinion Survey. The survey involved interviewing business leaders in Myanmar on factors that may impact upon their competitiveness, for example employee skills gaps, corruption, or market competition. Read more >

September 2014:
Presentation at the Myanmar Investment Conference 2014 and Trade & Technology Exhibition, Yangon. Read more > (link to external website)

August 2014:
Release of the Asian Development Bank’s “Myanmar: Unlocking the potential” country diagnostic study. CESD staff contributed to the study, co-authoring a chapter on fiscal management with the International Growth Centre (IGC). The chapter discusses strategic resource allocation, resource mobilization, fiscal decentralisation, macro-fiscal linkages, and transparency and accountability. Read more >

July 2014:
EITI workshop held for government representatives in Nay Pyi Taw. The workshop was jointly organized by the Myanmar EITI National Coordination Office (CESD), World Bank and Adam Smith International (ASI) to provide government agencies in the country with clearer knowledge of the EITI process. Read more > (link to external MEITI website)

July 2014:
Myanmar granted EITI Candidate Status.

June 2014:
Release of Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion paper #5: Fiscal decentralization. Read more >

June 2014:
CESD and The Asia Foundation release the first two of its publications in their series of Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Papers. The first examines women’s participation in governance structures; and the second looks at the governance of natural resources. Read more >

May 2014:
Release of the working paper, Agribusiness models for inclusive growth in Myanmar: diagnosis and ways forward. The paper is part of a series developed with Michigan State University (MSU), (with support from USAID). The paper examines potential agribusiness models for enhancing inclusive growth, particularly through partnerships with small and medium-scale farmers (SMFs). Read more >

May 2014:
Myanmar submits its EITI candidature application to the EITI Board for review.

February 2014:
CESD and Myanmar Marketing and Research Development worked with the International Labour Organization to conduct a survey as input to the establishment of a minimum wage. Researchers collected data on existing salaries and wages, and workers’ daily expenses.

February 2014:
First MEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group meeting held, attended by 40 people (including observers and team members from the MEITI National Coordination Office). Read more > (link to external MEITI website)

January 2014:
Release of the research paper “Myanmar’s experiences with MDGs and perspectives on post 2015 agenda”. Read more >

December 2013:
Release of the first paper in the Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series: A preliminary assessment of decentralisation in education – experiences in Mon State and Yangon Region. Read more >

November 2013:
Provided input to the drafting of the Small and Medium -sized Enterprise (SME) Development Law (bill). The President advised that the drafting committee had drafted the SME Development Bill based on international SME laws and in cooperation with experts from UMFCCI, CESD, and the International Development Association. Read more > (link to external President’s Office website)

November 2013:
Training held for media representatives on EITI, delivered by the Myanmar EITI National Coordination Office. Read more > (link to external MEITI website)

October 2013:
MEITI’s initial engagement with the private sector – attended by 70 representatives from private companies, and Dr. Maung Maung Thein, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Chair of the Government Working Committee. Read more > (link to external MEITI website)

September 2013:
Release of the publication “State and Region Governments in Myanmar” by CESD and The Asia Foundation. The publication provides a review of Myanmar’s decentralization reforms, and establishes a foundation for the Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series. Read more >

July – September 2013:
CESD undertakes intensive research on Myanmar’s experiences with the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post 2015 international development agenda. The research also collected suggestions from Myanmar civil society and policy makers for the global post-2015 development agenda and related goals, targets, indicators and modalities for the new targets and goals. Read more >

July 2013:
Release of “A Strategic Agricultural Sector and Food Security Diagnostic for Myanmar”, prepared for USAID by Michigan State University (MSU) and CESD. The diagnostic review included three weeks of field interviews in the Delta, Dry Zone and Shan State, broadly consulting with farmers, government officials, traders, agribusiness operators and non-governmental organisations. Read more >

July 2013:
Release of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) publication, OECD Development Pathways: Multi-dimensional review of Myanmar. Volume 1. Initial assessment. CESD provided guidance and information to the OECD report.  The publication is accessible from the OECD website > (link to external OECD website)

March 2013:
Membership of the Public Services Performance Appraisal Task Force, a task force reviewing the operations of all government ministries dealing with the public, cutting red tape, streamlining decision making, restructuring organizations where necessary, and improving the delivery of public services. Some news on the Task Force’s achievements are detailed in the following media articles:

May 2012:
CESD commenced work on the “Framework for Economic and Social Reforms” (FESR), (2013-2015), at the request of the Office of the President and in consultation with the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development. Read more >

December 2012:
Leading Authority for MEITI established, with CESD appointed as co-ordinator. Presidential Office Minister Soe Thein appointed as Chairman and Finance Minister Win Shein as Secretary. The committee members are Environment Protection and Forest Minister Win Tun, Energy Minister Than Htay and Mining Minister Dr. Myint Aung. Read more > (link to external MEITI website).

October – November 2012:
Research on Myanmar’s agricultural sector and food security. Field interviews were conducted in the Delta, Dry Zone and in Shan State, consulting with government officials, farmers, traders, agribusiness operators and non-government organisations. Final report, “A Strategic Agricultural Sector and Food Security Diagnostic for Myanmar” published in July 2013.

October 2012:
Myanmar and the Foreign Development (FDI) issue, 20 October 2012, paper presented by U Myint. Includes an analysis of the current situation and suggestions on how to address potential issues with FDI in Myanmar.

August 2011:
U Myint presents paper, “Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Cures at the National Workshop on Reforms for Economic Development of Myanmar”. The paper stresses the need to be vigilant re the issue of corruption and the development agenda. Read more > (link to external, Mizzima website)

May 2011:
U Myint proposes the establishment of the Myanmar Development Resource Centre (MDRI), with three separate Centres – the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), the Centre for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), and the Centre for Legal Studies (CLS).
Refer to U Myint’s paper, “Reducing Poverty in Myanmar: The Way Forward”. Establishment of CESD places poverty reduction on the national agenda and evidence-based policy making as a central theme of public reform. Read more >

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