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CESD  works with the Union, State and Region governments of Myanmar, and other stakeholders, to conduct research on a range of economic and social issues, and to advocate for public policy changes.

In 2012, CESD played a central role in the development of the  Framework for Social and Economic Reform (FESR) (PDF, 46 pages, 662Kb), which was adopted by the Government of Myanmar in December 2012. This strategic policy framework served as a guide to economic and social reform across the majority of industry and government sectors for the period 2012-2015.

CESD focuses on issues under three program areas:

CESD is also the coordinating body for the Leading Authority of the Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MEITI).