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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.
In a collection of papers on Myanmar’s financial sector, CESD’s Giles Dickenson-Jones and Cindy Joelene provide a summary of the fiscal structures at the state and region (subnational) level, highlighting the relevance of Myanmar’s political, administrative and economic systems to public financial management reforms.
In a collection of papers on Myanmar’s financial sector, CESD Research Associate, Cindy Joelene, looks at the recent history of fiscal decentralisation in Myanmar, and provides recommendations on how to improve this ongoing process.
Promoting dialogue on effective public financial management across union, state and region governments
Recent reforms in Myanmar have lead to state and region governments having greater financial resources and responsibilities. Research undertaken by CESD, working with Ministry of Finance and supported by the Japan International Coopration Agency (JICA), supports greater transparency on how states and regions understand and undertake these responsibilities. The research findings, and policy recommendations, were discussed at a workshop for public finance management officials in Nay Pyi Taw on 17 February 2016.
CESD’s research involved interviews with a range of union, state and region public financial management officials in late 2015 and early 2016. The outcomes from the targeted interviews enabled a greater understanding of how public financial management operates at each level of government, the challenges faced, the important relationships used, and the governance and financial transparency arrangements in place. The results from the survey, and the CESD and JICA recommendations to improve public financial management in Myanmar, were presented for discussion at a workshop for public officials in Nay Pyi Taw on 17 February 2016.
Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director and host of the workshop, said that it was important to bring public financial management representatives across the different levels of government together to discuss the research results. “The workshop further informs the collective understanding of Myanmar’s more decentralised public financial management system. Participants have been encouraged to share their successes and challenges, and focus on future goals and reforms.”
The research into public financial management and subsequent workshop were sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and support an agreement between JICA and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to further improve implementation of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects in various states and regions of Myanmar.
Download a copy of the press release via the following links:
The press release, and additional photos, are also available on the JICA website.
CESD Research Associate, Cindy Joelene, shared information about CESD’s governance experience, research, publications and training sessions at the Local Governance Initiative and Network (LOGIN) General Assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in December 2015.
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.
A discussion paper by Oxfam on public financial management in Myanmar looks at the challenges and opportunities for public financial management reform, and the role that development actors can play in promoting inclusive reform. The discussion paper also looks at the role of public financial management in deepening social accountability, and in promoting legitimate governance. CESD’s research in public financial management, undertaken jointly with The Asia Foundation, is referenced in Oxfam’s paper.
The Government of Myanmar’s fiscal management objectives, outlined in the Framework for Economic and Social Reforms (2013), include plans for an increasing proportion of government spending on health and education, and a decline in spending on the military. The government has also recognized the need to reduce reliance on resource revenues and to prioritize tax policy and tax administration reform.