Working in and on Myanmar: Reflections on a 'light footprint' approach

Bächtold, Stefan and Gasser, Rachel and Palmiano, Julia and Alluri, Rina M. and Stein, Sabina. (2014) Working in and on Myanmar: Reflections on a 'light footprint' approach. swisspeace working papers, 5. Bern.

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The influx of different types of actors in Myanmar suchas international organizations, donors and businessessince the establishment of the elected government ofPresident Thein Sein in 2011 presents both opportunitiesand challenges. On the one hand, the openingup of the ‘Golden Land’ after decades of military rulehas helped contribute to the development of dialoguebetween former warring parties, the establishment ofdemocratic processes and mechanisms, and the inclusionof parties whose voices were formerly not heard.On the other hand, the ‘gold rush’ of regional and internationalactors places new pressure on local actors tomeet high demands, update their capacities accordingto foreign standards and compete with new players.The hope that Myanmar is now heading in the ‘rightdirection’ also causes some to turn a blind eye to ongoingcommunal violence, conflict in ethnic areas and thelack of inclusion of some actors in key decision-makingprocesses.This working paper is a reflection on how differentinternational and local actors are involved inthe framing, guiding, influencing and developing ofMyanmar’s three parallel transitions. A transition froma military to a civilian government, from armed conflictwith ethnic groups towards peace and a transition froma closed to an open economy. Alongside these transitionsis the emergence of inter-communal violence thathas taken place predominantly over the past two years.The paper questions some of the risks of internationalactors doing more harm than good, while providingconcrete examples of ways in which those workingin and on Myanmar have the potential to have a more‘light footprint’ approach. Such an approach wouldpromote better taking the needs and demands of localactors into account when developing activities.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > swisspeace foundation > Peace Research (Goetschel)
UniBasel Contributors:Baechtold, Stefan and Alluri, Rina M
Item Type:Other
ISBN: 978-3-908230-93-9
Number of Pages:57
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Other publications
Last Modified:17 Apr 2023 09:11
Deposited On:17 Apr 2023 09:11

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