Tea Circle Blog

https://youtu.be/2dVtYOavI-4 Tea Circle is a forum for new perspectives on Myanmar, highlighting analysis, research, opinions, book reviews, multi-media presentations and other…

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Myanmar Speaker Series: What is the road to improving health services in ethnic states?

October 21, 2020.

Myanmar is undergoing a transition from military to civilian rule since 2011 and government expenditure on health has increased from 1% in 2010 to 3.4% in 2015, still one of the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region. Though health sector decentralization is said to be put in place, the progress so far has not been assessed. There is limited information on how resources are managed and how well is decentralization progressing. The current system favors top-down decision-making, creating vast gaps of expectations between decision-makers and communities in states/regions, townships and villages/wards. In ethnic states, the delivery of health service remains unequal and insufficient due to poor governance, limited budgets, outdated facilities, and lack of supplies and health staff. Moreover, in such resource-poor setting, the gap between community expectations and what service providers can actually offer remains enormous, and needs to be closed.


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Myanmar Speaker Series: Can Decentralization Improve Education in Myanmar ?

October 1, 2020

Following the start of the country’s various reforms in 2011, public funding for education has significantly increased, leading to an important rise in access. The primary net enrollment rate increased from 88% in 2009-10 to 93 percent in 2014-15. Net enrollment in pre-primary education saw an impressive growth between 2008 – when roughly 1 in 20 children were enrolled – and 2014 when nearly 1 in 4 children were enrolled. The National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) 2016-21 represents an important milestone for education in Myanmar, as the country’s very first education sector plan in the context of a major transition towards democracy.


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Myanmar Speaker Series: How can policing improve in ethnic states under the new government of Myanmar?

September 16, 2020.

Myanmar’s challenges regularly make headlines. The efforts to reform the Myanmar Police Force remains a hopeful step forward in the transformation of the country’s security. The 2008 Constitution states that the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services is the chief of all the armed organizations, and, as a result, the Myanmar Police Force remains under the Home Affairs Ministry, led by a military-appointed minister. Along with the democratic reforms since 2011, the force has moved towards a more decentralized, more gender and ethnic sensitive institution, still struggling to focus on control vs service-orientation. Currently, the police in Myanmar are severely overstretched to meet their mandate. Laws, regulation, strategies and training are outdated; facilities and equipment are old and often in poor condition by Southeast Asian and global standards. More disturbingly, the police are not present in some parts of the country where crime and related public security issues are most challenging. The police are facing increasingly sophisticated ethnic armed groups as well as transnational organized crime involved in drugs and human trafficking. The recent MIPS 2020 Annual Review on Peace and Security has highlighted some of these severe security challenges.


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Heroes falling through the cracks

Migrant workers are heroes of Myanmar’s economy, but are facing extreme challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Myanmar’s Centre for Economic and Social Development recommends policies to address the crisis. Video created in English and Myanmar to promote a CESD survey on Facebook.

Produced by Asia Research News with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar initiative.


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