Decades of isolation and underinvestment have damaged Myanmar’s infrastructure, hampering access to services for civilians living in hard-to-reach areas. Without access to basic services, rural communities are deprived of social and economic well-being.
In 2014, Relief International began working with communities in Rakhine State and the Yangon region to build the civic skills necessary for effective participation in local-level decision making. These skills provide the foundation for discovering and addressing a community’s greatest needs. Funding was provided by Myanmar’s Department of Rural Development through the World Bank.
After extensive training on the principles of inclusivity and gender equality, community members prioritized their needs, then worked with Relief International to develop implementation plans for each project. To make the plans a reality, RI partnered with the Department of Rural Development in each township and fostered communication between officials and community members.
With Relief International’s support, these communities have completed more than 800 infrastructure projects, including roads, water ponds and school renovations. The projects have benefitted more than 126,500 residents in Rakhine’s Ann Township and Yangon’s Htantabin Township. More than 80 community committees were set-up to oversee these projects and their continued operations and maintenance.