Democracy and Development in Burma

04 September 2013

Since 2010 there have been remarkable changes in Burma. The UK Government considers that there is now a great opportunity to transform the lives of poor people in the country and DFID believes that British aid can now achieve a greater impact. Nevertheless, despite the political progress so far Burma remains one of the poorest countries in Asia.

The country is off track to reach many of the Millennium Development Goals and suffers from poor health, including amongst the highest rates of malaria, malnutrition (especially amongst children) and tuberculosis in the world. Underlying ethnic tensions have the potential to undermine the reform process.

DFID’s bilateral programme is set to increase from £31m in 2010-11 to £60m in 2013-14. The Committee will examine the key areas of DFID’s programmes, including Health, Wealth Creation and Governance. Good governance and public financial management will be a particular focus of the Committee’s inquiry

The Committee invites short written submissions from interested organisations and individuals on the following points:

  • Given the rapidly changing environment in Burma, how should DFID’s programme develop?
  • The balance of DFID’s programme in Burma. What should DFID do less of, and what should it  do differently?
  • Given the extraordinary opportunity Burma has to move towards democracy, is DFId’s programme giving sufficient attention to assisting this process? 
  • Are DFID’s plans to strengthen the work of Burma’s parliament adequate? Should DFID be doing more in this area?
  • How effectively is DFID addressing governance and public financial management issues in its sectoral programmes (eg on health, education & livelihoods)? 
  • DFID provision of funding and advice to civil society organisations in Burma, particularly for strengthening coalitions, advocacy, research and monitoring capabilities. How successful has this been?
  • DFID has initiated significant economic governance work over the last 2 years, including on extractive industries transparency, natural resource management more widely, and public financial management.  How effective is this work and what should DFID do in future?
  • What role should DFID play in helping to resolve ethnic tensions?
  • How effectively has DFID applied the lessons from its programmes in other countries to Burma. And what lessons can DFID offices working in other difficult environments learn from DFID’s work in Burma? 
  • How effectively is DFID working with the FCO and other UK Government Departments, and how might this improve?
  • How effective is donor coordination and how well is DFID working to improve such coordination.

The Committee invites written submissions from interested organisations and individuals. The deadline for these is 14 October 2013.

Please note
As part of a scheme to encourage paperless working and maximize efficiency, the Committee is piloting a new web portal for online submissions of written evidence. Written submissions for this inquiry should therefore be sent via the International Development Committee website- Please click the link here to submit written evidence.

Written evidence submitted should:

  1. Have a one page summary at the front
  2. Be no longer than 3000 words in length
  3. Have numbered paragraphs
  4. Avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material

Guidance on submitting written evidence  

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