Affecting change from the top down
Global Development Group implements an array of amazing and diverse projects around the world. Did you know that one of our projects has affected monumental change in Myanmar? Recently complete, project J844 ‘High-level Support for Effective Dialogue Myanmar’ in partnership with the UNDP Myanmar Development Resource Institute, involved democratically elected former Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world in an effort to positively influence transition in Myanmar and promote national cohesion.
Myanmar was victim to one of the world’s longest-running civil wars and had an appalling human rights record. The first civilian government in 50 years in Myanmar was established as a result of the victory won by the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in November, 2015. Since that time the government has faced entrenched social divisions and has needed assistance to develop a strategy that will include the diversity of ethnicities, languages and religions in the nation, as well as address the disputes over natural resources.
This capacity-building project combined the expertise of retired presidents and government officials in working with Myanmar’s local parliamentarians to encourage peace and development. As well as benefiting from the shared expertise and experience of world leaders, the application of different concepts and practices of political models and social inclusion policies from many countries have also been discussed, and plans for implementation made.
The impact of this project has been significant in helping to affect successful democratic transition in the nation. Some of the notable aspects of addressing the concerns and challenges of the nation have included: More than 20 civil society organisations engaging in the peace process, the involvement of 25 electoral candidates of different political parties, 20 representatives of ethnic armed groups, and 15 high-level bilateral meetings with Government representatives.
The long term effect of this project will only really be visible in years to come as we observe an advancement in national unity, a more equitable distribution of power and resources, stability, increased independence and economic growth.
Global Development Group is proud to have been part of this vitally important project.
Photo: WPSU, Pennsylvania State University