Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series

Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series

Myanmar’s new government faces a variety of challenges on its path to securing democracy, federalism, security, and equality for all of its people. The Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series was created as an effort to contribute to domestic policy-makers’ work addressing these many challenges.

This initiative began with a workshop on 15 February, 2016, entitled “Towards Democracy and Reconciliation: Challenges Facing Myanmar’s Incoming Government.” Co-organised by Dr Ma Khin Mar Mar Kyi and Dr Matthew J Walton, and co-sponsored by the Programme on Modern Burmese Studies at St Antony’s College and the International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, the workshop brought together over a dozen UK experts on Myanmar, drawn from academic, advocacy, and activist communities. Presenters focused on the challenges facing the new NLD-led government, identifying key stakeholders, persistent and emerging impediments, and potential policy responses. Subjects considered included military legacies, governance concerns, social issues, land and resource management, and conflict and displacement.

With the success of the event, the co-organisers saw an opportunity to effectively channel the insights of the participants into policy-making conversations in Myanmar’s government, civil society, and other political institutions. They also sought to contribute to the developing public discourse on political reform in the country. Participants were asked to transform their presentations into short policy briefs that could be of use to ministries, parliament, and other decision-making bodies in Myanmar, and others who could not attend the workshop were invited to contribute briefs. The collected briefs were edited by the co-organisers and translated into Burmese. They are available to download free here and will be distributed in hard copy to lawmakers, policy-makers, and others in Myanmar’s government.

With the additional support of the Irrawaddy Policy Exchange, the co-organisers plan to hold events at Oxford focused on different policy areas approximately every 6-8 months, with policy briefs to follow, along with other follow-up events in Myanmar. The second iteration was held at Oxford on 13 October, 2016 and focused on environmental issues. In addition to including several presenters from Myanmar, the workshop organisers were pleased to be able to welcome several representatives from Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation as well as representatives from Myanmar’s Parliament. A follow-up workshop will be held in Naypyitaw in March 2017 and the second volume of the policy brief series is scheduled to be released the same month.

Volume 1.1: August 2016