Area-based programming

UNDP’s area-based programming

Taking into account the complexities and overlapping development challenges in certain areas of Myanmar, UNDP understands that it is necessary to put into place a multidimensional approach. With a focus on unlocking development bottlenecks, UNDP is pioneering an area-based programme approach working closely with all levels of the government, the UN system, civil society and communities. With nine offices around the country and this area-based programming, UNDP can travel the last mile and reach those furthest behind.

Area-based programming means working for all communities living in that area. Through an integrated area-based approach, UNDP is tackling a range of development issues across many sectors: local governance, rule of law, participation in democratic processes, women’s economic empowerment, livelihoods and social cohesion. It also means that UNDP is working with all partners, from the different levels of government (Union, State, Township and Village/Ward), UN agencies, development partners and civil society.

By putting all these elements together, UNDP is convinced that it will be able to leverage impact and generate more sustainable results.

A good example of this approach is being implemented in Rakhine, thanks to the generous contribution of the government of Japan.

Working for all people living in Rakhine

Rakhine is one of the poorest and most populous states in Myanmar. It has a history of ethno-political conflict, chronic poverty, social exclusion and low resilience to climate change impacts and natural disasters. Periodic ethnic tensions and violence have forced hundreds of thousands to flee across the border, most of them to neighboring Bangladesh. Due to persistent gender inequalities and discrimination, the challenges facing Rakhine are felt especially by women and girls.

Lack of access to public services, poor infrastructures, joblessness, meagre living conditions and instances of injustice affect all communities in Rakhine, creating mutual fear and distrust. Even if the conflict is usually framed in terms of Rakhine and Muslim communities, Rakhine is a diverse State where many different groups live and coexist.

The Government of Myanmar, the State Government, the Hlutaw (Parliament) and Rakhine’s townships and village administrations are pursuing many different strategies to address the range of humanitarian, development and political challenges confronting the State.

This builds on UNDP long presence in Rakhine with the previous CPD (2013-2017) and the Human Development Initiative (1994 -2012).

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Programmes and Initiatives


have seen their access to livelihoods, markets and services improved via inter-community cooperation for rehabilitation of local infrastructure.