Man in Myanmar herds goats

Collecting, analyzing and disseminating data.

Myanmar Development Observatory

Quality, reliable data is vital in enabling development, humanitarian and peace-building organizations to monitor trends and deliver projects that reach the most marginalized people and address their most significant needs. However, decades of political instability and conflict, weak infrastructure and limited capacity have long made it challenging to access this information in Myanmar, and the military takeover in February 2021 has exacerbated the issue by further hindering data collection and sharing. 

At the same time, the coup, which came amid the economic struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has pushed more people into poverty, reduced access to vital services such as healthcare and education, and unwound years of development progress. Now more than ever, there is a critical need for accurate data and information about what is happening in Myanmar. 

Working with partners to collect, analyze and disseminate quality data, UNDP’s Myanmar Development Observatory (MDO) aims to fill this gap to better understand the impact of these rapid social, economic and political changes on people and communities.  

The MDO’s insights are shared in a range of ways, including analytical reports, baseline surveys, policy briefs, dashboards and maps. These products are made available to all partners, improving access to high-quality data and analysis, enabling evidence-based decision-making and programming to better support the people UNDP and other agencies reach. Recent publications have explored food security, economic policy making, child poverty, human well-being, urban poverty in Yangon, regressing gender equality and struggles within the garment sector.
MDO’s activities focus on three pillars: 

  • Socio-economics: Gathering and publishing survey data on areas including economic vulnerability, small-scale business activity, food security, education, health, unemployment and migration.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Using the SDGs framework to monitor the vulnerability of the most marginalized people in Myanmar and keep track of changes toward meeting targets.
  • Conflict: Monitoring evolving conflict dynamics in Myanmar to inform the development of conflict-sensitive programming and ensure a strong nexus approach.

Through working with civil society in Myanmar, UNDP is also strengthening organizations’ ability to impartially collect, organize, interpret, visualize and use data, and produce their own relevant and accessible data-based products in the future.

A person in a market in Myanmar

A person sells beans and tea leaf at a market in Myanmar

Sustainable Development Goals Monitoring Mechanism for Myanmar

The Myanmar Development Observatory leads the Sustainable Development Goals Monitoring Mechanism for Myanmar. This is a cross-UN initiative to continue assessing and analyzing Myanmar’s progress or regression on the SDGs following the February 2021 military takeover at a time when available data is limited.  

In December 2021, 16 UN agencies and funds formed a group to build a framework of SDG-related indicators that functions within Myanmar’s new, challenging context. It works by balancing quantitative and qualitative analysis, data from non-traditional sources, such as civil society, and prioritizing the goals, targets and indicators that are most relevant to Myanmar today.   

The mechanism consists of monitoring tools linked with reliable sources that feed into an SDG data repository that is used to produce analytical outputs, including reports, thematic papers and dashboards, that can be harnessed by the UN system in Myanmar and its partners.  

For the latest compilation of the 9 most relevant goals based on the latest available data, refer to the Myanmar SDG Briefs.

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