News & Insights

Development through Equal Partnership in Myanmar

Through a community-driven development (CDD) approach, Cardno facilitates communities in Myanmar to select their own development priorities, which are then given the means to action those priorities.

The CDD program promotes women's involvement and participation in every project activity. Since 2015 the program has constructed 1500 electricity and 3320 water projects throughout Myanmar; 99 medical centres and over 12,000 road and suspension bridge sub-projects have been completed.

The program enforces a gender quota ensuring that 50 per cent of sub-committee members are women. This decision has been key to actualising change in communities' attitudes about gender norms.

Communication, Social Accountability and Gender Specialist, Daw Zin Mar Tun, says "The project is inclusive, it does not discriminate based on race, religion, or socioeconomic class. It encourages everyone to participate in the process".

Men’s greater exposure to ideas from women encourages them to be more supportive of new ways of thinking, and in working together to achieve program outcomes.

Women now believe that they can also be effective community mobilisers, decision-makers and leaders representing their communities’ concerns. Women have become empowered to advance the well‐being of their communities in equal partnership with their male counterparts.

"The project has clearly helped women acquire new knowledge and skills through training and practice in the field," says Zin Mar Tun.

"Women have become more comfortable voicing their opinions and making decisions in many villages as many women have been able to seize opportunities to learn and exercise their leadership skills."

"I feel privileged to be working in this project. There are a number of success stories coming from the communities in a daily basis, especially from women. They feel empowered to participate in community activities, to dream about their starting a family business, to learn the importance of non-discrimination and to be leaders in their communities," says Zin Mar Tun.

Community members in Myanmar come together to make decisions over their development needs.