EXPLAINER

Context-Sensitive Approach Enhances ADB's Myanmar Programs

Local language materials distributed to communities in Myanmar during consultations along the East-West economic corridor. Photo credit: Paul Donowitz.
Local language materials distributed to communities in Myanmar during consultations along the East-West economic corridor. Photo credit: Paul Donowitz.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is implementing a context-sensitive approach in Myanmar to understand the context in which ADB operates, understand the interaction between ADB intervention and the context, and act upon the understanding of this interaction, in order to avoid negative impacts and maximize positive impacts.

Introduction

Myanmar is undergoing a historic transformation toward democracy, a market economy, and peace and stability.

When ADB recommenced operations in Myanmar in 2012 after an absence of nearly 25 years, it began to develop a context-sensitive approach to better understand the challenging environment in which ADB would design and implement its projects and the potential impacts ADB activities could have within this complex dynamic.

ADB has a number of investment projects and grants in areas that are only recently emerging from active conflict, where parallel government and nonstate service delivery systems exist, where non-state armed groups continue to control territory and exert control, and where trust between government and communities is fragile and nascent. The stakes are high, as poorly planned initiatives that fail to account for the complex dynamics may undermine Myanmar’s transition process.


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Meet the expert

  • Paul Donowitz   
    Consultant, Senior Consultation and Participation Specialist, Myanmar Resident Mission, ADB

    Paul Donowitz is the Senior Consultation and Participation Specialist (consultant) with the ADB Myanmar Resident Mission, specialising in civil society participation, context-sensitive approaches, and social safeguards. He has led ADB's efforts in designing and implementing innovative approaches to participation in Myanmar since 2013. Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Donowitz was the Campaigns Director and acting Myanmar Program Director for EarthRights International. A U.S. licensed attorney, Mr. Donowitz has over two decades of experience working at the intersection of human and environmental rights.

   Myanmar, Capacity development
   Last updated: November 2016

 




Disclaimer

The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.




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