“Many of us are repeatedly discussing the post-coup challenges. Will counting those challenges help those solve themselves?”
At one point in a Q&A session of our research’s preliminary finding presentation, a respected international actor voiced her concern.
Twenty months after the coup, many local and international civil society actors encountered numerous risks, threats, and challenges in their daily work and unique positions to help the Myanmar people. Unknown factors remain as obstacles in their development works. All of those actors have the same intention: to make international development assistance more effective.
(The report) delved into the dilemmas and challenges of available funding types and models, misaligned approaches to risk among the actors, and influencing and communicating with donors.
Pandita’s current research, articulating the perspectives of the local advocacy organisations, is an effort to contribute to the purpose. The report, published in October 2022, focused on the local advocacy segment, which can reflect insightfully on the needs and concerns of diverse communities at large. Moreover, their role is and will be vital in current and future political contexts, impacting the decisions made by the key stakeholders in Myanmar’s affairs.
Within more than one and a half years, the local advocacy organisations have learned at least how to survive, identifying timely emerging issues, devising ways to work safely, and approaching various stakeholders. Through the research process, Pandita delved into the dilemmas and challenges of available funding types and models, misaligned approaches to risk among the actors, and influencing and communicating with donors. Not all the problems are brand-new; some are the pre-existing ones before the coup but become exasperated in the post-coup days.
The 39-page report comprehensively discusses the emergence and development of local advocacy groups in a background section. In the key-finding part, the report explores how short-term or inaccessible funding challenge local advocacy organisations, how local and international actors tackle risks in misaligned approaches, and why local actors find it difficult to influence donor strategies and priorities. Moreover, it reflects the openness and transparency issues, funding models and financial arrangements they can access.
The report formulates ways forward to develop solutions among the actors, including: Protecting funding for local advocacy organisations,
- Redressing the balance of risk assessment and management,
- Creating space for local CSOs to contribute their voice in donor country strategy development,
- Channelling open and accessible funding information for local CSOs, and
- Providing Quality funding for local CSOs to ensure local ownership.
Pandita believes the report will shed some light on helping Myanmar people through local civil society organisations.