We supported Myanmar’s Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR) in gaining an almost three-fold increase in its budget allocation.
The reform complements existing processes used for budget preparation within the Ministry. By providing space to articulate, communicate and justify proposed additional expenditures to the Ministry of Planning and Finance, this reform – known as the narrative template – enables the MSWRR to clearly articulate its strategic vision and priorities in targeting service delivery towards the Myanmar population most in need.
The mandate of the MSWRR is to provide social protection to some of Myanmar’s most vulnerable groups and to coordinate disaster preparedness. While the onset of political, economic and social reforms in Myanmar since 2011 has resulted in increased public investment in some sectors, the social welfare budget has remained persistently low. This is partly because of a perceived lack of capacity to manage additional funding effectively; a perception that this reform has helped change.
“The project, which represents an innovative collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry, has made an important contribution towards delivering additional funding for several much-needed social assistance and disaster relief programmes that will deliver substantial benefits to some of the most vulnerable groups in Myanmar,” says Nick Travis, Country Manager for Oxford Policy Management’s Myanmar office.
OPM worked with UNICEF to provide technical assistance to the MSWRR, to strengthen internal public financial management systems and processes, in order to demonstrate an improved capability to allocate and spend public funds efficiently, effectively and equitably in line with national priorities. The additional budget increase will be used for increasing service provision, including scaling up the social pension for elderly citizens, delivering nutrition support to pregnant women and supporting the reintegration of human trafficking victims back to their community.
The office in Yangon is OPM’s newest office in Asia, and the ninth in the Global South. Our network of international offices enables us to work directly with local governments and policy makers, offering support with a real understanding of local social, economic and political contexts.