Township Democratic Local Governance (TDLG)

Project completed

In Mon State, with a traditionally strong Swiss presence, the project promotes a participatory, inclusive and transparent process around development grants, in order to improve the delivery of basic services at Township and village levels. Together with the state’s authorities, with the aim of including the governance structures of the Ethnic Armed Groups, the living conditions and space for democracy for the local people in ten Townships should improve with tangible development results.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
Public finance management
01.12.2016 - 31.12.2022
CHF  13’390’000
Background After 50 years of military dictatorship and 60 years of civil conflict, Myanmar is going through a historical transformation. In 2015, eight Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAO) signed a National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which set a peace process in motion. One month later, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in a credible electoral process and took office in April 2016. The new government has decentralised some functions and budget allocations to the State and Region governments. However, the township administrations, where majority of public services are delivered, remain largely ignored by decentralisation efforts. The TDLG project addresses the institutional challenges in Myanmar’s local governance structures emphasising budgetary planning at township level.
Objectives Inclusive and responsive public institutions collaborate with local stakeholders to improve service delivery, leading to increased trust between the state and the people and contributing to peace and stability in Myanmar.
Target groups Township Authorities, Elected Village Tract Administrators (with a strong focus on the few female Village Tract Administrators), Governments and Parliamentarians in Mon State, Civil Society Organizations, Ethnic Armed Groups Organizations, Villagers
Medium-term outcomes Improved access to public services and increased trust in accountable local governance institutions.

Expected results:  

  • Township administrations have improved capacity to respond to people’s needs.
  • People have access to information on annual planning process.
  • Improved ethnic armed organization engagement in township planning oversight.
  • Policy and institutional decentralization reforms informed by technical support and research.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Alignment with state authorities fosters tangible development results in local democracy.
  • Development grants are an adequate tool for participatory, transparent and efficient planning at Township level.
  • The access to and collaboration with ethnic armed groups needs to be done cautiously, in applying the Do no Harm tool.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector North
  • United Nations Development Programme

Coordination with other projects and actors

In Mon State, with the Swiss program, the World Bank, USAID and Pact. Within the program, with DFID that funds the core project in Bago State. Other donors, like Sweden, Finland and Canada are likely to join this state- and peacebuilding endeavor.

Further, a strong alignment with state authorities at all levels shall give the project a national dimension, including with the policy dialogue on decentralization and federalism at Union level. A main challenge is the inclusion of the Ethnic Armed Groups.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    13’390’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    13’186’506
Project phases

Phase 1 01.12.2016 - 31.12.2022   (Completed)