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Civil Society Strengthening in Myanmar

Since 2010, there have been significant shifts in Myanmar’s sociopolitical and economic contexts, which have affected the role and
dynamics of civil society in the country.

There are mixed insights and experiences with regards to the opening or shrinking of space for civil society in Myanmar, particularly with the National League for Democracy (NLD) assuming power as a democratically elected government in 2016.

As a critical pillar of a democratic society, there are correspondingly increasing numbers of donor-funded programmes on strengthening and building the capacity of civil society.

Union of Karenni State Youth reflect on the impact of the SPACE project

There are a limited number of published evaluations and assessments on the utility and effectiveness of approaches to strengthening civil society available in the public domain, and this report seeks to take a modest step towards filling the gap.

This study builds primarily upon an external final evaluation of the Christian Aid and Paung Ku project Strengthening Participation, Accountability and Civil Society Empowerment (SPACE), which ran from 2014-2017 and was funded by the EU.

This report highlights good practices, case studies and lessons learned from this project.

The report is structured into five sections that explore different dimensions of civil society strengthening, with 18 lessons learned and recommendations summarised below.