Myanmar

GENDER AND COVID-19 VACCINES Listening to women-focused organizations in Asia and the Pacific

More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across at least 176 countries, with over 1.7 billion doses administered worldwide. Combating the pandemic requires equitable distribution of safe and effective vaccines, however, women and girls are impacted by gaps both in the supply side and the demand side that hamper equitable distribution of the vaccine. Evidence reveals that 75 per cent of all vaccines have gone to just 10 countries, and only 0.3 per cent of doses have been administered in low-income countries. Very few of COVID-19 vaccines are going to those most vulnerable. The vaccine rollout in Asia and the Pacific has been relatively slow and staggered amid secondary waves of the virus. India, despite being the largest vaccine developer, has only vaccinated 3 per cent of the population and continues to battle a variant outbreak that, at its peak, was responsible for more than half of the world’s daily COVID-19 cases and set a record-breaking pace of about 400,000 cases per day.5However, the small Pacific nation of Nauru, reported a world record administering the first dose to 7,392 people, 108 per cent of the adult population within four weeks. Bhutan also set an example by vaccinating 93 per cent of its eligible population in less than two weeks. That success could be at risk, given the situation in India and the suspended export of vaccines. Read More...

STOP Southeast Asia Impact Reflections

Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which could be expected to make a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Female garment workers experience sexual harassment in their workplace, generally have limited legal protections, lack job security and work in an environment where there is often impunity for the harassment they experience. In Cambodia alone, sexual harassment costs in the garment industry USD $89 million per annum in lost productivity.

After four years of work, independent evaluations found the STOP project had assisted factory management to set up clearer guidelines and mechanisms for dealing with and preventing sexual harassment. It also empowered female workers to be confident to report sexual harassment incidents and become more aware of their rights. Read More...

A Social Impact Analysis of CARE’s ‘Enhancing Women’s Voice to STOP Sexual Harassment ’ Project

The Enhancing Women’s Voice to Stop Sexual Harassment project (STOP), an initiative of CARE Australia, has been working since 2017 to prevent and address the under-reported problem of sexual harassment in mainland Southeast Asia’s garment sector. At the time of writing, STOP is the only initiative that addresses this issue on a multi-country scale within the sub-region. Operating across a pool of garment factories in four Mekong countries—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam—STOP aims to enhance women’s voice and economic rights at both the national and factory levels. Based on a socio-ecological model of violence prevention, CARE Country Offices (COs) are working with participating factories to create workplaces where female workers feel safe and experience less SH through the implementation of standardised SH reporting mechanisms and rigorous training programs. Supported by CARE Regional staff, each CARE CO engages with relevant country, regional and international stakeholders to strengthen the national regulatory environment to promote laws, policies and mechanisms to address SH in the workplace.

In 2018, CARE Australia commissioned a consortium of researchers from UNSW Sydney and UNSW Canberra to undertake an independent evaluation the STOP project and provide a separate Social Impact Assessment (SIA) focused on Cambodia STOP as the particular case study. The SIA is intended to complement the findings of the Final Evaluation (FE) of the STOP, as implemented in the other three project sites. The SIA and the Final Evaluation should be read as two parts of a single whole. The UNSW team drew upon a range of evaluative sources including factory surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews with factory workers, middle management and government officials. A conceptual framework is also advanced in order to better capture the nuances of social impact and gender transformation, and to provide a rigorous basis on which to evaluate STOP’s development and implementation in Cambodia. [94 pages]. Read More...

Regional Mekong Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19

COVID-19 has created unprecedented health, economic, and social impacts all over the world. As of 31 August 2020, there have been 25,405,845 confirmed cases globally, and a total of 849,389 deaths. In the Mekong region, there have been 5,612 cases, with 274 in Cambodia, 22 in Lao PDR, 882 in Myanmar, 3,390 in Thailand and 1,044 in Viet Nam. In addition to health effects and deaths caused by the virus, the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and prevention measures taken by governments are far reaching and long-lasting, especially in the context of climate change and natural disasters in the region.
For the Mekong region, COVID-19 presents special challenges for high-risk populations, including the many migrant workers, garment industry workers, indigenous and ethnic minorities, refugees, internally displaced peoples, migrants, urban slum-dwellers, and people working in the informal sector, such as female sex workers. As with all crises, women and children are disproportionately affected. COVID-19 exacerbates the challenges at-risk populations face and makes it even harder for women to access the support services they need in times of crisis.

This brief summarises the Mekong RGA, written by Athena Nguyen, Jordan Hoffmann, Laura Baines, Ratha Ra, Rebecca Elias, and Christina Haneef in September 2020. This Rapid Gender Analysis draws from 301 interviews (including 126 women), secondary data sources, and CARE’s research to understand women’s specific challenges in the Mekong region during the pandemic. Read More...

Rapid Gender Analysis Myanmar, Rakhine State COVID-19

Despite the number of COVID-19 cases in Rakhine State being quite low, the impact on rural food production and the livelihoods of thousands of farm labourers, who are mostly women, is immense. The loss of food production in the State could potentially push families into further poverty and produce further malnutrition in a State of Myanmar that already has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the country. Additionally, the growth of women’s empowerment, which is strongly linked to financial contributions to the household, will decline.
Women and girls in Rakhine State face inequalities in many areas, such as in employment and payment, division of domestic labour, decision making and participation. Those are likely to further increase in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. An area of specific concern is in the education of girls and boys, from poor families, who do not have the technical infrastructure and capacity to support, especially with the continuous internet blackouts across the State. Deployed in an operational environment characterised by ongoing volatility, COVID-19 prevention, treatment and containment efforts have faced multiple difficulties. Mistrust of government officers by communities, restrictions on humanitarian access, limited health services, coupled with targeted attacks on healthcare workers and facilities have proved to be serious operational challenges. Read More...

Myanmar COVID 19 Rapid Gender Analysis

As of 7 June 2020, there have been 228 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar,1 and new cases continue to be confirmed.2 Myanmar’s humanitarian and conflict dynamics, high poverty rate, flow of returning migrants, high numbers of internally displaced people and urban slum-dwellers, and high proportion of workers in the informal sector present a range of challenges in the context of COVID-19. These factors tend to make prevention and control measures more difficult, while also intensifying the potential impacts of a larger outbreak, if it were to occur.
Despite the relatively low number of verified cases within its borders to date, the pandemic has already had an outsized economic impact in Myanmar. Migrant workers, informal sector workers including sex workers, and garment sector workers have all been disproportionately affected. Women in Myanmar have traditionally been under-represented in public decision-making processes, a trend which is continuing in structures established to respond to COVID-19. This means that even as women are disproportionately affected by the crisis, they have less say in how their communities and country respond to it, increasing the risk of a COVID-19 response that does not adequately address the needs and priorities of the most vulnerable women and girls. Read More...

Northern Shan Food Security Project End-of-Project Evaluation

This report presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Final Evaluation for the project: “Northern Shan Food Security Project (NSFSP)”. Implemented by CARE International in Myanmar, launched on January 2017 for three years, and ending on the 30th of December 2019.

The project is designed to accomplish with it specific objective : Increasing capacities of poor and vulnerable households in remote rural areas to strengthen their food and water security through a) income generating activities, b) access to new technological agricultural innovations and products, and c) better access to market opportunities.

The main purpose of the final evaluation was a) To determine the project achievement of its objectives and outputs and b) To identify intended and unintended outcomes, best practices, lessons learned and recommendations to improve future programming in terms of sustainability. Read More...

Supporting Partnerships and Resilience of Communities (SPARC) in Northern Rakhine State End-of-Project Evaluation

The Supporting Partnerships and Resilience of Communities (SPARC) project, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), was implemented in Maungdaw District, northern Rakhine State between December 2011- December 2019.

SPARC’s goal is to contribute to the sustainable reduction of poverty in communities through improving the social and economic position of poor, vulnerable households, and to strengthen household and community capacity to sustain such improvements. To achieve this goal, CARE implements integrated livelihood activities that improve food security and economic opportunities, including community forestry, crop productivity intensification, facilitating access to education and introducing financial services through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA).

An end-of-project evaluation was recently commissioned ‘to determine if SPARC achieved its end of project outcomes of sustainable reduction of poverty in poor, vulnerable communities and strengthened household and community capacity to sustain such improvements’.

The evaluation used a mixed method approach combining a literature review and quantitative data sets drawn primarily from the project monitoring system, together with qualitative data, collected using participatory approaches such as focus group discussions (FGD), key informant interviews (KII), and Stories of Change Interviews (SoCs). Read More...

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships-Endline Report

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships was implemented in four focus countries: Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan, with an aim to change the way international NGOs work in partnership with local and national NGOs in humanitarian action, so that these partnerships support the move towards localisation and ultimately reach those affected by crises more effectively and efficiently. The programme was guided by national steering committees (NSC) and existing NGO Fora in each of the focus countries and managed by a consortium of 6 INGOs: Christian Aid, CARE, Tearfund, ActionAid, CAFOD, Oxfam who have worked together for several years to look at partnerships and localisation through the Missed Opportunities series of reports and research1.

This report presents the data collected from end of project - ‘endline’ - surveys completed across all four target countries, and for those based internationally, between September – November 2019. Read More...

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships-A Learning Review

The Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships programme is an ECHO- funded programme, which has been implemented for two years (Nov 2017 – Oct 2019) in four countries: Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan. Christian Aid leads the consortium of 6 INGOs (Christian Aid, CARE, Tearfund, ActionAid, CAFOD and Oxfam); in each country, programme implementation has been guided by a National Steering Committee (NSC), made up of local and national NGOs and the consortium members.

This Learning Review constitutes the final output of the programme and is meant to assess its effectiveness and impact, and more broadly to capture learning for the consortium members and humanitarian stakeholders in the four programme countries and beyond. While a follow-on programme, Phase 2, is yet to be confirmed or funded, this review will support the design of any such programme.
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