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Eastern Shan State Rural Development and Inclusion Project


LuxDev's Regional office
Vientiane Regional Office

Local Development
Partner execution agency
Department of Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation

Implementation period
December 2017 - December 2022
Total duration
60 months

Total budget
10,000,000 EUR
Contribution breakdown
  • Luxembourg Government
    10,000,000 EUR

The Eastern Shan State (ESS) is an exceptional case of disadvantage in a country struggling with numerous cultural, political, economic and environmental challenges. Based on a thorough problem analysis and needs assessment in the target areas, the overall goal of the project is to promote inclusive, cohesive and sustained groups, communities, institutions and systems for the benefit of the rural population of ESS.

The two specific objectives of the project are (1) to improve the means and resources for legal livelihood activities of the local communities and (2) to promote the interaction, interdependence, cooperation and capacity in the community's development of participatory governance.

The deficit in interaction and cooperation can be explained historically, going back as far as to the beginning of the decline of the vast and powerful Shan Kingdom (from Yunnan to Arakan border and containing more than 100 ethnic groups), which already commenced in the mid-17th century. This was followed by more recent colonial and/or war-torn disruptions (1930-2000). This period of 70 years of poverty in Myanmar was reflected by the displacement and isolation of populations from internal and cross-border conflict that has stunted economic growth, including human capital and natural resource development. More recently, since 2000, a period of military restraint is providing a pause in the accumulation of damage, grievances and displacement. At least there is now a chance for development interventions, planned and conducted with local leaders and family heads, negotiated with the political authorities in each domain and able to make material benefits and development impacts.

Since development prospers through cooperation and interdependence, MYA/002 aims to first and foremost involve and serve villagers who need more food, water, electricity, mobility and communications – all requiring continuous mutual reinforcement – to be gradually formalised in committees at township, tract, village and community levels.

Geographically speaking, the following three clusters/areas are concerned: (1) the 5 Tracts of southwest Keng Tung Township with 11 000 people, including ethnic minorities emerging from very insecure conditions; (2) the most severely damaged areas of Keng Lap, with approximately 2 000 people of mixed ethnicities along a vital border area of Tachileik District; and (3) an additional 2 000 disadvantaged and predominantly Shan people in five villages in the low density midland of the Mong Phyak Township.

Since the MYA/002 project has a specific geographical and population focus with considerable technology development, innovation and piloting, a direct financing modality via local management structures, technical expertise and dispersed facilitation in the targeted tracts/districts and among the different villages will be applied during the first few years of implementation.

A major assumption of the MYA/002 strategy is that gradual cooperation and necessary interdependence in new activities will incrementally enhance the attitudes and practices for social and civic organization, as the roots for mutual respect, sharing resources, community development and informed governance.

Latest news

  • Myanmar - Building water tanks requires teamwork

    Published on 10 May 2018    By Sandrine THINNES   EN

    A month ago, project MYA/002 launched its very first activity in 5 villages of the mountainous 5 Tract area in the township of Keng Tung, Eastern Shan State, Myanmar. These 5 villages were selected for their priority needs with regard to water. Under the project’s Result 1, the outcome is to provide the villages in the target area with access to safe and affordable water. This will be achieved by constructing a 5 000 gallon (approx. 20 000 liters) water tank as per the standards of the Department of Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. From this main tank, the water will be distributed to secondary water tanks and from those a door-to-door system will ensure that each household has a water tap at their doorstep.

    Preparing the ground for the foundation

    The village of Che Nar Dea, the most remote and difficult to access of the five selected villages, does not have a water tank and the villagers have to walk downhill for at least 20 minutes to the nearest small spring to fill their cans and carry them back uphill again. As one can imagine, a lot of energy has to be put in to cover the daily water needs for drinking, cooking, washing, watering the vegetable garden and maintaining livestock.

    Fetching one's water for the day

    The joy was great when the villagers were informed that they would be the beneficiaries of a water tank and a door-to-door water distribution system through project MYA/002. However, it was made clear that this activity would also require support from the village as well. It was agreed that the villagers would collect sand from the river (and this time they had to walk for 30 minutes one way), provide big rocks for the foundation, gather a daily crew of at least 5 villagers to work hand in hand with the masonry team during the construction period, including the digging of a 4-mile-long ditch in which the water pipes from the water source to the water tank will be buried. The village also provides accommodation and cooked rice to the masonry team of three skilled workers. All of this was also agreed upon in the other selected villages.

    Sand and rocks collected by villagers

    Collecting water for the construction

    The project provided all of the construction material. A total of 49 truck loads carrying between 3 and 5 tons of materials were used to deliver the construction material to the different locations. To build a single 5 000-gallon water tank, one needs up to 8 000 bricks, 3 tons of gravel, 150 bags of cement, 60 iron reinforcement bars, 30 metal roofing sheets and so on. In the specific case of Che Nar Dea and because of the deplorable condition of the track, the initial 5-ton truck loads had to be dropped off and reloaded on to a 2-ton truck which made the journey 10 times, breaking down twice.

    Slowly making their way up the hill


    Rough riding makes for tough luck

    The MYA/002 project team knew that only with an exemplary participation from each village was the water tank activity going to be a successful.

    Everyone lent a hand or two

    Although the projected suggested to have only 5 helping workers a day, the villagers were eager to participate

    Each of the 5 villages lived up to the task: sand, rocks and water were provided, wood was cut from the community forest, villagers organized turns in cooking for the masonry crews, they showed up every day to help with the construction and learned some basic masonry skills – all of this whilst also having to plough their fields. Even when the tracks had to be improved and trucks pulled out of ditches or up the hill, the villagers were there to help. They truly showed ownership and willingness to provide whatever support they could give.

    Now, one month later and nearing the finalization of the construction of the 5 tanks, the team is very impressed with the outcome and is looking forward to the installation of the door-to-door water distribution system.

  • Myanmar - Launching Ceremony Eastern Shan State Rural Development and Inclusion Project

    Published on 17 February 2018    By Sandrine THINNES   EN

    On Friday 16 February 2018, the Eastern Shan State Rural Development and Inclusion Project (MYA/002) celebrated its launch ceremony at the town hall of Kyaing Tong city. High level delegates from the Government of the Union of Myanmar, the Shan State Parliament, the Military, representatives from Luxembourg, local administrations, institutions, political parties, ethnic tribes and most importantly beneficiaries from the targeted villages all came together to take part in the kick-off of this 10 000 000 EUR rural development project. Over the next 5 years, the implementation will be concentrated in about 100 remote villages of Kyaing Tong and Tachileik township in Eastern Shan State of Myanmar.

    Registration of participants

    Each distinguished speaker emphasized in his statement the importance of the development of capacities and infrastructure in rural areas as this will contribute in the long run to the economic development of the country.

    The project will more specifically improve the means and resources for legal livelihood activities of the local population in the targeted area. The aim is to bridge gaps by providing the communities with easy access to villages, safe water, electricity, modern agriculture, education and literacy for all as well as a good telecommunications network. 

    High level delegates posing in front of the ideal representation of a well developed village in the rural area.

    The Department of Rural Development (DRD), under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation will be the project owner and technical assistance will be provided by LuxDev on behalf of the MYA/002 project. This particular set-up marks a first in the implementation modalities of the DRD and thus close cooperation and coordination between the DRD and MYA/002 technical assistance will be essential.

    The launch ceremony was brought to life by performances from the Shan, Lahu and Akha traditional dance groups which also represent the majority of the ethnic tribes present in the project’s targeted area.

    Akha traditional dance group

    Performance of the Lahu traditional Dance Group

    The MYA/002 project team is also composed of representatives from each collaborating country and ethnic tribes from the Shan State. The team is eager to start their collaborative work with their colleagues from DRD. The team also counts on the support of many other relevant stakeholders to improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries. For any further enquiry or information please contact the project via email: 

    MYA/002 Technical Assistance Team