The State of Local Governance: Trends in Tanintharyi
This report outlines the results of the Local Governance Mapping (LGM) conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tanintharyi Region in June of 2014. Based on the perceptions of local people and local governance actors, the mapping has captured the current dynamics of governance at the frontline of state-society interaction and enables an analysis of participation in planning, access to basic services and accountability for local \ governance that is specific to the Region.
The results are drawn from three townships, which were selected for the study to reflect the diversity of Tanintharyi’s ten townships in terms of size and accessibility. Located at the southern-most tip of Myanmar, Bokpyin has a population of just over 45,000, and shares a land border with Thailand.
Much of its population is dispersed throughout islands in the scenic and largely unspoilt Myeik archipelago. At the other end of the spectrum, Myeik is the commercial hub of the Region with an active trading port and a large population of over 280,000. Thayetchaung is in the north of the Region, with easy access to the administrative capital of Dawei, and a population of over 100,000 people.
The report finds that the history of commercial investment in the Region has imparted Tanintharyi with both the experience and capacity that is often lacking in other States/Regions to support public service delivery. The challenge for local governance will be to manage this process with the few institutional and social accountability mechanisms available to ensure equitable and sustainable development forthe people of Tanintharyi. The Region’s history of low-level conflict and displacement, although less severe than in some of the ethnic States, further complicates this task.