Support to Effective & Responsive Institutions Project (SERIP)

Status: Active
Duration: January 2018 – December 2022
Budget: USD 56,490,019
Coverage: Myanmar (Bago, Mon, Rakhine, Thanintaryi and Mandalay) Union, Region/State and Township levels
Beneficiaries:
People of Myanmar, including women, minorities and vulnerable groups
Donors: Japan, Sweden, Australia, Canada
Focus: Core government functions and parliamentary processes
Partners: Executive and legislative institutions at the Union, Region/State and Township levels, as well as Union and Region/ State parliamentarians and parliamentary administration, Union Ministries
SDG:
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan:
Goal 1: Peace, National Reconciliation, Security and Good Governance: Strategy 1.4, 1.5

The quality of its democratic institutions is the key determinant for a country’s economic and social development. Myanmar’s transition towards a peaceful democratic federal Union in its first decade has led to economic growth, more inclusive governance and limited fiscal decentralization. This transition to a more inclusive and responsive model of governance increases the demands on institutions to act in a more coordinated way, to devise better governance processes, to deliver better services to more people and to communicate and engage more directly with people.

SERIP is a 5-year initiative that aims to strengthen the effectiveness of Myanmar executive and legislative institutions in responding to the needs and aspirations of all Myanmar’s people. This requires increased capacity across government institutions in formulating, planning, implementing and evaluating public policies, legislation and budgets.

Expected Results

  • Government access to accurate, comprehensive and harmonized data as the basis for policy, law-making and budgeting;
  • Core government functions that are well-defined to facilitate effective public policy-making that delivers concrete results to improve people’s lives;
  • Parliaments that are effective in reviewing policy, draft legislation and budgets and safeguard their constituents’ interests in the process;
  • Subnational institutions that lead annual planning and budget execution processes in a transparent, accountable and inclusive manner, and become more effective in the delivery of essential services.

Key Interventions Areas

  • Data for development
  • Policy Management
  • Parliamentary processes
  • Subnational Governance

The project provides technical support at both Union and Region and State levels, ensuring stronger links between Union and subnational institutions on policy-making and public service delivery. The project will ensure throughout its activities the imperative of leaving-no-one-behind as defined in the Agenda 2030, introducing inclusive annual planning, mainstreaming gender equality and inclusiveness in its interventions. With SERIP, UNDP assist government to gradually shift into a more inclusive and decentralized system for public sector management and service delivery.

Activity Highlights:

  • The Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) will be the basis for the Government of Myanmar’s policies across the economic, social and peace dimensions. To make the MSDP operational SERIP supports the development of its implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
  • Effective policy-making requires strong coordination across the government. SERIP seeks to support the Government of Myanmar in defining how policy processes can be improved.
  • Parliaments are important representative institutions that scrutinize policy, legislation and budgets and safeguard the interests of the people. SERIP seeks to support Myanmar’s parliaments becoming more internally democratic, allowing MPs to better fend for the interests of their constituents. Through SERIP’s support to improved committee work parliaments will be more effective in scrutinizing policy, legislation and budgets with crucial input from the public.
  • The bulk of public services is delivered at township level and this is where people mainly interact with public service providers. So far, Myanmar’s township administrations have little influence over budget decisions and hence service provision. SERIP provides discretionary grants to townships that empower responsive township administrations to effectively and efficiently provide basics services to their people in an inclusive, accountable and transparent manner.

How SERIP is contributing to achieving the SDGs in Myanmar:

  • UNDP’s, in its country programme makes strong commitments to supporting implementation of the SDGs, leaving no one behind, and paying specific attention to the needs of women and vulnerable groups.
  • The Government of Myanmar, through the MSDP makes a strong commitment to mainstreaming SDGs into its policies. SERIP ensures SDG indicators are included in the MSDP implementation framework so the government can monitor how its policies contribute to achievement of the SDGs
  • SERIP (and its sister “Strengthening Accountability and Rule of Law” Project - SARL) introduces an inclusive committee inquiry process that applies gender and inclusivity lenses in a process that has strong public participation and will result in better laws and sound policy recommendations for the Government.
  • SERIP recognizes that SDG implementation is most critical at local level where people receive services. That is why SERIP trains township officials in how SDGs can be mainstreamed in local planning processes. Since Ward and Village Tract Administrators (VTAs) are the key elected representatives at the local level, SERIP engages women VTAs and builds their capacity to become leaders and advocates for their communities.

Our Impact

Publications

Situation Analysis of Myanmar's Region and State Hluttaws
The publication sheds light on how the parliaments at the sub-national level function, how they interact with sub-national governments and the role their Members of Parliament play in the governance of the townships they are elected from. It identifies good practices and democratic innovations implemented by individual Hluttaws, and proposes recommendations for Hluttaw reform, which derive from a comparison of Hluttaw practices against international standards and benchmarks of parliamentary governance. 

Related Links

Budget

USD 56,490,019

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