Participatory Development in Myanmar’s Dry Zone Region: The Village Book

Janine Joyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This field report focuses upon the participatory development process utilised by ActionAid Myanmar in Myanmar’s centrally located Dry Zone area. Communities in Myaing and Pakokku Townships were observed at various stages of engagement, as a range of participatory rural appraisal tools were utilised to develop the strategic planning document known as the Village Book. For the purpose of this field report the In Yeung community will be given as a specific example.

The underlying Fellow programme of specially trained youth change builders from the local communities was a key aspect in the effective planning, development of democratic processes, practical outcomes and strength of unity spirit within the villages; required for the forming of the Village Book.

The observational and focus group data comes from an eight-day field trip (June 2014) reviewing the practical outcomes and peoples’ experiences of the bottom-up planning and development process. As such this represents a constructivist theoretical perspective. I am mindful that this is at best a glimpse into a much larger phenomenon, impacted by global systems of production, consumption, pollution, agencies, politics and policies. However, the strength of this field report lies in the way that it gives the people’s description and experience of themselves as agents; working alongside community members or fellows especially trained in participatory development skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Conflict Transformation and Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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