Report on SDPA Myanmar - Capacity Building of Champion Leaders Development Program

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Myanmar, or formerly known as Burma, is a developing country that is seen to have one of the greatest economic potential in the region. Firstly, it is between great economic powers: China and India, which can provide a benefit to the country in the event of their economic transformation on through trade and cooperation.

Second, the country is well-endowed with natural resources from teak and wood products to mineral resources. It is one of the major suppliers of precious stones in the world, and its seas sit on a vast potential of oil. Its land is also very fertile, and agricultural commodities such as rice, tea and fruits are abound in the country.

Despite these impressive descriptions, Myanmar continues to be impoverished, and is considered as one of the poorest countries in the region. Poverty incidence among rural and urban households stands at 22.9% of the population, with more people being poor in the latter. Current efforts such as political reform, increased trade and cooperation, and a faster and eff effective mobility of goods aims in decreasing the incidence to 7% in 2020.

With 75% of the Burmese population still living in the rural areas, the transition to skilled labour and the eventual migration to urban areas to seek skill-intensive jobs proves to be of great potential in the coming years. It is therefore important that the current administrators anticipate the increase in the demand for skilled jobs and also provide more ways to improve the delivery of TVET to the grassroots level.

There is also a need to complement the current efforts of the government in alleviating poverty through empowering the citizens through skills development. The importance of involving community and academic leaders in this initiative, termed as "champion leaders development program" is very important since they can be the leaders of change and focal persons in encouraging the development of their constituents as far as skills for poverty alleviation is concerned.

This is one of the aims of CPSC, being an inter-governmental organization for the development of TVET in the Asia-Pacific region, as far as formulating poverty alleviation schemes that will address the unique needs of each member country. In partnership with the Government of the Republic of India, It recognizes the need for an effective transfer of skills and knowledge in ensuring that the benefi ts of any anti-poverty measures will really be translated into lifelong learning and livelihood generation.

The program has already been conducted in five countries namely: Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal. Already in its sixth implementation, it hopes that the benefits of this special in-country program will be spread to Myanmar, and that the lessons that it generates will be translated into long-term solutions to finally solve the poverty incidence in the participants’ constituency, and of the country in general.

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