IDS working papers;386

Social protection in Myanmar : making the case for holistic policy reform

Published on 1 January 2011

Myanmar is a country with a very low per capita income and distressing failures in nutrition,
health, education, and others areas of social development. Currently, there appears to be
some political softening, and in the realm of policymaking, a series of adaptations have been
gradually introduced over the past three years. This paper examines vulnerability and
poverty dynamics in the country and its evolving social protection framework. Building on
pertinent regional examples, the paper makes the case for holistic social protection policy
responses in the domains of social transfers for livelihood support and access to finance,
education and health access, child protection, protection from exclusion, and as an
emergency response. The outlook argues that comprehensive inclusive and ultimately
transformative social protection needs to be introduced and could be within reach, as an
integral part of deeper systemic reform in Myanmar.
Keywords: vulnerability; poverty; social exclusion; social policy; social protection; Myanmar;
Burma; Least Developed Countries.

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