47191-001: Enhancing Rural Livelihoods and Incomes

Project Data Sheet (PDS): Details


Description

The Project will provide block grants with appropriate safeguards to Village Tracts (VTs) to undertake priority small scale rural infrastructure (new or improvements) subprojects based on Village Development Plans (VDPs) prepared on a participatory basis and consistent with Township Development Plans. The block grants will support an open menu (subject to a negative list) of activities based on community-identified development priorities. Labor for these interventions will be recruited from among the village residents with a primary focus on providing employment to the poorer and more vulnerable households, largely cash for work with some proportion in kind . The focus will be on supporting local development and service delivery needs identified by communities themselves. Technical supervision will ensure that basic technical standards are met during construction. A commitment (by the beneficiaries) to undertake operation and maintenance (O&M) will be made a requirement for approval of the proposed activities within the VDPs. Nongovernment organizations (NGOs) will be recruited to facilitate community interactions, assist local authorities and communities in the preparation of VDPs, and in the design and supervision of these civil works in collaboration with relevant engineers in Township Development Committees (TDCs). Capacity for participatory planning, budgeting, and implementation of subprojects will be developed at the village-tract level.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

About 70% of Myanmar s population resides in the rural areas and is dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Moreover about 36% of the rural population, many of whom are landless laborers, is considered to live below the poverty line. At present, rural incomes are constrained by high transaction costs for agricultural production and marketing (due in large part to the poor condition of access roads, tracks, bridges, and boat landing sites as well as irrigation, drainage and flood control structures), sparse opportunities for alternative employment and limited access to markets and services. Investments in improving rural infrastructure will reduce these constraints. Central to this JFPR Project is the use of labor based appropriate technology (LBAT) which will provide a direct cash infusion into the rural areas, enabling further local income generating activities. Both activities (the reduction of infrastructure constraints and the direct infusion of cash for Project work to village households) will provide an economic stimulus within the project areas and in neighboring areas.

Impact

Improved agricultural productivity and enhanced livelihoods contributing to reduced rural poverty in Ayeyarwady Delta Region, the Central Dry Zone, Kayin State, and the Shan State Plateau

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Improved essential social and productive rural infrastructure in the project-assisted villages

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

1. Communities mobilized and organized for identifying priority needs 2. Village/village tract level infrastructure constructed/improved 3. Project management services institutionalized

Safeguard Categories

Environment: B
Involuntary Resettlement: B
Indigenous Peoples: B

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspect
Overall, the anticipated negative environmental impacts for the Project are limited, localized and most of such impacts are reversible and can be mitigated. The size and scale of subprojects will be limited by the size of community block grants of up to $27,000 each and as such are unlikely to generate significant adverse impacts on the environment. Each subproject will go through a screening process to identify potential impacts and mitigation measures will be proposed and implemented.

Involuntary Resettlement
Adverse impacts are likely to be minimal, as community preference will be guided towards small-scale rural infrastructure subprojects. Despite an open menu approach, an exclusion list will help guide the identification of subprojects to avoid and minimize social economic impacts to participating communities. As subprojects will be known only during grant implementation, a draft resettlement and ethnic groups framework (REGF) has been prepared. Depending on the selected subproject and identified impacts resulting from a social impact assessment, a resettlement plan will be prepared, although it is very likely that no resettlement issues will emerge. The plan will be prerequisite to accessing block grants for small-scale infrastructure construction. Based on the social assessment and consultation, RP for sub-projects will be prepared as needed.

Indigenous Peoples
Myanmar is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the region. Officially, there are 135 recognized ethnic minorities. About 69% of the country s inhabitants are Bamar, while the remainder is made up of ethnic minorities, among whom the Shan are the numerically largest group (8.5%), followed by the Karen (6.2%); Rakhine (4.5%), Mon (2.4%), Chin (2.2%), Kachin (1.4%) and Kayah (0.4%). Shan State occupies the largest geographical area. As such, it is expected that ethnic minority communities are present in some areas where the project is to be implemented. Consequently, participatory social assessments will be conducted in all project villages. With the support of community facilitators, informed consultations will be conducted with villagers, including ethnic minorities to ensure broad community support. The principles, processes and procedures for the participatory social assessment, including the participation of indigenous peoples, are further refined in the grant implementation manual. Based on social assessment and consultation, EGP will be prepared for sub-projects as needed

Stakeholder Participation and Consultation

During Project Design
Periodic consultations on the project concept have been conducted with the Ministry of Border Affairs and other relevant government offices, the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar and other development partners and responses have been positive. The Government of Japan through the Japan Embassy in Myanmar and the regional JICA office as well as the Ministry of Border Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of Cooperatives, Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, Foreign and External Relations Department (FERD) and governments, townships and selected villages of the Ayeryarwady Region, Dry Zone, Kayin State, and Shan State Plateau will be continuously apprised on project developments throughout the Project design and preparation. The community demand driven development approach also ensures participation of the target communities during planning, design, and implementation of the project.



Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

Project Data Sheets (PDS)

Translated PDS

Timetable

Concept Clearance
02 Jul 2013

Fact-finding
12 Jun 2013 to 28 Jun 2013

Management Review Meeting
24 Sep 2013

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