NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR – Training for civil servants in modern urban management skills is now underway as part of a technical assistance project, supported by Japan and Asian Development Bank (ADB), to make urban development more sustainable and environmentally sound.
The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction is extending a $2 million grant, administered by ADB, for the Transformation of Urban Management project. The Government of Myanmar is contributing $220,000. An inception ceremony to mark the launch of the project was held here on 26 February, with officials from Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development and the Ministry of Construction taking part.
“Thanks to Japan’s financial support, urban management providers will be able to respond constructively and proactively to Myanmar’s changing circumstances, including greater demand for efficient functioning of cities, planned and balanced growth, and more equitable access to services,” said Min Htein, Director General of the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development. “The project will help Myanmar officials manage and regulate urban growth through proactive planning of infrastructure and services, transparent land use, and development controls.”
The training programs will help civil servants formulate business operations plans for urban services through a practical on-the-job training approach rather than class room lectures.
Existing infrastructure and basic urban services, particularly for those living in informal settlements, is far below the standards commonly found in other parts of Southeast Asia, and this results in significant risks to public health and increased infant child morbidity and mortality. Since 2010, Myanmar has been on a reform path and raising the capacity of civil servants and institutions to adopt and implement modern urban management practices and essential services is a key part of its socioeconomic development plan.
“The technical assistance will prioritize the development and effective management of six cities, including Yangon, Mandalay, Mawlamyine, Pathein, Lashio, and Monywa, to improve urban service provision and to organize a sustainable approach to develop business plans for key urban service sectors, including water supply, sanitation, waste management, drainage, and flood management,” said Eri Honda, Principal Urban Development Specialist at ADB.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the region.