Myanmar—DaNa Facility

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2016-2020

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Burma

Solutions: Economic Growth

Despite growth of more than 8 percent in gross domestic product from 2014 to 2015, as well as increased foreign investment, Myanmar remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. The domestic private sector has experienced little residual benefit from outside investment, widespread underemployment remains an issue, and the majority of gains from growth are still concentrated among a few long-established business entities.

However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including household businesses, account for more than 90 percent of all enterprises in the country. Many of these operate on an informal basis, particularly those run by women. As a result, thousands of potential entrepreneurs are unable to seize business opportunities due to a lack of capital for investment and an uncertain business environment.

The DaNa Facility (DaNa is Burmese for “prosperity”), a program funded by the U.K. Department for International Development, works to reduce poverty and increase incomes by fostering a strong business environment conducive to the creation of jobs and economic opportunities for SMEs and poor people. DaNa works across multiple levels, including with government policy makers, business sectors leaders, and individual entrepreneurs, to address five key constraints to inclusive growth: infrastructure, regulatory environment, access to finance, exports, and inclusiveness of women and minority groups.

DFID DaNa Facility in Burma

Sample Activities

  • Strengthen the skills of, and create significant business and employment opportunities for, poor women and marginalised groups.
  • Hold innovation challenges to identify and provide funding support for ideas that have the potential to deliver positive and impactful change in the business sector.
  • Provide rapid technical assistance in response to requests of the recently elected national government in regard to inclusive economic growth and private sector development.
  • Promote inclusive, evidence-based economic decision-making at both the national and sub-national levels.
  • Facilitate increased trade and exports, particularly in non-extractive and job-creating sectors such as textiles, bamboo, and agribusiness.

Select Results

  • Produced report on ‘Respectful Workplaces’ with the IFC, a culmination of a research process into people’s experiences of sexual harassment and bullying at work in Myanmar.
  • Supported nearly 1,000 people with disabilities to access to employment and improved incomes.
  • Since the project began in 2017, 490 participating farmer households have seen their incomes rise by an average of 67 percent, with increased yields and higher quality of ginger generating profits of up £569 per acre. Women’s participation in Farmer Field Schools increased every month and currently totals 260 women, 55 percent of all trainees.
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