Myanmar in Southeast Asia, with over 51 million inhabitants, has a diverse geography and an even more diverse population, with 135 distinct ethnic groups and many different languages. A history of colonial rule followed by periods of conflict has shaped current power relations within the country.

Culture, traditional and religious practices have a strong influence on what is seen as ‘normal’ and accepted by society. All this, influences discrimination against certain groups, often minorities or those who are different, excluding them from access to basic needs such as education, health and wellbeing, work or influence on decision making.

Excluded, marginalised people in Myanmar experience many hardships. As well as being excluded from services or areas of society, they have no voice in decision making bodies that could change these circumstances. Their stories and experiences stay invisible; they do not appear in statistics and official data.

ECID Programme in Myanmar

In Myanmar the ECID programme will work with groups who face strong discrimination and experience exclusion from basic services and participation in social or political life, initially in the states Kachin and Kayin. These groups are excluded for their ethnicity, for being internally displaced due to conflict and living in IDP camps, for being HIV positive, for using drugs, for performing sex work, for their sexual orientation or gender identity or for living with disabilities.

For these groups in four selected states/regions, the programme aims to:

  • improve their access to basic services through their participation in decision-making processes
  • improve the effectiveness of civil society and other actors at all levels in addressing the issues they face
  • improve the accountability and responsiveness of power holders to their priorities

Activities will focus on empowerment by bringing these group together, creating space and opportunities for them to build capacities, identify challenges and plan actions, such as advocacy to bring about the change they want to see. Building evidence for advocacy, through community-led data collection, is a key element in the programme.

Implementing partners

To develop and deliver project activities we partner with a range of local organisations.

Maharmate Myanmar

Maharmate is a national organisation, linked to the global consortium partner Frontline Aids, that has strong roots in specific marginalized communities, mainly sex workers, drug users and men who have sex with men (MSM).


Phandeeyar is a Yangon-based innovation lab that is spearheading the use of technology to accelerate change and development in Myanmar. They support technology start-ups and are experienced in digital campaigning and training.

Myanmar Physically Handicapped Association (MPHA)

MPHA is a national organisation that advocates for the rights of people living with disabilities and fights social discrimination within Myanmar society.

Over the course of the programme may be expanded with additional partners.

Latest News

The latest news, views and insights from the ECID programme in Myanmar

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