Learning from the Past: Investigating the Income Restoration Programs in the Resettlement Work Plans of Thilawa Special Economic Zone, Yangon, Myanmar

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Thu Htet

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the Income Restoration Plans (IRPs) prepared in the previous Resettlement Work Plans (RWPs) of Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Yangon, Myanmar, by employing three resettlement practices: JICA guidelines and the World Bank policies on resettlements (OP 4.12 and ESS 5) as benchmarks. There are three major objectives for this study: to observe the gaps between the resettlement policies and the practices, examine the potential shortcomings in the IRPs, and employ those lessons to improve future resettlement planning. Therefore, JICA and the World Bank policies on resettlements and the IRPs as described in the RWPs of Thilawa SEZs serve as important data sources used in this paper.


The study found that IRPs lacked sufficient attention to address impoverishments and provide alternative sustainable livelihoods for the affected communities. First, the IRPs lacked assurances or guarantees on the employment status in/near SEZ areas for those whose livelihoods are affected and needed to secure alternative livelihoods. Second, they lacked sufficient support for those who would choose to be self-employed or establish a business enterprise. Third, there were shortcomings in the meaningful participation by the affected communities. Fourth, there was insufficient gender dimension incorporated into IRPs of the resettlement plan. Four policy recommendations are provided: assuring and guaranteeing the employment opportunities, providing infrastructure, technical and financial assistance for business establishment, deriving development opportunities and benefits from the project, and planning the planning process to become more inclusive and participatory.

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How to Cite
Htet, T. (2021). Learning from the Past: Investigating the Income Restoration Programs in the Resettlement Work Plans of Thilawa Special Economic Zone, Yangon, Myanmar. Asia Social Issues, 15(1), 251384. https://doi.org/10.48048/asi.2022.251384
Section
Research Article

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