To Promote Stakeholder Engagement
The proposal for a Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group (MSAG) to advise on the implementation of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone(SEZ) Phase 1 project. In particular, the resettlement program was put forward as a direct outcome of the Investigation Report by the Examiner for JICA Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations (November 2014), and in response to recommendations from the external monitoring and evaluation conducted for the Phase 1 resettlement program.
It was also in response to civil society interest and concerns about the resettlement program and Government of Myanmar (GoM) recognition that broader stakeholder engagement would assist in resolving some ongoing challenges.
*MSAG meeting has been transformed into a Thilawa Community Coordination(TCC) Meeting and is still being held.
The MSAG’s Objectives
- Create a broad dialogue between relevant key stakeholders of the Thilawa SEZ Phase 1 project with the intention to improve policies, priorities and processes that govern the Project and ensure the success of the SEZ and benefits to affected communities.
- Identify and assess potential issues, concerns and complaints from Project Affected Persons (PAPs) with the implementation of the resettlement program and recommend corrective measures or other actions required to resolve such issues, concerns or complaints.
- Bring to the attention of the relevant implementing agencies and authorities any issues, concerns and complaints that PAPs and other stakeholders have regarding the Thilawa Phase 1 project.
- Monitor implementation of resettlement and income restoration activities to ensure they fulfill the obligations set out by relevant Myanmar and international commitments.
- Promote and facilitate improved outcomes for PAPs of Thilawa Phase 1 resettlement program including by encouraging good international practice in resettlement and income restoration activities.
- Promote good international practice in stakeholder engagement including disseminating information to generate a better understanding of Thilawa SEZ Phase 1 project and reduce the risk of conflict and misunderstandings.
- Identify lessons learned from Thilawa Phase 1 project to inform planning and implementation for further development.
The Membership of the MSAG
Chairperson: Ms. Vicky Bowman, Director, Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB)
Secretariat: JICA Expert Team
- Thilawa SEZ Management Committee(TSMC) Secretary (1)
- Income Restoration Program Implementation Supporting Committee (IRPISC) representatives (2)
- Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development (MJTD) representatives (2)
- Project Affected People/Community Representatives (2) (including 1 from the TSEZ Phase 2/Zone B community)
- Mediators (1)
- Non Government Organisations (NGOs)/Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); Paung Ku (1), Earth Rights International (1), Thilawa Social Development Group (1)
MSAG meetings were held on a quarterly basis from February 2015 – March 2016.
On 16 November 2015, representatives from MSAG participated to share experience in a panel at the 4th United Nations(UN) Forum on business and Human Rights held in Geneva, Switzerland.
(Click here for details)
In July/August 2016, a third-party evaluation was undertaken of the MSAG. It concluded that while the creation of the MSAG was necessary and timely, a new mechanism was needed that would oversee and manage company-community relations in the SEZ.
Discussions have recently commenced regarding development of an alternate mechanism.
Thilawa Community Coordination Meeting (TCC Meeting)
Thilawa Community Coordination (TCC) meeting is being held in quarterly to review the development activities for 11 project affected communities (PACs) including the resettlement area of PAPs that have been done and planning by MJTD, to know the requests and TSEZ related issues from surrounding communities.
In total 11 TCC meeting were conducted since January 2017 and the last meeting was held in January 2020.
The objectives of the meetings are;
・To review the development activities for PACs that have been done and planned by MJTD
・To know the requests and complaints from SEZ surrounding communities.
Firstly, MJTD gave an opening remark and shared the updated SEZ information which includes the implementation of Zone B, operations of factories and employment inside the SEZ.
Continuously, the community relation officer reviewed the summary of CSR activities with the participants. After that, the following issues:developing the village access roads, upgrading the school buildings, safety around the SEZ, wastes dumping near the villages and promoting the local (PAPs and PACs) employment numbers inside the SEZ were raised and discussed. In total 30 participants attended the meeting.
The participants of TCC meeting are as follows.
PACs and PAPs
– Representatives of project affected person (Zone A and Zone B) – The administrator of each ward/ village
– 2 community representatives by each ward/village
– Officers from Community Relation Department
– Officers from Human Resources and Administration Department – Officers from Operation Department
– Members of TSMC
– Public Affairs Coordinators
JICA Expert Team
– A member of JICA Expert Team