Working groups for inclusive business development in Kayin state, Myanmar
Based on a 2013 request from the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) and the Karen National Union (KNU), PeaceNexus has assisted local actors (local government, ethnic minority armed groups and local communities) in Northern Kayin State to establish a working group to identify community development priorities. This has led to the establishment of community-based tourism projects, including B&Bs that are now officially registered and accessible to tourists in previously inaccessible areas due to conflict. PeaceNexus has acted as a facilitator, promoting broader participation of local actors and connecting the group with other organisations that have provided technical assistance and funding (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Business Innovation Facility, Friedich Ebert Foundation).
This case study describes a project which started in 2013 at the request of the Karen National Union (KNU) and in collaboration with the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC). It came in the wake of the 2012 bilateral ceasefire between the KNU and the government, and offered the potential for confidence-building in the peace process, while improving the livelihoods of conflict-affected populations in Kayin State.
Through iterative consultation, it evolved from broad exploration to piloting a model for tourism development assistance in a particular town in rural Kayin State.
PeaceNexus also helps ethnic minority groups and public and private sector actors in Kayin to understand and foster responsible and conflict-sensitive business practices in collaboration with other actors such as the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB).