Qualitative Social and Economic Monitoring - Round Three Report

TitleQualitative Social and Economic Monitoring - Round Three Report
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2013
Key themesConversion-FoodSecurity, Formalisation-titling, MigrationLabour, Policy-law

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The overall QSEM program aims to provide a descriptive picture of rural life in Myanmar. It examines different livelihood strategies and activities, the wider factors that shape these strategies, and how the broader social and institutional features of community life affect people’s livelihoods choices and outcomes. Specifically, it explores how external assistance affects individual behavior, coping mechanisms, and community social structures. How do those social structures shape the local economic environment? How do coping mechanisms affect livelihood choices and outcomes? Assessing the ways that different sets of factors are related to each other can ultimately provide a deeper understanding of how livelihoods choices are made and how they result in different outcomes. QSEM is designed to support the monitoring and evaluation program of the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT). LIFT works in rural areas of Myanmar and provides grants to implementing partners for projects that collectively aim to improve the food security and incomes of 2 million people across Myanmar. QSEM aims to inform the strategic decision‐making of the LIFT Fund Board by helping the program to gain a better understanding of livelihoods needs, challenges and opportunities in LIFT target areas and how these vary by geographic area, target group and over time. This report is based on the third round of QSEM research. QSEM 3 was the first round in which all villages in the sample were revisited, so it focuses on changes at the village level, which began to emerge clearly for the first time. The changes highlight how Myanmar’s national transition may be playing out at the village level in rural areas. Although there were few significant changes in livelihood patterns, there were emerging changes in land management, village governance, and local organizing. The main findings that emerge from QSEM 3 include: (a) little change in the basics of people’s livelihoods; (b) incremental change in certain aspects of the village livelihoods context and new dynamics around recurrent challenges, particularly in land but also in labor and credit; (c) perceived intensification in the kinds of problems and shocks people face and some changes in coping, particularly in migration; and (d) flux in village governance, collective bargaining and other aspects of village institutions. As in previous rounds, there was regional variance in all these areas.


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