Out now:

Evidence-based policymaking in Myanmar? Considerations of a post-conflict development dilemma

Mareike Schomerusand Hakan Seckinelgin

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With a few months to go to Myanmar’s national elections, a further spotlight has been shone

on the country’s political transition and developments since the groundbreaking national

elections of 2010. The past five years have seen a tremendous change in the country, leaving

citizens and analysts both hopeful and sceptical about the direction and sustainability of such

rapidly-paced change (Jones 2014, Cheesman, Skidmore, and Wilson 2010). How to support

what is perceived as positive change is a concern within the international development

community now increasingly engaged in Myanmar, often operating with extremely limited

information. This means that assumptions on how Myanmar’s path might look are often

based on seemingly similar experiences elsewhere. However, what is made less explicit is

that international actors contribute to the changing political landscape in many ways. One

topic of discussion that has been made more prominent through the increased presence of

international development actors and their experiences and foci elsewhere has been how to

approach issues of transition and development through evidence-based policies. Implicit in

this is an expression of the need for more information; further, basing policies on evidence is

broadly expected to lead to improvement and transparency. But is pushing for better evidence

in the policy-making process an obviously beneficial approach for Myanmar?