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Building peace in Kyauk Phyu

Inclusion of community voices in the development of special economic zones

This project aimed to influence new forms of collaboration around the fledgling foreign investment and economic development in Kyauk Phyu, in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Kyauk Phyu is located at the centre of a strategically important 'special economic zone' (SEZ). It is also located in a state where violent conflict between Buddhist and Muslim communities undermines equitable development. New economic investment could help build long-term peace in the area, but only if it is done in a conflict-sensitive way. Our work therefore hoped to develop the capacity of new institutions to monitor and steer economic development in a way that appeals to local needs as well as to foreign investors and the national government.

We ran courses in conflict-sensitive economic governance to strengthen practical knowledge on conflict-sensitive approaches to economic investment and development among state and non-state actors, including businesses. As part of this, we encouraged the diversification of those involved in the governance of natural resources and investment in the SEZ in a way that favours peace.