MyanmarThe Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a humanitarian, non-governmental, non-profit organization working in Myanmar since 2009 and currently supporting operations in four different states (Kachin, northern Shan, Kayah and Rakhine). DRC aims to provide immediate relief and protection to displaced people and vulnerable host communities in an impartial, inclusive and neutral manner, adhering to DRC’s Code of Conduct and core Humanitarian Principles.
SECTORS AND GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF INTERVENTIONS
The DRC programme in Myanmar focuses on five core sectors of intervention: Protection, Livelihood, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA). We operate from five main offices in Yangon, Sittwe, Myitkyina, Lashio and Loikaw.
WHAT WE DO
Economic Recovery and Livelihoods
With a strong emphasis on durable solutions, DRC’s livelihood activities focus on ways to increase skills in new and appropriate livelihoods opportunities either via trainings, or apprenticeship programmes in order to increase livelihood opportunities and improve the capacities of households. A holistic package is presented including; capacity building in a specific skill set; provision of a start-up kit/ cash grant; mentoring; and follow up to ensure that the livelihoods opportunity generates real income and supports self-sufficiency. Currently, DRC is providing in-depth market-driven technical skills training, through experienced private trainers or government institutions. This is coupled with business management skills training, so that conflict affected persons enhance their financial literacy or entrepreneurship skills. DRC then provides a restricted cash grant for conflict affected persons to kick-start their income-generating activity. In addition, DRC implements an informal apprenticeship component which will result in almost 40 conflict affected persons receiving on-the-job training through locally listed employers with logistical and training capacity. DRC is present in three states, and coordinates with other livelihood actors through monthly meetings. To date, DRC has supported more than 20 different, diversified and market-driven livelihoods activities.
As part of our livelihood activities, 1, 530 beneficiaries were reached in 2017
DRC implements a comprehensive protection strategy to address protection risks and to prevent negative coping mechanisms through case management, protection monitoring and awareness activities, as well as community-based interventions. Through community-based mechanisms (Protection Focal Points, Community Based Protection Groups, and Child Protection Groups) and their capacity building and mentoring, an improved protective environment is facilitated. Enhancing community-based protection is complemented with community-based protection assistance in the form of small infrastructure support, which improves the protection environment for those in camps. Community Based Protection Groups, Protection Focal Points, youth facilitators, and members of Child Protection Groups are involved in specialised training to deepen their ability to prevent, identify and respond to those in their community who may need support. DRC also provides support and referrals through case management to specific individuals or families including tangible support such as NFIs, and intangibles such as change planning, participatory individual assessment and lay counselling.
In 2017, the Protection Team reached 158,225 people in need through case management and protection monitoring activities.
Camp Coordination and Camp Management
In Rakhine, DRC conducts Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) activities in six camps in Sittwe and two camps in Pauktaw, to ensure that service provision in camps is well coordinated, informed by needs and accountable. Coordination takes place with a range of stakeholders including community representatives, government focal points and NGO/UN agencies to ensure that blockages are addressed and IDPs receive improved services. Information on camp demographics and service provision is collected and shared regularly to inform the overall humanitarian response. Community participation activities are essential for engaging a diverse range of community groups, particularly vulnerable groups such as women, youth, people with disabilities, and the elderly, as well as for facilitating two-way information sharing. These activities also serve to enable social cohesion in camps which are overcrowded and generally fail to meet international standards. One of the main tools for promoting accountability to the affected population is the Complaint and Response Mechanism, which provides an anonymous platform for communities to highlight needs. DRC provides a monthly analysis on the complaints received to service providers (mainly other NGOs) in order to facilitate timely and accurate responses to issues identified.
IMPROVING COMMUNICATION WITH COMMUNITIES
In 2018 the CCCM team is working to develop a more creative Communication with Communities approach in light of the fact that 68% of females and 42% of males in the camps cannot speak either Myanmar or Rakhine languages. This new approach will collect data on preferred information sources, consumption habits and information needs as identified by the community, and will develop new information and communication channels to reflect this. It is hoped that by improving our understanding of preferred information sources that communities can be empowered to make informed decisions about their lives.
DRC provides essential water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in two Sittwe camps and one Pauktaw camp in Rakhine with a focus on accessibility and accountability through participatory approaches to empower IDPs to identify key issues and design solutions. The program aims to ensure equitable access to safe sanitation, hygiene items and water in both quantity and quality. DRC ensures weekly hand pump monitoring and maintenance, quarterly water quality testing and shock chlorination, camp cleaning, solid waste management, sludge treatment, and supplies 90.000 liters of treated water every day. Over 900 camp latrines are constructed, repaired, cleaned, desludged, and regularly monitored, hygiene kits are distributed to every household bi-monthly, and post-distribution monitoring is conducted to understand market access to hygiene items. Instead of traditional hygiene promotion, DRC works with behaviour change peer groups who use participatory mapping techniques to analyze problematic WASH behaviours and design appropriate interventions.
In 2017, the WASH team has reached 14.308 beneficiaries in Sittwe and 5.938 beneficiaries in Pauktaw
DRC/DDG conducts rapid assessments in villages to collect information and identify areas potentially contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Based on the rapid assessment findings, Mine Risk Education (MRE) Trainers conduct MRE sessions in schools and the communities for all age groups in the population, with the intent of reducing accidental casualties. During all MRE sessions, DRC/DDG collects information about mines, ERW, conflict, and mine accidents through a Community Mapping exercise conducted with the villages. The community mapping in villages is the first step in identifying potential areas of mine contamination. Combined with MRE sessions as well as trainings with duty bearers, these activities are expected to help reduce the level of risks and mine related incidents. In Kayah State, besides the more accepted and less sensitive Mine Risk Education (MRE) and Victim Assistance activities, DRC/DDG has also been conducting Non-Technical Surveys (NTS) since 2017. NTS consists of accessing, collecting, reporting and using information to better identify and define areas where mines/ERW are to be found as well as where they are not. NTS contributes to improving safe access to livelihoods in rural areas and to reducing the risk caused by landmines and ERW within target communities by informing the population on the exact location, extent and nature of the threat. In addition, NTS findings provide crucial information to facilitate the planning and prioritization of future demining activities. If correctly implemented according to conflict sensitivity principles, it is believed that such an activity can positively contribute to confidence building in the target areas.
Through Mine Action activities, DRC/DDG reached 27,613 individuals in 2017.
DRC STAFF IN MYANMAR
DRC currently employs over 349 national and 31 international staff.
DRC partners with
Government of Myanmar and local authorities
UN Agencies: UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, OCHA, UNOPS
Donor agencies: EU, USAID, OFDA, ECHO, HARP, DANIDA, SDC, GIZ, Australian DFAT, LIFT and US WRA.
Local and International NGOs in Myanmar