Staff for the Myanmar National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) presented a session on grievance redress mechanisms during a June 5 training on social safeguards for all project management units in Myanmar. The NCDDP, now completing its 4th cycle of implementation this year, funds community infrastructure projects in 8,573 villages across Myanmar. The Department of Rural Development (DRD), the implementing agency, has successfully developed and operationalized a grievance handling mechanism for the project that has seen a remarkable scale-up in the past three years from an initial 410.
Excellent case management procedures are in place at all levels to handle the increased volume from scaling up, in part from Bank support to DRD during the design stage. As of March 2017, the project has received a total of 7,277 grievances and resolved 99.8% of them. The number of grievances received has rapidly increased from 318 in the project’s first year to 1,348 in the second year and 5,279 in its third year, a trend that is likely to continue as NCDDP expands to new villages. The Bank also plays a role in maintaining and assessing the mechanism to ensure that it is working effectively.
The NCDDP’s existing grievance handling mechanism owes its success to committed management, strong institutional structures, robust business processes, and motivated staff at all levels. Strong outreach is also key: the project has elaborated on grievance procedures and disseminated them widely to community members through posters, brochures and trainings. These posters are prominently displayed in villages, and there is widespread availability of reporting channels and awareness materials such as grievance boxes, envelopes, posters, and brochures in these communities.
Training participants were keen to refer to the presentation and share it with other colleagues in their organizations as they implement their own grievance handling mechanisms. The NCDDP presentation, attached, provides more detailed information on the project’s grievance handling mechanism and shows the systematic work and detailed thinking that go into a well-functioning grievance handling mechanism. Let’s hope that the good model of the NCDDP grievance mechanism gets adopted by more and more government departments we work with!