Assessing the Impacts of Selected Business Sectors on Myanmar Society
In line with its mission to encourage responsible business throughout Myanmar, the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) will carry out a series of sector wide impact assessments (SWIA) to help inform government policy, advance responsible business practice and build civil society capacity to strengthen accountability. SWIA seek to assess the potential impacts of a sector, including investments within the sector, on Myanmar society and in particular on the enjoyment of human rights. SWIA are implemented through a combination of desk-based and field work.
The methodology for the impact assessments to be undertaken as part of the project is being developed by MCRB in cooperation with the Institute for Human Rights and Business and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
It builds on well-established processes and procedures of environmental impact assessments (EIA) and social impact assessments (SIA), as well as human rights impact assessments (HRIA) that are grounded in the EIA/SIA methodologies but look at potential impacts through the prism of human rights. Existing impact assessment approaches are used to understand the potential impacts of specific projects at particular sites in order to prevent or mitigate negative impacts as a project is designed and developed. They are usually carried out by project developers. Myanmar law requires ESIA in designated circumstances.
The SWIA process will build on these methodologies, but instead of being project specific, will take a broader, forward-looking approach to potential investments from local or foreign businesses in the four sectors. Each SWIA will look at the impacts an entire business sector can have on society, with a particular focus on human rights. It is intended that each completed SWIA will be a public document, unlike many project-based impact assessments. It is hoped that the results of each SWIA will inform future impact assessments undertaken by companies and reviewed by the Myanmar Government.
Four sectors have been chosen according to their relevance to Myanmar’s economic development, their potential impacts, and the cross-cutting issues they raise of interest to other sectors. The sectors and timeframe for carrying out the SWIA for each are:
Oil & Gas (2013-2014)
Agriculture (2014 – 2015)
Information and Communication Technologies (2014 – 2015)
A further explanation of the methodology for SWIAs is available here and will be updated as our SWIA project develops.
Purpose of Sector-Wide Impact Assessments
No impact assessment can ensure human rights protection. Respect for human rights in any society requires appropriate laws and enforcement as well as ongoing political will and commitment, including through responsible practices by business. The SWIA project will make a contribution to this aim by sensitising planners, decision-makers, businesses and civil society to the likely risks and impacts of their activities on workers, communities, consumers and society more generally, so that at an early stage steps can be taken to prevent or mitigate risks and amplify gains from future investments in the sector.
Your Participation in the Sector-Wide Impact Assessments Process
The SWIA process will be developed through engagement with a wide range of actors including domestic and international businesses and civil society organisations, Myanmar communities, workers and trade unions, Government and Parliamentarians, other experts and interested parties. Notices of relevant consultations will be posted on the MCRB website throughout the course of the project.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to draw our attention to information relevant to the four sectors; to the impact assessment methodology; to relevant ongoing projects, including donor-funded activities, or research, data or information that may be useful; or to express your interest in participating in consultations or field research.
Draft for consultation of the Impact Summaries of the Oil & Gas Sector-Wide Impact Assessment
We are pleased to announce the draft for consultation of the Impact Summaries of the Oil & Gas Sector-Wide Impact Assessment (SWIA), produced by the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) in cooperation with the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).
This consultation draft contains an introduction to the SWIA, description of the methodology used, key project-level findings around seven key areas concerning oil and gas in Myanmar, as well as cumulative-level findings around combined impacts from multiple projects/activities.
The final Oil & Gas SWIA will contain more comprehensive background on the sector, more information on the policy and legal framework relevant to oil and gas in Myanmar, and a set of recommendations produced as an outcome of these multistakeholder consultations.
There are two objectives of the upcoming consultations. The first is to discuss the key draft findings of the O&G SWIA and ensure their relevance and completeness i.e. have we missed or misunderstood key issues? The second is to participate in developing recommendations for actions by the Government and companies and other stakeholders (local and foreign) in relationship to the O&G sector that will improve the outcomes of O&G projects for the benefit of Myanmar society and improve the framework for responsible investment. We also will be looking to further identify and highlight on-going or planned initiatives that you may be aware of or implementing that could provide relevant linkages to the follow-up actions.
A draft or partial draft in Burmese will follow as soon as possible.