The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) US$70-million Shae Thot – or The Way Forward – project, led by Pact, is ending in March having reduced maternal and child mortality, improved food security, increased access to safe water and advanced hygiene, and strengthened community institutions in Myanmar’s central Dry Zone and Kayah State.
“Shae Thot has helped thousands of communities and hundreds of thousands of people,” said USAID Mission Director Teresa McGhie. “The project’s scope has been significant – working with people to live healthier, more productive lives, and empowering villages to achieve communal goals. This is why USAID is so proud of Shae Thot’s success.”
Shae Thot has worked in more than 2,800 villages across 23 Dry Zone and Kayah State townships since 2011. It has reached 1.34 million people through its health work, improving children’s health and nutrition, providing mobile-clinic services to thousands, increasing the percentage of women giving birth with skilled midwives in attendance, and providing hygiene education to stop the spread of disease.
Through U.S. assistance, more than 644,000 people now have improved access to potable water. More than 66,000 farmers have improved agriculture practices through Shae Thot training leading to increased yields. And 1,360 villages have US$2.1 million in locally-raised funding which they use to improve their own communities through projects overseen by their Village Development Committees.
Collaboration with grassroots groups, such as Village Development Committees, has given villagers a stronger voice in local decision-making processes, served as a model for good governance, and built bonds between villages and local authorities. These networks are expected last beyond the Shae Thot project.
“We believe Shae Thot’s partnership with communities and local residents has made a significant contribution to their wellbeing,” said Shae Thot Chief of Party Sabine Joukes, of Pact. “As a result, communities, small businesses and families will now be able sustain the gains from Shae Thot long beyond its end.”
The Shae Thot consortium has been led by Pact with partners Cesvi, Marie Stopes International, Pact Global Microfinance Fund, UN-Habitat, and 12 local civil society partners.
About Pact in Myanmar
Pact is the promise of a better tomorrow for communities challenged by poverty and marginalization. We serve these communities because we envision a world where everyone owns their future. To do this, we build systemic solutions in partnership with local organizations, businesses and governments that create sustainable and resilient communities where those we serve are heard, capable and vibrant. On the ground in nearly 40 countries around the world, Pact's integrated, adaptive approach is shaping the future of international development. Since 1997, Pact has worked in Myanmar to empower communities with increased knowledge to better care for their families, to grow their resources for individual and common goals and to lead their own development.
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency working to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes recipient self-reliance and resilience.
For more information about Pact in Myanmar
Tenford Chitanana, Communication Specialist
Tel: +95-1-373221, 245 447, ext. 53
Sabine Joukes, Chief of Party, Shae Thot Project
Tel: +95-1-373221; 378 931, 245 447
For more information about USAID Burma
Hal Lipper, Senior Development Outreach Communications Specialist
Tel: +95-1-536-509, ext. 4858; +95-94-4899-9929
Aung Thura Ko Ko, Development Outreach Communications Specialist
Tel: +95-1-536-509, ext. 4808; +95-94-4899-9940
Lead photo: Shae Thot holds its final learning and sharing event Feb. 15 in Yangon.