Changing lives though small grants in rural Myanmar
The LIFT Dry Zone Small Grant Fund for Civil Society is strengthening civil society organizations (CSOs) and livelihoods systems in nine rural townships across Myanmar’s Dry Zone, where communities face numerous agro-ecological and socio-economic challenges. In these areas, farming and landless households are vulnerable to variable climatic and market conditions as well as policy and social changes. Pact Myanmar supported nascent CSOs to increase livelihoods opportunities of residents and improve livelihoods systems at the township level.
From March 2017 to September 2019, Pact funded 125 projects by 87 CSOs worth nearly USD $1.15 million that focused on agriculture, livestock, handicrafts, vocational and soft skills training, advocacy and networking. Alongside small grants, Pact Myanmar provided context-sensitive, demand-driven capacity development support, and reflection, learning and networking opportunities. As a result, grantee CSOs are better equipped to achieve their social change goals, including through engaging with various private, civic and public sector stakeholders, and networking with other CSOs to share learning, plan and implement joint action. Through 24 women-led CSOs that were awarded LIFT grants, women are increasingly finding opportunities to integrate into livelihoods systems, often as a result of trainings focused on increasing their income and decreasing their financial dependence.