SEZs have emerged as foreign investment-capturing instruments and a prominent strategy in the pursuit of regional economic integration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

The Mekong Migration Network (MMN) and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), jointly implemented the project Jobs at the Border: Promoting Gender-Sensitive Policies for Special Economic Zones in the Mekong Region a research and advocacy project from 2016 to 2019, investigating labour and migration issues in Mekong SEZs through a gendered lens.

Guided by the question of whether the jobs being created within these zones are promoting decent work for women migrant workers, this study developed four case studies of SEZs: Thilawa SEZ (Yangon Region, Myanmar), Phnom Penh SEZ (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), Manhattan SEZ (Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia), and Tak SEZ (Tak Province, Thailand), with a particular focus on the garment industry.

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Dr. Philippe Doneys, Professor Kyoko Kusakabe, Dr. Joyee Chatterjee

1 June 2018-31 August 2021

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

The aim of the project is to assess the extent and forms of women’s participation in the political sphere in Myanmar, and explore barriers and enabling factors. We define participation beyond just actions that influence or support governments to taking part in collective decision-making in a broad sense. Previous research has demonstrated low levels of women’s representation in national, subnational, and community governance, and explored the social and cultural norms that bar women from taking leadership roles.1 This research will extend these insights to analyze the pathways to participation across multiple levels of governance: (1) National parliament, political parties, and social movements; (2) State/Division parliaments, government offices; and (3) District, township, and village groups. Using the concept of pathways will allow us to utilize and study women’s personal path to political power, to understand what can undermine at any point upward mobility in the political system and what can facilitate or provide entry points or further engagement at different moments in a woman’s life. The project will use a mixed method approach to understand participation processes at play while measuring their occurrence and determining factors to barriers and opportunities. A small parallel study will be conducted in Cambodia as a comparative case that will help clarify the  extent to which the characteristics of women’s political participation at different levels of governance in Myanmar are unique or potentially generalizable within the scope of developing countries in transition.

Dr. Vilas Nitivattananon

31 Jan 2016 – 28 Feb 2017

SIIT/Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA)

Dr. Kyoko Kusakabe

1 Jan 2016 – 31 Dec 2018

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

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Dr. Joyee S. Chatterjee

1 Mar – 30 Aug 2016

BBC Media Action (India)

Dr. Mokbul Morshed Ahmad

1 Mar 16 – 28 Feb 18

Regional Forum on Climate Change (RFCC)

Prof. Kyoko Kusakabe

8 Mar 16 – 8 Mar 17

Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC)

Dr. Vilas Nitivattananon

25 Oct 16 – 28 Jan 17

Designated Area for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA)

Dr. Nophea Sasaki, Prof. Rajendra Shrestha

27 Nov 16 – 4 Dec 16

self generation

Prof. Kyoko Kusakabe

15 Oct 16 – 15 Feb 17

Food Marketing research and Information Center (FMRIC)