Most international attention on Myanmar has focused on the political situation, where the military, in power since 1962, continues to refuse to acknowledge the results of democratic elections, and on related human rights issues. This book, by focusing on education, health and environment, and on the institutions which formulate and deliver policy in these fields, shows how the international community can make a significant difference to strengthening Myanmar's civil society and to supporting a future democratic form of government, by encouraging institutional developments in these fields. Such developments in turn, the author argues, will re-skill the younger generation, promote economic development and poverty alleviation, and, through a participatory approach to policy-making, nurture the conditions from which democracy will grow.
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Helen James holds appointments with the Research Schools of Pacific and Asian Studies, Economics and Government and Social Sciences at the Australian National University. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, where she is now a Life Member of Clare Hall. In 1997, she was made Benchamabhorn, Member of the Most Noble Order of the Kingdom of Thailand, for services to education, history, language and culture. Since 1996 she has visited Myanmar fifteen times for research and collaborative linkages with the Education and Health sectors of that country. She has taken a leading role in fostering the Australian government's engagement policy with Myanmar.
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