Myanmar: Critical Stories of Change

Change makers are individuals who facilitate change. They might galvanise communities into action or influence an organisation to work in a different way. The change that they are part of can be sustainable over the long term.

Individuals like this exist everywhere within the context of ActionAid’s work; they are sometimes ActionAid staff members and they are sometimes community members. The motivation for this publication is to explore how and why ‘change makers’ achieve change in order to understand how ActionAid can better support individuals, staff or partners to achieve change in the future. This particular story focuses on change makers in ActionAid Myanmar’s fellowship programme and tries to understand what change has happened in Myanmar, and how and why it has happened.


  • Introduction: What is a ‘change maker’? 1
  • Setting the context 3
  • How is ActionAid Myanmar operating in this context? 6
  • Fellowship programme diagram: process flow 7
  • What did ActionAid Myanmar set out to do in the fellowship programme and why? 9
  • What is the change and how has it happened? 10
  • - Change in individual fellows 11
  • - Change in the community 20
  • - Community cohesion 21
  • - Catalysts for change 24
  • - Creating lasting change 26
  • What factors make it harder for the programme to achieve its full potential? 29
  • What is ActionAid Myanmar’s role in contributing to change? 31
  • What lessons can be learnt for ActionAid? 33



  • ADRA Adventist Development and Relief Agency
  • AAI ActionAid International
  • AAM ActionAid Myanmar
  • CAF Community accountability file
  • CBO Community based organisation
  • DFID Department for International Development
  • DRR Disaster risk reduction
  • HRBA Human rights-based approach
  • INGO International non-governmental organisation
  • MoU Memorandum of Understanding
  • NGO Non-governmental organisation
  • OWG Operational working group
  • PRRP Participatory review and reflectionprocess
  • SHG Self-help group
  • UNHCR United Nations High Commissione for Refugees
  • VDC Village