“Human Settlements Sector Review: Union of Myanmar” by UN Centre for Human Settlements

Human Settlements Sector Review: Union of Myanmar


Background to the Sector Review

The setting for this Review was a period of extreme political uncertainty in the weeks before the general election in May 1990. Recent shifts towards a liberalization of external trade and the promotion of formal private-sector activities had opened the economy to foreign investments and brought the country out of a period of commercial isolation lasting almost 30 years.

Travel around the country and to sites in Yangon for major housing projects was subject to strict security control and to prior official approval. A nightly curfew was in force. Access to certain high-level officials required several days’ notice and copies of official publications and maps were difficult to obtain through official channels. Following evacuations during the period of civil unrest in 1988, UNDP and most other donors were again fully operational.

Despite the restrictions, the UNCHS (Habitat) Mission was able to visit all parts of Yangon and make field trips to the other important urban centres of Mandalay, Taunggyi and Bago. The Housing Department of the Ministry of Construction acted as the main counterpart agency, and provided a high level of technical and logistic support. The Mission had free access to the Department’s drawings and plans, and data were promptly supplied on request.

Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs
Water Supply and Sanitation- National System


Report Structure

A multi-sectoral initial overview is used to provide a synoptic framework for tracing the range of forces and activities which influence the ways in which the cities, towns and villages grow and change.

Change of Rangoon City Boundary from 1920 to 1985

In this report, the overall development co-operation programme, covering all donors, is then analysed and key projects, whether completed, being implemented, or planned are examined. Projects related to the human settlements sector are sorted first by agency and then by sub-sector in order to establish significant linkages and identify gaps and overlaps. Next, assessments of the urban and rural sectors are presented, incorporating detailed factual profiles with a diagnosis of problem areas. Finally, the development needs are identified and translated into a recommended sector programme, with outline descriptions of proposed new projects.

Statistical profile of Yangon obtained by using RCRDP material
Yangon Post-1985 Resettlement Programmes



Standley, Terry, and David Etherton. 1991. Human settlements sector review: Union of Myanmar. Nairobi: United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat).


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