Community upgrading workshop in Mandalay
The four communities of Thayagong, Seeyosoo, Nadi Pancha Park and Tondon in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest urban area, were part of a 10-day surveying and mapping workshop in May to kickstart participatory design in their settlements and start using their ACCA budget. The local network of Women for the World (WFW) in Mandalay jointly facilitated the workshop with an ACHR team (Chawanad Luansang, Thanawin Wijitporn, and Khanittha Sakduang), hosted by Tondon community. The longer term goal is to develop a viable land readjustment scheme in partnership with the government, as an alternative to relocation for the lower-income settlements in Mandalay.

The workshop provided training in survey and mapping techniques for the communities, so they could visualise the necessary information needed to develop an upgrading design for the settlements, such as the number of families, type of land ownership and size of each community, income and ability to save for each family and community, as well as the future development plans in each area.

Thayagong community lives on canal land, Seeyosoo community lives on monastery land, and Nadi Pancha Park and Tondon communities are located on local government land. Different land ownerships is common for settlements in Myanmar, and from the beginning of the workshop it was realised that a flexible land readjustment scheme was needed, which could apply to different types of land ownership, while at the same time respond to specificities of local future development. 

During the mapping Tondon community discovered that it is possible to readjust 30 houses to fit into the local government’s land, and Seyosoo community found out that if they readjusted their plot they could still accommodate 130 houses, and return the land around the temple back to the Monastery. This was a great boost of confidence for the communities, as they were able to prove to the government that another solution to relocation is indeed possible.

As the ACCA budget is only enough to upgrade small clusters of 20-30 houses in 3 communities, it is critical that the upgrading becomes regarded as a flexible model to be replicated in other settlements by the government, regardless of the type of land ownership. 
Women for the World (WFW)
Community upgrading workshop in Mandalay
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