Preserving Investment Impact in Myanmar: MEIP Case Study
Preserving Investment Impact in Myanmar: MEIP Case Study

Preserving Investment Impact in Myanmar: MEIP Case Study

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A case study of a DFI-led market shaping facility that adapted its approach to support investors and portfolio companies to navigate crisis in the wake of the military coup

By: Kim Beevers and Naithy Cyriac

Myanmar Enabling Investment Programme (MEIP) was a market shaping initiative designed to address systemic barriers inhibiting impact-oriented investment flows to Myanmar. The programme was co-funded by CDC and FMO and launched in January 2020.

On 1 February 2020, a military coup hurled Myanmar into crisis. The coup has had profound implications for its people, economy, and global standing. Further, in the months that followed, investors and their portfolio companies wrestled with whether or not to remain invested and how best to preserve impact. They faced severe political, economic, and social disruptions, increased scrutiny, and pressing operational concerns like risks to staff safety and limited access to cash. As a result, investors restructured their Myanmar engagements, shifting from actively evaluating potential investment opportunities to ensuring the financial and operational resiliency of their current assets.

The changed circumstances and stakeholder response rendered many of MEIP’s original planned activities irrelevant. In response, MEIP adapted its approach, supporting investors and portfolio companies to navigate crisis and redefine their roles and responsibilities with a new goal of preserving impact. The programme’s influential team, collaborative donor-implementing partner management approach, and flexible design enabled it to respond to the dramatically changed context quickly.

The MEIP Case Study outlines the programme’s adaptation, including activities designed to strengthen partner and market capacity to adapt and endure the post-coup crisis period as well as the structural elements that enabled the programme’s agility. It also points to a potentially valuable risk mitigation role that market shaping technical assistance can play to support DFIs, private investors, and portfolio companies to navigate uncertainty and crisis that often accompanies operations in fragile contexts.