IMOW Learning Series

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A set of learning papers and technical guides that showcase the results of MEDA’s Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW) project, which supported women small producers. The series provides insights into supporting women farmers, working with the private sector to encourage market linkages, and promoting the use of good agricultural practices.

In 2015, with the support of Global Affairs Canada, MEDA began implementing the six-year IMOW project focused on the rice and vegetable value chains in Kayin State and the vegetable value chain in Shan State. Project interventions related to sustainable agriculture, financial and market linkages, women’s economic empowerment (WEE), and the environment were implemented in partnership with both local Key Facilitating Partners (KFPs) and Private Sector Development (PSD) partners. 

MEDA’s work to increase women’s participation in Myanmar’s evolving economic landscape has led to many learnings about the challenges of working in nascent and often unstable markets. This series highlights approaches to project design, market-led strategies for reaching women small producers, and promoting environmentally friendly farming.

The IMOW project ran from 2015 to 2021. The instability that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and military coup both impacted Myanmar’s private sector activities and IMOWs larger project operations. Most of the learning products included in this series are focused on project results prior to these crises.

Key Themes Include

Strengthening Inclusive Business in Myanmar

Building the Case for Women’s Economic Empowerment

Perspectives on Sustainable Impact

More about IMOW

The goal of IMOW is to contribute to Myanmar’s economic growth by increasing women’s participation in the country’s evolving economy. The project also partners with women to help them become active, respected and empowered economic actors and leaders in their communities.

The project supported over 52,000 women in Shan and Kayin states, and worked with local partners to improve the standard of living and the business environment for another 194,896 indirect clients.

About the Authors

Saw Say Htoo was the Country Director of the IMOW Project in Myanmar. He holds a Masters degree in Development Studies from the Yangon Institute of Economics. He is a Myanmar national and has expertise in livelihoods, education and health programming. He has been committedly contributing the Myanmar’s development by providing effective program management and mentoring youth both within his projects and in his community.

Khin Sandi Moe was the Senior Private Sector Development Specialist of the IMOW project. She joined MEDA in 2019. Sandi holds Master’s degree in Environment, Politics and Development from SOAS University of London, UK. During her time with IMOW, she worked with agribusinesses to serve women small producers. She has expertise in inclusive business, market systems, and private sector partnerships.

Naw May Mya Lwin was the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist of MEDA’s IMOW project in Myanmar. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Nursing, Yangon, and a Diploma of Development Studies from Yangon Institute of Economics. She was born and grew up in a small town in the Delta Region of Myanmar. She has expertise in research design, qualitative and quantitative data collection and synthesis, as well as analysis and report writing.

We welcome your comments and feedback on the materials.


Program undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.