IMOW Learning Series

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.

Learning Series: Myanmar

In 2015, MEDA implemented its six-year IMOW project, which focused on the rice and vegetable value chains in Kayin State and the vegetable value chain in Shan State. IMOW’s work centered on sustainable agriculture, financial and market linkages, women’s economic empowerment (WEE), and the environment. This project was funded through Global Affairs Canada and 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 emerging markets. This series highlights approaches to project design, market-led strategies for reaching women small producers and promoting environmentally-friendly farming.

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

IMOW’s goal was to contribute to Myanmar’s economic growth by increasing women’s participation in the country’s evolving economy. The project partnered 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 MEDA's IMOW Project in Myanmar. He holds a Master's degree in Development Studies from the Yangon Institute of Economics. He is a Myanmar national and has expertise in livelihoods, education, and health programming. Saw Say Htoo actively contributes to Myanmar’s development through his program management work and by mentoring youth in his community.

Khin Sandi Moe was the Senior Private Sector Development Specialist of the IMOW project. She joined MEDA in 2019 and has a Master’s degree in Environment, Politics and Development from SOAS University of London, UK. During her time with IMOW, Khin Sandi Moe worked with agribusinesses to serve women small-scale 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 the University of Nursing, Yangon, and a Diploma of Development Studies from The Yangon Institute of Economics. Naw May Mya Lwin was born and raised in a small town in the Delta Region of Myanmar. She also has expertise in research design, qualitative and quantitative data collection, synthesis, and analysis and report writing.


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