Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The significance and impacts of a youth-led empowerment program and youth-led community development interventions in Myanmar

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posted on 2021-12-08, 18:09 authored by Soe, Thu Maung

In Myanmar, youth are traditionally perceived as a less significant segment of the society. Hence, youth development issues and problems around youth have attracted little attention from community members. Youth empowerment is a human resource development tool and a process designed to help the development of young individuals, by enabling them to solve their own problems and contribute to the development of their community.  This qualitative study examines youth empowerment initiatives of one youth-led organization and its alumni by employing Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and conducting semi-structured interviews. This study focuses on how a youth-led organization has empowered youth to become socially engaged for social transformation and get involved in the country’s development sector.  Results show that empowerment is an ongoing process and reveal a new dimension of youth empowerment in the Myanmar context. This study found that the nature of youth-led development organizations for youth and social change movements differed. Youth-led empowerment actions offer learning opportunities and create spaces for young people to participate in community movements. Moreover, Socially Engaged Buddhism (SEB) is an alternative to the conventional empowerment approaches, which offers Buddhist principles for individual development of young people and stimulates youth to get involved in collective social change movements to tackle structural injustices.      


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Development Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Development Studies

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Overton, John