The Kachin Drug Epidemic: USAID/Myanmar's Systems Approach to Advancing Locally Led Development

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April 17, 2020
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This brief highlights USAID/Myanmar's locally led development approach to tackling the heroin epidemic in Kachin State, where local people say there is one drug user in every household. Through USAID's Local Works program, USAID/Myanmar is addressing this complex issue using the System-wide Collaborative Action for Livelihoods and Environment (SCALE+) methodology developed by FHI360 and USAID/E3. SCALE+ approaches complex development challenges through sustained multi-stakeholder engagement and collective action. It requires organizers to do significant work over several months to understand a system from the perspective of local actors, map the system, and integrate the system by forming a local advisory committee and holding a Whole System in the Room (WSR) workshop.
 
The brief overviews USAID/Myanmar's efforts to listen to local actors affected by the drug epidemic, form a local advisory committee, convene 111 stakeholders at a WSR workshop, and support the resulting local priorities. The document reviews how this approach embodies the principles of locally led development, shares lessons and good practices, and includes a step-by-step guide for other development actors interested in holding a WSR workshop.
 
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