Development of the NWRC Secretariat. The NWRC Secretariat provides administrative, technical, and coordination support to the NWRC and is one of the three pillars of NWRC. It is led by the Secretary of NWRC, who also is Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) who has strategic leadership role of the AIRBM project, which helps ensure coordination among different agencies and their engagement in water sector reform. An institutional review and option assessment of Myanmar’s water sector done in 2017 suggested that a strengthened NWRC Secretariat under the Vice President is the best option to streamline water governance in Myanmar and guide sustainable water resources development. Hence, the formation of the NWRC Secretariat with seconded officers from the 7 water-nexus Ministries began in 2018.
It is anticipated that the NWRC Secretariat by 2025 will have about 50 staff. The Secretariat may have departments covering (i) NWRC secretariat services, (ii) policy, outreach, liaison and development promotion, (iii) water allocation and governance units for the main basins, zones and regions, including the Ayeyarwady Basin, the Salween Basin, the Dry Zone, the delta areas, coastal strips (Rakhine and Thanintharyi), and the mountainous regions (Chin, Kachin, Shan, Kayah, Kayin). The water governance units can be small as they have a steering and guiding role while most of the detailed planning and the implementation work will be undertaken by various Union Level Ministries and for appropriate portions at the State/Region level. At present, the Secretariat is located in the focal Ministry. It will move to the NWRC HQ and HIC building in Mayangone which will be completed in 2021.
Functions of the NWRC Secretariat
- Promotion of water resources development, water security and IWRM
- International outreach and cooperation in collaboration with (and/or in accordance with) Ministry of International Cooperation and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Preparation of information notes and policy briefs drafted by Advisory Group (AG)
- Preparation of frameworks and guidelines for planning and management of water resources
- Review of water related laws, policies, plans and major investment projects together with the AG members
- Initiation and outsourcing of studies and assessments together with the AG members
- Inter-agency coordination and water diplomacy
- Capacity building and coaching for mother Ministries to be in line with NWRC principles (water-based economy and implementation of IWRM) and philosophy
- Organization of NWRC meetings, drafting the Agenda for the upcoming meetings together with AG members