After 1988, the Government of Myanmar led a transition from a centrally controlled to a more open–market economy. As a consequence, several development programs emerged in Maubin township, as in other areas of Myanmar, combining with increased market participation to impact local livelihoods. The purpose of the research is to investigate spatial variation in contemporary socio-economic development, and to analyze the factors affecting the spatial and temporal variations of rural areas in Maubin Township in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta. Factor Analysis is employed to find out the most prominent factors affecting socio-economic variations of rural areas in Maubin Township, highlighting three different regional groups in rural areas of Maubin Township such as high agricultural areas, low agricultural areas and fishery areas. Two village tracts arethen selected as case studies for comparing both natural and socio-economic contexts. These findings highlight variation in economic development despite the presence of government rural development initiatives. This research contributes to academic knowledge on the difference between actual economic development and policies created by governmental departments.
Prof Khine Myint Cho is Head, Department of Geography at Dawei University. Formerly an Associate Professor at University of Yangon, her research focuses on rural poverty, migration and agricultural production in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy and Dry Zone Regions, as well as changing urban land-use patterns and transportation in Yangon. Prof Khine Myint Cho is currently visiting at Australian National University as part of a Department of Foreign Affairs–supported project exploring the relationship between health and disaster preparedness in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta.