- Does forced labor still exist in Myanmar. If so, does Total E&P Myanmar use it?
- Did the Army commit human rights violations when ensuring the security of the construction project and the facilities?
- Does Total's presence in the country support an unacceptable regime?
- Have legal proceedings been instituted against Total? What was the outcome?
- Why has Total stayed in Myanmar while many other Western companies have left?
- Is the Socio-Economic Program scaled to meet Myanmar's problems?
- Have any third parties objectively and independently tested the quantitative claims of success made by your company with respect to the socio-economic program?
- Is there any way to monitor how the revenues generated by the Yadana project are used by the Myanmar government?
Question 8. Is there any way to monitor how the revenues generated by the Yadana project are used by the Myanmar government?
The number of external assessments of Total E&P Myanmar’s (TEPM) Socio-Economic program (SEP) is unusually high when compared to other development projects.
Since 2002, regular assessments of the SEP have been conducted by CDA Collaborative Learning Projects. For the purpose of these assessments, CDA conducted five site visits in October 2002, April 2003, December 2003, May 2005 and February 2008. The reports of these site visits are available on CDA’s web site.
In 2006, several external consultants were invited to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the SEP: the health program was assessed by a public health specialist from International SOS, the economic development program was assessed by Pro Natura, and the micro-finance program was assessed by the NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde.
For the micro-finance program, the NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde (EDM) is monitoring the program on a regular basis, with two to three site visits per year to audit the program and to build the capacity of the micro-finance team. All data and statements are studied by EDM experts, and teams are taught about the proper way to handle them. However, here again, the visits are not meant to check our quantitative records, but more generally to monitor the objectives and achievements of the program. This is generally the way assessments are conducted by development agencies.
For the health program, TEPM has been using a public health consultant from Yangon University for external review and advice since 2008.
Our advisors conduct quantitative data collection in a systematic way. For example, a health situation analysis was carried out in 2008. 291 households were visited and asked to answer a structured questionnaire composed of 55 questions. A stratified random sampling method was used to select the households. The survey was conducted by the holder of an epidemiology degree from an American university. He also trained our medical doctors to record data in a systematic way.
It should be emphasized that the Socio-Economic Program is also often reviewed by other third parties, such as:
- NGOs: in 2008, GRET and MENTOR came to Kanbauk to study the Yadana SEP. In the past, other NGOs have visited, such as World Vision, AMI, DRA, MSF Holland and AFXB.
- Diplomatic representatives: ambassadors from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany have visited the SEP.
- Representatives from UN agencies (UN special rapporteur on Myanmar, the ILO representative in Myanmar).
- Journalists (Washington Times, French and Belgian newspaper journalists, etc.).
- An independent study group (Karen Christian Association).
- Government officials.
- In October 2010, a large-scale survey of the impacts of the Socio-Economic Program found that 96% of villagers in the pipeline area had a positive perception of the program.