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Marie Lall has been working on Burma/Myanmar since 2005 when she joined an international team teaching social sciences and research methods at Myanmar universities on a Konrad Adenauer Foundation funded summer programme.  In Myanmar her research covers citizenship, education policy &reforms, mother tongue education, ethnic education, the peace process and the reform as well as foreign policy and geopolitics.

Currently, she is the lead expert on the EU Mobility Programme for Myanmar, an EU-funded Higher Education programme linked to ASEAN SHARE (European Union Support for Higher Education in ASEAN Region)

See her Myanmar publications here.

Professor Lall’s book Myanmar’s education reforms – a pathway to social justice? was published by UCL Press in November 2020 including a critical appraisal of the reforms and the November 2020 elections. Set within the context of Myanmar’s peace process and the wider reforms since 2012, Marie Lall’s analysis of education policy and practice serves as a case study on how the reform programme has evolved. Drawing on over 15 years of field research carried out across Myanmar, the book offers a cohesive inquiry into government and non-government education sectors, the reform process, and how the transition has played out across schools, universities and wider society. It casts scrutiny on changes in basic education, the alternative monastic education, higher education and teacher education, and engages with issues of ethnic education and the debate on the role of language and the local curriculum as part of the peace process. In so doing, it gives voice to those most affected by the changing landscape of Myanmar’s education and wider reform process. 


The book is open access and can be downloaded here

Professor Lall’s book, Understanding reform in Myanmar: People and Society in the Wake of Military Rule was published by Hurst in 2016 including coverage of the 2015 November elections. This book is a tough-minded reappraisal of the process by which the generals introduced political reform to Myanmar, Lall’s book is unsentimental in challenging head on the orthodox view of this phenomenon.




The Economist reviewed this book. Read here.

Key projects in Myanmar have included:

Her recent work (2016-2020) includes the briefing and training of Ministry of Education officials (funded by DANIDA, DFID (via IMC) and the British Council) as well as research on and the briefing and training of Ethnic Armed Organisations’ Education Departments (funded by Pyoe Pin, The World Bank and DAI). 


  • She was the lead Consultant (via Covenant Consult, leading a team of 12 domestic and international consultants) for the World Bank and MEC on the Informing Partnerships between Government and Ethnic Basic Education Providers project (MEPP)working across all ethnic states.

  • She led various projects for the British Council in Yangon between 2010 and 2018 including a review on who becomes a teacher and why, a review of school leadership needs, the baseline study for Connecting Classrooms in Myanmar, and research on the adoption of child centred teaching and learning methods in monastic schools across Myanmar (for Pyoe Pin – at that time part of the BC). She was the co-lead on ‘Supporting the transformation of Higher Education in Myanmar’ (THEMP) that developed leadership capacity across 12 Myanmar universities through training, workshops and conference including supporting the development of a new government institution for higher education development (NIHED).












  • She was a consultant on the politics of language in the Myanmar peace process, focusing on the importance of mother tongue education. The fieldwork was conducted in Kachin, Mon and Karen states. Workshops were conducted in Kachin and Mon states, including Ethnic Arm Group controlled areas (funded by DAI and USAID 2015-2016). Link to the report

  • She was a consultant on a research project to establish the role of Ethnic Political Parties in Myanmar’s reform and peace process in light of the 2015 elections, directing a small team of in country data collectors across the country (funded by IMG and the EU 2014-2015).

  • She was a consultant (part of a team lead by the American University) on the UNICEF SITAN project in Mon state looking at the decentralisation issues in the service delivery of Education (UNICEF 2013-2014).

  • She was the Senior Education Advisor (fragile states) for AUSAID, supporting the Comprehensive Education Sector Review led by the Myanmar Ministry of Education and advising AUSAID on its education strategy in Myanmar, including in ethnic and conflict areas. This has included the organising and leading of two ground breaking ethnic education workshops in Yangon with representatives of all NSAG education departments (2012-2014). 

















She was the Education Adviser to Myanmar Egress between 2009 to 2015 including conducting research methods courses for Myanmar Egress staff and students; supporting the establishment of an academic research centre at ME by training staff in data collection &analysis and supporting the first three pieces of research as well as co-leading a course on conflict analysis. The work at ME was funded by a number of German foundations including the by the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the EU. Her work at ME included a briefing for U Thein Sein, President of Myanmar.













Briefings for U Thein Sein, former President of Myanmar in 2015

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