Led by: Centre for Social Development Studies (CSDS), Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Project Leader: Carl Middleton -
Point of Contact: Thita Orn-in (Project Coordinator)

Background to the project

For over six million people, the Nu-Thanlwin-Salween River and its water resources are inextricably linked to local livelihoods and wellbeing, agricultural production and food security, and local economies. Recent processes of conflict transformation in the basin alongside regional economic integration, and socio-economic changes are all reshaping the river basin’s development trajectory. There are, furthermore, plans for up to 20 dams along this transnational river. Yet, to date no comprehensive impact assessment has been undertaken, and there remain large gaps in knowledge on water, land and energy use, management and governance in the basin. Thus, to strengthen governance and increase the likelihood of sustainable and fair decisions, there is considerable need to build knowledge and research capacity within the basin, and to support research networks capable of informing the rapid changes underway.

Research themes
  • Water Governance
  • Healthy Rivers
  • River Food Systems
  • Healthy Landscape and Ecosystems
  • Gender and Social Justice

Further details on the themes can be found here:


This project is highly committed to fully incorporating gender considerations into the research that it supports, and to supporting female researchers:

  • At least 40% of the research fellows will be women
  • At least 4 out of the 12 fellowships awarded are committed to support the “gender and social justice” theme. For these research projects, gender will constitute the principle research question of the project
  • All research projects are expected to be gender sensitive, including at a minimum disaggregating data by gender

Reviews of Application and Methods of Selection

Applications will be reviewed by a committee formed of representatives of the consortium partners. Short-listed candidates will be contacted to schedule a skype interview within one week of the close of the call.

The proposals were evaluated according to:
  • Their relevance to the WLE themes, as explained in the “rationale and background”
  • The soundness and feasibility of the research design (research questions and objectives, method and study design, timeline, and budget)
  • The significance of the research, as detailed in the outcomes and relevance to the host organization and to other organizations
  • How gender is incorporated into the research design

Fellowship program goal and anticipated outcomes

This project’s goal is to strengthen the capacity for undertaking research and policy engagement of scholars and practitioners of water, land and energy use, management and governance in the Salween Basin. A particular cross-cutting focus of the project is research on gender and other forms of social marginalization. It also intends to build a learning community amongst these scholars and practitioners, and link them with similar initiatives in the Ayeyarwady, Mekong and Red River basins.

As a result of the project:

  • Early career researchers will have an enhanced ability and confidence to engage in reasoned analysis, critique and policy advocacy in pursuit of more equitable and sustainable modes of water, land and energy use, management and governance in the Salween Basin.
  • Policies in the fields of water, land and energy relevant to the specific research topic of research fellows will be more inclusive of, and responsive to, the concerns of hitherto marginalized groups.
  • A learning community will be established within and beyond centers of higher education in the region for research and training in the field of progressive use, management and governance of water, land and energy.

Cross-basin fellowship collaboration

The Nu-Thanlwin-Salween Fellowship program is partnered with parallel programs in the Mekong River basin and Red River basin.

  • Centre for Social Development Studies, Chulalongkorn University (Nu-Thanlwin-Salween River Basin)
  • Mekong Sub-region Social Research Centre, Ubon Ratchathani University (Mekong River Basin)
  • Vietnam Academy of Water Resources (Red River Basin)

Implementing consortium members

The following consortium members will support the project, including through mentoring individual fellows and providing trainings during the workshops:

  • Faculty of Development Studies, Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP)
  • GMS Centre, Yunnan University
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
  • Mekong Research Group (AMRC), University of Sydney
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) (Australia)
  • Department of Geography, Ryerson University, (Canada)
  • Regional Centre for Sustainable Development (RCSD), Chiang Mai University
  • Myanmar Environment Institute (MEI)

MK31 Selected Fellow and their Research Topics

Position/ Organization
Research theme
Cherry Aung
Researcher and Lecturer/ Department of Marine Science Department, Mawlamyine University
Investigation on the potential threats to fishery resources and the socio-economic implication for fishery communities in the Thanlwin River Estuary
Healthy landscapes and ecosystems
HninWut Yee
Program and Outreach Manager/ Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business
Gender Equity and Social Justice: Rights of marginalized ethnic women in Salween Basin affected by development projects
Gender and Social Justice
Huang Yaping
Assistant Professor/ Institute of International Rivers, International River Research Centre of Hohai University,
School of Law, Hohai University
Chinese Hydropower Construction: Lisu Women’s Trans-provincial Migrations From Nujiang—From the female perspective on Government Decision-making and Public Participation
Gender and social justice; water governance
John Bright
Coordinator (Water Governance Program)/ Karen Environment and Social Action Network (KESAN)
Water Governance in the Salween River: Understanding different values, Seeing the problem of conflict in Salween Hydropower Projects and Recognizing the role of Ethnic and Marginalized groups
water governance

Forest Governance in the Nu-Thanlwin-Salween River Basin of the Shan State of Myanmar
gender and social justice
Kyaw Thu Han
Freelance translator and interpreter for various clients including local NGOs and INGOs
The Study on the Impact of Large Scale Dams on the Women working in the Agriculture sector
gender and social justice
Research affiliate/ Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD), Chiang Mai University/

Mekong Campaigns Coordinator/ EarthRights International(ERI)
China (based in Thailand)
Mapping hydropower development in the Nu-Thanlwin-Salween Basin: Identifying knowledge, communication and policy-implementation gaps amongst stakeholders
water governance; gender and social justice
Director, Department of International Law/ Law School, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing
Role of Environmental Impact Assessment in the Governance of Salween River: A Comparative Study of the Chinese and Burmese Approaches
Water governance
Zhong Mei
Graduate Student/ Greater Mekong Subregional Study Center(GMSSC) of Yunnan University, China
Gender and Local work opportunity: Analysis of the reservoir resettlement of Yunnan Liuku Hydropower Station
Water governance; gender and social justice

Mar Mar Aye
Botany Department, Lashio University
river Regions of Lashio and Hpa An area
gender and social justice

Khin Sandar Aye
Lecturer, Head of Geography Departmenr, Loikeaw University, Kayah State, Myanmay
Geographical Analysis on the Impact of Landcover Changes on Socio –Economic Condition of Bawlakhe District, Kayah State in Myanmar (A Case Study of Four villages in Balakhe District)
Nang Shining

The Role of Women Engagement in Water Governance in Mong Pan, Mong Pan, and Kunhing Townships, Shan State
Gender and Social Justice

Hannah Nakaddy
U.K.,U.S, Egypt
Women’s Participation in Civil Society on the Nu/Salween: A Comparative Study of China and Thailand

MK31 Fellow (CSDS)

Workshop on Preparing Detailed Research Design, Hanoi, 20-22 June 2015 (The First Write Shop)

The international Workshop on Preparing Detailed Research Design Capacity Building and Professional Development of Water Governance and Regional Development Practitioners in the Mekong, Salween and Red river basins, Asian International Hotel, Hanoi (20 – 22nd June, 2015)

Power Point Presentation from the workshop:

For more information and photo please visit First Write Shop (CSDS)

The Second Field Study Workshop in Ubon Ratchathani, Rasi Salai, August 2015

DSC00152.JPGThe workshop involved field visit to rural villages along the Mun river basin in Sri Saket Province. The fellows had an opportunities to practice their obtained research skills through observations, interviews with the locals, and group work. By the end of the workshop, each group of fellow represented the gained data in the form of PPT presentation based on their assigned topic. The results are as follow;

To see more Stories and download Power Points Slide Please Visit : Second Field Workshop


Short blog from Carl Middleton on the writeshop process for WLE Salween fellows (Phase 2) in Myanmar : Writeshop at Pathein University preparing for upcoming book on Salween River

Brief summary of the WriteShop for international publication for Salween, Mekong and Red Fellows and the PPTs online: WriteShop for international publication for Salween, Mekong and Red Fellows