Since 1999, UNODC has been monitoring illicit crop cultivation areas and socio‐economic conditions in rural villages in different supply countries. In most countries, the results indicate that illicit crop cultivation and poverty are closely interlinked and coupled with other development issues, such as security and governance.

This report aims to contribute to this process by providing evidence to assist in improving the resilience of rural communities to opium poppy cultivation. It also aims to identify socio‐economic differences between villages that may be driving opium‐poppy cultivation and to evaluate the status of poppy and non‐poppy villages (villages that cultivate opium poppy are hereafter referred to as “poppy villages” and villages that do not as “non‐poppy villages”) in relation to the SDGs and their challenges for achieving the SDGs. This report does not include estimates of opium poppy cultivation area, opium production (as reported in the cultivation and production report) or socio‐economic analyses outside Shan State.

In 2018, UNODC conducted a survey in a random sample of 599 villages in the opium poppy cultivation risk area in Shan State and gathered socio‐economic and other relevant data to compare poppy villages and non‐poppy villages. Since 2011, Myanmar has been undergoing a period of political transition and Myanmar’s economy has been increasingly opened. In a few years, almost every aspect of life has been affected by fundamental economic and political reforms aimed at improving the living conditions of the population.

By disaggregating a range of socio‐economic village‐level data by opium poppy cultivation status and region (and gender, where appropriate), this report highlights some major differences in living conditions among farmers in Shan State.

In launching the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States pledged to “leave no one behind”. They recognized that the dignity of the individual is fundamental and that the goals and targets should be met for all nations, peoples, and all segments of society. Furthermore, they declared their endeavour to first reach those who are furthest behind. To support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda, a better understanding of the links between poverty, illicit drug cultivation, production and trafficking is required.