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Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar was a five-year partnership that nurtured a new generation of young actors to promote inclusion, gender equality, respect for diversity, and prosperity for all in Myanmar.

Decades of systematic underinvestment in research and higher education have eroded Myanmar’s internal capacity to generate sound advice for public policy and the ability to use this knowledge for policymaking. Supported by Global Affairs Canada and IDRC, this $10.7 million initiative helped strengthen local research and analytical capacity among university faculty and students, civil society leaders, think tank researchers, and public officials. 

With more than 20 different projects involving more than 30 international, Canadian, and Myanmar partners, the initiative was structured around three major approaches: 

  • Capacity-development for individuals, where expert training institutions from Canada and other countries trained and mentored a large and geographically diverse pool of aspiring leaders — the basis of a new generation of state and non-state actors; 
  • Organizational capacity development with Myanmar independent think tanks, working on a range of policy issues from economics to the peace process, gender and environmental policies; 
  • Support for research, carried out by Myanmar and international experts to hone local research capacity and to fill knowledge gaps around women’s political participation, gender budgeting and public services in Myanmar. 

A fourth cross-cutting approach that was identified as greatly lacking in Myanmar was active engagement and collaboration, which aimed to enhance the number of voices that fed into decision-making. 

The Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar initiative continues with renewed funding aimed at protecting civil society gains over the last decade, particularly in knowledge for gender equality and a federal and inclusive democratic future. Read about the new initiative

Learn more about IDRC's work in Myanmar. 



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