The Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar initiative nurtures a new generation of young actors to promote inclusion, gender equality, respect for diversity, and prosperity for all in Myanmar.
Following the February 2021 overthrow of Myanmar’s democratically elected government by the military, support continues for evidence-based public policy to achieve gender equality within a federal and inclusive democratic future.
Making use of online courses, fellowships and research on digital spaces, the initiative supports diverse students and researchers primarily in the Myanmar diaspora and research institutions outside the country. Recognizing the role that evidence can play in achieving gender equality and reducing inequalities, the initiative will:
nurture capacity for public, gender-sensitive policy discussions among representatives of Myanmar’s civil society, creating a large, geographically and ethnically diverse pool of aspiring young leaders;
provide a safety net for Myanmar scholars and activists — women and ethnic minorities in particular — to continue work on promoting inclusive democracy, gender equality and decentralization; and
support gender-focused research and analysis by Myanmar and international experts on the link between digital communications and democratic aspirations and the gender disparities and inequities found in digital spaces.
Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar was launched in 2017 by Global Affairs Canada and IDRC. An initial investment over five years helped to strengthen local research and analytical capacity after decades of systematic underinvestment that had eroded Myanmar’s internal capacity to generate sound advice for public policy.
With renewed support from Global Affairs Canada and IDRC, the current four-year, CAD $8.2 million phase of programming builds on this initial work and aims to protect gains in Myanmar’s civil society, with a particular focus on gender equality.
The initiative continues to provide active engagement and collaboration across different actors in Myanmar and the diaspora to enhance the number of voices that feed into the discussions about a more democratic future for Myanmar.