Suneeta Singh, Kyi Minn, Yosha Singh
The Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar (K4DM) is a five-year initiative funded by GAC and IDRC to redress the decades-long systematic underinvestment in research and higher education in Myanmar. The aim of the program of work funded through K4DM is to strengthen local evidence gathering and analysis in universities, think tanks, civil society organizations and government with a view to enhancing policy-relevant evidence generation. It is anticipated that this approach will support the political and economic empowerment of women and men in Myanmar. This goal is to be met through four outcomes, which rest upon six immediate outputs (see annex 1 for a detailed logframe).
This evaluation has been commissioned in order to take stock of the state of play at the midterm of the K4DM Initiative and inform its future course (see annex 2 for the evaluation design). Specifically, task is to:
- Review the implementation and operation of the initiative, including its modalities, and provide evidence of early, expected, or emerging results
- Identify lessons learned and issues for consideration in the remaining 30 month implementation period (2019 – 2021) while assessing strategic opportunities to build on project momentum
IDRC and GAC expect the evaluation to be formative, to keep the focus on learning what has worked and what hasn’t and the factors that could play a role in its future achievement. A qualitative, participatory approach to evaluation has been taken so that a granular understanding of the program might be achieved. (See annex 3 for list of interviewees). The evaluation looks back on the period between 2017- 2019 to take stock and draw lessons from the work done so far, and consider options for strengthening the way forward.
By the halfway point, K4DM has allocated 70% of its CAD 10.7 million budget towards ten capacity strengthening projects; three organizational development projects; and five gender research projects. The Initiative has also encouraged collaboration and engagement across projects and partners to communicate learning. The latest Annual Report (June 2109) of the Initiative provides both a listing of key achievements as well as an assessment of its progress in ‘numbers’ (see annex 3 for targets met).
In addition to the 18 active projects under the K4DM Initiative (see annex 5 for a list), IDRC also supports another 15 projects in
Myanmar outside of the initiative (see annex 6 for the list). Another slide from the slide deck referenced above provides the
distribution of projects in Myanmar.