Knowledge for Democracy – Myanmar (K4DM) Initiative
Annual Report (April 2020 – March 2021)

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Undoubtedly, 2020 was a year of significant change for all. After four years of support in research, capacity building and local-to-global networks, Global Affairs Canada and the International Development Research Centre can point to multiple gains in evidence-based policy through the Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar (K4DM) Initiative. Despite immense challenges this past year, the community of Myanmar researchers, scholars, and activists remains resilient and ready to preserve the advances made.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn posed unprecedented and unforeseen challenges to the Initiative and grantees over the past year. Nonetheless, and as evidenced throughout this report, grantees rose to the challenge. Thanks to support from GAC and the IDRC, Myanmar researchers produced briefing notes, surveys, analysis, and presentations to inform civil society and policy makers during these trying times. Impressively, grantees found clever and innovative ways to produce and disseminate their research despite restrictions on movement, travel, and gatherings. The GAC-IDRC partnership also continues to produce positive externalities beyond the original scope of the Initiative, including nuanced perspectives to inform international interventions in Myanmar, mentorship and working relationships beyond research projects and people-to-people exchanges.

The February 1st coup d’état in 2021 has halted Myanmar’s democratic aspirations. Once again, the Initiative had to adapt to unforeseen and challenging circumstances. K4DM and grantees are working together to ensure the gains made over the past four years are preserved and continue to serve the interest of civil society in Myanmar.