Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar 2017-2021

See details of the current four-year phase of programming building on this initial work.

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.

Supported by Global Affairs Canada and IDRC, this $10.7 million initiative had 18 different projects involving more than 30 international, Canadian, and Myanmar partners.

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. This Initiative will help strengthen local research and analytical capacity among university faculty and students, civil society leaders, think tank researchers, and public officials.

Theory of Change

The Initiative was structured around three major approaches:

  • Capacity-development for individuals, where expert training institutions from Canada and other countries will train and mentor 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 is active engagement and collaboration, which aims to enhance the number of voices that feed into decision-making.

Photo The Initiative’s official launch, December 5, 2017

For more information about the Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar initiative, please contact

Learn more about IDRC’s work in Myanmar.

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