Boosting investment in social science research in Myanmar

Organised by Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar
Event type External Event
Location Online
Start date 27 May 2020 11:30
End date 13:00 CEST
Over the last decade, Myanmar’s transition to democracy has faced multiple milestones and challenges. The first free elections in 2015 marked the country’s recent history. As Myanmar prepares for a second round of free elections later this year, the turbulence unleashed by COVID-19 will undoubtedly introduce new risks in the transition. It will also provide an opportunity for the small—but active—community of scholars from universities, think tanks and other institutions, inside and outside Myanmar, to provide evidence and advice on how to face these risks. A recent New Mandala post calls “For the next generation of Myanmar scholars, whatever their backgrounds or ambitions, … to support knowledge creation throughout this time of fear, change and hardship and beyond”.
Social research helps assess policy issues, gauging impact and advising design of better interventions. Investing in knowledge pays off.

Boosting investment in knowledge production and use of locally-grounded social science research in Myanmar remains a critical element for a sustainable democratic transition. Leaders and scholars in social science research can assist local policy processes to inform their decisions, answer their questions, support their analysis and their responses through public policy. The need for reliable knowledge is only exacerbated by the current pandemic, and by the lack of clarity on its short-term and long-term implications. Building a functional knowledge ecosystem is a major challenge for social science researchers themselves and for policy makers, not only in Myanmar but across the developing world.

The Global Development Network’s (GDN) innovative Doing Research (DR) program investigates the challenges of doing quality social-science research in developing countries, by exposing shortcomings to be addressed through better-informed national research policy – read the DR factsheet . The program has joined forces with the Knowledge for Democracy – Myanmar (K4DM) Initiative to support policy relevant research in Myanmar.

The talk features a presentation by GDN and the Myanmar’s Centre for Economic and Social Development of the 2020 “Doing Research in Myanmar” report [Executive Summary available here], including commentary from the international donor community and academia, and open to questions.

Take into account your timezone for the start of the webinar

  • Ottawa @ 5:30 am (EDT – Eastern Daylight Time)
  • London @ 10:30 am (BST – British Summer Time)
  • Paris @ 11:30 am (CEST – Central European Summer Time)
  • Delhi @ 3 pm (IST – India Standard Time)
  • Yangon @ 4 pm (MMT – Myanmar Time)
  • Bangkok @ 4:30 pm (ICT – Indochina Time)
  • Canberra @ 7:30 pm (AEST – Australian Eastern Standard Time)



  • Global Affairs Canada and International Development Research Centre

Presentation 1

  • Francesco Obino, Head of Programs, GDN

Presentation 2

  • Zaw Oo, Executive Director, CESD

Commentary 1

  • Charlotte Galloway, Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU

Commentary 2

  • Katri Pohjolainen, Senior Research Advisor, SIDA