Boosting Investment in Social Science Research in Myanmar

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Social research helps assess policy issues, gauging impact and advising design of better interventions. Investing in knowledge pays off.

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Over the last decade, Myanmar’s transition to democracy has faced multiple milestones and challenges. The country observed its first free elections in 2015. 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 article in the 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.”

Boosting investment in knowledge production and the 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 by asking the relevant policy questions, and by undertaking rigorous research and analyses to provide the evidence needed for public policy decisionmaking. 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 webinar 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. Experts will answer 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)




  • H.E. François Lafrenière, Ambassador of Canada to Myanmar
  • Dr. Anindya Chatterjee, Asia Regional Office Director, IDRC

Presentation 1

  • Francesco Obino, Head of Programs, GDN

Presentation 2

  • Zaw Oo, Executive Director, & Ngu Wah, Senior Policy Coordinator, CESD

Commentary 1

  • Charlotte Galloway, Director, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU

Commentary 2

  • Katri Pohjolainen, Senior Research Advisor, SIDA

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