Prof. Franque Grimard is leading an ISID team of researchers in two projects under the umbrella of Canada’s Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar initiative. This initiative, an IDRC and Global Affairs Canada partnership, seeks to support democratic transition in Myanmar through policy research. As part of this initiative, ISID members will participate in two projects over the next three years.
The first project, Capacity Building for Professionals and Researchers Working in Quantitative Social Sciences in Myanmar involves providing training workshops and continuous support to the University of Mandalay as well as the Myanmar Development Institute (MDI) in Nay Pyi Taw. Expanding the research and analytical capacity of these stakeholders requires offering a targeted approach to take into account the differences emanating from their mandates, roles and nature.
The Myanmar Development Institute is a government office that targets policy analysis by government officials to guide ministers in their policies, whereas the University of Mandalay has a general mandate of education and broad research. The training needs of the personnel are also quite different, with the University of Mandalay requiring broad analytical skills in social sciences and MDI officials more specific training in econometrics and impact evaluation. In collaboration with Thailand’s Chiang Mai University, McGill researchers will provide on the ground and web-based support.
The second project considers women’s empowerment in Myanmar. Over the next three years, ISID researchers will collaborate with the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok and the Gender Equality Network (GEN) of Myanmar to understand and analyse Barriers and Working Pathways to Women’s Political Participation in Myanmar. This interdisciplinary effort, with economists, political scientists, sociologists and CSO analysts will combine quantitative and qualitative research in the field to assess women’s role in the political process in Myanmar at both the state and federal levels.