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Building parliamentary research capacity: The case of Shan state’s sub-national parliament in Myanmar

To sustain democratization in Myanmar, IDRC and Global Affairs Canada are launching a new initiative, Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar (K4DM), to nurture meaningful dialogue and engagement in the transition process and to promote economic growth that benefits all. Working with other development partners, the initiative targets diverse and complementary entry points to strengthen analytical thinking and research capacity through capacity development for individuals, including emerging researchers, media and journalists, civil society, and policymakers; engagement and collaboration, through roundtables, conferences, workshops, and other forms of policy dialogue; capacity development for institutions, providing support for think tanks and government (legislature); and funding research projects on the topic of inclusive democratic governance and economic development.

This project will contribute to strengthening parliamentary research capacity in the Shan state, one of the largest and most diverse states in Myanmar. Parliamentary research support to elected members aims to provide them with the competent, unbiased information and analysis that they require to undertake their roles in developing, debating, and passing legislation as well as in overseeing the work of the executive branch.

This project will be implemented by the Parliamentary Centre of Canada. Using a "training-of-trainers" and "learning-by-doing" approach, it has three components. The first component focuses on building the capacity and practical knowledge among two local civil society organizations, the Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation and the Open Myanmar Initiative, on how to support gender-sensitive parliamentary research capacity. The second component pairs these organizations with the Parliamentary Centre to deliver practical training activities with the Shan state parliament and put in place a follow-up mentoring process. The third component provides support to the Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation to develop and test a methodology for measuring the performance of these research support services, using the example from the Shan state.
The project will produce a training manual to be shared with the Myanmar Parliamentary Union, which comprises the leaders of all sub-national legislatures along with the Union Parliament. The project is expected to provide training to at least 30 parliamentarians and 30 parliamentary staff from Shan state, along with 20 representatives from the two local civil society organizations.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
12 months
IDRC Officer
Edgard Rodriguez
Total Funding
CA$ 383,475.00
Governance and Justice
Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar
Institution Country
Project Leader
Ivo Balinov
Canada. Parliamentary Centre/Canada. Centre Parlementaire



Project impact story : the Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation


Impact story : Daw Khin Htar Yee, member of the Shan State Hluttaw, Myanmar

Training Materials

Parliament research training manual