Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Burma Foreign Affairs and Transition Study Program

 

Centre for the Study of Democracy and Culture

Objectives:

The mail objective of this two year long project was to provide educational support to Burmese democratic movements and thus to foster its capacities in its fight for human rights and democracy. The project aimed at passing the comparative knowledge with a transition to democracy in different countries in the world to members of Burma opposition and civil society groups and thus to support democratic development and its preparations to transition. Second complementary objective was to support women’s participation in Burma democratic movements and strengthen mutual understanding, trust, and solidarity among members of different ethnic groups.

Activities and outcomes:

-         3 several months long courses: one ten and a half months long course Foreign Affairs Training, FAT; two three months long Transition to Democracy for 40 activists from civil society and political parties from 35 different organizations.

-         15 participants of FAT course who participated in two and two and a half months long internships in 6 European and 3 South East Asian countries

-         Allocation of 9 small grants (one double grant for two students who cooperated); former students organized 9 trainings for overall 241 participants and 8 film projections. All trainings took place near Yangon where there are not many opportunities for activist to participate in any trainings or educational activities.

-         4 shorter seminars (3 in Yangon and 1 in Mea Sot) for overall 105 participants.

-         Creation of a distant learning platform which contains 31 educational materials. Some texts were translated into Burmese

-         300 copies of education CD “Building of Democratic Institutions”.

-         In cooperation with Irrawaddy and prestige Journal of Democracy the program Educational Initiative’s Democracy Reader was created. Its aim is to provide a possibility to broader intellectual, political and social public in Burma read in Burmese high quality political science articles about democracy and transition experience from different countries.

-         Purchase of political science books (333 copies, 97 titles, 2 Kindle readers) for libraries in Burma.

-         Start of a new project called Burma Center for Transitional Studies.

Partners and cooperating organizations:

-         Educational Initiatives, Chiang Mai, Thailand (partner)

-         35 organizations which sent their members to trainings

-         14 organizations which organized internships for FAT course participants: Ireland (Frontline Defenders); Czech Republic (Člověk v tísni, La Strada, Demas); Serbia (YIHR, Share); Poland (Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights); Belgium (FIDH Brussels Office; European Partnership for Democracy; MEP Hynek Fajmon´ office), Indonesia (KontraS); Malaysia (SUARAM, Dignity International); Philippines (Initiatives for International Dialogue).

-         Irrawaddy, Chiang Mai / Yangon

-         4 organizations which co-organized shorter seminars: Yangon School of Political Science (Yangon); Sandhi Training Center (Yangon), NLD Education Department (Yangon); APPB (Mea Sot)

Donors:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

National Endowment for Democracy

Open Society Institute

Rafto Foundation

Overall financial support from the Czech MFA (2011, 2012): 3 150 000 CZK.

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