How Myanmar’s Think Tanks are Responding to COVID-19

Myanmar think tanks will share lessons about how to respond quickly and adapt to the new challenges posed by the pandemic.

About this Event

The COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts are compounding an already delicate process of democratization in Myanmar. Many of the country’s researchers are addressing this new challenge to ensure gains on health, the economy, and political participation are not lost. Every country needs its own community of think tanks that can generate evidence to inform decision-making, especially in times of crisis. In recent months, Myanmar think tanks have investigated and raised awareness about issues related to COVID-19, such as returning migrant workers, the slowdown in the garment industry, increases in domestic violence, and impacts on democratic reform and the peace-building processes. This rapid and nationally relevant research is essential for effective policy responses to external shocks such as the pandemic.

This is a first event in a series to be hosted by Kivu International over the next 12 months.

Presenters from the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), the Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMReF) and the Gender Equality Network (GEN) will discuss the work they are doing in response to the pandemic.

As well as speaking about the results and wider policy impacts they hope this work will achieve, the presenters will share some of the lessons they have learnt about the importance of an organisation being able to respond quickly and adapt to a new challenge.

The session will be presented in Burmese, with simultaneous translation into English.

The webinar’s agenda includes three presentations by Myanmar think tanks:

Aye Thada Hla,

Aye Thada Hla is the Communications Manager at GEN, who will speak about how GEN has adapted to its new situation and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the challenges faced and experience learnt from it.

Myat Thet Thitsar

Myat Thet Thitsar is the Co-founder and Executive Director of EMReF, who will discuss the lessons which can be learned from the recovery period after Cyclone Nargis and how these can be applied to improve Myanmar’s resilience to COVID-19. She will further describe how EMReF will be using these lessons in their new World Bank and Paung Sie Foundation funded programmes of work which seek to understand and address the impacts on social cohesion of large numbers of migrant workers returning to their home villages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ngu Wah Win

Ngu Wah Win is the Senior Policy Coordinator at CESD, will speak about the importance for a think tank of being able to respond quickly to new salient issues and policy challenges, drawing on CESD’s experience in launching its new programme of IDRC-funded work aimed at strengthening social security for Myanmar’s garment sector workers. This programme will see CESD carry out new research to better understand how the COVID-19 crisis has affected garment sector workers, and determine what additional support could mitigate the negative impacts of unemployment.

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Event details



Aye Thada Hla, Myat Thet Thitsar and Ngu Wah Win

Date & time

Start date: Tuesday 21 July 2020

End date: Tuesday 21 July 2020



The Australian National University


Nay Yan Oo

Updated:  7 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, Myanmar Research Centre/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team