Today in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw, the country’s first digital platform specifically for youth voice was launched. Known as U-Report, the platform located on Facebook empowers Myanmar’s youth to share their demands for services and rights and access decision-makers, politicians and policy makers. The platform works by asking questions or polls of Myanmar’s youth on issues with matter to them. The questions are developed by a committee of youth and the results can then be shared with government and policy making institutions.
In Myanmar, decades of military rule, traditional attitudes and cultural beliefs have meant youth, particularly young women, have struggled to have their voices heard and human rights realised. With a new democratically elected government, things are changing though policy and decisions are still made by a select few and often behind closed doors. U-Report along with the recent Myanmar Youth Forum and National Adolescents Forum are examples of how platforms and space is being claimed by Myanmar’s youth with the support of ActionAid Myanmar.
U-Report was launched by U Soe Kyi, the Director General of the Department of Social Welfare from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement who discussed the importance of the U-Report in helping youth participate in the development of National Youth Policy. Importantly, U-Report can help promote more inclusive and diverse participation on youth in processes like the National Youth Policy and upcoming 21st Century Pinglong Peace Conference, the key priority of the new Government’s commitment to peace and national unity.ActionAid Myanmar’s Global Platform trainer, Ko Phyo Gyi interviewed by media outlets at the launch said “U-Report will be strong when thousands of Myanmar’s youth join and Myanmar’s youth will be stronger when they join U-Report”.
U-Report in Myanmar will hopefully be available for Myanmar’s 30 million mobile users in the next few months and will help empower rural youth and those in conflict areas to participate.
U-Report is an initiative of UN agencies including UNICEF, NGOs and Civil Society including ActionAid Myanmar, Myanmar Red Cross, World Vision, National Youth Congress and many more.
You can find out more information about U-Report Myanmar by going to facebook.com/U-Report-Myanmar and www.myanmar.ureport.in
Written by Clancy Moore, Manager – Global Platform Myanmar, ActionAid