Myanmar youth investigate diversity and impacts of COVID-19
Forty young people from across Myanmar are taking part in the Myanmar Youth As Researchers project to investigate how young people in the country understand diversity and how they take action. The young people are based in Kachin, Shan, Rakhine, Mon States as well as Mandalay, Sagaing, and Yangon Regions. The challenging task before them is to undertake and present their own research on this topic.
Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront of their thoughts, and several of the eight research teams will be looking into how this impacts on learning, health and employment as part of their studies. The training and research has been rearranged to be available to all participants virtually.
The project is supported by UNESCO, the UNESCO Chair in Community Leadership and Youth Development at Penn State University and the National Youth Congress, with the local support of Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMReF).
The launch this week started with a three-day training where the young people were introduced to social science research and learned about research design, data collection and presentation of evidence. Each group is now working on the design of their research project proposal, which will be reviewed with the partners to provide technical guidance.
In about two weeks time they will start collecting data through interviews, surveys and focus group discussions and conduct three-month research. Youth-led research has proved very effective in other countries as a way to reach out to young people, especially those in vulnerable situations, to better understand their experiences.
The group in Northern Shan will be investigating the impact of COVID-19 on learning for university students in the city of Lashio. Their objective is to better understand the difficulties that have been caused through the shift to online learning and share their findings with the Shan Chapter of the National Youth Congress and the universities in Lashio.
Updates on the research will be shared by UNESCO and the National Youth Congress.
Main photo credit: ©Shutterstock/Robert Bociaga Olk Bon