Asia Foundation Renews MoU with Myanmar Government

August 31, 2016 — This week, The Asia Foundation renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to support the country’s democratic transition and efforts to address its development challenges. Permanent Secretary/Director-General at the ASEAN Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Aung Lynn and the Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Programs Gordon Hein participated in a special signing ceremony and discussed the importance of the partnership.

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The Foundation had a resident office in Myanmar between 1958 to 1962 which provided support to a range of intellectual and educational institutions in the country. The Foundation re-established a resident country office in Yangon in 2013, working with partners in government, the private sector, and civil society to build the country’s capacity for regional and global integration, strengthen institutions and processes of democratic governance, support initiatives for inclusive economic development, promote women’s empowerment and political participation, and increase public access to information. This week’s signing extends the 2013 MoU between the government and the Foundation.

“The set of program activities provided by The Asia Foundation in the sector of governance, women’s empowerment, education and international relations have been a great contribution for Myanmar people,” said U Aung Lynn at the signing ceremony. “I would also like to acknowledge a series of groundbreaking research on topics related to governance, public sector reform, ethnic armed conflicts and territorial administration in Myanmar. Moreover, we really appreciate The Asia Foundation for establishing the mobile and web-applications MaePaySoh for the people of Myanmar who were the first-ever voters. That software was widely distributed and widely used throughout the country during the 2015 election period.”

Through a Foundation-sponsored voter education initiative called MaePaySoh (Let’s Vote), over 200 of Myanmar’s top developers participated in a competition to build the best apps, websites, and digital election products to help provide access to information about the more than 600 candidates and 91 political parties participating in the elections and to engage a new generation of voters on the issues impacting their country.

From the Books for Asia program, which has provided almost 200,000 English language books to more than 400 educational and research institutions across the country, to the direct assistance to build the capacity of state and regional governments and parliaments as new democratic institutions, the Foundation works with partners inside and outside of government to effect change that would improve the lives and opportunities for the people of Myanmar.

“On this joyous occasion of the renewal of the MoU with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I want to reaffirm the Foundation’s commitment to support Myanmar to once again be an integral part of the region and of the international community, to support the ongoing democratic transition and the efforts of so many in Myanmar to address the numerous development challenges the country is facing,” said Mr. Hein.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

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Related locations: Myanmar
Related programs: International Cooperation

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Amy Ovalle, Vice President, Global Communications
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415-743-3340

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415-743-3318