By Mekong Partnership for the Environment
Yangon, Myanmar, December 12, 2016
USAID-supported Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) partners Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab have launched an innovative data portal in Myanmar. Open Development Myanmar is now available to the public and will aggregate and promote key development and environmental data about Myanmar, especially data with potential regional significance. The platform is the Myanmar sub-site of the major regional open data platform, Open Development Mekong, which gathers and contextualizes objective data on development trends in the Mekong region.
Open Development Myanmar is managed and run by Phandeeyar, who formally launched the site on November 22, with a launch event aimed at introducing Open Development Myanmar and its features. The event also introduced Open Data concepts, presented cases of Open Data use, and through a panel discussion, provided opportunities to examine the strengths and challenges of data-driven social movements in Myanmar and the roles of government, CSOs and media in the Open Data movement.
The creation of Open Development Myanmar will strengthen the regional Mekong platform by enabling it to provide a more complete picture of the development issues pertaining to Myanmar and its neighbors. Building a community of users and contributors will ensure that there is information on the platform and that this information is being used. Civil society, journalists and other stakeholders will be better connected and will have better information which will strengthen their capacity to engage with decision-makers.
Phandeeyar program manager Ko Thet Aung said at the event that the data portal will support Myanmar’s political transition process and its increasingly complicated development decisions. “If people have access to data and know how to use it, then they will have the opportunity to make better decisions,” he said. “This is a platform … where people can easily get information about the Mekong region, including Myanmar.”
Through Open Development Myanmar, the partnership between MPE and Phandeeyar is contributing to increasing public access to quality and timely information on the social and environmental costs and benefits of regional development projects in Myanmar and in the region. MPE supports Open Development Myanmar and its affiliated regional site Open Development Mekong, along with other related country-level open data projects across the region, with a Vietnam portal to be launched soon.
In the run-up to the site launch, Phandeeyar has also been training regional journalists on how to tell better data-driven stories on the social and environmental impacts of regional development projects.
Visit the new Myanmar data portal here.
For news coverage of the site and its launch, see this Frontier Myanmar story.
This is an outreach announcement from the USAID–funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE), a key supporter of The Mekong Eye.
Lead Photo: OpenDevelopmentMyanmar.net allows users to explore important statistics, maps, reports, news & laws on Myanmar. (Photo: Phandeeyar)