SOAS University of London

SOAS scholar awarded £100k for project advocating for inclusive democracy in Myanmar

8 March 2019

SOAS Department of Anthropology’s Professor Emma Crewe, Dr Richard Axelby and Dr Jas Kaur have been awarded a one-year £100,000 AHRC-GCRF Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement grant, for a project on Myanmar which advocates for more inclusive democracy in the country.

Reducing Inequalities in Public Engagement (RIPE) is a collaboration between SOAS’s Global Research Network on Parliaments and People and the Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMReF) and will work closely with SOAS’ Positive-Negatives, a not-for-profit education organisation which produces produce comics, animations and podcasts about contemporary social and humanitarian issues.

Advocating for inclusive democracy in Myanmar

EMReF, led by Myat Thet Thitsar, will work with Parliamentarians, researchers, artists, and CSO representatives of marginalised and excluded groups in Myanmar to strategise and advocate for more inclusive democracy, including amongst women and ethnic minorities. Together with GRNPP and PosNegs, they will demonstrate the role that creative methodologies and the arts can play in this effort, and reflect on and evaluate the relationships and coalitions of praxis that are critical to the pursuit of advocacy and development.

The project will create an 'Alliance for Inclusive Democracy' in Myanmar to agree priorities for action by a range of stakeholders and seek to implement strategies to reduce inequalities in engagement between the public, and Parliamentarians and other policymakers. RIPE is part of the AHRC-GCRF funded 'Deepening Democracy in Extremely Politically Fragile Countries' project led by Emma Crewe and which partners with organisations to give grants and training to academics, artists, and activists across Ethiopia and Myanmar in order to disrupt Global North/South research hierarchies.