The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), together with local partners, delivers Civic and Voter Education Trainings in remote and marginalized areas of Myanmar. This is part of a project funded by the European Union (EU): The “Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy (STEP Democracy)” project. FNF has been and is working with a multitude of Myanmar democratic stakeholders in order to attain credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful general elections, and a successful transition towards democracy, including electoral reform.
FNF Myanmar and its four local partners; Naushawng Education Network (NSEN), Hornbill Organization (HBO), Scholar Institute (SI) and Myanmar Egress (ME) are working to further a meaningful discussion on electoral reform and democracy with civil society by delivering voter and civic education programmes in targeted marginalized and remote areas of the country, as well as post-election reflection research to engage citizens in discussions about electoral reforms. This contributes to the national debate on election reform which will benefit the general public in Myanmar and affect the entire population of the country.
Before the November 8th 2015 General Elections, FNF and its co-implementers have successfully implemented a great number of voter education trainings in many remote and marginalized regions, where no other trainings had ever been held. Large numbers of people in these often hard to reach places enthusiastically learned about their new democratic system, witnessed an election simulation for the first time and were motivated and empowered to cast their vote. In addition to the participants, great numbers of people were reached through voter education materials and a social media platform. The awareness of their citizens’ rights and the voting skills of a lot of people in Myanmar, especially of farmers with very little formal education, were thus raised considerably, enabling people to take part in the elections informed about the technical process as well as the bigger picture.
Under the STEP Democracy Project, FNF and its local partners focus to work long term in Myanmar in furthering its democratic transition. This is done by promoting public awareness of the electoral process and of political and civil rights, and by encouraging a post-election public debate on election reforms primarily in remote areas of Myanmar through research and workshops.