Australia Myanmar Institute 2017 Conference
Myanmar’s Sustainable Development Goals
27 – 30 November
Yangon University, Myanmar
Since 2013, the Australia Myanmar Institute (AMI) has worked to facilitate Australian and international education institutions, government and non-governmental organisations, and businesses working with Myanmar counterparts in strengthening research, public policy and its implementation in Myanmar.
Building on the success of AMI’s 2015 conference on Myanmar and the Millennium Development Goals, the 2017 conference, also co-organised with the Myanmar Institute for Strategic and International Studies (MISIS), brought together participants from government, academia, civil society and the public policy sphere to discuss Myanmar’s progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 520 participants registered for the conference, making it the biggest conference ever held at Yangon University.
The Conference extended the initial discussion on Myanmar’s SDG priorities in 2015, taking account of the election of the new Hluttaws in 2015 and the installation of the new government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The 2017 Conference provided an opportunity to:
• Review Myanmar’s priorities and progress towards addressing the SDGs
• Illustrate some of the mechanisms through which the Sustainable Development Goals can be met
• Point to effective pathways for international collaboration with Myanmar’s Government and civil society
• Enable participants to engage with the contemporary evidence base through papers and in panels in a free and frank manner in the tradition of world university independence and freedom
• Lead to the publication of a diverse series of academic and policy papers by both Myanmar and international participants
AMI intends for the 2017 Conference to impact both public policy and the academic knowledge base.
AMI’s intention is that the 2017 Conference will benefit both public policy and the academic knowledge base.
Given the breadth of the 2015 Conference – including significant discussions on such topics as gender, the peace process, environmental issues, mining, education, and corporate social responsibility – we are working towards a diversity of publications from the 2017 Conference.
Academic papers will be peer-reviewed and published after the conference to provide a significant addition to the growing body of knowledge and evidence available to researchers on Myanmar. This will materially assist future research as well as add value to Myanmar’s own SDG achievement program.
Other papers, provided by non-academic participants, will be published separately but will also help business, NGOs and others establish meaningful collaboration on developmental and policy topics.
In addition to any other publication work, all papers will be published in the conference website in their original language. Where possible abstracts will be published in both Myanmar and English languages.
The Australia Myanmar Institute is making good progress towards the publication of the papers presented at its conference in Yangon in November/December 2017. The conference attracted 520 participants, and 140 papers were presented during the panels and plenary sessions, making it necessary to make special arrangements to cope with the publications task.
To achieve a strong result, AMI has undertaken a Publication Initiative. The Initiative is being managed by representatives of the 29 interns. They were mainly drawn from Yangon University and Australia’s Oaktree Foundation and attended every panel and plenary event, providing a summary of the outcomes of each session. This involvement of youth in the conference reporting has made it possible for AMI to bring forward perceptions of Myanmar as it is aiming to be when the UN Sustainable Development Goals mature in 2030.
Our objective is to facilitate the publication of suitable papers by our presenters in targeted academic journals, and publish all papers (or summaries of them) in a serialised version on the AMI website.
We envisage publication taking account of the different character of papers done by academics, business and civil society organisations. This will make it possible to give a wide view of the breadth of the papers and the resulting discussions, emphasising too the place of the University of Yangon and the other universities in Myanmar as centres for higher learning, research and independent discussion.
To promote the capacity of our Myanmar colleagues to engage with their Australian counterparts, a series of online workshops will be run by Dr Robin Burns, whose expertise stems from a shining career ranging from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs through academic life with Monash and La Trobe Universities in Melbourne and as a publisher with World University Service. AMI is planning to offer individualised feedback via online catch-ups with authors. Then, a series of academic writing workshops will be held.
These developments directly promote AMI’s objective to promote dialogue between Myanmar and Australian stakeholders, including at the community level, by ensuring that firsthand perspectives on development and policy issues can be shared. The Conference provided an excellent forum for exchanges of experience, research and opinion, and the Publication Initiative will share the outcomes of this exchange with the broader academic community, governments, intergovernmental organisations, businesses, NGOs and communities.
A Volunteer Committee has been formed to develop an organisational strategy, with a particular focus on Youth Engagement in the coming weeks. We would like to hear from members, so if you would like to make a submission or share your ideas, please email Su Noe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kirsty Dempsey (email@example.com).
If you were one of the presenters and would like your paper to be considered for submission, or you would like to get involved, please get in contact with Sophie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are processing submissions for publication on a rolling basis to ensure this opportunity is promoted to all interested presenters.