Participants of the workshop held in Burma
The Forum of Federations, in collaboration with its local Burma partner Myanmar EGRESS, conducted a Workshop for Political Party Leaders on "Decentralization, Democratic Transition and Good Governance” as well as a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop within its program "Consolidating Burma’s Move towards Democracy”. Buma is a country undergoing rapid and radical transition to democracy where issues related to federalism or decentralization are often at the core of political debates.
Both events were developed and facilitated by a team of international experts, including Dr Sandeep Shastri (India), Mr Felix Knuepling (Germany), Mr Shawn Houlihan (Canada) and Dr Francis K W Loh (Malaysia).
The workshop for political parties took place from 10 to 12 October 2013 at the Yangon Hotel and was attended by approximately 23 participants. The future TOT trainees also attended this workshop as observers as part of their preparation.
The political party participants were from across the country including many from some of the more remote regions who seldom have access to such training. All the modules of this highly interactive, 2.5-day program were tailored to the needs of Myanmar, covering topics such as: Basic Concepts and Terms, Unity & Diversity, Constitutional Models, Local Government, Fiscal Decentralization and case studies. When asked about their future use of the training one participant noted: "We now understand how we need to balance different objectives when it comes to decentralization and federalism.”
The TOT workshop aimed at preparing the participants with the necessary subject matter knowledge but also the training skills needed to make them effective facilitators for Federalism-Decentralization workshops across the country for a wide range of audiences. This has now created a major resource of sustainable capacity for ongoing knowledge sharing and dialogue at a relatively low cost, in local languages and based on "ownership” of the program by local organizations, especially Myanmar EGRESS. One of the most common themes raised by participants of the TOT program was that "… there will be a huge demand for this training throughout all our country.”
The Forum’s Burma program is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Government of Canada.