In a country where opportunities for youth participation in politics have only become available recently, DIPD focuses on enhancing youth participation in politics. To this end, DIPD recently launched its Myanmar Parliamentary Internship Program (MPIP). It is the very first internship program through which young people can work as interns for the Members of Parliament from their political parties. The internship program started in the second Hluttaw’s ninth regular session of National Parliament Assembly in 2018.
The program kicked off on August 11th with 15 youth from eight different political parties represented in the Union Parliament of Myanmar. The MMDP received many application forms and ended up selecting the group of 15 from eight political parties, including the National League for Democracy, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the Shan Nationalities league for Democracy, the National Unity Party, the Pa-O National Organization, the Zomi Congress for Democracy, the Lisu National Development Party and the Ta’aung National Party. Beginning with a one week intensive training course from August 11th 2018 to August 17th 2018 in Naypyitaw, DIPD is building the capacity of the interns, while they are carrying out useful work for their MPs in Parliament.
LEARNING BY DOING
At the opening ceremony on August 11th 2018, the Deputy Speaker of the Lower House and Chairperson of the Joint Public Accounts Committee; U Tun Tun Hein stated in his opening speech that “This program is really great and fills the gap between the Parliament and Member of Parliaments.
The MPs don’t get enough support, why we believe that the interns can and will be a part of the solution. So, we all are welcome you to this program.”
A number of MPs including Union Solidarity Development Party’s Daw Nan Ni Ni Aye, SNLD’s Daw Nan Khan Aye, Daw Htoo May from the ALD also delivered encouraging speeches to the Youth Interns.
The interns enrolled in an intensive orientation, where some of the topics covered were the basic norms of political parties and their functions, electoral systems and the electoral cycle in Myanmar, parliamentary committee systems, constituent relations and daily works of MPS, Myanmar peace process, enhancing youth participation in peace process, research and using media and civil society organizations cooperation. The Members of Parliament also shared their knowledge and experience on different topics during the intensive course.
The DIPD team also cooperated with a range of partner organizations and individuals during the orientation: National Democratic Institute, Open Myanmar Initiative, Joint public Accounts Committee, Union Peace and Dialogue Joint Committee (Political Parties), Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation and Members of Parliament. During the two months internship program, the other resource persons and trainers will be contributing their knowledge to interns.
“The subjects and the course in this intensive week are very interesting to me and I’m pleased to attend it. About the legislative process, the daily work of parliament’s member and the duties of parliamentary committee and their performances makes me engaged. Especially presentation of the work within the account committee and the bill committees is very valuable knowledge to me. In the section such as ‘What is politics’, the Function of Media in Politics and the Role of Youth in Building Peace, I got many ideas to future projects. So, in my opinion the first intensive week has been very precious and great to me” – said Min Rat Mon Chan – youth intern from National League for Democracy (NLD)
SAFE, SPACE FOR YOUTH
The youth interns found time after the intensive course to celebrated the International Youth Day on August 12th. They presented talent shows and a presentation about “Safe, Space for Youth”.
The internship program will last for two months and the youth interns will cooperate with their relative members of parliament. They will be helping with doing assignments, data collecting, preparing policy briefs and directly engaging with members of parliament.
The objectives of internship program are to enhancing the youth participation in politics through training and practical ‘hands on’ experience of the policy making process, legislative process while learning and supporting members of parliament. The program will promote young leaders who will contribute to the democratic transition of Myanmar and greater inclusion of youth in politics – creating a safe space for youth in politics.
Read more about DIPD’s Myanmar Multiparty Democracy Programme