Open Myanmar Initiative /OMI/, founded in 2013, is a broadly open non-political NGO conceived as think tank and research centre as well as education and training centre with a strong growth potential departing from the ideals of the Burmese democratic movement such as the 88 Generation students, other ex-political prisoners associations.
OMI is the first ever independent political think-tank in Myanmar and we are trying to play an important role to formulate policy studies and recommendations on various political issues and provide them to policy makers, political parties, civil society organizations and general population through various delivery systems, including publishing, using social media networks, providing trainings and public talks, organizing seminars and conferences, as well as direct engagement with Members of Parliament and the Government Ministers.
We have a very ambitious agenda and our main objective is to bridge the social and economic differences created by many decades of dictatorship in Myanmar, to contribute to the reform process in Myanmar within the new political set up after the general elections in 2015, which were won in a lanslide victory by opposition party National League for Democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Elections brought a positive change and better prospects for Myanmar´s future after several decades of military dictatorship. However, the situation today is still delicate, complicated and complex and serious challenges remain. Our goal is to involve as much as possible our young generation and to support building of a modern peaceful and democratic Myanmar fully integrated to the international community with a strong economic growth based on the sound foundations.
OMI has four departments – Research Department focusing on parliamentary and budgetary monitoring, bill tracking and promoting right to know, Education and Training Department with a main focus on local governance trainings for the representatives from Myanmar Ethnic States and Divisions, Public Relations Department, which organizes press conferences, public lectures and debates, and Finance department responsible for sound financial management of OMI. OMI staff consists of former political prisoners and student leaders and young enthousiastic people with strong technical background in the research department.
We attach a lot of importance also to empowerment of women and include them representatively in our courses and research. With a strong focus on free access to information/right to know, we strongly support promotion of freedom of expression, including internet freedom. OMI pays utmost attention to the cooperation with the representatives of Myanmar ethnic minorities, who regularly participate at our trainings and contribute also to the research activities and our ambition is to spread the knowledge to all regions of Myanmar, including the ethnic states, in line with our motto “Pull Down the Wall of Ignorance”.
Meeting of OMI Chairman of Advisory Board Ko Ko Gyi with Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy – presentation of OMI Report on Parliament