Fieldwork for our project “Psychosocial wellbeing of individuals in a society in transition: exploring the role of new technologies in Myanmar” was a success. Five villages and two cities, from four different regions in Myanmar were visited as part of the research trip. More than 90 pre and 25 post interviews, 9 pre and 5 post focus groups, and 90 pre and 90 post surveys were conducted. In the following months, this data will be analyzed. We are already seeing some early results and positive impacts. As previously shared, Sammia Poveda, Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute in Macauand lead of this project has been collecting data in partnership with two organizations, UNDP and MBAPF. While her first and last week were spent visiting villages working with iWomen, two weeks were spent conducting participatory observation of two training sessions of the Mobile Information Literacy (MIL) course, offered by the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF). The MIL course was developed by the MBAPF in partnership with Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) from the University of Washington.
Our early positive impacts are a result of the participatory approach used in the design of this project. The survey used for data collection was designed based on information collected from a participatory workshop held with the MBAPF earlier this year. The idea behind this effort was that the survey could benefit both the academic research and the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) practices of the MBAPF. After testing the tool on the field, the MBAPF has gladly confirmed they will continue to used it in future trainings. Sammia will continue to collaborate and have access to the data, but from now on the MBAPF have appropriated the process. It is our hope that this new M&E tool will help the Foundation to track their progress and the progress of those who undertake the training. Also, this process will help the Foundation to have more robust evidence to present to donors and other partners in the future. For Sammia, this early impact inspires her to continue her work, knowing that her efforts will also strengthen local capacity in Myanmar.