Van Cung Lian (Chinbridge Institute)
Executive Director, Chinbridge Institute, Chin State, Myanmar
P4P Small Grant Recipient
Understanding Political Representation and the Level of People Participation in Chin State.
The Chinbridge Institute is a research and learning centre founded in June 2017. Funded by a P4P grant Chinbridge is conducting research aimed at increasing knowledge of the functioning of democratic representation and the level of people’s participation in political processes in Chin State. This research combines a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods. In term of qualitative, there were three key activities – focus-group discussion, participatory short-video clips and focus-group interviews. Participants in focus-groups discussed their ideas and experiences on representation and participation, and MPs and political party leaders were also interviewed on the subject. Additionally, a survey of public attitude towards representation and participation in Chin State was used to help to capture the functioning of Chin State parliaments from people’s perspectives and experiences.
Van Cung Lian and his research team have compiled and published a report detailing their research project findings, called “Understanding Political Representation and Participation in Chin State”. It is the first such publication dealing with issues around political representation, engagement and participation in Chin State, and is already achieving significant impact on people’s understanding , as well as sparking conversations amongst citizens, politicians, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, and the media. The report has been presented to students, the Chin State Parliament, and to the Amyotho Hluttaw (Burma’s Union Parliament) upon its request for a Burmese translation. Read the full report here .
The team have also developed an at-a-glance leaflet titled “Chin People and Chin Parliament”. Designed to be easy-to-read and highly accessible by a wide range of audiences in three languages, the leaflet presents some of the project’s key findings, and draws on survey data from 1,015 people across 16 of Chin State’s 18 constituencies; interviews with MPs and a member of the Chin State Parliament Affairs Committee; and focus group discussions on the relationship between people and their parliament. Read the leaflet here: Lai (Chin) , Burmese , and English .
Van Cung Lian and Ram Hlei Thang (Director and Research Director of Chinbridge Institute respectively), have been busy disseminating their research since its completion. Following a presentation to 130 people at Hakha College, they braved treacherous weather and driving conditions on motorbikes to make the journey down from Hakha to Kalay – a 9-hour journey which took them nearer 24-hours – to engage with people at Tahan Institute of Theology.
Under Van’s leadership, the team has also experimented with more creative (and less labour intensive) ways of disseminating their research to larger audiences that have the potential to reach beyond regional and national borders. The result? A podcast titled “Chin People and Chin Parliament”. It has been uploaded on to Myanmar’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, and had (at the last count in early March 2019) reached 14,201 people; been viewed 3,259 times and been engaged with 574 times.
About Chinbridge Institute
Chinbridge Institute was founded in 2017 by Van Cung Lian, with the aim of building a brighter future through promoting education and research. Based in the capital city of Hakha, it actively engages with civil society organisations and other development actors in the region, and has rapidly established itself as the premiere Chin-run research institute in the state. The organisation undertakes an array of self-financed projects and activities related to strengthening politics in Chin state, and offers a range of learning and training opportunities, while the award of a P4P Small Grant allowed them the scope to conduct fully-subsidised research for the very first time. You can follow Chinbridge Institute on Twitter: @ChinbridgeI and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chinbridge/.