The EU funded STEP Democracy programme began its second phase on August 1st 2018 and the team is excited for the opportunity to continue its support to Myanmar’s democratic transition over the next forty months. This second phase of STEP will build on past achievements and incorporate lessons drawn from results-based learning from the first phase of the project. The project seeks to support democratic reforms, advance participation by youth, women and ethnic groups, increase voter awareness, facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogues, support responsive political parties and develop institutional capacities in strategic planning, knowledge management and stakeholder relations. Overall, STEP will strive to increase the capacities of Myanmar’s key democratic actors so they can constructively contribute to Myanmar’s political landscape while adhering to democratic principles and values.
Permanent platforms supporting dialogues between the UEC and stakeholders have yet to be institutionalized, and parties must continue to strengthen their programming capacity and alliances. As we move towards the 2020 national elections, STEP will continue its technical support to develop more effective procedures for electoral processes such as voting, candidate nomination and election observation procedures and strive to ensure inclusive, representative, credible and transparent elections.
STEP will harness learning from Myanmar’s previous electoral cycles and work with the Union Election Commission, political parties, civil society organizations and actors working at the sub-national level to develop democratic reforms that are inclusive and reflective of Myanmar’s evolving needs.Trainings and activities under STEP 1 saw improvements in civil society actors’ ability to formulate clear democratic reform demands, and the engagement of political party youth representatives in the making of the National Youth Policy was a milestone in addressing concerns of youth nationwide. STEP will continue to reach out to thousands of people in remote ethnic minority areas and deliver essential information on electoral procedures. Broader engagement is still needed, and the STEP team is committed to increase political participation among underrepresented Groups.
STEP Democracy looks forward to continuing our constructive collaborations with local partners in order to support Myanmar’s democratic transition through tailor made and demand driven responses.