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SecDev: Call for internet policy research papers

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SecDev Foundation calls for research proposals on Internet and society

Introduction

The SecDev Foundation would like to support researchers in Myanmar to undertake policy and/or action research on a range of internet and society issues. The SecDev Foundation is a Canadian nonprofit organization that supports digital citizenship and digital safety in the Southeast Asian region.

As part of our efforts to support digital citizenship initiatives in Myanmar, this research project will aim to highlight important developments in the use of social media, mobile devices and the internet amongst Myanmar citizens, and how best to shape internet policy to ensure an open and accessible internet for all. 

Research topics to be funded

A research panel composed of experts from the SecDev Foundation and Myanmar-based institutes will select up to 6 research proposals to support. The research topics may vary depending on the interests of researchers, but may include such issues as: 

  • internet policies and legislation; 
  • youth culture and the internet; 
  • digital citizenship and education initiatives; 
  • the role of the private sector and/or civil society in internet policy; 
  • other internet policy or internet and society concerns, as long as a research proposal can demonstrate their importance, and their link to policy debates or potential programmatic interventions.

Applicants should note that the research panel is particularly interested in research topics that can directly support policy debates or lead to programmatic interventions such as educational outreach campaigns, mainstream media interviews, policy frameworks, and so on. Purely theoretical/academic papers will not be supported.

Objectives

The primary goal of the research project will be to contribute data and informed opinion to help shape public policy debates and future legislation in support of an open, accessible and safe internet for all Myanmar citizens.

Number and amount of grants

The precise number of research grants awarded will depend on the research proposals and the funding available. The goal is for 3-5 research proposals to be approved. Funding for each research proposal should not exceed USD 5,000. Research proposals above USD 5,000 will only be considered if there is a very strong need demonstrated for extensive fieldwork or other costs, and/or for research directly linked to ongoing policy engagement activities.

Proposal requirements

Interested researchers should contact the SecDev Foundation coordinator for Myanmar to receive a research proposal template​. Only proposals submitted using this template will be​         considered. As mentioned above, the proposed budget for each research proposal should be less than USD 5,000, unless there is a strongly demonstrated need to additional costs to cover in-country travel, fieldwork or other non-remunerative expenses.

Selection process

The research panel will consider all submissions received based on their own merits, taking into consideration factors such as relevance, timeliness and link to social programs or policy initiatives. The deadline to submit a completed research proposal is 30 December 2020. Successful candidates will be contacted before 15 January 2021.

Post-research communications

The research proposals should include a communications plan. The research panel intends for researchers and research teams to be available to discuss their research publicly, for example by participating in panels at events like the Myanmar Digital Rights Forum, as well as doing mainstream media interviews. While travel to international conferences is not funded directly as part of this research activity, the SecDev Foundation will work with successful research applicants to promote Myanmar participation in international or regional events like RightsCon or the IGF. 

Submission Information

Interested researchers should email SecDev Foundation national coordinator Sein Ma Ma at s.mama@secdev.foundation to request a research proposal template to be sent to them. Thedeadline to submit a completed research proposal is 30 December 2020. Successful candidates will be contacted before 15 January 2021.