Pandita Development Institute (Pandita) is a nonprofit organisation founded in 2011 by young local activists who took part in Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement. We have come together to create a space and provide support for political and civic activists to contribute towards the country’s transition from 50 years of military rule to democracy.
At this time, the country just embarked on the way to democracy with still limited freedoms and rights for people and limited space for civil society organisations (interest groups). Pandita has grasped the limited opportunity to work for the community and is one of the earliest locally-initiated civic organisations in Myanmar.
VisionA peaceful, harmonious, and democratic society in Myanmar
MissionStrengthening civic participation
Our Strategy and Approaches
We believe that the people as a whole steer society to uphold the pillars of democracy and that civic participation is the driving force for democratic and social change. Meaningful participation ensures that informed, organized and active citizens can engage peacefully in a democratic political process. Therefore, it is crucial to enlarge civic capacity and space.
Our strategy is based on a theory of change that the enhancement of civic capacity and space should lead to the meaningful participation of citizens at all levels in the democratic political decision-making process. People, when well-informed, can avoid being manipulated by political actors, thus reducing problems like communal violence and ethnic conflicts. Organized participation of well-informed citizens supported by an enabling environment will create substantive democratic change.
Enlarging civic space to protect and promote democracy
We will enlarge the civic space that encourages all people in Myanmar to express themselves and interact with power holders. Civic space refers to the avenues, platforms and opportunities that exist for people to organize, voice their preferences, act individually and collectively, and engage government. To exercise these democratic rights and responsibilities, citizens also need space free from harassment or unreasonable restrictions. The degree of political space can be placed along a continuum from relatively open and inclusive to closed and exclusive.
Contributing to the development of civic capacity
We will help develop civic capacity in Myanmar: citizens’ ability and aptitude for participation in the political decision-making process. Civic capacity refers to knowledge to make decisions about policy choices and the proper use of authority, along with the skills to discern facts and make judgement in the context of civic activism, voice their concerns, act collectively and hold public officials accountable. It is of vital importance for citizens in all walks of life to have access to information and education about democracy in order to effectively influence policy decisions, make their voice heard and hold their government accountable.
Htet Htet Khine
Hsu Mon Aung
Saw Chit Thet Tun
Shunn Lei Swe Yee
Zaw Myat Lin
Pandita Development Institute (Pandita) has officially registered under the Association Registration Law No.31.2014; a national nonprofit association registered at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) with the endorsement of the Ministry of Information (MOI).