Data transparency project launched in Yangon

By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — Innovation hub Phandeeyar on Tuesday launched an open data portal to encourage transparency and improve decision-making, as part of a Mekong-wide project.

Phandeeyar program manager Ko Thet Aung said the Open Development Myanmar site aims to use information and technology to promote development and support Myanmar’s transition process.

“If people have access to data and know how to use it, then they will have the opportunity to make better decisions,” he said.

Thet Aung said the site was developed over the past seven months in consultation with teams from around the region.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

“This is a platform … where people can easily get information about the Mekong region, including Myanmar,” he said.

As well as data, Open Development Myanmar also features maps, visualisations and profiles. A news page compiles media reports about Myanmar from a range of sources.

Thet Aung said the site was a work in progress and the Phandeeyar team planned to enlarge its sources of data over time.

Ravi Chhabra, a former adviser to the Myanmar Computer Federation and a researcher in the open data movement, said Myanmar should prioritise a “data production” law before enacting freedom of information legislation.

If a freedom of information law comes first, he said, it would be difficult to implement and public confidence in the law could be undermined.

“Widespread use of open data can improve management and decision making, particularly on the economy,” he said.

Nyi Lynn Seck, a member of the Myanmar Computer Professionals Association’s executive committee, said the collection and distribution of data about Myanmar had previously been very difficult.

In particular there were few resources online. But with a concerted effort, that could soon change, he said. “I am very to see people get involved in improving access to data in our country and always welcome those people who want to help,” he said.

By Su Myat Mon

By Su Myat Mon

Su Myat Mon joined Frontier in 2016 after working for The Irrawaddy as an intern. Her interests include travelling and writing.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Shan farmer’s killing leaves villagers burning with anger
After the Tatmadaw gunned down a farmer, more than 10,000 people marched in protest.
Democracy without the dividend
It’s taking over newspaper columns, Facebook feeds and teashop chatter: Myanmar’s November 8 election has quite clearly replaced the COVID-19 pandemic as the national obsession.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar