Innovation That Matters

A civic engagement app for Myanmar's young people


New Niti is an app that aims to teach Myanmar's young people about civil responsibilities and encourage critical thinking.

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We have seen a number of organizations using digital technology to engage citizens with local or national politics. CitizenLab, for example, is a Belgium civic engagement platform that brings the town meeting online. Now, New Niti is an app for Android smartphones, which aims to teach Myanmar’s young people about civil responsibilities and encourage critical thinking.

The app was created by civil society group OneWorld and is named after the Pali world for knowledge. It includes a number of features including songs, cartoons, animation, quizzes and surveys, designed to elicit interest in citizenship, democracy, elections, rule of law and peace. One feature called ‘Let’s Ask Myanmar’ enables users to pose questions about their country and its infrastructure, which provides explanations via the app. It is hoped it will facilitate greater transparency around previously vague and alienating concepts.

The app is already being used as a resource by development organizations including Oxfam and the Centre for Youth and Social Harmony. How else could technology be used to engage young people with politics and democracy?



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