Collaborate to Create: Tech Camp Myanmar 2016

by EM News April 20, 2016
Two days, over 30 organizations, and 200 people formed the building blocks for ‘Tech Camp Myanmar: Tech for Transparency and the New Myanmar’ on March 8 and 9 in Yangon.

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In partnership with the U.S. Embassy and the Innovation Lab: Phanteeyar, this Tech Camp aimed to promote inclusiveness in Myanmar by creating technology strategies for a new Myanmar. Among the many topics that were discussed were data collection, citizen journalism, online/offline community organizing, digital privacy, data visualization, tools for emergency and data mapping.

International trainers from BBC, RFA, the Carter Centre, Change.org, Open Development Initiative, IRI and ICT4Peace showcased various tech solutions and strategies that could potentially aid the growing democracy. Local trainers like myself and others from different organizations also attended and trained at the camp.

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Esra Dogrmaci from the BBC and I specifically trained on 'Social Video and Podcast Production’, where we introduced a selection of mobile video editing apps for iOS and Android. The focus of our session was on how to produce short and effective campaign videos for access on slow internet connections. We also spoke on tactics for reaching new audiences via social media, specifically for mobile video

Esra suggested using text-based video tools because they don’t require getting a good voiceover or presenter. The strength of making text-based video is that everyone can easily understand concepts and ideas through a combination of text and photographs.

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Our participants had a lot of fun producing content using the apps and techniques we recommended, and were really excited to finish their projects within the given time frame. The four groups made up of our participants worked on themes such as drug abuse, child rights and caring for the elderly.

One participant from the Pat Jasan organization, which is conducting an anti-drug campaign in the Kachin area, shared that they’d like to work on a documentary on drug abuse because it’s a serious problem there. He felt that the session was very valuable for him, adding that although he can only produce short mobile videos now, he hopes that he’ll be able to produce documentary films with professional editing software.

Tech Camp Myanmar was a great platform to bring innovative groups of people together, engage them in meaningful training, and kick-start a conversation on the importance of digital communication strategies. Welcome to the New Myanmar!

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