Aung Phyo Kyaw, recipient of a Robert R. Nathan Foundation Fellowship in 2013, is now helping the Government of Myanmar bring its management of oil, gas, and mineral resources up to international standards.
Kyaw, research and outreach officer in the National Coordination Office of Myanmar’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), recently was awarded a scholarship for intermediate training this spring on “Improving the Governance of Extractive Industries.” The nonprofit Revenue Watch Institute will provide the two-week training in partnership with Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and with support from USAID. The program offered competitive scholarships.
Kyaw spent eight weeks at Nathan Associates Inc.’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters in May–June 2013. Foundation board members sought applicants for two Myanmar fellowships for 2013, after the U.S. normalized relations with the country. Nathan’s engagement with Southeast Asia is widespread, and the firm’s involvement in Burma dates to 1953. Kyaw’s eight-week fellowship focused on Myanmar’s regional integration with ASEAN and development of telecommunications in Myanmar.
Kyaw joined the EITI coordination office, part of the Myanmar Development Resource Institute (MDRI), as a research assistant in 2013 after receiving a master’s degree in economics from the Yangon Institute of Economics and completing his Nathan fellowship. He was then promoted to research and outreach officer. MDRI supplies independent policy analysis to the Myanmar government.
Myanmar is preparing to seek membership in the EITI, a voluntary initiative that aims to hold governments accountable for management of public resources, especially the revenue. At least two dozen countries comply with all EITI standards, and 15 more countries are candidates, according to the Oslo-based initiative’s website. Myanmar is preparing for candidacy.