New app means new knowledge for a new Myanmar

New Niti aims to teach youth about democracy as Myanmar’s general elections end military rule.
New Niti aims to teach youth in Myanmar about democracy
New Niti aims to teach youth in Myanmar about democracy

Transitioning from decades of military rule to a democratic state is no easy task. In particular, the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar has been isolated from the rest of the world since the military seized power in 1962. Now, the country, formerly known as Burma, has reached a historic crossroads. As it prepared for its first general election on 8 November, civil society group OneWorld launched the country’s first civic education app to educate the population on citizenship, democracy, elections, rule of law, and peace.

OneWorld, in collaboration with a number of other organisations and creatives, launched the application to smoothen the transition to democracy and educate the nation’s smartphone users in a fun, interactive, and innovative way.

The application is called New Niti, meaning New Knowledge, and it runs on Android smartphones. The group chose this platform because 85 per cent of Myanmar’s smartphone users have an Android smartphone. The group plans to expand to iOS devices if the number of users increases over time.

The app is focused on young people and shares knowledge that is important for everyone in modern Myanmar. It includes animated cartoon characters, engaging stories both in script and in audio, quizzes, surveys, games, a glossary, and a feature that allows you to ask a civic education question to an expert. All features are available both in Burmese and in English.

While Myanmar’s five decades of oppression will not be erased by one general election, it still presents a crucial moment for the population, as the voices of the people will finally be heard. The lifting of restrictions around the media, public gatherings, and the internet means apps such as New Niti will play a fundamental role in ensuring that those who were not given a platform to be heard will now stand a chance.