Beyond the Journal: The science of communication

Myanmar: Through eyes of leadership

15 May 2023
Everyone should have access to a good education. This is why our work with The Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar is particularly meaningful, especially now as the initiative moves into its second phase to continue supporting higher education and research. Asia Research News provides knowledge transfer communications for the initiative. Here's a snapshot of the phase two launch.

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By Maggie Pokar – Asia Research News CEO and founder

My favourite years in education were spent in the interior of Borneo, where my science class of 25 students was the only one within an area of more than 3,500 square kilometres. We had excellent teachers, which meant that I was privileged to receive a solid education.

At Asia Research News, we believe everyone should have access to a good education, no matter the location, no matter the circumstances. This is why we feel that our work with the International Development Research Centre's K4DM Initiative is so meaningful.

The initiative supports higher education and research for people from Myanmar, many of whom have been forced to leave their homes due to the conflict that has engulfed the country.

In November 2022, K4DM launched its second phase in Bangkok, Thailand with a series of events called the Knowledge Marketplace. Having previously worked with K4DM in their first phase, we were thrilled to help shape the event, which included book launches, roundtable discussions, research presentations, workshops and a public photo exhibition at the bustling venue of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

In the months leading up to the event, we worked with K4DM on the marketplace’s agenda, registration, website pages, social media campaigns, public exhibition curation, posters, banner designs and much more.

While we did bring our expertise to the table, we also came away at the end of the event having learned so much more about research and education during times of conflict. Our Asia Research News team is humbled to have this opportunity to support Myanmar's dedicated researchers.



Watch this two-minute video about the events at the K4DM Knowledge Marketplace, its visitors and the researchers.

Through Eyes of Leadership - K4DM 2022 Bangkok


To assemble the backbone and vision of the 2022 Knowledge Marketplace, Asia Research News worked closely with the K4DM team through much brainstorming and discussion. The image is a screenshot from the Knowledge Marketplace page on K4DM's website,, a platform we developed in phase 1 and now update and maintain for phase 2.


Asia Research News designed the look used on all promotional materials. Captivated by her portrait behind a window, we looked to Daw Mu Mu Aye for inspiration. She was one of the community leaders photographed and interviewed by the researchers and is featured prominently in the designs.


Through Eyes of Leadership: Women of Shan State exhibition covered the curved walls on the 5th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The exhibition was curated from photos taken during research on Voices of Ethnic People in Shan State about Gender Equality, which highlighted factors affecting women's economic, political and social empowerment.

The exhibition included panels with quotes from the photographed women in Burmese, English and Thai. Many visitors from the public stopped to take photos of the quotes.

Since we planned the event remotely, we needed to design a detailed floor-plan. This shows how we conceived the exhibit’s layout on three walls of the 5th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, with detailed measurements and placements of the headlines, photos and quote panels.


We wanted visitors to have something to remember when they went home, so we designed a folded flyer for them to take away. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre receives almost two million visitors a year.

The front of the folded flyer has information about the event and the inside of the flyer includes photos from the exhibition, information about the research and selected words representing leadership in Burmese and English. It also showcased the photographer, who we invited to speak about her experiences meeting and photographing the women.

More of our designs including promotional posters displayed on the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre's digital boards throughout the venue and pull-up banners placed at the exhibition entrance and at the bottom of escalators to guide visitors. Variations of these designs were used to further raise awareness on websites and social media campaigns.


This story is featured in the Asia Research News 2023 magazine.   If you would like to receive regular research news, join our growing community. 

Asia Research News is looking forward to the upcoming 2023 Knowledge Marketplace.

For further information

Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar (K4DM) website
Voices of Ethnic People in Shan State about Gender Equality
Elevating women leaders in Myanmar

(Note: the research for Voices of Ethnic People in Shan State about Gender Equality was done before the 2021 coup)

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