I’ve just returned from TechCamp Yangon that has been organized by the organization MIDO. The event was very successful and a great opportunity to meet people and present mycitizen.net together with the current version of the mobile app. The format of TechCamp is slightly different than other “camps” – starting with a very brief introduction and then offering trainings in groups. Later, local civil society organizations came up with concrete requests for advice and assistance to overcome obstacles in their work.
Particularly the installation of mycitizen.net on my tiny laptop that could be accessed via the local WiFi network attracted much attention since the speed was noticeably higher than what we were able to achieve via the Internet in Myanmar.
Over two weeks of intensive work in Delhi, western Burma and Yangon are behind me. More than one hundred participants in seven locations have been briefed about mycitizen.net and tried the web interface and the development version of the mobile app. The type of users ranged from teenage students to owners of internet cafés and mobile phone shops.
Considering the very experimental nature of this project, I am glad to see that all went so well. The long-anticipated success of smartphones in Burma has reached now even extremely inaccessible parts of Chin State, the country’s poorest region, and particularly in the hands of young people. Gaining access to global information is for many key to improving their futures and developing their country.
During the days in Delhi, our local assistant has managed to find a translator for Hakha, one of the languages of Chin State. The progress was fast enough so that I could already present a partly translated version of the user interface to the audience in Burma who much appreciated that their local languages are among the first that make it to the user interface.
I am glad that I also had the privilege to present the project at MIDO, a local non-profit organization in Yangon that seeks to promote development through ICT.