Monday, August 31, 2015

Myanmar official visit ( SATREPS Workshop and field survey) - Day 4 (20-August-2015)

Good morning everyone and sorry for the delay.

Day 4

The day started with "Mohinga". Its a very famous breakfast in Myanmar.
We woke up early to try it together, as Kohtake sensei and Shirai san had to return back.


Good way to start the day

At 10 am we went to YTU for some presentations and group discussion with YTU students. I also gave a presentation about my PhD research.

Ochii san discussing with the students of YTU
We had lunch at the YTU canteen and guess what, more meetings!

At around 3 pm we visited the Yangon RRD department. There Ochii san and Ichihara san donated to the Myanmar flood relief fund.

Ichihara san receiving the certificate of appreciation
We learnt about the current relief measures taken and also had the oppurtunity to visit the RRD godowns where the relief materials were stored to be dispatched soon to the affected areas.

One of temporary godowns

Group photo with the RRD officer
We left RRD at around 5 pm. Then, as usual, we had another meeting at the hotel lobby.

For dinner, we went to a very nice BBQ place near-by. I really enjoyed the food there!
Thats all for the day. Good night!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Myanmar official visit ( SATREPS Workshop and field survey) - Day 3 (19-August-2015)

Day 3:

Good morning!

The day started by meeting at the hotel lobby at 8:30 am only to head to YTU for the 2nd and final day of the workshop.

The workshop started at 9:00 am with a "look back on Day 1". Kohtake sensei explained the issues and solutions of each group, followed by a brief summary of the findings so far.

Kawasaki sensei, then gave a presentation on the current status and future plans of SATREPS project.

Kawasaki sensei explaining about the SATREPS project
Yesterday we had three rounds (out of five). For the fourth round, the concept of "World Cafe" was introduced and the group were re-arranged (yes all planned in the last night's meeting, again!). The Japanese members and the group leader stayed in the same group and the remaining members were re-arranged.
We were then asked to discuss about the same CVCA (Flood Hazard Map in our case, group D).
Surprisingly, all the four new group members completely agreed with our old CVCA (done yesterday, round three). We just had a few minor changes and rearrangement of the post-it.

Our  new (and improved) CVCA
After a short team break, the last and final round, round five started. We were asked to create a "Customer Journey Map". The idea was to do a step-wise scenario analysis using the "user's viewpoint" (Who, when, how, etc.). User here refers to the stakeholder who will use the service (Flood Hazard Map). The goal was to make a "Customer Journey Map" so that the users of this service feel "Wow!" and "Happy!".

We were given a board for sketching the user experience based on our idea and understanding of the "Customer Journey Map".

Our Customer Journey Map
Finally all the groups were asked to give a brief presentation on their Customer Journey Map.

Following the group presentations, the Japanese and Myanmar representatives had a final group meeting which lasted more than an hour.

Group meeting among Japanese and Myanamr deligates
With the last intense meeting, the 2-day workshop officially came to an end.

After the lunch (@ YTU), we had the so called "Wrap-up" meeting. It lasted for another 30 mins. And then, another meeting at the newly opened Hydroinformatics Center @ YTU.

Group picture with the members of Hydroinformatics Center @ YTU

Finally, dinner time. We went to the famous Golden Duck restaurant of Yangon.

May be not so golden, eh? But it sure was very delicious.
Sorry didnt had time to click picture of other dishes, too busy you know!
Thats all for the day. Please dont hesitate to post comments, suggestion or questions. I'll be very happy to answer/respond!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Myanmar official visit ( SATREPS Workshop and field survey) - Day 2 (18-August-2015)

Good morning! Sorry for the delay.

Day 2:

So at 8:15 am, we all meet-up at the hotel lobby, and headed to the workshop venue (YTU).
At 9:00 am, Dr. Aye Myint, rector of YTU gave a welcome speech. Everyone was excited and prepared for the workshop.

Center - Rector, YTU; Right - Japanese delegates; Left - Myanmar delegates
And it was time for "the group photo"!

Group photo
The workshop was "kick-started" by Kohtake sensei, Associate Professor at Keio University. He was the leading organizer of the workshop.  

Kohtake sensei giving a brief explanation about the workshop.
We were introduced the concepts of "System Design". All the participants were divided into 4 groups - A, B, C and D (Yes, groups were assigned during last night's meeting!) and sent off to four corners of the conference hall.

I was in group D along with Ochii-san, Senior Engineer at the International Affairs Division of Water Resources Engineering Department. We were representing Japan. Our group had 5 Myanmar representatives.

So there we were, 7 of us, ready for a productive discussion! We started with short self-introduction. Then we had to assign a group leader and group name. One of the Myanmar delegates was chosen to be the team leader, however I was asked to present on behalf of our group. Our group name was "Dream Maker"

Post-it, markers and notes were handed to us by Shirai-san, Master student at Keio University (also an organizer of this workshop).

Shirai-san, Master student at Keio University
The workshop was divided into 5 rounds. First round was to discuss the current issues of Myanmar. We had 15 mins and we were asked to discuss, take notes and stick them on to the Post-it. The idea was to get as much information as possible. Quantity was more important than quality. Then we were asked to organize the notes into groups following the "KJ Method".

I was explaining our "Issues" post-it.
At around noon time, a bus was waiting for us and we were taken to a very famous restaurant near-by. We tried many different Burmese delicacies. I really liked to food as it was very similar to Indian food (yes, I'm Indian) and Thai food (I stayed in Thailand for 4 years). I was too busy enjoying the food that I forgot to click pictures. Sorry!

The second round started at 2 pm. This time we were asked to make another post-it for the possible solutions of the issues we discussed in the first round.

During this round, Ichihara san (Deputy Director, International Affairs Division, Water Resources Engineering Department) gave a presentation on "Water Resource Utilization and River Management in Japan"

We were then given additional time to edit or add more "solutions".

Our "Solutions" post-it
We were then asked to re-arrange the notes into a two-axis chart. Feasibility in the X-axis and Social Impact in the Y-axis.

Our two-axis chart of "solutions"
For the third round, Kohtake sensei introduced the concepts of "Customer Value Chain Analysis (CVCA)". We had to choose one of the solutions we proposed in round two and do a CVCA. Our team decided to go for "Flood Hazard Map".

Our CVCA - Flood Hazard Map
All the groups took turns to explain about their CVCA. And yet again, I was the one explaining our ideas, results and conclusions.

Groups order - Top to bottom
Group A - Establishing common database; Group B - Providing Flood Hazard Map Service; Group C - Creating case study for Flood Assessment; Group D - Flood Hazard Map
Even though I have been to a few brainstorming sessions before, this was my first time to try CVCA.
The first day of the workshop was quite intense and tiring, yet very productive as we were able to identify the current issues of Myanmar and their possible solutions.

At around 6 pm, the first day of the workshop concluded following the individual groups presentation of their CVCA.

Then we headed back to our hotel. And yes you guessed it right, another intense meeting was waiting for us! We had a meeting on the outcomes of the first day in the hotel lobby.

Everyone seems tired!
We were again assigned some tasks for the next day and also were asked to summarize the findings of day 1 for each group.
After having dinner, we headed back to our rooms, finished the summary and had some rest (FINALLY)!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Myanmar official visit ( SATREPS Workshop and field survey) - Day 1 (17-August-2015)

Hello everyone. I'm Seemanta (サム). I'm a first year PhD student. For those of you who are curious, yes I'm the one in the light blue shirt (cropped image, left bottom).

This is my first blog. I'll try to be as descriptive, and yet precise, as possible.
This is also the first blog of our group in English!

I'll write about my first trip to Myanmar (17-25 August, 2015).

Day 1 (17 - August)

The day started with heavy rainfall in Tokyo. Due to bad weather conditions, unfortunately our flight was delayed by 1 hr.
Flight delayed due to poor weather conditions.
I took the window seat (21K). Once out of Tokyo, the weather was really nice.
A view from my window.
After almost 6 and half hours, we finally arrived at Yangon International Airport (16:30 Local time).
The first thing we had to do was to get our VISA on arrival. The VISA on-arrival queue was not very long. We got our VISA stamped and we were officially in Yangon, Myanmar.

And here we were, waiting for our taxies to go to Yangon Technological University (YTU). It was raining at Yangon. And yes, I was the photographer.
We hopped into 2 taxies and headed to Yangon Technological University (YTU). The busy roads of Yangon somehow reminded me of my city's traffic. It was, in a way, a very similar scene.

After around 15 mins, we reached YTU. At YTU, Dr. Win Win Zin (Associate professor at YTU) was waiting to recieve us. We had a brief self introduction (for new members, like me) and a short meeting with Dr. Khin Than Yu (Pro-Rector, YTU) regarding the workshop to be held on 18-19 August 2015.

Brief meeting with the Pro-Rector, YTU
We were then escorted to the conference hall, where the workshop will be held.
Preparation for the workshop
After checking the conference hall, we headed back to our hotel, only to have one more final meeting for the day (to summarize and distribute tasks/roles among us).

Finally after another one and half hours of intense discussion, we had our first meal in Myanmar (at the hotel restaurant, ofcourse).
Finally some happy (and tired) faces after dinner!
And then we all decided to take some well needed rest. After all we had a big day ahead! All of us were very optimistic about the workshop.

Monday, August 17, 2015
















会場: 東京大学、および水災害・リスクマネジメント国際センター(ICHARM)
使用言語: 英語

概要: 本プログラムでは、①河川・水資源の計画と管理、水害対策、経済、合意形成に関するわが国の専門家による講義や現場見学を通して、水管理に関する総合的な知見を得るとともに、②地理空間情報技術や地球規模のデータ統融合システム(DIAS)などを用いて、水問題に対して包括的にアプローチするための分析手法の基礎を習得する。そして、③グループワークや発表を通じて、持続可能な水管理に対する課題発見と問題解決のための思考能力を身につけることを目的とする。

プログラムの案内: こちら↓

  → 日本人4名、外国籍29名

・【学部生 10名】(東大(工、教養)、京大(工)、筑波大(医)、
・【院生 10名】(東大、京大、筑波大、名古屋工業大学、
  神戸情報大学院大学 )
・【研究員、教員 5名】(東京理科大、シンガポール国立大、
・【政府職員 5名】(ケニア、ミャンマー、スリランカ)
・【実務者 3名】(インド、フィリピン)





Thursday, August 13, 2015


当寄付講座のメインミッションは、「東京大学が2006年より構築してきたデータ統合・解析システム(DIAS)を基盤として、1) 水循環と水関連分野の観測データや数値モデル、社会経済データの効果的な統融合研究を推進し、2) それにより得られる科学知を体系化した教育を行うとともに、3) 国内外での調整を通したDIASの広範な社会実装および公共的利益を創出する広域ネットワークの確立」です。




Saturday, August 8, 2015







Saturday, August 1, 2015

ミャンマー現地調査 6日目 アウンサンマーケット、YTU再訪問






ミーティングの後は、YTUの副学長であるKhin Than Yuさんへお礼の言葉を言い、今回の調査の結果及び今後の調査予定について話し合いました。もっとクリアーに英語を聞き取れるようになりたいです。