December eNews 2022
The Druk Journal Conversation on Local Government
The Druk Journal Conversation on “Local Government” was held on 7th December. Students, faculty, political party representatives, local government officials, CSO members, government officials, and members of the media attended the conversation.
Aum Tashi Pem, Country Director, Helvetas highlighted the complexities for decision-makers when “efficiency and cost reduction,” a pragmatic approach to consolidating gewogs (counties) comes in conflict with the history and cultural identity of communities.
In light of the current state of the economy, Kinchho Tshering, a former media person, proposed how Local Governments can play a role in promoting tourism in the country.
Rabilal Dhakal, a lecturer with the Royal Thimphu shared how a supposed apolitical forum at the Local Government level — Dham Ngoi zombie — has become political in practice and signs of corruption are emerging at the grassroots.
The Conversation was funded by The Asia Foundation.
Capacitating CLCS Students to Engage with Local Government
A 4-day training on GNH-based community analysis tools was organised by BCMD for the College of Language and Culture Studies. Thirty-five CLCS students participated in the training.
The training was organised to equip the students with the skills of planning, understand the importance of data and to reflect on their role in community planning and development.
After completing the training, Sonam Ghalley, a BHS second-year, shared, “I never felt my input as a youth was vital for the community’s development. I will look for ways to participate and contribute to my community so that all the youths in my community are heard and represented.”
Helvetas Bhutan provided support for the training.
BCMD leads a Foresighting Session at the CSO Annual Meet, 2022
The three-day Annual Civil Society Organisation Meet was held in Lobesa. 57 representatives from 37 CSOs attended the Meet. The conference themed, “Building a More United and Relevant Civil Society,” encouraged the CSOs to consider the state of Bhutan’s civil society currently and to develop a shared vision for how it will adapt to the times.
The Executive Director of BCMD facilitated a foresighting session prompting the civil society fraternity members to reflect on the changing context and the civil service transformation in the country and its potential impact on the sector. One of the highlights was the civil liability bill. When the bill comes into force, civil society organisations need to be prepared with necessary policy and procedures for protection of itself and its diverse beneficiaries.
The book “Bhutan Advocacy Toolbox” by HELVETAS Bhutan/International IDEA was also launched during the event.
The conference, funded by the European Union, was implemented by Helvetas Bhutan.
Gearing up for an Advocacy on Inclusive Policy Discussion
In preparation for an advocacy event following the two workshops on Design thinking with policy makers and members from marginalised groups, 22 young volunteers from different colleges and Y-peer representatives participated in a half-day online session to brainstorm social media advocacy strategies and to recruit allies.
This project is funded by FIT
Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy attended a series of stakeholder consultations at Le Meridien in Thimphu, organised by UNICEF Bhutan to highlight important issues and approaches in the fields of social policy, education, learning, and skills.
With the five year Country Programme of Cooperation nearing its completion, key implementing agencies and development partners were invited to the stakeholder consultation to formulate the new Bhutan UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.
The revision of the National Youth Policy in collaboration with BCMD was highlighted as a success story.
Youth Summit Coming to Trashigang
Youth Summit is coming to the East in January 2023 to provide more opportunities to the rural youths and to inspire more child friendly local governance.