July eNews 2022

Posted by Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, July 31st, 2022

GNH-based Participatory Planning, Community Analysis & Facilitation Skills reaches Eastern Bhutan 

In our effort to contribute to balanced regional development, BCMD organised a GNH-Based Community Analysis and Facilitation workshop in Trashigang for the Local Government (LG) and residents of Lumang and Merak. Eight women leaders, including community residents and eight male Local Government leaders participated in the workshop.


The training enhances the capacity of LG functionaries to conduct proper situational analysis and develop developmental plans based on evidence. 

A Tshogpa from Lumang, Kuenga Lhendup, shared that the workshop broadened his understanding of how to plan and the value of inclusivity in consultation and planning.


We thank Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Bhutan for funding this project.


Empowering Communities for Active Participation

As a young democracy, the challenges to active citizen participation are aplenty. It ranges from building the capacity and changing the attitude of planners and decision-makers to empowering the citizens to participate actively and constructively.


In order to support citizens to engage meaningfully and constructively with the LG, BCMD organised Community Empowerment Workshops from 15th – 19th July in 6 Gewogs of Thimphu and Paro. Following the Community Empowerment workshop, the Local Government functionaries are conducting consultations with community residents in nine Gewogs. 

Yeshi Zangpo, the Gewog Administrative Officer of Hungrel Gewog shared that the consultation using the tools helps him better understand the needs of the people.


We thank The Asia Foundation and Bhutan Foundation for the support.


Heightening Media Literate Local Leaders and Teachers

The world is digitising fast, and while the education system is yet to integrate ICT technology, the children are already way beyond educators in their use of technology, the internet and social media. Thus, 12 teachers from different high/middle secondary schools of Trashigang and 4 Sherubtse student leaders were trained in Media and Democracy Literacy from the 16th to the 18th of July 2022 at Druk Deothjung Resort.


Tandin Gyelmo from Bikhar Lower Secondary School stated, “I believed everything I read on social media sites and news outlets, but I now know how to distinguish news from other media messages using VIA (verification, independence and accountability).” 

Within a span of two years, despite the pandemic, 363 teachers, including local leaders, research assistants, women and girls, cab drivers, and monks, have undergone Media and Democracy Literacy. 

Tenzin Dorji said, “Zomdues seldom solicit differing perspectives, and a lot of the times, views from few influential individuals in the communities influence the decisions.” He emphasised the need for local government leaders to verify information and listen to all perspectives for impartial decision-making.


We thank the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) for supporting this project. 


Democracy Beyond Election: Participatory Policy Through Design Thinking 

Guided by the principle of inclusivity, BCMD organised a stakeholder consultation with civil society organisations working with the noble mandate of uplifting the status of vulnerable groups. 

The meeting with representatives from Bhutan Stroke Foundation (BSF), Loden Foundation, Organisation of Youth Empowerment (OYE), Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), and Nazhoen Lamtoen provided insights into designing more relevant, meaningful and inclusive program to test Design Thinking approach to Policy Discussion. 


We would like to thank the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT) for funding this project. 


Findings from the Youth Conversations Platform 

The data from the poll on “What should Bhutan do to tackle climate change?” generated votes from 7069 respondents across the country. Of these total respondents, 40.8% are youths. While the data shows gender differences in the suggestion to ban the import of diapers and sanitary pads, in general there is high level of support from the respondents towards solutions related to “Behavioural change.” Check our website soon for the report.



Upcoming: Youth Initiative Summer Camp

2022 marks the 9th year of the Youth Initiative (YI) program of BCMD. The 5-day summer YI camp, starting from the 2nd of the month, will give opportunities to young people to engage with various experts to understand how to balance development and conservation – a dilemma that decision-makers face as the country goes through economic difficulties. 

To learn more about YI please visit its website