October eNews 2022

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

Gearing up for Design Thinking Workshop with Peer Facilitation Training 

In preparation for the Design Thinking workshop-II at the end of the month,  BCMD organised a two-day peer-facilitation workshop on the  11th and 12th of October. 

A participant shared that although he had no prior experience facilitating, he feels confident to use various facilitation strategies, including the challenges of balancing  Process, Relationship and Results.  

Writing Honestly: A guide to creative nonfiction. 

“Don’t try to write well. Write honestly and the rest will fall into place” – Eric Weiner 

From the 14th to 17th of October, BCMD and the Druk Journal held a Creative nonfiction workshop with fourteen participants led by Eric Weiner, a New York Times bestseller and author of The Geography of Bliss. 

They honed the craft of writing factual stories creatively providing positive and encouraging feedback to each other. The programme included reading and reflecting on excerpts of writers past as well as Q & A sessions with Dasho Kinley Dorji (author of Within the Realm of Happiness), Linda Leaming (author of Married to Bhutan), Aum Siok Sian Pek (author of Media Matters in Bhutan) and Eric Weiner himself.

Utsav Khatiwara Sharma, a lecturer from RTC, said the workshop emboldened him to tell more personal stories and made him comfortable with confronting his own vulnerabilities.  

We thank: Eric Weiner, Yin Wah from Khyentse Foundation, Royal Textile Academy, and Druk Heritage travel for their support as well as all the participants who created a safe space to share. 

Media Literacy Training for the constitutional agencies and Parliamentarians 

“Information as a public good is essential for making decisions. However, when authoritative sources do not engage the media, the danger is the consumption of misinformation and disinformation by the masses” says an official from Royal Audit Authority. 

A Drangpon of the High Court shared, “We have become so cynical that we distrust the government … and we live in a post-truth [era] that we act based on emotions and not on evidence, consuming everything that’s on media and not questioning the credibility.”

Thirteen participants including Members of the Parliament, Assistant Research Officers, and officials from constitutional agencies received a three-day workshop on media and democracy literacy.

We thank UNDEF for its support. 

Citizen Engagement Platform 

Over the course of a month, the Citizen Engagement Platform engaged over 4,436 to take a poll on “How should Bhutan balance economic development and environmental conservation?”. A total of 74,180 votes were cast on the 33 solutions proposed by the Youth Initiative members who attended the summer camp earlier this year. To expand the discourse and engage more youth in the conversation, BCMD is engaging schools and colleges across the country.

The Platform is live and now you too can #MakeYourVoiceCount by voting here.

We would like to thank UNDP Bhutan for supporting this project


Design Thinking Workshop

The second phase of Design Thinking workshop took place in Paro from 24th October till 28th October. The workshop comprised a mixed group of participants, including policymakers from government agencies, civil society members who work with vulnerable groups and key affected groups like women, youth and PWDs. The workshop resulted in unravelling the core social protection issues, analysing the underlying causes and recommendations.

On the fifth day of the workshop, a participant shared that the workshop was an ‘awakening’ one for her as she got to hear lived experiences of PWD, youth and women. 

BCMD is looking forward to organising a day Forum to further provide a platform for vulnerable groups to exercise their voice in the coming months. 

The project in partnership with RENEW and Phensem is supported by Fund for Innovation and Transformation.

Coming soon!

The 16th Druk Journal issue on Local Government – Critical for Democratic Governance will be out soon. Fifteen articles by local and international writers present critical views on different aspects of emerging political intricacy in  Bhutanese politics. Visit http://drukjournal.bt for updates.