Local government officials from five eastern districts complete course on social policy

To equip local government officials with analysis and problem-solving skills on policy formulation, enactment and effective implementation that is evidence based, consultative, and in the best interests of children, women and the most vulnerable, a certificate course on social policy was organized jointly by Sherubtse College and UNICEF Bhutan in Kanglung, Trashigang.
A total of 26 local government officials (19 male and 7 female), including Gups, Mangmis, Gewog Administrative Officers and sectoral officials from the five eastern dzongkhags of Lhuentse, Mongar, Pemagatshel, Trashigang and Trashiyangtse attended the course from November 23-27.
This is the fifth cohort of participants, bringing the number of total participants to 142, including parliamentarians, civil servants, located government leaders, non-government and civil society representatives.
According to the joint press release from Sherubtse College and UNICEF Bhutan, the course also helped participants understand the emerging gaps between policy making at the central level and implementation at the local level, through live case studies on policy issues in Bhutan. During the course, local government officials were also oriented on how to promote child friendly local governance such as engaging young people in the local planning and budgeting process.
Pemagatshel’s planning officer Dawa Tshering said, “The course should be provided to all local government officials as it provides a deeper understanding of social issues, such as inequalities, vulnerability, domestic violence, gungtongs, etc.”
“The CSOs could play a greater role in addressing some of these social issues at the local level because of their strong foothold,” stressed the Gewog Administrative Officer of Kanglung gewog, Sangay Lhamo.
Jamkhar Gup from Trashiyangtse, Karma Tshering aptly summarized the course as “a means to community and social harmony.”
Initially launched with support from external resource persons, the course is today fully resourced by lecturers of Sherubtse College, GNHC officials and UNICEF Bhutan’s staff.
An off-shoot of the work involved in the development of this course has been the inclusion of a module on social policy in the BA Economics, and BA Political Science and Sociology programme at Sherubtse College.

Staff Reporter from Thimphu