Course: Understanding the ground realities is important if the gap between policy formulation and its implementation is to be narrowed.

This was the refrain that could be heard loudly as social policy is being discussed at the two-day certificate course in Sherubtse College, Trashigang.

Novin Darlami, MP, said much of the policies formulated in the country are not in consonance with the ground realities. “We lack coordination among ministries, departments, divisions civil society organizations (CSO).”

For instance, the education and labour ministries should work hand in hand to address the issue of unemployment, he added.

A civil servant said that lack of consistent participation is another problem as drafting of policies does not happen overnight. “We are not able to discuss issues with the people at the grassroots. Also, we are not able to engage CSOs that have direct link with grassroot sectors.”

Sonam Pem from Tarayana Foundation said that the foundation could take up issues from the grassroots to the policy makers because it is more aware of the challenges on the ground.

Youth Development Fund’s Jigme Thinley said that CSOs focus on issue-based interventions and could advise government on developing specific workable policies. “We can partner with the government and work on filling up the grey areas.”

The course, which is being attended by parliamentarians, civil servants and representatives from CSOs, aims to equip the participants with a range of analytical, management and problem-solving skills on policy formulation, enactment and effective implementation.

The course that began on January 20 will end on February 5.

Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang