Sherubtse College and UNICEF Bhutan organised a certificate course on social policy to equip local government officials with analysis and problem-solving skills for policy formulation, enactment and effective implementation related to children, women and vulnerable groups.
A total of 26 local government officials, including gups, mangmis, gewog administrative officers and sectoral officials from five eastern dzongkhags of Lhuentse, Mongar, Pemagatshel, Trashigang, and Trashiyangtse attended the course from November 23 to 27.
The programme has benefited 142 individuals, including parliamentarians, civil servants, local government leaders, non-government and civil society representatives, among others.
The programme helped participants understand the emerging gaps between policy-making at the central level and implementation at the local level.
The local government officials were also oriented on how to promote child-friendly local governance system.
Pemagatshel’s planning officer, Dawa Tshering, said: “The course should be provided to all local government officials for a deeper understanding of the social issues such as inequalities, vulnerability, domestic violence, and goongtongs, etc.”
Sangay Lhamo, gewog administrative officer of Kanglung, Trashigang said: “The CSOs could play a greater role in addressing some of these social issues at the local level because of their strong foothold.”
Jamkhar Gup Karma Tshering said the course could promote community and social harmony.
The President of Sherubtse College, Tshering Wangdi, said the participants would gain a better understanding of social issues through the five-day intensive interaction with in-country resource persons out bring challenges into perspective.
Social policy specialist with UNICEF Bhutan, Jigme Dorji, said that the social policy course had the potential to improve policy decisions, especially when Bhutan is preparing to graduate from the LDC group by the end of the 12th Plan.
The lead programme coordinator of Sherubtse College, Sonam Dendup, said that the institutionalisation of the certificate course was a step forward in unwrapping development challenges in the country.