The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bhutan has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), Sonipat for “Technical Support for Institutionalization of Programme on Social Policy”.
UNICEF-Bhutan has identified “Capacity Enhancement” as a key strategy to influence and leverage government resources and align government policies and orient stakeholders in the nation towards its core priorities – of Social Policy, Governance and Programme Evaluation. The main objective of the programme is to prepare parliamentarians, civil servants and professionals in policy leadership along with practical skills and rigorous analysis in designing and implementing of social policies through evidence building. JSGP in an institutional alliance with Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) is executing this programme over two weeks (21 January - 6 February 2016) in Kanglung, a province in Eastern Bhutan, on (i) Policy Analysis, (ii) Governance and Public Service Delivery and (iii) Leadership and Management of Social Policy. This landmark event was inaugurated on 21st January 2016 by Trashigang Dzongda Dasho Lungten Dorji followed by a traditional Bhutanese Marchang ceremony. Ms Shaheen Nilofer, Resident Representative - UNICEF Bhutan reiterated that the partnership between UNICEF-JSGP to deliver the certificate programme on social policy aims at transformative leadership at all levels to design and implement effective and evidence-based policy making for positive change. She pointed out that because Bhutan is in the transition to Middle-Income Country in few years to come and with a strong commitment towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this programme becomes even more important to ensure specific focus on equity and efficient service delivery for children, women and vulnerable population groups. The UNICEF Representative welcomed this unique cross-country collaboration between UNICEF-JSGP as an innovative modality to tap into the global knowledge and expertise of O.P. Jindal Global University to collaborate with Sherubtse College to mutually generate transformative ideas and action plans to promote evidence and result based policy making and implementation. Dasho Nidup Dorji, the Vice-Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan expressed enthusiasm over the unique tripartite affiliation between UNICEF-JSGP-RUB in transforming the public sector management through capacity building and indicated positivity in futuristic developments that this development could unfold to promote regional co-operation in knowledge exchange. Prof Sudarshan Ramaswamy, Dean-JSGP, observed that this collaborative venture holds the promise of generating fresh approaches to policy-making that are grounded in the philosophies, cultures, and civilizational values of the South as distinct from those that emanate from the North. The Gross National Happiness vision of Bhutan is an idea whose time has come because of the 21st century imperatives of environmental sustainability, equity and justice. Prof Anuradha Palanichamy, Assistant Dean (International Collaborations), and Programme Coordinator for the UNICEF-Bhutan initiative, said that JSGP through this pilot programme seeks to engage continuously with elected representatives and policy makers of Bhutan to enhance their capacity to appraise policies, strengthen programme implementation and leadership development internationally in support of UNICEF’s regional strategy on “Social Policy Transformation” and accelerate Bhutan’s commitment and achievements towards global development commitment including the SDGs. This 15-day intensive executive programme is structured to deliver both classrooms as well as practical learning through webinars, discussion on real case scenarios and thematic debates, using executive education structure and methods with guest lectures from renowned national practitioners including the Prime Minister’s Office-Bhutan, and several international experts. The themes of the sessions include: (i) Enhancing effectiveness and efficiency of service provision, (ii) Establishing performance-based management system to deliver on results; (iii) Promoting accountability and policy coherence, (iv) Management and leadership practice, (v) Democratic governance, and (vi) Understanding International Treaties: Responsibilities & Obligations. Photo Caption: The first batch of learners include 11 members of parliament, 10 Chief/ Deputy Chief Planning Officer of the Ministries, and Directors of CSOs.