Certificate course on social policy begins
A10-day certificate course on social policy began from 21 December at the College of Natural Resources (CNR).
Social policies are public policies that deal with human well-being and social welfare like healthcare, education, housing, child protection, social security, unemployment, inequality and labour.
It also involves the redistribution of resources to achieve welfare objectives.
Nidup Dorji, the vice chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), said that RUB being the institution of higher learning would play a critical role in social policy discourse and capacity building of key policy makers.
Dr. Abdul Alim, UNICEF ROSA, said that the public policymaking underlies fundamental questions about how public life should be governed and what constitutes public interest.
He also said that in real world, the policy process is non-linear and takes place through a complex network of interactions between institutions, ideas, interests and actors.
He added that one of the social challenges in south Asia is that sus- tainably financing social policy programs in low and middle income countries would require domestic resource mobilization, improvement in tax administration and good governance.
Sonam Dendup, a lecturer from Sherubtse College, said, “Policy process is used to describe the ways in which policies are formed, implemented and evaluated.”
The success of implementation of policy is marked by clarity of policy, number and types of organization involved and availability of appro- priate resources.
The two types of policy analysis are analysis of policy (understanding) and analysis for policy (improvement).
Political act is identifying or prioritizing a policy problem and adopting a policy approach among many. It involves persuasion and negotiation.
The policy process is frequently marked by a conflict of interests among stakeholders which is negotiated and submissive not just based on priorities, preferences and evidence but also on power, interests and subjective understand- ings.
UNICEF representative Rudolf Schwenk said that social policies are important for children since they are growing up in a world that is immensely different and complex from the world their parents lived in.
Participants have the opportunity to learn about social policy from both internal and external resource persons.
Domestic resource persons are sharing their knowledge and experience in terms of practical application of social policies while external resource persons are adding expertise on global theories and international experience.
The course is expected to provide the participants with the conceptual framework and practical skills necessary to succeed in designing and implementing effective social policy.
It is also expected to shape and influence evidence-based policy making in various areas namely healthcare, social service, justice, education and equality, among others, with a special focus on policy for vulnerable and disadvantaged population.
The course is aimed at training policy makers to develop effective and evidence-based policies for positive change.
The committees involved in developing the content of the course are RUB, the Advisory board of the iGNHaS, GNH Commission, RCSC, RIGSS, BCCI, parliament and UNICEF.
Around 30 participants from parliament, civil service, non-government and civil society leaders are attending the course.
The first batch of participants attended the certificate course in Sherubtse College.
The course is organized by Sherubtse College, the Institute for GNH studies and RUB in collaboration with UNICEF.