Cer­tifi­cate course on so­cial pol­icy be­gins

Bhutan Times - - Home - Rinzin Lhamo

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.

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