In Bhutan, the 2009 Local Government Act and its amendment in 2014 has led to the formalization of local governance structures and systems. In 2020, UNICEF Bhutan conducted an initial assessment of Child-Friendly Local Governance (CFLG) capacities in three potential pilot districts of Trongsa, Lhuentse, and Pemagatshel.
The assessment made specific recommendations for:
- Improving policy and institutional framework and laws
- Strengthening local governance structures, systems and capacity
- Enhancing child and adolescent related data at the local levels
- Improving plans and programmes, and capacitating various actors, including children, to support the CFLG related initiatives.
Informed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals, the CFLG initiative will seek to strengthen children and young people’s well-being through child and youth participation, local planning and budgeting, collection of data and evidence, coordination of local service delivery arrangements, capacity building of the local governments, advocacy and raise awareness.
In 2021, UNICEF will conduct a series of follow-up workshops in partnership with the Department of Local Governance (DLG), Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Local Development Division of the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Youth Development Fund (YDF) – a local CSO, steering youth development in Bhutan and teams from the three pilot districts to design and test a government-led guideline and action plan for CFLG nationwide roll-out. More specifically, the following activities are being proposed for implementation in 2021:
- Advocacy and capacity building of three pilot district authorities on CFLG initiatives, including the development of a child friendly community profiles
- Creating a forum for child participation in the local planning and budgeting process and monitoring of service delivery through development of community scorecard and
- Capacity building of children/young people to participate meaningfully in the local development process through the youth volunteer groups.
Population: 756,129 (2021 projection)
Pop. under 18: 244,579 (2017 actual)
• Pema Gatshel
Social Policy Specialist
Thimphu, Bhutan 11001