To build capacity and strengthen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country, a CSO leadership workshop was held in Thimphu recently. The workshop also focused on strategies on availing funds and coming up with efficient and effective strategic planning.
CSOs experts say as Bhutan graduates from least developed country (LDC) category by 2023, CSOs will be faced with challenges such as inadequate funding and assistance.
According to the Resident Coordinator of UN Bhutan, Gerald Daly the CSOs is the perfect partners in reaching out to the most vulnerable people in the society. He said it is important to ensure future leaders of the CSOs are stronger and can be more efficient in addressing various social issues.
“It’s about making sure the CSOs remain strong and become stronger financially sustainable. We know with the LDC graduation the opportunity is around resource mobilisation maybe become less, so now is the time for us to train and help the CSOs think in innovatively about financial sustainability so that when we graduate from LDC we have a very strong CSO community.”
The resource person for the workshop said although CSO in Bhutan is small in size there is a huge potential for the CSO’s contribution towards society.
“So prioritising need is the biggest challenge and I think what is exciting is that the CSOs are focusing on where they could have the most impact. What they are doing is the very practical things they could do, to provide amazing and endless opportunities to keep growing,” Edwin Trevor Roberts, the trainer, said.
The participants from CSOs said the training was beneficial.
“We usually depend on the donors for the funding but do not report our work progress to the donors. The workshop taught us to keep constant touch with the donors. Be it small or big funding donors. We need to keep good relation with the donors in order to avail long term funding,” Nedup Tshering from Clean Bhutan, said.
“We are used to doing lengthy documentations which are then shelved but the experts here suggested to us that it should be brief and something which everybody can understand. Also, we usually have strategic plans for 15 years. This according to the experts is too long.5 years strategic plan according to the expert is supposed to be a good year,” Sonam Pem from Tarayana Foundation, said.
The two-day workshop, which ended yesterday, was organised by UN Bhutan together with Helvetas. At present, there are more than 50 CSOs.