Previous grants in Bhutan

View past grant projects by our partner organisations in Bhutan.

Since 2019, the Impact Fund has been focused on a range of thematic priority areas. These include COVID-19 response, gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI), climate action, organisational strengthening, and volunteer assignment support. Explore successful grant applications and projects from Bhutan below. 

GEDSI (2022)

Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors RENEW (GEDSI)

Training on Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and People Living with Disabilities, with a Special Focus on Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health. 

Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors (BBCC) RENEW is an institute that trains counsellors, social workers and frontline workers to provide effective intervention services and education. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhutan has seen a 36 per cent increase in domestic violence, child sexual abuse, mental health issues, teenage pregnancies and suicide. Women, girls and children are the most affected by these issues, especially people living with HIV and LGBTIQ+ communities.  

 This project aims to train and sensitise our service providers to be gender inclusive and develop interventions to address the diverse population. 

 With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will deliver a workshop on domestic violence, trauma and child abuse to 30 service providers, to help them support clients affected by domestic violence, gender-based violence, trauma and child abuse.  

Organisational Strengthening (2022)

Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors

Develop Standard Operating Procedures of Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellor Ethical Committee 

Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors (BBCC) registers, certifies and trains counselling professionals in Bhutan.  

Applicants registering with BBCC are expected to abide by their ethical standards of practice. Breaches of the code of conduct are reported to the Ethics Committee by members of the public, clinical supervisors or peers. Following the investigation of a breach, the Ethical Committee will decide about whether the applicant will continue to be able to practice or the continuing education required for the applicant to continue to practice.  

In order to put the policy of ethical standards into practice, there is a need to develop Standard Operating Procedures for BBCC’s Ethics Committee.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will conduct three days of intensive workshops to develop a comprehensive Ethical Committee Standard Operating Procedures. 

Drug Regulatory Authority 

Training of Regulators and Strengthening of Quality Management Systems 

The Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) promotes the availability of quality, safe and effective medicinal products for consumers in Bhutan.  

With the increasing need for science-based decision making, many organisations are collecting and analysing data to build their level of intelligence. The competency of regulators is critical in building a competent National Regulatory Authority. Therefore, this project aims to train regulators in data analysis using STATA software and quality management system ISO 9001:2015 to ensure that decisions made about the regulation of medical products are safe and evidence based. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • purchase STATA software; 
  • train DRA officials on data analysis using STATA; and 
  • train DRA officials on ISO 9001:2015, Quality Management System. 

Assignment Support (2021)

RENEW - Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors (BBCC)

Counselling supervision certificate level two and three trainings

RENEW – Bhutan Board for Certified Counsellors (RENEW-BBCC) is a professional body working to register, train and certify counsellors in Bhutan to ensure a high standard of service.

There are few postgraduate counselling professionals in Bhutan. The profession is in its infancy and requires support in continuing education and maintaining professional standards.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will train 37 supervisors around the country in certification level two and three. At the completion of their training, the participants will be eligible for the endorsement and certification by Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia) as professional supervisors.

These supervisors will provide case consultation, clinical supervision and support to enhance and develop the counselling profession in Bhutan.

Khesar Gyalpo University for Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Faculty of Nursing and Public Health

Delivery of training to strengthen preceptorship in nursing education 

The Faculty of Nursing and Public Health, Khesar Gylapo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), will produce competent, committed and compassionate healthcare workers.

KGUMSB is the only medical university in the country and trains many of Bhutan’s healthcare workers. The faculty supports experienced practitioners to teach and supervise students, who are known as a preceptors. However, in Bhutan, there are eight hospitals and seven primary health centres identified as clinical practice facilities with untrained preceptors.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will train at least 80% of the 83 existing preceptors. This training will support preceptors to enhance their knowledge and skills, which will enable students’ learning in the clinical settings more efficiently and professionally. This will be the first formal preceptor training delivered by the university.

Nurse educators, hospital-employed nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals working as preceptors will be trained on the structured preceptor guideline. Gender equality and diverse experience will be considered to promote an inclusive program.

GEDSI (2021)

Ministry of Education

Enhancing disability and gender inclusive education 

The Bhutan Ministry of Education will build the capacity of teachers to deliver inclusive education services and design learning materials. This will empower teachers to educate and support children living with a disability.  

With limited awareness, infrastructure, capacity and resources for inclusive education, it is currently difficult for teachers to provide quality education for children living with a disability. To provide equitable access, opportunities and quality education for people with a disability in Bhutan, the Ministry of Education will expand inclusive education services.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the Ministry will: 

  • purchase learning resources including teaching, awareness and sensitisation materials 
  • deliver training for 90 teachers at two inclusive schools 
  • explore the acquisition of online learning resources and interactive education for children with a disability. 

‍Teachers at inclusive schools will be trained in screening, assessment, basic interventions and lesson adaptation for children with a disability. Sessions will also promote understanding, inclusion and empowerment for girls living with a disability. 

The project will improve teachers’ awareness and capacity to deliver inclusive education. Ultimately, it will improve the quality of education and social inclusion of children with a disability in inclusive schools. It will also improve teachers’ abilities to adapt alternative responses and support for children living with a disability.

Ministry of Labour and Human Resources

Empowering disabled youths through entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship awareness program 

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources will develop self-employment training and programs for people with a disability, particularly women and girls. It aims to improve the employment options and independence of people with a disability. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will include: 

  • consultation sessions with stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, disability partner organisations and education institutions to understand the training needs of people with a disability, including women and girls 
  • development of training and awareness sessions based on stakeholder feedback 
  • ‘train the trainer’ programs to improve skills in business management, vocational skills and experiential learning methods 
  • an entrepreneurship awareness program to improve participants business management and vocational skills and to increase their awareness of self-employment schemes 
  • monitoring and evaluation of project outcomes. 

This project will be delivered at education institutions that have existing programs for people with a disability. It aims to improve the employment options and independence of people living with a disability. Ultimately, the project aims to nurture an entrepreneurial culture and foster innovation in people with disabilities, empowering them to live in an inclusive society. This is consistent with Bhutan’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness to pursue inclusive socio-economic development. 

National Biodiversity Centre

Nature for all – an inclusive nature garden for people with a disability 

The National Biodiversity Centre project will help improve access to the Royal Botanical Garden in Thimphu, Bhutan for young people living with a disability. This project will expand the range of activities available to people living with a disability, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where opportunities to connect and experience nature are limited.  

With support from the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, the project will: 

  • deliver sensitisation and awareness workshops on the importance of universal design in nature gardens for people living with a disability 
  • design and install braille and audio information interpretations, sign language videos and signs in the botanical garden targeting people living with a disability 
  • launch universal design installations coinciding with the 2021 International Day of People with a Disability. 

Contact with nature has significant personal, social and wellbeing benefits. This project will enhance gender equality, disability and social inclusion by making the Royal Botanical Garden accessible to everyone. It will also improve visitors’ understanding of the natural environment and nature conservation. 

This project will be implemented by the National Biodiversity Centre in partnership with Zhenphen Group, a group for young people living with a disability. The project also aims to improve Zhenphen Group’s capacity in stakeholder engagement, project management and universal design for people with disabilities.