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Finishing cooperation between Bhutan and Switzerland

Logo http://sdc.pageflow.io/deepening-democracy-in-bhutan

Introduction & Opening

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Before/after view

Bhutan & Switzerland
Switzerland's development cooperation with Bhutan began in the mid-1960s. The SDC funded rural development projects run by Helvetas for several decades before getting involved in the governance sector upon the request of the Bhutanese authorities. Within 10 years, clear progress had been made. The SDC's development cooperation with Bhutan is coming to an end in early 2017.

The successful completion and outstanding relationship between Switzerland and Bhutan were honored at a public event on March 11, 2017 in Berne. 

Key figures from Bhutan, SDC and Helvetas participated in the celebrations.

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H.E. Ambassador Kinga Singye's opening remarks
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SDC Director General Manuel Sager's opening remarks
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Panel Disussion

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Conclusions

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Combating corruption
Support in capacity-building for the Anti-Corruption Commission (est. 2006)


Decentralized forest management
Villages were encouraged to form forest Management Units


An Independent justice system
development of new district Courts, partnership between Bhutan's Supreme Court and the Swiss Federal Administrative Court


Strengthening decentralized authorities
Support of tanagement training for civil servants and elected officials 


More accessible service
A one-stop-shop model was rolled out in all provinces and an e-platform for 36 specialized services was created.  


Empowering women
SDC supported the Bhutan Network for Empowering Women. For example, the network trained 1500 female candidates for the 2016 elections.


Support for the media
Training courses for a large number of journalists, development of community and college radio stations.


More detailed overview of the projects

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Change That Lasts Is Coming From Within

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Lessons for SDC by Matthias Meier

Work the system

Engage with and work through the government. Change that lasts is coming from within.

Support non-state actors & the media
They keep those in power alert and honest and they enrich the market of ideas.

eGovernance can play a powerful role
It depersonalizes Service delivery and ensures the principle of non-discrimination.

Take risks
SDC invested a lot of money in an Institution (ACC) with a precarious mandate, without knowing that it would evolve into the credible watchdog organization that it is today.

Combine local & international best practice 
This ensures that the solution fits the context

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The end of the development cooperation takes the friendship between Bhutan and Switzerland to a new level. Appropriately, the closing event ended with food, dance and music.
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Credits

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Music
Jigme Drukpa, live at the event in Berne

Fotos
Kuno Schläfli, SDC - on a visit in Bhutan 2013 
Markus Wild - event pictures
Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn) / Flickr - Taktsang Monastery
Greenmnm69 / Wikipedia - Haa Valley
JoachimKohlerBremen / Wikipedia - Schloss Tarasp

Video and Editing
Natalie Frei, SDC
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