CSOs hoping for improvement as Home Minister takes over CSO Authority

With the Home Minister chairing the Civil Society Organization Authority (CSOA) henceforth, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in the country are hoping this will bring in more improvement. This was shared by the CSOs during a recent conference in Paro. The CSO Amendment Act 2022 mandates that the Home Minister shall be the chairperson of the Civil Society Organization Authority.

The heads of more than 20 CSOs attended the two-day conference. They shared that having a minister as the chairperson would help improve their services.

Needrup Zangpo, the Executive Director of  Bhutan Media Foundation said “the common understanding was that this is a big opportunity, this has made the authority more high-powered and we have a senior political leader in the person of Home Minister and this will make the authority stronger, which will be to the advantage of the CSOs in Bhutan.

“So far we had been electing our chair by our members only so the significance of the authority didn’t weigh much. But now when we have a Lyonpo as the spearhead of the Authority the worth of the authority would be immense. Thus, we the CSOs will benefit from it,” said Passang Tshering, the Executive Director of Bhutan Toilet Organization.

Gyembo Dorji, the Executive Director of Pel Drukdraling Foundation says their objective is to supplement the government in its efforts to benefit the people. “When the Home Minister sits as the Chairperson of the Authority it would be convenient for us to direct the responsibility and fix accountability. It would be easier to communicate and garner support.”

“So far, for any plans and program proposal it had to go through many desks such as directors, secretaries and only then it would reach the Lyonpo’s desk. But now we can directly communicate with the Lyonpo. It would save lots of time and energy,” said Dawa Tshering, the Executive Director of Bhutan Stroke Foundation.

The membership composition of the CSOA has also been increased from five to seven.

Participants also discussed the current opportunities and threats faced by CSOs during the workshop.

Currently there are 54 CSOs in the country that focus in diverse social development areas.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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