From February to May 2016 Fumiyo Kagawa undertook a consultancy for UNICEF Bhutan documenting the program ‘Grants for Youth-led Initiatives’.
Since May 2015 UNICEF Bhutan has been working closely with four national civil society organizations – the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD), the Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF), the Loden Foundation and the Tarayana Foundation – to initiate a programme titled ‘Grants for Youth-led Initiatives’ – the grants being managed by in-school and out-of-school youth working as individuals or in groups to take up important civic matters in their communities. Some 37 projects have been implemented under this programme. The youth-led projects include diverse themes such as environmental protection and conservation, social/child protection and inclusivity, cultural and language heritage preservation and economic empowerment.
The main purpose of the consultancy was to document and learn lessons from youth-led grants project experiences. Specific objectives were:
- To document the process undertaken by each of the four civil society organisations to initiate the programme
- To prepare a summary document providing an overview of all the grant projects being implemented
- To develop 8 case studies and 4 human stories from among all the implemented projects, capturing the entire project cycle
- To analyse and document the actual implementation of grant vis-à-vis the guidelines developed at the start of the programme and provide specific recommendations for strengthening the guidelines and the process of programme implementation
- To develop an overall programme document effectively synthesising information collected through the consultancy process
Fumiyo visited Bhutan from 14 to 25 March 2016 in order to gather program stakeholders’ views on the development and implementation processes of youth-led grants initiatives. She visited seven locations in western, central and southern parts of Bhutan and led discussions with project stakeholders from some 17 projects.
After the field visit, she submitted a 35-page report to UNICEF Bhutan.