Building a culture of democracy in Bhutan
News from the Field, 03 Jul 2012
How to engage young people in one of the world's youngest democracies? Bhutan, a nation of 650,000 people, elected a new government in 2008 to replace a century-old monarchy. It is now striving to develop a democratic culture underpinned by a public educated in democratic concepts. This requires an independent media, a public space for debate, and an understanding among citizens of their own role in a democracy. UNDEF funds a project to strengthen civil society discourse, enhance the role of media, and conduct research, seminars, publications and activities to educate all sections of society in the culture of democracy. It strives to introduce media literacy to build critical thinking skills. One key activity is training students to use film to tell stories of social and political change on topics ranging from poverty and climate change to the life of migrant workers. The project is implemented by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy.