EE media training in Bhutan completed
“It was a unique training program not only as far as the content concerns, but also how it was done, here in Bhutan. There should be a follow-up, a training or another EE type of project" (Phuntshok Choden Tshering, Honorary Consul)
“My manager said that he noticed improvements in the quality of our programs after the training. He also thinks that some theoretical notions of EE for using it in drama are exciting.” (producer, Bhutan Broadcasting Service).
Two groups of participants were trained: 1) producers from Bhutan Broadcasting Service and 2) participants representing media and social organizations as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, Sherubtse Royal University of Bhutan and the UN. Both groups were trained in two rounds of five days. 32 people participated. Two participants followed parts of the training program. Half of the participants were female. Also special invited guests (11) have attended the presentation of the EE-media plans. In this way the results of the training were shared with extra institutions and organizations and with a larger segment of Bhutanese society.
The emphasis of the training was on strengthening the skills of the participants to apply a systematic approach in designing an Entertainment-Education media plan. The training consisted of around 15 learning sessions and was conducted in a highly participatory way. Group exercises and a field work assignment were included. The training program was linked to culture and society of Bhutan, including the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH).
The theoretical framework on the EE-strategy was clarified during the training and models (including Media mapping and EE-collaboration aspects) were presented. Innovative formats of EE-productions worldwide were shown and explained. In the course of the training the essential elements, which are part of an EE-media plan, were covered.
The participants were very positive about the training. The most visible outcome of the training are the nine EE-media plans about pressing social issues in Bhutan, such as teenage pregnancy, waste management and female leadership.
EE-competences at different levels were developed and strengthened as a result of the training. Participants improved their skills related to designing an EE-media plan. The collaboration among the producers from BBS radio and TV got a boost and the link between the media and social sector in Bhutan has been reinforced. Favorable conditions for dealing more effectively and openly with urgent social issues and in reaching vulnerable groups in Bhutan, and herewith for behaviour change, have thus been set.
The chances that the results of the training will be sustained after the training are high. BMF with its mandate to strengthen the media sector in Bhutan has expressed a clear commitment to initiate EE-initiatives in the country. Integration of the EE-strategy into the communication curriculum of Sherubtse Royal University of Bhutan has been encouraged and the setting up of a network on EE in Bhutan was inspired by creating a facebook page on EE. An e-reader about EE has been made available to the participating organizations.
Factors such as the high expertise level of the training team with regard to the EE-strategy, familiarity with Bhutan, the involvement of BMF at the time of the pre-visit, during the process of designing the program and at the training itself, as well as the strong commitment of the participating organizations and lastly the support of the Honorary Consul of The Netherlands in Bhutan to the project, have contributed to the success of the training.