The National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), with the support from Save the Children, has developed a Central Management Information System (CMIS) to ensure a systematic and evidence based approach to providing effective and appropriate services to women and children.
The system which was launched in Thimphu on 27 September will include data on women and children in difficult circumstances and children in conflict with the law.
Having been identified as the Competent Authority by the Child Care and Protection Act of Bhutan 2011, Child Adoption Act of Bhutan 2012 and Domestic Violence Prevention Act of Bhutan 2013, the NCWC has been entrusted with the responsibility to take the lead to institutionalize a protection system for women and children in Bhutan.
Program officer of NCWC, Ugyen Wangchuk, said the lack of disaggregated data on women and child protection issues has been a major challenge towards building a sustainable women and child protection system. “This has been a major challenge in ensuring the provision of effective and timely services to women and children in need of care and protection,” he said.
He also said that the current practices on collecting and sharing of data have failed to reach full potential of providing comprehensive data with duplication in recording cases reported by various service providers.
He also said the lack of a system to consolidate and analyze existing data, uncertainty in dealing with data in terms of unclear protocols to ensure confidentiality and ethics and the existence of multiple data systems (law enforcement, health, education, population data and civil registration) that do not enable information sharing between existing systems, are also some reasons for difficulties.
Existing legislation mandates the provision of effective and efficient service to protect rights of women and children in Bhutan.
To fulfill the mandates enshrined in the three legislations NCWC s developed the Standard Operating Procedure on Case Management for Women and Children in difficult circumstances
The launch of CMIS would provide the way forward to streamline data management on women and child protection issues. The system will also maintain confidentiality and there won’t be duplication of information.
Evidence based planning would also ensure the effective implementation of any initiative and in the establishment of a comprehensive women and child protection system.
“The NCWC aims to collaborate with various stakeholders to collect and collate data on women and child protection including a child justice system and provide effective justice and other support services to women and children in need through the system,” he said.
Health secretary Dr. Ugen Dophu said NCWC has a big task at hand and the present data are incomplete and manually recorded. Ultimately, this leads to incomplete data analysis and lots of problems.
“The launch of Central Management Information System (CMIS) will address these issues and all the stakeholders, mainly the implementers will find the system useful,” he said. “The system will not only analyze the data but it will also improve the efficiency of NCWC and all the implementers. I hope CMIS is in line with our National policy guidelines of MoIC because ultimately this needs to be integrated in the national system.”