40172-012: Rural Skills Development Project | Asian Development Bank

Bhutan: Rural Skills Development Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 40172-012 Status: Closed

The Asian Development Bank is working with Bhutan to support vocational training programs. The project is addressing an acute shortage of trained personnel at all skill levels and improving the efficiency and productivity of public and private agencies. 

Project Details

Project Officer
Van Dael, Rudi Louis Hendrikus South Asia Department Request for information
  • Bhutan
  • Grant
  • Education
Project Name Rural Skills Development Project
Project Number 40172-012
Country Bhutan
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 9103-BHU: Rural Skills Development Project
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 1.99 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Sector / Subsector

Education / Education sector development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The goal of the proposed JFPR Project is to improve the living standard of rural Bhutanese. Rural population with improved living standard will have better nutrition and health conditions, better productivity which gains large returns. These goals will be achieved by an increase in net income, with increased net income, rural Bhutanese will have financial capacity to spend more money on essential goods and services, or to invest their savings into better lifestyle and productivity. The Project aims to (i) minimize household and village expenditures, and (ii) increase earning opportunities. The Project will (i) develop a new training program, Geog Skills Development Program (GSDP), for rural areas focusing more on construction and some essential skills; (ii) train trainers; (iii) provide GSDP in geogs (groups of villages) during off-farm seasons; and (iv) computerize graduates registration system. The training programs will be implemented on a pilot basis in 25 geogs in 3 dzongkhags (districts) during the Project, to establish a systematic approach to skills development in rural areas. The Government will replicate the approach in the remaining 175 geogs after the Project.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The project objective is in line with ADB's country strategy and program (CSP) for Bhutan, which aims at poverty reduction through economic diversification as an overarching goal. The CSP puts emphasis on ADB?s loan assistance in core sectors, which are (i) transport; (ii) power, including rural electrification; (iii) urban development; and (iv) financial and private sector development. The Project supports the core sectors by means of skills development in rural areas, which provides the rural population with opportunities to participate in the development and operation activities of the core sectors during the off-farm seasons.

The recent CSP 2006-2010 for Bhutan (ADB, September 2005) identified dearth of employment opportunities outside of subsistence agriculture, especially during the off-farm period, as still one of the key causes of rural poverty. Poverty reduction is the main theme of the next 5-year plan of the Government, namely the Tenth Five Year Plan. The Project fully addresses the key causes of rural poverty and supports the forthcoming Tenth Five Year Plan.

Impact Contribution to mitigating the degree of poverty in rural Bhutan through diversification of income opportunities, increased employment opportunities, and better housing standard.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Increased net income of trained villagers through cost savings and diversified income opportunities.
Progress Toward Outcome Overall, the Project was found effective in achieving its objective of increasing the net income among poor villages in pilot gewogs through the use of basic modern construction skills. Direct beneficiaries of the Project were 842 villagers (225% of the original target) of which 34.4% were women and mostly between the age 18 - 37. A total of 66 toilets (88% of the target) in 8 gewogs in 3 target districts were completed without any additional costs, signifying that the Project was very cost efficient.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

30 trainers recruited from the graduates of ADB-financed vocational training institutes.

5 School children's hostels or equivalent structures constructed by on-the-job training program of GSDP.

Majority of villagers in pilot geogs aware of availability of trained persons in their villages.

All graduates of GSDP have higher awareness of environmental consideration and occupational safety.

At least 10% households in pilot geogs received GSDP.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Project is completed.

Under Component A: (i) GSDP curriculum, training manuals, and textbooks have been developed and delivered to each pilot gewog; (ii) 30 trainers were recruited and trained at the outset of the Project (16 trainers have been employed on completion of training, 12 trainers have been recruited by the Ministry of Education as trainers for the new school-based vocational skills education, 4 others have been employed by other government agencies and corporation. The Project provider trainers' employment opportunities and contributed to creating a cadre of trainers that can be utilized for other vocational skills training programs); (iii) of the target 375 trainees, 842 villagers completed stages 1&2 training, while 282 trainees completed stage 3 training (OJT through hostel construction); (iv) 25 gewog centers were used for GSDP training; (v) registration database of all trainees has been developed; (vi) of the target 75 toilets for construction as part of training, 66 were constructed, and (vii) a total of 8 school hostels out of the target of 5 were completed by project end.

Under Component B: (i) procurement of training materials has been completed; (ii) identification of project sites followed consultative processes; (iii) importance of environmental protection had been institutionalized during training; (iv) requisite occupational health and safety plan and workshops have been prepared and completed; and (v) rigorous impact evaluation study had been completed.

Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects No major environment issues were envisaged in the Project.
Involuntary Resettlement No major social issues were envisaged in the Project.
Indigenous Peoples No major social issues were envisaged in the Project.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The Project was developed in close consultation with the beneficiaries as well as Japan International Cooperation Agency who provided their volunteers to help implement the Project.
During Project Implementation All training will be designed in close consultation with each of the 25 geogs. The geogs will be continually consulted to gauge their interest, concerns, suggestions, and commitment, and to ensure project ownership and involvement in skills development. The Project will follow the existing participatory decision-making procedure, as spelled out in the 2004 Manual for the Implementation of Geog Yargay Tshogchhung (GYT, Development Committee) Charthrim (Act). In extensive consultation with its constituency, the GYT in each pilot geog will select (i) trainees, and (ii) types of additional training in a geog.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services An architect/project management specialist (international) and a training management specialist (national) will be recruited as individual consultants by ADB in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants to provide services for implementing, managing, and monitoring progress of the JFPR grant. A household survey specialist (national) and an environment specialist (national) will be contracted as individual consultants by the PMU in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants.
Responsible ADB Officer Van Dael, Rudi Louis Hendrikus
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Labour and Human Resources
Mr. Nidup Tshering
[email protected]
Department of Human Resources, Thongsel Lam, P.O. Box 835, Thimphu
Concept Clearance 05 Jun 2006
Fact Finding 13 Jul 2006 to 27 Jul 2006
Approval 15 Jan 2007
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 31 Jan 2007
Last PDS Update 24 Aug 2011

Grant 9103-BHU

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
15 Jan 2007 27 Feb 2007 27 Feb 2007 31 Dec 2010 - 31 Jul 2012
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 1.99 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 15 Jan 2007 0.00 1.87 94%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 1.99 15 Jan 2007 0.00 1.87 94%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - - - Satisfactory - -

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Title Document Type Document Date
Rural Skills Development Project Grant Implementation Manuals May 2007
Rural Skills Development Project (Financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction) Grant Assistance Reports Dec 2006

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

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The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

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