Bhutan: Support to Skills Development Reform

Sovereign Project | 54464-002

Bhutan achieved 5.9% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth on average during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2013-2018), principally contributed by the hydropower and tourism sectors. However, tourism was one of the hardest hit industries during this coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, GDP growth is estimated to contract 3.4% in 2021, and the youth unemployment rate almost doubled in 2020 (22.6%) from 2019 (11.9%), a record high for the country. Youth unemployment is more challenging for women (25.4%) and urban areas (33.3%) in 2020, and 19.0% of unemployed youth reported that they were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Hayashi, Ryotaro
    South Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Bhutan
  • Sector
    • Education
Project Name Support to Skills Development Reform
Project Number 54464-002
Country / Economy Bhutan
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6778-BHU: Support to Skills Development Reform
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 500,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education / Technical and vocational education and training

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description

Bhutan achieved 5.9% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth on average during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2013-2018), principally contributed by the hydropower and tourism sectors. However, tourism was one of the hardest hit industries during this coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, GDP growth is estimated to contract 3.4% in 2021, and the youth unemployment rate almost doubled in 2020 (22.6%) from 2019 (11.9%), a record high for the country. Youth unemployment is more challenging for women (25.4%) and urban areas (33.3%) in 2020, and 19.0% of unemployed youth reported that they were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The skills shortages are a critical constraint on private sector development in Bhutan. An estimated 110,000 Bhutanese will enter the labor market from 2016 to 2026 and equipping these youth with emerging skills is a supply side challenge. With a relatively high job placement rate of 76% for TVET graduates during 2003-2018, TVET has a role to play. Labor market demand has been weak during the pandemic, but some industries such as construction need national skilled workers urgently because foreign skilled workers returned to their home countries. TVET graduates are much needed, not only for addressing COVID-19 impacts now but also for developing a critical mass of technicians and professionals for the future. However, TVET faces challenges on limited enrollment and instructor capacities. Pathways are also restricted and social stigma attached to TVET did not motivate youth to take up skills development courses. The stereotypes and social norms on the types of jobs women should do also produced imbalance on course selection and enrollment for women.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The proposed transaction TA facility will support project preparation, capacity development, due diligence, and improved readiness for pipeline education and skills development projects that are included in the country operations business plan (COBP) as 2022 and 2024 project pipelines as of now, as agreed with the government during the TA facility's timeframe. It will also support ongoing STEPUP implementation. The TA facility is aligned with (i) ADB's strategy 2030; (ii) TVET Blueprint 2016-2026; (iii) TVET reform strategic plan, and (iv) Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The TA facility will support strategic policy advisory and technical inputs on a range of education and skills development issues, strategy and operational plan development, feasibility study preparations including assessment of financial management, procurement, curriculum, pedagogy, evaluation, and competency standards as well as economic and financial analysis. The TA facility will also develop capacity by sharing international good practices and fostering innovation. In particular, the TA facility will bring international expertise not available in-country in the areas of curriculum on emerging skills areas, pedagogy for blended learning, TVET-industry linkages, TVET instructor capacity development. The TA facility is listed in the COBP for Bhutan, 2021-2023, with the title Preparing Transformative Approaches to Skills Development Project (TVET). The TA facility approach is suitable as it will enhance project preparation efficiency and project implementation readiness for two education and skills development project pipelines by (i) allowing the same experts to be mobilized for similar due diligence activities, (ii) facilitating learning on project processing and implementation across different projects, (iii) creating synergies from working with common expertise and improving knowledge transfer, and (iv) strengthening coordination and synergy among various technical inputs and capacity building efforts. Overall, this TA facility will reduce transaction costs compared to resources required for separate stand-alone transaction TA projects.

Impact
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs
Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Nation-wide
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

ADB will engage the consultants, including Resource Persons, following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.

The TA facility will require 23.5 person months of international and 92.0 person-months of national consultant inputs including a firm to support the ongoing Skills Training and Education Pathways Upgradation Project and pipeline project in the country business operations plan such as Pathways for Emerging Skills and Jobs Project and Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Innovation and Digital Transformation Project.

A firm will also be engaged using consultants qualification selection method and individual consultants using individual consultant selection method.

Procurement Not applicable.
Responsible ADB Officer Hayashi, Ryotaro
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education
PO Box 112, Thimpu, Bhutan
Ministry of Labour and Human Resources
Thongsel Lam, P.O. Box 835
Thimphu
Bhutan
Timetable
Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 21 Sep 2021
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 21 Sep 2021

TA 6778-BHU

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
21 Sep 2021 28 Sep 2021 28 Sep 2021 31 Mar 2024 - -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 500,000.00 09 Aug 2022 89,713.53

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.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Support to Skills Development Reform: Technical Assistance Report Technical Assistance Reports Sep 2021

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

None currently available.


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) 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.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
TVET Project Coordinator (Analyst) Individual - Consulting Closed 28 May 2022 03 Jun 2022
TVET Management Expert Individual - Consulting Closed 10 Feb 2022 16 Feb 2022

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found


Procurement Plan

None currently available.