MOWHS

Curriculam Vitae

PERSONAL DETAILS

Name: Dorji Choden
Nationality : Bhutanese
Gender : Female
Tel: 975 2 322874/ 17604259
Date of Birth : 5th December 1960
e-mail: dorjichoden@hotmail.com
Current Position: Minister for Works & Human Settlement.

Competency summary

I have over ten years of experience working at mid and senior level executive positions in the
Royal Civil Service of Bhutan. As the first female engineer in Bhutan, I advocated for new
roles and professional standing of women in the country. Although there is no discrimination
of women in Bhutan, but the traditional stereotype roles of women have limited their
advancement in career growth. Through interviews and meeting forums, I have been able to
inspire young women to enter into technical profession.
The consultancy works that I undertook on gender, combined with extensive gender learning
opportunity and practical application in my current position in the UNDP has further
strengthened my professional capacity on gender equality and women’s empowerment
agenda. My core competencies include policy advisory support in the poverty portfolio in
particular and the country office in general on gender related mainstreaming as well as gender
specific capacity and programme development. I took active part in the Bhutan country
office’s gender initiatives and I am fully conversant with Gender Equality Seal, Gender Audit,
and Gender Responsive Budgeting. I am the thematic task group co-chair in the formulation of
the next UNDAF cycle for Bhutan and I have been fully responsible in managing the group
members in framing the result matrix for the poverty theme.

Under the poverty portfolio, I have successfully managed three projects that aimed to promote
economic empowerment of rural women (Food security under PTTF and Women’s
Empowerment Project under AGFUND), and youth employment with a special focus on
female youth through promotion of entrepreneurial development (the Income Generation
Start-up Programme under HSF has successfully established young women entrepreneurs).

These projects are monitored using result based sound project management and financial
reporting and tracking system in the ATLAS.

As a co-Chair of the Poverty Theme Group, I have exercised leadership in coordinating,
facilitating and implementing joint programmes not only with the resident UN agencies but
also with the non resident agencies. I have been able to develop joint programmes with
UNCTAD, EIF, and UNIDO in addition to UNICEF, UNFPA, FAO and WFP. In addition to
government partners, I have also contributed to bringing civil society organizations as partners
in the area of social protection where women, as a vulnerable group is targeted.

I have contributed to knowledge management by joining team works on unemployment
issues, human development reports and extractive industry in addition to CO learning
Education
Master of Arts in Public Administration from Maxwell School of Citizenship, Syracuse University,
New York (2000 to 2001)
Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, India (1980 to
1984)
Work Experience
UNDP Bhutan Country Office, Thimphu (August 2009 to February 2013)
As the Assistant Resident Representative under the Poverty portfolio, I have contributed to:

- providing leadership and strategic programme direction to further enrich and expand the
Unit’s portfolio in the area of social protection, empowerment of poor, with a particular focus
on women and youth through targeted pro-poor interventions. Programme on social
protection is initiated in the country for the first time. The Unit also supports dedicated
programmes on women and youth.

- leading the Poverty Theme Group (TG) for effective implementation of joint programmes by
providing strategic policy direction, effective inter-agency coordination, resource
mobilization and knowledge management support. The Poverty TG has joint programmes with
several UN (UNICEF, UNFPA, FAO, WFP, UNCTAD, UNIDO, EIF) and national
counterparts as well as the civil society.

-  participating in the formulation of the next UNDAF for Bhutan in the capacity of the thematic
task group co-chair, I have been fully responsible in managing the group members in framing
the result matrix for the poverty theme.

-  knowledge management by joining team works on unemployment issues, human development
reports and extractive industry in addition to CO learning

- sound project management and financial reporting through mid year and annual reviews and
writing of the annual report, the ROAR (Result Oriented Annual Report) pertaining to
poverty.

Consultant with Dutch Development Cooperation (SNV), Thimphu, Bhutan (2009)

Carried out an in-depth study on gender and conducted a gender mainstreaming workshop
for the agriculture project managers and extension workers; and the finance managers in the
branch offices of the Bhutan Development Finance Corporation in the six eastern districts of
Bhutan. This was aimed to:
- raise general awareness on gender;
- enhance knowledge, skills and practical insight on gender analysis;
- introduce the concept of gender mainstreaming; and
- enable gender mainstreaming at all levels of agriculture programmes.

Developed and published a Gender Mainstreaming Manual for use in future trainings
Consultant with UNICEF Bhutan (April – May 2009)

Conducted a baseline assessment of water and sanitation facilities in terms of physical
coverage, functionality of the facilities and their adequacy in all schools of Bhutan, and
provided recommendations on improving the facilities with focus on operational sustainably
and the special needs of female students.
Consultant to UNICEF ROSA (Regional Office for South Asia) Kathmandu, Nepal (March
2009)

Conducted a research study on the relation between water, sanitation and hygiene practices
and discrimination among school children in selected schools in Bhutan as part of regional
study launched by UNICEF ROSA; and wrote a thematic paper on gender and water,
sanitation and hygiene practices among school children.
Consultant to the National Commission for Women and Children (October 2008 to
February 2009)

While Bhutanese women are considered to have equal status with men and enjoy equal
opportunities, however, women lag behind in many development fronts such as in decision
making positions and political participation. A pilot study conducted in gender had highlighted
gender stereotypes as one of the major causes for gender disparity. Hence, to have deeper
understanding and to address the issue provided consultancy services which involved:
i) Conducting a research study on gender stereotypes and women’s political participation
(Women in Governance) in Bhutan.
ii) Compiling a study report with recommendations to address gender equality identified in the
study
Political participation (2008)
In Bhutan’s first democratic election in 2008, I participated in the election. The election, being
the first of its kind, provided me with invaluable experiences of democracy and the challenges of
politics.
Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan, Thimphu (February 2006 to June 2008)
Served as one of the first Commissioners for the newly established office, and contributed to:

- drafting anti-corruption policy and strategy; and

- implementing anti-corruption measures, focussing on prevention through education, raising
awareness and systemic reviews on procurement, construction procedures, rules and
regulations.
Ministry of Works & Human Settlement, Thimphu (January 1985 to January 2005)

- Served in various technical capacities in the field of construction, housing, water and
sanitation, with the main responsibilities of project formulation, overseeing implementation,
and conducting evaluation;
- Managed national water and sanitation programme, largely supported by UNICEF, WHO
and DANIDA. Women’s participation was key in planning and managing these facilities;
- Being the first female engineer, I advocated for new roles and professional standing of
women in the country. I acted as the gender focal person and participated in gender
meetings at national and regional level. I was also the member of the National Women’s
Association of Bhutan and contributed in their initiatives on providing education on water
and sanitation and also designing income generation for rural women.

Ministry of Works & Human Settlement

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Speeches of HPM