The RIGSS Blog

To stimulate analysis, innovation, and forward thinking, and generate new ideas and insight
on subjects that matter in 21st Century Bhutan.
A humble tribute to celebrate learning, leadership and service that His Majesty The King continues to champion.

Launched on 21st February 2021 to commemorate the 41st Birthday of His Majesty The King

The views and opinions expressed in the articles on the RIGSS Blog are that of the authors and do not represent the views of the institute.


POSTED ON January 01, 2022
Chewang Rinzin
Director, RIGSS

As we leave behind yet another year of the coronavirus pandemic, it is time to look forward to a better year ahead. It is also an opportune moment to reflect on what we have been able to do and achieve, as individuals and organizations, for the greater cause of our country and people, and what we can do better in the year ahead. Better times are crafted through true reflections, commitments and actions and not by mere imagination and wishful thinking on special occasions.

Of all things that were said and done this past year, His Majesty The King’s address to the nation on the 114th National Day on 17th December 2021 stands out loud and clear, like the roar of the thunder dragon. It was a speech that will be remembered and cherished by us Bhutanese for a very long time, a speech that will go down the annals of Bhutan’s history as one that changed our country forever for the better. It was an awakening of the greatest depth and deepest meaning that should have shaken the conscience of every single citizen. It was the greatest reminder to us of what is at stake if citizens fail to exercise the responsibilities to our country bestowed upon us by citizenship, or if public servants falter in our service to the nation, a sacred duty with which we are entrusted.

His Majesty warned us of being left behind as a country in a more vulnerable state when others move forward, if we fail to change and adapt. And His Majesty pointed us to what we need to change, and how, if we are to become the country that His Majesty always envisioned, the country that we truly deserve and the country that we are capable of building – a self-reliant and a fully developed Bhutan.

As we move into the new year, it is a propitious moment for every Bhutanese to reflect upon and internalize the concerns and commands of His Majesty The King as expressed during the 114th National Day, and act upon them, individually and as organisations. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are; what matters most is the realization that Bhutan is the country we call our own and we must unconditionally tread the path our King is leading us on to reach our collective national goals. We must leverage the blessings of great leadership we have in our country, and situate our own role in building the future that we envisage for ourselves and our children. This shall indeed be our most sacred responsibility and the biggest new year resolution that we can make this time round, as Bhutanese. Everything else, and everything less, should be secondary.

At RIGSS, 2021 was a fairly successful year, despite the pandemic and all the disruptions that it has caused. The institute recruited five young officers who were selected from amongst hundreds of aspiring candidates through an open, competitive and rigorous selection process. They are doing great work from year one, guided by the experienced and able seniors. The institute continued to serve as the Covid-19 Control Centre, providing secretariat, logistics and research support to the Southern Covid-19 Taskforce instituted by His Majesty The King in March 2020. The RIGSS Coronation Hostel in Rinchending, which has been converted to a Covid-19 Isolation Centre since the start of the pandemic served its fullest purpose, especially during the summer of last year when Phuentsholing had prolonged community transmission of the virus for months at a stretch.

We moved our Programme Division to the Royal Audit Authority’s Professional Development Centre in Tsirang in May 2021, and successfully launched the School Leaders Development Programme (SLDP) in the same month in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. All school leaders in the country will undergo this two-week leadership course, designed to develop the necessary leadership competencies and shared understanding among them in shaping and implementing the education reforms as enshrined in the Royal Kasho. A total of 200 school leaders have already been trained in eight runs of the course until December 2021. 

On the research front, the institute has been able to conduct a few important studies. Our researchers studied the feasibility of professionalizing domestic help to address youth unemployment and dwindling fertility rates in the country. They also carried out a study to assess what motivates young civil servants in the country and the impact of leadership on employees’ motivation; the study involved over 3000 young civil servants across the country. We continued to engage our alumni in our research projects and one such project was the “Comprehensive Household Census of Phuentsholing Thromde and Peri-urban Areas” carried out in collaboration with Chhukha Dzongkhag and Phuentsholing Thromde. After over four months of work by a team of eight members, supported by hundreds of enumerators, a comprehensive database containing demographic, socio-economic and other useful information of the town and its 27,000 residents is now available. This database will not only be useful for decision-making and necessary interventions during the pandemic but will help enhance Thromde governance, planning and service delivery in the years ahead.

As a new chapter dawns for our country, we look back with gratitude for all that we have been able to accomplish. At the same time, we look forward in curiosity, excitement and confidence to discover more possibilities and better opportunities for our institute, and our country at large. We pledge to organise more impactful progammes and research that will complement the efforts of the government to formulate sound policies, enhance good governance and promote the growth of democracy to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the Bhutanese people as envisioned by our far-sighted monarchs. More than anything, we pledge to be guided and driven, in letter and spirit, by the most powerful and emotional National Day address of His Majesty The King on 17th December 2021. That much at the least, we owe to our King.

Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year 2022.

Chewang Rinzin
Dy. Chamberlain to His Majesty The King



POSTED ON April 18, 2021
Dechen Rabgyal
Masters Student, LSE, Former Asst. Integrity Officer, ACC