The National Commission for Women and Children has launched the Central Management Information System(CMIS) for Women and Children. The system was inaugurated by Secretary, Ministry of Health,Vice Chairperson for the NCWC in presence of all stakeholders presentative. The main aim of CMIS is to host the disaggregated data for Women and Children in difficult circumstances and Child in Conflict with Law to address and render services to the women and child who are in need of care and protection.
Background of CMIS
The National Commission for Women and Children, having been identified as the Competent Authority by three legislations – 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, working in coordination with other sectors to institutionalize a protection system for women and children in Bhutan.
In our approach towards building a sustainable women and child protection system, one of the major challenges faced has been the lack of disaggregated data on women and child protection issues. While initiatives taken by both government and non-government organizations working to address women and child protection issues, it is vital to ensure that these policies and programs are in line with the need of women and children. Evidence based planning would ensure the effective implementation of any initiative to address this rising issue and also in the establishment of a comprehensive women and child protection system.
The Child Care and Protection Act of Bhutan 2011 (CCPA), the Child Care and Protection Rules and Regulations of Bhutan 2015 and the Domestic Violence Prevention Act 2013 and its Rules and Regulations of Bhutan 2015 mandates the provision of an effective and efficient services to protect rights of every woman in Bhutan and children. In efforts to fulfill its mandates enshrined in the above Acts, the NCWC has developed the Standard Operating Procedure on Case Management for Women and Children in Difficult circumstance, a systematic guideline in identifying the roles and responsibilities of various sectors in providing services and protecting the rights of both children as well as women including those that are in conflict with the laws and in difficult circumstances. However, due to lack of an effective database system, the commission is currently challenged in fulfilling its mandates as enshrined in the above two Acts.
This lack of disaggregated data has been a major challenge in ensuring the provision of effective and timely services to women and children in need of care and protection. While there exists a range of data through sector specific data systems, there is a gap in the available data to inform evidence based women and child protection programming. Current practices on collecting and sharing of data have failed to reach full potential of providing comprehensive data due to:
- Duplication in recording cases reported by various service providers;
- The lack of a system to consolidate and analyse 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.
In order to ensure a systematic and evidence based approach to provide effective and appropriate services to women and children in need and care, the NCWC with the support from Save the Children International, Bhutan, has developed a Central Management Information System for Women and Children to house disaggregated data on women and child protection issues. This would provide the way forward to streamline data management on women and child protection issues including data on women and children in difficult circumstances and children in conflict with the law by effectively recording and reporting to support evidence based decision making,planning and policy making.
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.