Recommendations of Five-Fifty Forum: Towards a Resilient Tibetan Community
13 to 16 September 2018
Theme 1: Sustaining Tibetan Culture
A. Defining and Sustaining Tibetan Culture
- Based on Tibetan Buddhism lineage, an internationally recognized Nalanda University should be established in a city like New Delhi.
- To sustain and preserve Tibetan culture, a research center should be established. Cultural centers abroad should be revived and there should be good coordination amongst the centers.
- An attempt should be made to set up a Tibetan cultural unit in international cultural centers and universities.
- Build closer relationship with other followers of Tibetan Buddhist lineage overseas and with Indian cultural centers.
- Facilitate regular meetings of Tibetan university students. Promote the learning of Sanskrit and Pali amongst the students and support student research and scholarship
- Appoint a special cultural coordinator to promote and maintain good ties with International cultural institutions and education centers.
- Increase the profile and use of the centrally located Tibet House in New Delhi by holding frequent programs and events to showcase Tibetan culture.
- Develop a new website on Tibetan Culture in order to facilitate learning about Tibetan culture, literature and language. The website should have updated content, learning materials and space for documenting and sharing people’s experiences
- Develop an online learning program and a system of conducting examinations on Tibetan and issuing certificates.
- CTA should promote a Buddhist’s way of life and enable people to learn Tibetan psychology.
B. Sustaining and Growing Tibetan Language
- More textbooks with illustrations and cartoons should be published in Tibetan language.
- Hold various cultural awareness programs for youth every three months.
- Facilitate online Tibetan language and cultural classes for overseas Tibetan students.
- CTA should advise and encourage officials to speak only in Tibetan during official meetings and other private gatherings. All official documents and records must be maintained in Tibetan language.
- Advice and educate youth about the importance of Tibetan literature and language.
- CTA should recruit more staff with high proficiency of Tibetan language and literature.
- New Tibetan terminologies standardized by the Department of Education, CTA should be widely circulated through official newspapers and periodicals. Official and private media should use such terminologies to establish uniformity. There is a need to set up a special program to introduce such new terminologies.
C. Promoting and Strengthening Tibetan Buddhism and its Values
- Spiritual and religious teachers should be appointed and deputed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and overseas.
- Financial aid should be extended to monastic institutes in need of support. CTA should maintain good relations with overseas dharma centers.
- Monasteries should organize classes for the lay audience to teach them about Buddhism, spirituality and meditation.
- Monasteries should have designated personnel who can educate pilgrims and visitors about the monastery and its contents and explain Buddhist philosophy
- If Tibetan Associations and Dharma Centers decide to organize joint programs on introduction to Buddhism and Culture, then the Offices of Tibet and CTA should support and promote such efforts.
- As often advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, attempts should be made to publish and widely circulate reference books on debates held with scientists.
- Monasteries that have Dharma Centers overseas should assign an abbot and a spiritual/cultural teacher at their centers.
- To better serve Tibetans interested in learning Buddhism psychology, mind training and meditation, a standardized curriculum for schools should be designed and qualified teachers should be assigned to teach the curriculum. The curriculum should be implemented in India with the help of CTA’s Department of Religion and Culture.
- Department of Religion and Culture should nurture and support as many translators as possible so that there is a large pool of highly qualified translators.
- CTA should facilitate workshops for geshes, abbots and nuns so that they are better equipped to promote Tibetan Buddhism in the modern world.
D. Preserving Tibetan Culture through Museums, Libraries and Archives
- In order to sustain and safeguard existing Tibetan Museum and cultural institutions under the CTA, a set of guidelines should be outlined under which a committee of professionals and scholars should be formed as part of an advisory committee. The committee should be provided honorarium.
- The advisory committee can help CTA nurture and promote researchers by reaching out to schools and institutions and by helping organize international conferences on Tibetan culture. The committee should also provide assistance in producing short films/videos on Tibetan culture and distribution of periodical publications on Tibetan Culture.
- The cultural institutes, apart from performing cultural programs, should also conduct research on the background and origin of the performing arts tradition. And irrespective of the institute’s affiliation to CTA, financial aid should be extended to all for cultural promotion.
- Since all the cultural lineages in Tibetan monasteries and schools are in gradual decline, an attempt should be made to establish one separate unit to conduct classes in Tibetan monasteries and schools. It should be introduced and implemented through CTA’s Department of Religion and Culture.
- Cultural Institutes affiliated to CTA should recruit professional cultural teachers and they should be paid adequate monthly salaries and the students should be given a monthly stipend to encourage them to pursue their studies and training. Certificates should be awarded to cultural Artists.
- All the museums and cultural institutes and traditions should be well preserved for future generations.
- Poetry, signing, and cultural festivals should be regularly organized.
- CTA should take care of cultural Artists in general and provide employment opportunities.
- A museum should be established in collaboration with CTA in Canada. The museum should have extensive collections covering Buddhism, culture and literature. It should also have a special section on History of Tibet and a planetarium. All these should be perceptible to general public/visitors.
- Tibetan Art Day should to be celebrated to honor Tibetan art and artists.
E. Sustaining Tibetan Culture through Arts
- Existing library, museum and archives under CTA should be further developed.
- Review the resolutions passed in the Special Tibetan General Meetings convened in 2008 and 2010 and review the status of those recommendations
- The CTA should provide financial support to the museum and archives as per their need.
- Important Tibetan cultural texts and other related materials should be archived in a comprehensive database.
- The Tibetan leadership should organize seminars by inviting professionals and discuss the implementation of future plans.
- Professional staff should run Tibetan museums and staff should learn standard display techniques and other best practices from other museums.
- The new Tibet museum should be large enough to accommodate various sections like Tibetan literature, cultural religion, and Tibetan arts.
- Engage Tibetan youth on Tibetan art and Buddhism and provide them with opportunities to learn Buddhism in monasteries. Provide monthly stipends for their studies
- Since most of the Tibetan traditional arts and skills are gradually diminishing, initiatives should be designed to support existing Tibetan professional artists. A center for arts should be established with the help of CTA to preserve art works and other traditional artifacts.
- The Advisory Committee supporting the Department of Religion and Culture should work closely on supporting and promoting existing museums and cultural institutions. Some of the existing and important institutions are: CTA’s Department of Religion and Culture, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Tibet House Delhi, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, Central Universities of Tibetan Higher Studies in Varanasi, Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute in Dharamsala and the Manjushree Centre of Tibetan Culture in Darjeeling.
Theme 2: Strengthening Tibetan Education
Addressing Quality of Education Issue
- Pay benefits and status of teachers in the society should be raised as per Article 11.1 of CTA’s Basic Education Policy (BEP)
- Teaching licensing as mentioned in the BEP must be implemented in all schools to improve continuous teaching professional development
- Teachers’ workload must be revised and reduced to facilitate the development of their professional knowledge and skills and help them become better teachers.
- To increase the effectiveness of in-service training, regular follow up and evaluation is important. Critical self-evaluation of subject matter and skills must be conducted in every school. A set of questionnaire should be framed and teachers should be required to fill the form to assess their subject knowledge and teaching skills. The evaluator should be an expert and the aim of such evaluation should be to check the holistic development of a teacher and to encourage them.
- Encourage Tibetan students to enroll in courses at the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education, Sara College and Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies to strengthen their knowledge of Tibetan language.
- Facilitate teachers to undertake action research to keep their learning curve growing and learn effective teaching techniques.
- Riglam and dialectic teaching should be strengthened and integrated into the teaching of every other subject.
- Weekend schools operating in the overseas Tibetan community are encouraged to recruit trained Tibetan teachers.
- More focus on development of Teachers professional development /exchange/training, especially at primary & pre-primary level and more effective use of existing infrastructure and programs.
- Standardization of teacher’s salary in all the Tibetan school under the administration of DoE.
- Pre-primary and primary teachers should have a minimum of four years of academic experience after high school.
- Separate board member must be appointed and they should frame a common policy for the recruitment of school heads, teachers and staff.
- In order to foster professional development amongst teachers, a system needs to be in place to acknowledge and reward their milestones. To further boost the teaching community, 25 years’ service recognition award ceremony should be organized in Dharamsala.
- Education Council should be made an autonomous body with a well-defined structure of roles and responsibility of DoE and other administration bodies (TCV, Sambhota and THFS). Experts and professors must be recruited in it rather than just a few bureaucrats.
- Encourage teachers in research field and provide reward based on their research outcome.
- Primary level teachers should be mandated to graduate from Tibetan learning Institute to make them efficient and effective in teaching Tibetan language in compliance with the BEP.
- Encourage teachers to create more room for discussion and debate rather than giving only close-ended questions in classrooms.
- School heads and teachers should be taught child-centred learning and education.
- Conversion of daycare centre to play school in order to prepare children with the growth mind-set from young age.
- DoE should collaborate with the NGOs working on children education to have a better data and to improve the data collection method from the ground level.
- Grading system must be encouraged in the schools.
A. Strengthening School Leadership
- Assess effectiveness of present recruitment and selection process of school heads. Transparent eligibility criteria must be formulated for career growth.
- Only Master’s degree holder with required training are recommended for appointment as school leaders.
- Decentralize responsibility and give greater autonomy to school leaders to organize overall growth and development of their respective schools.
- A separate council for Teacher Professional Development (TPD) should be formed where the member must consist of representatives from different schools and set TPD guidelines.
- Provide a week/month long in-service training for school leaders during winter break.
- Teachers who possess leadership qualities should be identified and provided mentoring and nurtured.
- School leadership should be transferred every 3 years.
- Design and implement evaluation for school leadership.
- Promote student leadership in schools.
- Initiate cross administration deputation of staff to resolve capacity issues.
B. Impact of Social and Demographic Challenges on Education
- Consolidate schools for better utilisation of resources and link existing and new programs based on population and demand
- Form a special committee to evaluate and draft a plan for consolidation of schools.
- Autonomous school bodies should work together for comprehensive plan for sustainability of children’s future education. Following school consolidation, establish schools with special focus on teaching of Tibetan language.
- Have separate schools for Tibetan and Himalayan students with different set of goals.
- Privatize few of the existing schools to better attract Tibetan children currently admitted in Indian private schools and those residing and studying overseas.
- Explore the possibility of supporting Tibetan preschools/schools or an after school program in the west to preserve Tibetan culture, identity and strengthen Tibetan language.
- Design and implement a standardized curriculum for the Tibetan weekend schools in the west run by the Tibetan Associations.
- Lobby government officials and legislature both at the federal and state level in the United States, Canada and other countries and advocate for making Tibetan language as an optional foreign language in schools and universities.
C. Challenges Regarding the Basic Education Policy (BEP) Implementation
- Education Council needs to be an autonomous body with clear roles and responsibility and staffed by professionals with a background and expertise in education.
- Review the current status of the Basic Education Policy and assess what has worked well, where improvements can be made, and what revisions may be needed.
- Identify good Tibetan teachers to become mentors at other schools to promote innovative and effective teaching and learning methods.
- Develop more materials in Tibetan for school going children. Textbooks should be developed according to needs of the children
- Integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve teaching and learning of Tibetan language. For example, develop Tibetan learning apps and foster e-learning
- Ensure adequate counseling service is available in all schools.
- Teaching methodology especially Tibetan should be upgraded and more innovative techniques should be introduced to make learning more enjoyable.
D. Nurturing Professionals in the Tibetan Community
- Strengthen job linkages for those graduating from vocational training centres with the industry.
- Broaden the range of courses offered at vocational training centres.
- Showcase successful individuals from VTC/ITI as role model and mentors.
- Provide educational loans at nominal rates for those who have gained entry in professional and advanced courses.
- Ensure exposure to different careers at class 8 and earlier stages so that Tibetan students have all the information and encouragement.
- Increase scholarships for those pursuing higher Tibetan language studies.
- Review the current scholarship program so that resources can be invested in ensuring more Tibetan professionals.
- Department of Education should guide students and further promote the various scholarships available.
- Increase school counsellors and establish counseling curriculum to be implemented in schools at various levels.
- Encourage students to pursue careers in counseling.
Theme 3: A Healthier Tibetan Community
A. Health Challenges Faced by the Tibetan Community
- Organize outreach health services program aimed at elderly population and expecting mothers.
- Strengthen antenatal care and postnatal care within the health care system.
- Introduce point of care testing for life style related health conditions
- Share referral services amongst the doctors for patients’ added convenience
- Introduce rotation specialist model within Tibetan settlements to generate greater revenue
- Establish health worker training to OPH administration staff with geriatric training
- Establish quality of care and quality assurance (QA) plans
- Improve quality of healthcare / Standard protocols/Emergency care provisions/List of essential drugs, supplies and equipment
B. Financial Stability of the Tibetan HEALTH System (THS)
- Seek international support through overseas Tibetans
- Include community contribution model within the existing TMS Model
- Foster hospital revenue mechanism (fee for service: consultation fees, registration fees, lab test fees, etc.)
- Establish screening mechanism in schools and monastic institutions to diagnose early stage TB
- Encourage communication across various health centers
- Expand services to local Indian people thus broadening the hospital revenue
- Increase lab infrastructure to cater to the greater needs of the society
- Introduce generic drug model in the existing health system
- Pooling of monastic funding for health related projects
- Philanthropy from Tibetan people / Sponsorship and support by Tibetans
- Introduce private rooms in hospitals to cater to the premium clientele within the community
- Better utilization of under-utilized space in hospitals (e.g. income generating cafeteria, etc) and consolidate to have fewer but higher quality hospitals and clinics
- Remove the existing 10% subsidy on medicines
- Explore opportunities by overseas Tibetans to provide sustainable support
- Establish mobile hospital and clinics
C. Capacity Building and Improvement of Health Services
- Encourage leadership to focus on physician and manpower retention. Incentivize the medical professionals by paying market rate compensation for better retention and lower attrition rate.
- CTA should provide higher education opportunities and more scholarships especially to MD seats and Post graduates level
- CTA should explore partnership with private medical colleges for Trust funded seats for post graduate programs
- Provide skill development trainings, conference, workshops, national and overseas visits for further clinical exposure for medical professionals and staff
- Formulate policy to convert contract staff to permanent staff and offer better compensations and perks
- Offer exposure and orientation program for fresh graduates. Provide new medical graduates on the job training after graduation for greater experience
- Develop: a standardized protocol to deliver primary health care; technical experts inside the health department; feedback and peer evaluation system (top down and bottom up approach); hotline to report issues; suggestion box; evaluation and feedback at central level; and a proactive health committee
D. Integration and Expansion of Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan Medicine System)
- The Department of Health should have a Sowa Rigpa section and representation
- Develop an electronic medical record system at Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute (TMAI) and integrate it with the Health Department’s HIS Program
- Protect the Sowa Rigpa as a Tibetan tradition and medical practice in terms of intellectual property, trademark, etc.
- Formulate a plan in developing research capacity, manpower, funding, expertise and technical support and research protocol
- Set up a joint committee of the Health Department and TMAI to discuss areas of integration including exchange of knowledge between allopathic and Sowa Rigpa doctors; developing doctor to doctor relationship between the two systems; exploring scope of integration for research/practice on specific diseases; and scope of integration on preventive healthcare
E. Alternative Service Delivery Models and Preventive Health Care
- Foster Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) by involving community in developing material and strategy; organizing cultural events, facilitating family discussions; engaging school children through projects; undertaking social media campaigns; and identifying and supporting community champions and role models
- Scale and strengthen the existing Comprehensive Community Outreach and Coordinated Care program lead by Department of Health
- Leverage technology for behavior change including developing television programs by experts, doctors on specific health related problems
- Involve community in developing material, strategy, and participatory needs assessment
- Engage school children in health projects
- Identify and promote community champions and role models. For e.g.: if a SB patient attended rehab services and recovered well after that like getting good job in the community, those should be made community champions to encourage others
Theme 4: Economic Development of Tibetan Community
A. Addressing Migration and Youth-Related Issues
- Youth today have new and different aspirations and education. These aspirations and education must be taken into account when seeking to address migration and employment issues. CTA should have a clear and evidence-based view of what types of work, income generating activities, and life-style environments need to be provided to make living in the refugee communities of India, Nepal and Bhutan more attractive.
- Developing large-scale agribusinesses and large scale sustainable tourism activities can provide significant opportunities to create new and interesting jobs and income generation. They can help build the economies and make the settlements and even living in urban areas more interesting and challenging for Youth. These can also improve life and provide more livelihood opportunities to help reduce migration from the settlements.
- CTA should encourage and support entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) to create new jobs and income generating opportunities. Creating a supportive and enabling environment and required business development services for SMEs and Entrepreneurs can help provide better and more diverse opportunities for work, income generation, and life styles.
- Youth should be educated about “exciting” and “new” employment and income generation opportunities that Agribusiness, Sustainable Cultural Tourism, SMEs, and Entrepreneurship can provide. This education should be integrated in the education system.
- Opportunities should be explored to establish non-agricultural businesses in the Settlements. These might be related to technology, manufacturing, or other businesses. Attracting private sector companies should be a priority. Also, Public-Private Partnerships should be considered. The objective of this exploration should be to develop new employment and income generating possibilities that would be more attractive to Youth and other Settlement residents.
- CTA should seek to participate in and take advantage of GOI programs such as Skill India and Start up India that could help to train youth and provide them with better skills for vocational and other training and better ability to become successful entrepreneurs or SME owners.
- Successful Tibetans in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and overseas should be mobilized to provide mentoring, skill development, business training, and other encouragement and support for youth who seek to start and manage their own businesses. The Tibetan Chamber of Commerce should be involved in these activities.
- Educating and creating awareness about the TRP-2014 among the Government of India (GoI) machinery for smooth implementation of the policy.
- Accessible housing facilities to those scattered communities to consolidate and stabilize the migration.
- Youth related summit and conference should be organized in the settlement to create an environment for better youth participation for the CTA programs.
- Coding and programming courses should be introduced in high schools as it increases their employability
B. Shifting the Agricultural Model in the Settlements
- CTA should seek to transform the Agricultural Settlements to a large-scale agribusiness model. This transformation must be planned and managed at scale. Each of the settlements should be considered based on its own unique circumstances, capabilities, and opportunities. A comprehensive approach to land use planning considering all of the settlements would be highly beneficial.
- Agribusiness planning should be undertaken with a view toward market demand in local markets and in India as a whole. The Indian markets are huge, growing, and very discriminating. International markets can also be considered for specific products with good export potential.
- CTA should consider establishing a newly organized, separately funded, and independent Private Limited Company to identify, initiate, invest in, and help manage various new agribusinesses.
- Specific products for agribusiness need to be carefully identified. Professional advice and guidance will be critical in this area.
- Strategic Partnerships should be explored for developing large-scale agribusiness. Indian and multinational companies should be considered as Strategic Partners. Identifying and developing relationships with appropriate Strategic Partners will again require expert support and assistance.
- Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) should be organized to establish a high level of cooperation and collaboration among farmers. FPCs should integrate many farmers and consolidate farming acreage to focus on high-value crops and to encourage the organization of agribusiness companies around the FPCs. A key role of FPCs should be to leverage buying power for inputs and to create new marketing and sales channels using the leverage of larger and better quality products.
- There are excellent prospects for identifying, marketing, and selling specific cash crops in particular local markets. Identifying and planning to grow, market, and sell these crops needs to be done on a Settlement-by-Settlement basis. This can significantly improve incomes for farmers working primarily in local markets.
- CTA should seriously consider establishing and managing a special “brand” for agricultural products produced in the community. This should be a “premium” brand and allow the community to sell specially chosen products at higher prices in Indian and International markets. One suggestion was that this “Tibet” brand should align with the concepts of “Peace, Harmony, and Compassion.”
- The Settlement communities should be involved in discussion of these issues and regarding plans for moving forward. Their input and understanding of the processes involved and the results that are being sought are critical.
- CTA can work with Nyamdrel (Federation of Tibetan Cooperative) in developing a research/ marketing cell to assist the Tibetan farmers in getting easy and early access to the market.
- CTA should help farmers in creating market linkages for organic products and intensive training should be provided for organic farming techniques.
- Empower FTCI and cooperatives to engage in and explore Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in the settlement.
- CTA can engage in joint venture with private companies to promote commerce and industry in the settlement.
C. Building Tibetan Financial Institutions and Services
- The community requires a broad range of financial products and services. These include savings, credit, insurance, financial planning, and asset management. In addition, SMEs and Entrepreneurs will require “seed” capital and “growth” capital, which can take the form of both debt and equity. The financial institutions that CTA helps to establish should seek to address (over time) each of these requirements.
- Financial institution such as an NBFC may not be able to meet all of the financial needs of the community. It will be prudent to begin with an NBFC as is currently being planned, but “seed” and “growth” capital are also immediate needs to help fund SMEs and Entrepreneurs. Thus, CTA should explore the possibilities to raising this type of capital sooner rather than later.
- Create an independent/autonomous working space for NBFC to avoid the bureaucratic red-tapism.
- Create awareness surrounding NBFC and its products.
- Overseas Tibetans can play an important role in building sustainable financial institution. They can be sources of capital and professional guidance, advice, expertise and experience as many Overseas Tibetans are involved in finance. Further, Overseas Tibetans can play an important part in governance of new financial institutions by sitting on Boards and providing ongoing management and operational advice and guidance.
- CTA should seek to involve successful Tibetans in India, Nepal and Overseas Tibetans in the building of these financial institutions at the early stages of their planning and development. Further, at later stages of development a formal Prospectus should be prepared describing the new financial institutions and its business to attract investment and other involvement from successful Tibetans in India, Nepal, and Overseas. CTA should have a disciplined and targeted program for distributing this Prospectus and approaching potential Tibetan investors living overseas.
- Strategic Partnerships should also be explored as the community builds its financial institutions. Many financial products are “commodities” and can be developed in partnership with Indian companies. Insurance products are a good example.
- Regular communications should be developed for the community regarding the development of the NBFC and other financial institutions. It is of critical importance to have broad community support and understanding of the products and services to be provided and to be sure that these products and services are what the community needs.
D. Supporting Small and Medium-sized Businesses and Encouraging Entrepreneurship
- CTA’s primary responsibility in encouraging and supporting SMEs and Entrepreneurs is to establish an enabling environment for these activities. A broad range of business development services should be available. These might include, for example, business plan development, financial planning and budgeting, marketing and sales planning, legal services, accounting training, tax training, assistance in obtaining loans in the Indian banking system, etc.
- Much good work has already been done in this area through TED, but it needs to be strengthened and regularized.
- The Tibetan Chamber of Commerce may be a good Strategic Partner for providing some of these services.
- In addition, CTA should assure that Tibetan SMEs and Entrepreneurs have access to all relevant GOI services and programs.
- CTA should facilitate the establishment of sources for “seed” and “growth” funding for SMEs and Entrepreneurs. Foreign Direct Investment funds can be a good source for funding of this type. Private capital can also be attracted for this type of funding. Successful Tibetans in India, Nepal, and Bhutan and Overseas Tibetans may also be good funding sources.
- New financial institutions that the community establishes should pay particular attention to SMEs and Entrepreneurs when designing its products and services. SMEs and Entrepreneurs have special financial needs, and the new financial institutions should seek to include these enterprises among their customers.
- SMEs and Entrepreneurs need access to the latest technologies and links to other SME Owners and Entrepreneurs in the Indian markets and overseas who may have technologies and solutions that can benefit their businesses. In addition, assistance identifying and expanding to new markets is a critical challenge that all SMEs and Entrepreneurs will face. These issues are also applicable to many of the traditional Tibetan arts and craft enterprises. CTA should look for ways to assure that this access and assistance is available.
- CTA should support for revival of traditional arts and crafts.
- Start a garment industry to supply the product to winter sweater seller, which can also become a major source of income for CTA
- Focus on branding and marketing of Tibetan sweater selling business.
E. Role of Tibetans Living Overseas
- CTA should establish a special committee or working group to provide a well-researched written report addressing the prospects for involving Tibetans living overseas in economic development activities. This report should present specific, actionable recommendations regarding how best to attract and involve Tibetans living overseas in these activities.
- Tibetans living overseas can be important sources of expertise and capital.
- They can, for example, play ongoing roles in governance and oversight of management and operations for new financial institutions, new agribusinesses, and new culturally sustainable tourism activities.
- They can also provide capital for new financial institutions and “seed” and “growth” capital for SMEs and Entrepreneurs. Further, they can help structure and design appropriate investment vehicles for this purpose.
- CTA should develop specific and targeted communications programs in each of the countries where overseas Tibetans are living to attract and involve these Tibetans at each of these levels.
- Communications on these issues with Tibetans living overseas should be regular and ongoing. These are long-term relationships that need to be developed and nurtured over time.
- Offices of Tibet and the Tibetan communities abroad should be actively engaged and participate in these efforts to attract and involve overseas Tibetans in economic development activities.
- CTA should consider establishing a “Chamber of Commerce” for Tibetans living overseas. This might provide a framework for communicating and working regularly on economic development issues, including capital raising and providing expertise and guidance on related matters.
- In addition, CTA might consider establishing a formal “Advisory Committee” to the Kashag constituted of Tibetans living overseas to assure that their advice, guidance, and expertise can be obtained regularly on economic development issues and opportunities.
- CTA’s primary role in economic development should be to create a supportive, enabling environment for economic activities. For new and large-scale initiatives, it should conduct needed research and market/feasibility studies, using professional experts and advisors as required. It should also help to identify Strategic Partners and potential funding and other resources and expertise that projects will require. It might provide seed funding for pilot or demonstration projects.
- It is appropriate for CTA to seek revenue-generating opportunities from economic development activities it facilitates to help fund the CTA. Going forward, this type of revenue from economic activities should replace donor and aid-related revenue to move the community to sustainability and self-sufficiency.
- Further, it is appropriate for CTA to make investments from time to time in economic activities that it has helped to develop, again with a view toward helping to fund CTA activities and assure the long-term financial health and viability of the community.