Continuous dialogue leads to effective partnership. Believing this, ICA Nepal carried out a series of interaction events during the month of June.
Recently, Nepal experienced a landmark moment in the country’s transition to democracy. Local government elections were held after a gap of 20 long years. Local government representatives were last elected in 1997. This step marks a positive step towards the realization of democracy. However, along with the new hopes, there are uncertainties on the roles and responsibilities in the newly formed structure. With this in mind, ICA Nepal organized an interaction program on the roles of non-government organizations, (NGOs), and their potential strategies for the changing socio-political context, at the ICA Training Centre. The event was attended by 45 people from more than 30 NGOs. The program was facilitated by Ms. Ishu Subba, Executive Director of ICA Nepal. The welcome note was provided by Prof. Dr. Tatwa Pr. Timsina, Founding Chairperson of ICA Nepal, and the concluding remarks came from Mr. Tara Bhandari, Chairperson of Samudayik Sarathi Nepal.
The speakers at the event were Mr. Kedar Khadka, President of the GoGo Foundation, Dr. Kumar Sharma Acharya, former Vice-President of the Nepal Bar Council, and Dr. Netra Timsina, former NGO President. The event has led to motivation with interaction among NGOs. A draft report has been circulated among the participants. At present ICA Nepal is receiving feedback and comments, especially on a possible way forward.
Issues Raised in the Program:
- Current legal and bureaucratic procedures/documents of Nepal that control NGOs: registration process, renewals, and monitoring
- Role of the Social Welfare Council and its existence in upcoming days
- Global Context of NGOs and their governing bodies for regulation
- Bills under promulgation which provides an opportunity, a space for NGOs to lobby against the stagnant rules that regulate NGOs performance
- Contradictory laws that regulate the NGOs. He also added the need to revisit the facts and figures of NGOs actually functioning in Nepal.
Challenges Faced by NGOs
- Incorrect Data regarding the actual NGOs
- No uniformity in definition – challenges of multiple definition
- Pressure to get VAT registration as almost all of the donor agencies and INGOs are adopting the competitive grant system
- NGOs run/headed by politicians are able to get funds without any bidding or competition
- Weak monitoring system of Government or biased system of Government that categorize similar nature organizations under one board umbrella
- Corrupt officials in both NGOs and government agencies
- No technical details and clarity among bureaucrats
- Lack of good coordination among NGOs in terms of project duplication, accountability and transformation
- Developing Self-Evaluation system of NGOs
- Coordination among INGOs and NGOs through regular interaction with AIN
- Talking with Good Governance Monitoring Committee
- Capacity building of NGOs on Inclusive Approach
- Maintain Data base- categorization of NGOs – functioning and non-functioning
- Lobbying with Government Bodies
Similarly, in coordination with BB Trust, an interaction program was conducted among the local NGOs affiliated with ICA Nepal NGOs Network. The event aimed to discuss future strategies for the NGOs working for people with disabilities, children, autism, cerebral palsy, visually impaired and hearing impaired etc.
Blogging and social media has become an effective medium to express our opinion, experiences and stories. ICA Nepal invited youth and youth organizations to develop their skills on blogging and social media through participating in a workshop entitled “Social Media and Blogging Workshop for Personal/Professional Profile Development”. The event was attended by fifteen enthusiastic youths.
Upcoming event: “Being an Entrepreneur: Financial Aspects of Startup Business” on 30 June, 2017.
Capability Development of Local Government
We are working on an approach to develop the capabilities of local government. The newly formed bodies (after 20 years) are expediting the development work in their respective areas.
ICA Nepal is working to develop competent human resources within local and rural municipalities and village councils, for local level project development, in the areas of resource mobilization, fund raising, strategy planning, leadership in networking, and consensus building.
The major objectives of this initiative:
- develop competent human resources required at local levels to transform local communities;
- assist local government in implementing development projects;
- support enterprise and employment; and
- foster culture and creativity in communities
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This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, July 2017.