Project: Community Mediation Training for Judicial Committees of Local Governments

Funding Partner: CDSG/GIZ
Start Date: August 1, 2021
End Date: November 30, 2021

Detailed Narrative Description of the Project

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has extended support to the Government of Nepal through GIZ for the capacity development of the local governments in Nepal. The German cooperation agency GIZ is cooperating with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) to execute the LG capacity development support project in different provinces of Nepal.

The MoFAGA-GIZ cooperation project aims to enable local governments to take greater account of needs of disadvantaged groups for expanding their accessibility to public services. The project operates in 16 selected local governments in 1, 2, Lumbini, Karnali, and Sudur Paschim Provinces in Nepal. One of components of the project has been the capacity development of local judicial committees to deliver dispute resolution services at the local level. The project has commissioned Institute for Governance and Development (IGD)- a non-governmental organization working in the domain for almost two decades- to provide training to the judicial committee and community mediators in eight local governments-rural municipalities and municipalities in Lumbini, Karnali and Sudur Pascchim Provinces of Nepal. This report summarizes the key activities carried out so far in run up to the implementation of the capacity building training as per the Terms of Reference (ToR).

At this backdrop, IGD, in partnership with CDSG/GIZ, worked together to carry out the Basic Training on Community Mediation in 8 partner LGs of CDSG/GIZ- Joryal, Saphebagar, Badimalika, Dullu, Kanakasundari, Rajapur and Rapti Sonarifrom July to November 2021. IGD has accomplished the all the trainings in the 8 LGs. This report covers the trainings carried out under the Period of July to November 2021. The key achievements so far include the accomplishment of all the trainings which enhanced the skill and knowledge of the community mediators on dispute resolution at the local level.

Detailed Description of the Actual Services provided
  • IGD in close coordination and support of GIZ and LGs carried out the first phase training events (as planned) in the 8 LGs of Sudur Pashchim, Karnali and Lumbini provinces,
  • A total of 206 mediators (of which 88 female and 124 male) have been trained about mediation and dialogue facilitation skills for dispute resolution.
Project: Strengthening CSOs for Accountable Local Governance in Nepal

Funding Partner: CIVICUS
Start Date: October 22, 2020 to
End Date: March 31, 2021

Detailed Narrative Description of the Project

The constitution of Nepal 2015 (Article 17) secures the fundamental civic freedoms of citizens including the right to form unions and associations. Contrary to it, the provisions in the Local Government Operation Act 2017 are unduly restrictive of civic space. Moreover, in recent development, the government has been distrustful of civil society and has sought to deploy measures to restrict civic space. At this context, the action has been conceptualized and planned with the objective to strengthen CSO-friendly legal environment in Nepal, particularly at the local level where CSOs mostly operate and have to coordinate with the local government. The specific objective is to enable advocacy for improvement of legal provisions in the Act that can consequently limit civic space at the local level. The intended targets are: to contribute to create CSOs friendly environment to contribute to enhance constructive rapport between local government and civil society through the process of mutual accountability. Moreover, the action targets to contribute towards amending the legal provisions and administrative procedures especially at the local level that can be used to limit the local civic space. At this backdrop, the consortium of the organizations- Institute for Governance and Development (IGD), Democracy and Election Concern Nepal (DECoN) , Lumbini Development Citizen Forum (LDCF) carried out the round table interactive dialogues at the 7 provinces and national level and discussed the civic space issue with the stakeholders- Federal and Provincial Level Law Makers, Local Government representatives such as mayors, Deputy Mayors, Ward Chairs, CSOs, Medias and among others. The Medias consultation was held at the National level and shared with them the results of the dialogues including the15-point declaration containing the commitment of the stakeholders and actors to work for protect and expand civic space. In the national and province level dialogues, the CSO stakeholders orchestrated and raised their voices and interacted with the local policy makers and stakeholders on the need to create congenial democratic environment for civil society to function through amendment of the section 25 of the local government operation act in particular. Moreover, the Medias both electronic and print highlighted the issues and voices of CSOs, published articles advocating for CSO friendly environment to work with the governments at local, provincial and federal level. They stakeholders in their 15 point declaration have committed to take up follow up actions to improve policy environment for civil society to operate and expand their space across the levels of the governments general and at the local level in particular.

The project did achieve the objective set in the project application. The interim indicators of success are: altogether 361 key stakeholders- CSO, local government stakeholders, and parliamentarians took part in the dialogue; 361 stakeholders expressed commitment to support the process of improving the provisions in local government operational act, 2017 and other procedures that can restrict civic space at the local level; 53 National stakeholders endorsed the 15-point declaration highlighting the need a building congenial civic ecology; media persons supported the initiatives through their write-ups and stories.

Detailed Description of the Actual Services provided
  • Conducted eight dialogues- 7 dialogues in provinces (one in each province)- Biratnagar, Bardibas, Chitwan, Pokhara, Butwal, Surkhet and Dhangadhiand 1 national level dialogue in Kathmandu,
  • The materials listed below are the products of the project - papers reviewing and assessing the state of civic space at the seven provincial jurisdictions, presentations at the national level , 15 point National Declarations, synthesis document of the above materials and shared with actors and stakeholders.

The project helped the IGD and its partners gain new alliance, partnerships and collaborative strategies in the quest for enlarging civic spaces and choices especially at the subnational level. Moreover, the project activities secured the role and contribution of former Chief Election Commissioner- Chair of Democracy Election Nepal -which is one of the consortium members of the project. It also helped to build relations and rapport former lawmakers, federal and provincial MPs, media person, and CSO leaders and networks to mobilize support in favour of widening and broadening civic spaces in general and continue the work towards amending the provisions in the local government operation act 2017 that can be used to limit civic space. With such influential personalities including parliamentarians, CA members, CSO leaders, academicians, media persons, mayor and deputy mayor on board, the project has been able to reach out to new contacts and form working groups and partnership.