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Year II Activities- Presentation & Discussion with Municipalities

Along with the commencement of Phase II of Enhancement of Local Governments Service Delivery & Economic Governance (EnLoG-SDEG) project, COMMITTED organized an orientation program, on February 12-2019 at Hotel Marshyangdhi- Kathmandu, to present and discuss about the second phase activities with municipalities. The event was mostly focused on giving the municipal officials a clear insight on ‘Comprehensive Municipal Structure, Planning & Service Delivery’ activity designed for Phase II.

 

The Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chief Administrative Officers and Social Mobilizers of five municipalities namely Damak, Bhimeshwor, Tansen, Waling and Tikapur were brought together for intense discussion on comprehensive planning process, international planning practices, regulations formulated by National Planning Commission (NPC), Sustainable Development Goals, Revenue Improvement Methods, and the municipalities’ needs for the enactment of project’s future endeavors.

Municipalities officials during the program.

During the discussion, the municipalities’ officials seemed to be proactive and serious about how they are taking this project as their own and not just an NGO’s job to assist them.  In addition, the municipalities also focused on the policy implementation and not just on policy formulation. Furthermore, the timeline for the activities were also shared in order to prepare municipalities on their roles and responsibilities.

The event was also attended by the representatives from The Asia Foundation (TAF), Kathmandu University- School of Law, COMMITTED’s Board Members and the project staffs.

EnLoG-SDEG is a joint venture of COMMITTED with DFAT-TAF partnership which works to strengthen the capacity of several municipalities all over the nation.

Snapshot of RMEP Preparation at PaanchPokhari Thangpal Rural Municipality

Paanchpokhari Thangpal Rural Municipality proceeded to formulate its Rural Municipality Education Plan (RMEP) from December, 2017. The RMEP effort was led by a committee authorized by the Rural Municipal Council and comprised of representatives from all eight wards, the Municipal Education Resource Person and COMMITTED’s experts. The committee was led by the Rural Municipality appointed Education Coordinator following primarily COMMITTED’s pre-designed education governance structure and model.

The REMP activities were initiated with the development of a framework for timely and logical completion of the RMEP. The effort was initiated with the collection of household and school level data. The schools within the respective wards played a vital role in the collection of required data. This was followed by a workshop on preparation of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) to assist the school administrator identify the gaps and improve the underlying aspects of the education system. Crucial components of the SIP were consolidated in the RMEP.

COMMITTED’s core belief in local development is the inclusion of grassroot participation in just about every possible activity, ensuring all avenues are opened for participation and input. Therefore, to ensure all problems faced by the schools are heard diligently, Ward Education Committees (WEC) were created in all eight wards of the Rural Municipality to function and support the Rural Municipality Education Committee (RMEC). The schools within the wards share their updates, obstacles and plans to WEC. The WEC further brings collective agendas to the RMEC table where the issues are discussed and needed actions executed.

Following numerous meetings, discussions and experts advice, a draft version of the five-year Rural Municipality Education Plan was prepared. RMEP consists of plans and strategies regarding the management of public schools, improving student enrollment, establishing catchment area, school infrastructures development including libraries, science labs and in general enhancing the learning environment within the public education system. This was followed by validation sessions conducted at all eight wards, during which the floor was opened in the form of a public hearing to receive comments and feedback on specific ward level issues and plan components. The entire sessions were broadcast live by Melamchi FM Station.The feedbacks and comments gathered from the validation program were furthered analyzed and a final version of RMEP was developed. Participants in the finalization of RMEP included school delegates, representatives of the rural municipalities, education related experts and the general public. An open notification was advertised for the public to participate at the finalization of the RMEP at least two days ahead of the event.

COMMITTED is currently gearing to print the RMEP and hand it over to the RMEC for endorsement and approval by the Rural Municipal Council. After publication, the RMEC will disseminate copies of the plan to all relevant local, provincial, and federal education bodies.

The RMEP is being developed under COMMITTED’s project that is broader in scope. Under the title ‘Accountability and Transparency Mechanism in the School Governance System’, COMMITTED has developed an education governance model for all local units to replicate. The model focuses on establishing accountable, transparent, systematic and self-sustainable public education system throughout Nepal.

To know details of the activities carried previously, click below:

  • Click  here to read about the Workshop on Formation of Village Education Plans.
  • Click here to read about the Workshop on Schools’ Improvement Plans.
  • Click here to read about the Formation of WEC.
  • Click here to read about the RMEP Data Validation Program.

Municipal Profile Validation Program

After the collection of Census and Institutional data, COMMITTED has started the municipal profile validation program at its chosen municipalities. Starting from August 15 to 25, we visited three among 11 municipalities namely Tikapur, Tansen and Ghorahi.

The three days validation program comprised of two stages: the first one consisting presentation of draft municipal profile to the municipality representatives and members of sectoral departments embodying health, education, revenue, engineering, agriculture, survey, and forest. During the half day session, COMMITTED presented all ten sections of the draft profile: municipality’s introduction, demography, land use, economic sector and employment, agriculture and animal husbandry, physical and public infrastructure, social infrastructure and services, forest and environment, development index and poverty, and miscellaneous. Following the presentation, the next day session included data gap analysis, corrections based on previous day’s comments and feedbacks, and verification of information in consultation with aforementioned sectoral departments.

Municipal Profile Validation Program at Tansen Municipality

During the second stage, the municipalities relayed an open notification for public discussion (townhall meeting) on the draft profile via FM radio, website and other social media platforms.  The third day was followed by municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer presenting municipal profile to the public and COMMITTED collecting comments and feedbacks. Townhall meeting participants ranged from general public to academics, practitioners, local politicians, journalists,  and representatives from various associations like transportation, tourism, industry & commerce to name a few.

Tikapur Municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Dhurba Raj Acharya presenting municipal profile at Townhall meeting

Once all the comments gathered during the validation programs and analysis given by COMMITTED’s sectoral experts are incorporated in the municipal profile, a final draft will be disseminated to the respective municipalities for review, after which it will be ready for publication.

Mayor of Ghorahi Sub- Metropolitan City,  Mr. Naru Lal Chaudhary giving closing remark

This program is under COMMITTED’s Enhancement of Local Government Service Delivery and Economic Governance (EnLog-SDEG) project funded by DFAT/ The Asia Foundation.

Featured Municipality: Bhimeshwor Municipality’s Plans and Visions

In this series of blog posts, we shall be featuring plans and visions of municipalities, COMMITTED is working with in the ‘EnLoG-SDEG’ (Enhancement of Local Governance, Service Delivery and Economic Governance) project.

Bhimeshwor Municipality in Dolakha District of Province 3 is one of the 22 municipalities COMMITTED has been working with since the project commenced last summer. The municipality comprises of 9 wards with a total of 8,639 households.

(Map of Bhimeshwor Municipality indicating its Landuse and Road types.)

The municipality is led by an energetic Mayor and has some unique plans and exemplary approach to the generation of Own Source Revenues (OSR). The plans, as the ward chairmen have reinforced, seek to mobilize and take advantage of, as much as possible, locally available resources, both natural and man-made.

At the ward level, a number of wards seek to stimulate its local economy by focusing on and promoting tourism. An ethnic themed museum and home stays has been envisioned in Ward 1 taking advantage of the fact that the majority of the population belong to the Thami caste (an indigenous tribe mainly living in the villages of Dolakha District in East-Central Nepal).  Likewise, they hope to promote Ward 2 as a religious and cultural tourist destination owing to its high number of temples. Similarly, Ward 3 and 6 have also been earmarked for tourism development owing to its geography and the existence of hotels.

A number of wards will focus on agriculture-related activities. Ward 4 as agricultural hub and 5 for livestock farming. Taking advantage of its abundance in water sources trout aquaculture farms have been planned for Ward 7. Ward 8 is to be cattle and Kiwi fruit focused, as well as marketing it as a ‘film city’ for the movie productions owing to its scenic location. Finally, potato farming and production of potato chips and other products has been planned for Ward 9.

At the municipality level, the Mayor has envisioned a hydroelectricity plant (Tama Koshi hydroelectric plant) for energy self-sufficiency, along with establishment and promotion of residential schools catering to wealthy families living in Kathmandu Valley for additional job creation and income generation.

In doing all that, Bhimeshwor Municipality is showing how devolution of power from the center and entrusting local bodies to be self-reliant and autonomous could work to bring about growth, development and progress of outlying communities far removed from Kathmandu Valley.

 

For more on above, please follow the links below:

Click here to read a blog post about COMMITTED producing Map of Local Governments.

Click here to go to a Facebook post of Municipal Round Table Discussion.

Click here to go to a Facebook post of the visit to remaining municipalities.

Click here to read a blog about EnLoG-SDEG.

COMMITTED Produces Map of Local Governments

Promulgation of new constitution on 20th September 2015 resulted in the division of Nepal into seven states. The country before was classified into five development regions namely: Eastern, Central,Western, Mid-Western and Far-Western where there were 14 zones  and 75 districts.

To decentralize the power and help the nation with sustainable development, the country was restructured after the establishment of federal states which resulted in the change of names and administrative structure of local governments. Former Village Development Committee aka Gaunbikash Samiti has now been replaced with Rural Municipality known in Nepali as Gaunpalika. Also, now the number of districts have gone up to 77 with Rukum and Nwalparasi being split into two each.

All of that is relevant to COMMITTED’s local governance project we run in partnership with The Asia Foundation. The aim of the project is to improve the internal and external governance and development of its chosen municipalities in addressing service delivery and local economic development. To that end, COMMITTED produces resources that local governments can utilize, such as the map below.

As you can see, the map provides information about the local governments and their structure. The map is probably the first of its kind to be produced in the country since the restructuring.

Click here for a much bigger resolution of the map.

More maps, of municipalities for example, will be produced and shared with the relevant bodies as well as with the public here in our blog. Be sure to return!

For more, please follow the links below:

Click here to go to a Facebook post of Municipal Round Table Discussion.

Click here to go to a Facebook post of the visit to remaining municipalities.

Click here to read a blog about EnLoG-SDEG.