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SMART Visioning Paves Path to Achieving Sustainable Development

“Vision without Action is merely a Dream. Action without Vision just passes the Time. Vision with Action can Change the World.”  

– Joel A. Barker

The above phrase is familiar to many of us. We know it’s a must to have a vision and bring it on to reality with our action.

Nevertheless, prior to action, there should be a clear vision and COMMITTED strongly believes that ‘SMART Visioning Paves Path to Achieving Sustainable Development.’

Whilst working for developing Comprehensive Plans of municipalities (Damak, Bhimeshwor, Tansen, Waling & Tikapur), COMMITTED in the month of December, visited all five of them to conduct visioning workshops among municipality officials – both elected representatives and departmental administrative staffs. The workshop reflected on the importance of having SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound) plans and conducted various group activities to assist municipalities in creating their vision and mission statements which will be later conjoined in their comprehensive plan as well.

Bhimeshwor Municipality

 

Damak Municipality

In addition to the visioning exercise, COMMITTED also verified sectoral policies and prioritized municipalities’ future programs according to their nature as: short, medium and long term. Verifying policies of sectors, such as Land Use and Settlement, Heritage Conservation, Parks and Recreation, Health, Disaster and Emergency Response, Transportation, Education, Local Economy Development, Public Works, Environment and Natural Resources, was very instrumental to add any missing agendas and feedbacks.

Tansen Municipality

Tikapur Municipality

Waling Municipality

We are hopeful that the visions which each municipality has envisioned, will surely yield greater impact through their robust execution. We are optimistic that these municipalities’ actions in comply with their visions will bring sustainable development and be role models among others across the country.

SWOT Analysis Verification Completed in all Five Municipalities

Following the completion of Focus Group Discussions (FGD) in five municipalities, there was in-house sorting preparation. Based on the feedbacks and information received during FGD, municipal profiles, national & local policies and international examples; SWOT analysis was prepared in order to identify municipalities’ strength and weakness along with opportunities and threats. It comprised of 12 different sectors namely: Land Use & Settlement, Health, Disaster and Emergency Response, Transportation, Education, Local Economy Development, Public Works, Environment & Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI), Transparency & Accountability and Heritage Conservation.

After the SWOT analysis, a team of COMMITTED’s program staffs visited Bhimeshwor, Damak, Tikapur, Tansen and Waling municipalities to verify SWOT report with key informants such as Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chief Administrative Officers, Ward chairpersons, relevant municipal sectoral staffs, and interested stakeholders.

SWOT Analysis Discussion in Damak Municipality

 

SWOT Analysis Discussion in Tikapur Municipality

 

SWOT Analysis Discussion in Bhimeshwor Municipality

The participants in all five municipalities gave their active participation and provided with resourceful feedbacks and missing agendas. The discussion also helped to analyze municipalities existing policies along with realization of formulation of additional important acts and guidelines. Local level participation, during the meeting, correspondingly helped to emphasize on the feeling of ownership and ignite awareness of duties and responsibilities among representatives.

SWOT Analysis Discussion in Tansen Municipality

 

SWOT Analysis Discussion in Waling Municipality

Furthermore, the SWOT in itself helped representatives to evaluate municipalities’ potency and limitations, which directed a pathway for new programs and project implementation.

The SWOT analysis is an important step to the development of long term Comprehensive Plan and is under the project ‘Enhancement of Local Government Service Delivery & Economic Governance’. 

 

SWOT Analysis and Discussion with Municipal Officials

In line with the completion of Focus Group Discussions (FGD) in five municipalities, there was in-house sorting preparation. Based on the feedbacks and information received during FGD, national & local policies and international examples; SWOT analysis was prepared in order to identify municipalities’ strength and weakness along with opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis comprised of 12 different sectors namely: Land Use & Settlement, Health, Disaster and Emergency Response, Transportation, Education, Local Economy Development, Public Works, Environment & Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI), Transparency & Accountability and Cultural Heritage Conservation.

After the SWOT analysis, a team of COMMITTED’s program staffs visited Bhimeshwor municipality in Dolakha District on July 29, 2019. The objective of the visit was to verify SWOT analysis with key informants such as ward chairpersons, relevant sectoral staffs, and interested stakeholders. The participants actively provided their feedbacks and missing agendas during the program.

Municipality Revenue Improvement Plans in Three Municipalities

Revenue generation is an important factor when it comes to running local government smoothly. Along with revenue generation, the responsibility of service delivery is another essential factor to be considered by the local governments themselves. Both of these factors are interrelated and needs to be carried out parallelly. COMMITTED, through our EnLoG-SDEG project, assisted Damak, Dhankuta and Tansen municipalities in their revenue improvement plans.

Workshop in Damak Municipality

The focal objective of workshops on ‘Municipality Revenue Improvement Plan (MRIP)’ was to collect and analyze data related to existing revenue source, municipalities’ expenditure heads and identification of own source revenue generation method. Prior to the workshop, revenue related data was collected through revised model of questionnaire and intense interactions with the municipal delegates including Mayor, Deputy Mayor, representatives of several departments like revenue, administration, account, planning, waste management and so on.

Ms. Laxmi Devi Pathak-Deputy Mayor of Tansen Municipality speaking during the workshop

The workshops also included several sessions on discussion of legal and local provisions for revenue generation, identifying possibilities, and developing potential strategies for improving revenue for a few revenue items, in discussion with the entire group.

Group activity in Dhankuta Municipality

Identification of own source revenue is the Local Revenue Consultation Committee’s duty mandated by the Local Government Act 2074.

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.