In-depth

Community members gather for discussion
Community members gather for discussion

UNDP in Nepal is committed to promote people-centered development and decentralized local governance for improved service delivery by the local government. Since mid-2002, local governance have been carried out in a limited way as there are no elected local bodies. The local administration both at the district and village levels are functioning but the continued absence of elected local bodies has restricted the participation of the stakeholders and hampered the normal pace of local development. In the aftermath of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, many Village Development Committee secretaries displaced by the conflict returned to their respective areas, but the conflict situation in the Tarai forced them to again move back to the district headquarters and even to other districts.

UNDP in Nepal and its partners are moving towards strengthening the institutions and systems for running democratic elections, for facilitating the provision of justice, for safeguarding human rights, for central level planning and for managing the country’s large aid receipts.

Strengthening the capacity of the Nepal Election Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the courts to deliver on their mandates and the Ministry of Justice to review laws are important areas of democratic governance support under the ‘Rights’ component. UNDP has supported the establishment of community mediation centres, women paralegal committees, legal aid desks in police offices and court referred mediation centres to make justice more accessible to women and poor and marginalised people.

Under the local governance support, UNDP has joined hands with other UN agencies and donors to support the government's first national Local Governance and Community Development Programme. LGCDP aims to strengthen the demand and supply sides of local governance. It is enabling communities to identify and plan for the basic services they need and to hold local government accountable for providing them, whilst supporting local government bodies to improve service delivery encouraged by performance related grants.

In 2010, UNDP’s Developing Capacities for Effective Aid Management and Coordination project made important contributions to the improved governance of Nepal’s foreign aid receipts. UNDP and the Asian Development Bank supported the evaluation of the Paris Declaration by the government and its development partners. The installation of the Aid Management Platform software in the Foreign Aid Coordination Division of the Ministry of Finance followed by trainings to government officials has brought increased awareness in line with the Paris Declaration’s call for more transparent and coordinated aid.