Loktantrik Sambaad (Democracy Dialogues)

06 May 2009

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The UNDP/Support to Participatory Constitution Building in Nepal (SPCBN) project has been active in organising ‘Loktantrik Sambaad’ (Democracy Dialogues) throughout Nepal. The project has funded 15 NGOs, representing the historically marginalized communities of Nepal, including: Dalits, Indigenous Peoples, Madhesis, Disabled, Remote Areas and Youth, to collect submissions for the Constituent Assembly (CA).

Fifteen NGOs conducted their Training of Trainers (TOT) for their field facilitators in this inclusive and participatory methodology. Soon after, each NGO initiated their field programming to collect initial submissions for the Constituent Assembly.

To-date, these 15 NGOs have conducted nearly 1,000 ‘Democracy Dialogues’ and civic education orientations in over 50 districts, both at the local Village Development Committee (VDC) and district levels. By mid-April, all 15 NGO partners were able to provide detailed submissions from these ‘Loktantrik Sambaad’ in various public ceremonies to each of the CA Committee Chairs for inclusion in their concept papers.

On 27 March, the Madhesi NGO Federation (MNF) presented their initial submissions to 29 CA members, including the chairpersons of nine thematic committees, as well as handed these submissions to the Honorable Subash Nembang.

On 31 March, 14 of the UNDP NGO partners, representing the historically marginalized communities, presented their initial submissions at the Centre for Constitutional Dialogue (CCD). There were nine CA members present, including Amrita Thapa Magar, Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources, Economic Rights and Sharing of Revenues, and Lokendra Bista Magar, Committee for the Restructuring the State and Sharing of the Power.

An ‘Impact and Indicators Workshop’ is planned for early May with all 15 NGOs. This workshop will discuss appropriate strategies by which the NGOs can continue to work closely with the Constituent Assembly on the issues identified by the historically marginalized communities of Nepal. These NGO submissions are currently being translated into English.