|Pre-consultation Meeting on NGO/CSO Roadmap|
NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) has accomplished a pre-consultation meeting on NGO/CSO roadmap, to be adopted in the changed political landscape following aftermath of local-level restructuring of the state. The meeting took place on 31 March 2017, at Aryal International Hotel, located in Kathmandu.
The purpose of the meeting was to review and discuss on the prevailing legal and operational contexts for NGOs/CSOs in the country; and to identify issues and way-forward strategies towards fostering NGOs/CSOs working environment, taking into account the emergence of powerful local-level governance mechanism. Overall, it aimed at contributing to building NGOs/CSOs enabling environment for promoting and sustaining democratic governance in the country.
Accordingly, the agenda(s) discussed in the meeting included:
Mr. Hari Phuyal, Ex-Attorney General of Nepal, as an independent consultant, facilitated the session on sharing review of Social Welfare and Development Bill from legal standpoints. Similarly, Mr. Gauri Pradhan, Ex-Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission, and Ex-President of NFN, facilitated the succeeding session on NGO/CSO roadmap that encompassed issues pertaining to NGOs/CSOs operation beyond legal context. Prominent NGOs/CSOs leaders (27 persons, male 23, female 4) representing different spectrum of civil society, attended the meeting and discussed on the pertinent issues affecting NGOs/CSOs, and their operation in the country.
The proceedings of the meeting followed informal discussion as chaired by NFN's National President Mr. Gopal Lamsal. Mr. President briefly highlighted on the existing contexts – changed scenario of local-level restructuring; restructuring of national ministries; NGOs/CSOs demand for the establishment of Social Development Ministry, and the need to develop a roadmap that would envision guiding NGOs/CSOs to work together for better results.
On this backdrop, and following the presentations by the facilitators, the participating NGOs/CSOs leaders put forth their views, in turn, suggesting how NGOs/CSOs movement could be fortified; what needs to be done to expand the NGOs/CSOs space; and how NGOs/CSOs could be more effective in rendering their services through collaborated approach, among others. The key points of discussion throughout the meeting included the following:
The meeting remained really insightful in the sense that it provided with an opportunity to listen to and record diverse and differing viewpoints of the participants. All these perceptions need to be scrutinized and aligned to build a unanimous voice of NGOs/CSOs, with regards to building an enabling operational environment for the entire civil society.
In addition, the meeting has decided to form a high-level professional team of the NGOs/CSOs leaders for the purpose of drafting a concept paper on NGO/CSO roadmap in the changed context. It was agreed to look at both pros and cons of the existing situations and review the role of NGOs/CSOs critically taking into account the geo-political situation of the country. The concept paper, once drafted, will be shared among wider groups of stakeholders, including government officials and political parties, at district and national level as part of the consultation. Once inputs and feedback are received through consultations at layers of the state structure, this NGO/CSO roadmap will be finalized in the lead of NGO Federation, as backed up by CS:MAP coalition partners and other CSOs.
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