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CSOs Enabling Training

 

 

NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) organized two-day "Training on CSOs' Enabling Environment" on 21-22 February 2018, at Dhukhel, Kavre. The training program was accomplished successfully as attended by NFN's central executives, members and the representatives of some selected federated organizations namely FECOFUN, FEDWASUN, DNF, NFDN, BBC, and FNJ. Altogether 41 participants (males – 30, and female – 11) including disabled – 2, NFN staff – 7, were present in the event.

 

As NFN realized that its executive members who come from different parts of the country representing various organizations need to be trained on inherently varying aspects of enabling environment for CSOs – so that the message could be delivered and disseminated through them across sub-national and local levels; the training was organized with intent to impart them with knowledge, cognition and understanding on the legal and operational environment for domestic CSOs. In the mean time, the event also intended to have a common understanding and joint actions of like-minded federated bodies of CSOs on concerns related to enabling environment, prosperity and development and accordingly they were invited to join the event. The national socio-political context being changed, it was felt urgency to launch civic campaigns on enabling environment, CSOs' space, and citizens' rights and sustained developed at local, provincial and national level and therefore the event was called upon with this additional intent as well.

As outlined prior, the event was conducted as split in three main sessions, viz. (1) inaugural session, (2) technical discussion, and (3) wrap up remarks. Albeit being titled training, the event was conducted in workshop modality.The opening session was chaired by Mr. Gopal Lamsal, NFN President. Mr. Chair briefly outlined his welcome remarks and highlighted on the key objectives and intent of the training. The subsequent remarks were delivered by Mr. Bishnu Sapkota – Country Director of FHI 360 Nepal, and Mr. Krishna Pathak – Governance Specialist at USAID Nepal. The duo speakers provided their insights, reflections and provoking thoughts on how the role and space of CSOs would be scaled up and how the allegations to CSOs would be challenged intellectually. They also asserted that the role of CSOs needs to be expanded in the areas of oversight, partnerships and constructive engagement with the governments. Their remarks and presentations served as the ground for discussion and consideration for the technical session following then after. In the mean time, NFN President also gave a presentation covering different aspects of enabling environment as the food for thought for further discussion and consensus building.

 

In the technical session, participants discussed wide ranges of issues relating to CSOs divided into four sub-sessions titled (1) situation and context analysis, (2) stakeholders power and influence analysis, (3) priorities, actions and tools for creating enabling environment, and (4) developing joint action plan and assigning roles and responsibilities to different network organizations. The session in its entirety followed group work exercises, presentations, comments and inputs by other groups, and concluding remarks by the presenting groups. The outcomes of the thorough processes were recorded and documented. At the end, Mr. Chair outlined his concluding remarks by acknowledging the views, ideas and opinions of participants and stating that the sum of ideas would be taken into consideration in the future courses of action.

Mr. Dillu Prasad Ghimire, NFN Central Executive Committee Member who has been entrusted with the responsibility of board focal person for BEEN project was a moderator for the entire sessions of the program. The entire training program was conducted focusing on the agenda of enabling environment. The concept of enabling environment as such was looked upon in terms of its dimensions, core areas of laws, policies and operations, practical challenges being experienced by Nepalese CSOs, monitoring indices, approach and tools of creating an enabling environment, and national and international legal and policy instruments relating to and affecting CSOs.  

 

Having reviewed the contexts and stakeholders mapping – the focus of discussion shifted to the practical part of figuring out priorities, action points and use of different tools for creating an enabling environment for CSOs in the country, particularly in the changed context of state restructuring. This kind of discussion further led to developing a functional structure and its operational modality alongside the plan of actions at the end of the sessions. In this sense, the issues of discussion for the entire training program were around the conceptual and empirical aspects of creating enabling environment for CSOs. And the discussion was enriching and fruitful.

Out of the event, a 9-member task force group was formed. The members of the team included the following:

 

S.N.

Name

Affiliation

Designation

  1.  

Krishna Gautam

Senior Vice President, NFN

Coordinator

  1.  

Subash Khatiwada

President, ACORAB

Member

  1.  

Rajendra Aryal

President, FEDWASUN

Member

  1.  

Tika Dahal

Vice President, NFDN

Member

  1.  

Bharati Pathak

General Secretary, FECOFUN

Member

  1.  

Krishna Kumari Waiba

General Secretary, BBC

Member

  1.  

Ramesh Bista

General Secretary, FNJ

Member

  1.  

Sanju BK

Joint Secretary, DNF

Member

  1.  

Milan Dharel

CCM, NFN

Member

 

  • A draft advocacy plan of NFN and some selected federations was outlined. It was discussed and agreed to have immediate meetings of the task force team and finalize the action plan for upcoming three months, March to May, 2013 at least.
  • The outcomes of each of the discussion sessions have been duly documented.
  • It was discussed and agreed that NFN along with other development network organizations would organize dialogues and conferences at national and provincial levels as part of civic campaign on enabling environment and sustainable development. Such a campaign is expected to create vibrancy of CSOs as deemed necessary in the changed contexts.

Overall, the training program was a success in attaining its objectives. Participants seemed enlightened to get informed of the concepts and other aspects of the agenda of enabling environment. At the same time, the event was a fruitful platform to get practical experiences and ideas of the participants representing diverse geographical areas, and working themes despite being within NFN's common structure. The outcomes of the training are visible enough in the form of structures and a document of plan of actions and advocacy. However, the agreed plan needs to be acted upon rigorously in the upcoming days. The good part is that like-minded networks of CSOs are in a common place and they have agreed on the joint advocacy plan developed out of the event.