Nepal has been exercising decentralization process since 1951. Consequently, the legal framework for devolution of power and structure of local governments has undergone through various forms over the years. Presently, the concept of decentralization in the country is being exercised through District Development Committees (DDCs), Municipalities and village Development Committees (VDCs) that are legally governed by Local Self Governance Act (LSAG) 1999 and Regulations. These local bodies are responsible for local development is not taking place in the manner prescribed in the legal and policy document. Similarly, people especially disadvantaged groups are not accountable towards the citizen and the citizen, in turn, are not informed and capable enough to hold the service providers accountable to them. The participatory planning processed, prioritization and selection of development projects and monitoring / supervision of development projects are not fully exercised. The social accountability tools such as public hearing, public audit, monitoring delivery of services according to citizen charter issued by respective agencies, civic oversight are properly applied. The local development grants received by local bodies are not utilized in the manner prescribed in the government guidelines and legal provisions. The considerable gaps observed between the service providers/duty bearers and service recipients/right holders are not yet bridged to the satisfactory level. The community people, especially the women and persons from Janajaties, Dalits, Madhesis and other deprived communities lack access to local resources and services and their engagements in local development activities is poorly implemented. The local people are not adequately informed about their rights and responsibilities.
Weak institution capacities of local bodies, less vibrant civil societies, lack of awareness among the community people and absence of effective monitoring and evaluation are consider to be the major problems encountered in the areas of service delivery and downward accountability. Applicantion of social accountability (SA) tools is critically essential for promoting downward accountability and effective service delivery. The problem is further aggravated due to the prolonged absence of elected people’s representative in LBs and monitoring compliance of the local bodies with legislative and policy requirement is poorly exercised. Local elections have not been held since 1997. Due to lack of elected representatives in DDCs, Municipalities and VDCs disadvantages groups do not have fair and equitable access to and use of resources of LBs and public services. To address these issues and enhance the level of compliance monitoring by local bodies IRDC Nepal is implementing this project with the support of Local Governance and Accountability Facility (LGAF) in Rupandehi district.
The main objective of proposed services is to support the rights holders / service recipients (citizen and communities in the selected projects location) to hold their local governance actors accountable and duty bearers/ service provider to enhance their capacity on monitoring compliance, improving transparency, accountability, participation delivery of public services and local governance. The specific objectives are to:
- Promote general awareness of the citizen on the activities being performed by LBs selected for the project intervention (DDC, 3 Municipality and 5 VDCs) of Rupandehi District.
- Monitor and report on the implementation of legal provision and policies relating largely to planning process, budget managements and execution, and monitoring and supervision as detailed out in the Scope of Work provided.
- Advise on measures for addressing the gaps in compliance with legislative and policy requirement and delivery of public services effectively.