October 18: Stakeholders representing the government, private sector, civil society, international scholars and development agencies came together to discuss new dimensions of innovation in local governance at the “National Governance Symposium 2022” organized by the Governance Lab on October 13 and 14.
The programme was organized by the research institution with the theme “Promoting Innovation in Local Governance for Inclusive Economic Development of Nepal”. The objective of the symposium was to share innovative practices of local governments, to discuss ways to bolster the local governance system and to strengthen the networking among stakeholders working in public policy and governance, the organisers said in a statement.
On the first day of the symposium, 11 municipalities from six provinces shared their public innovations. Not only this, they also put forth the key lessons learned from those innovations as well as the dimension of opportunities opened up for them to effectively scale up.
On the second day, national stakeholders deliberated on ways to institutionalize the learning from the discussions of the first day and scale up policy impact.
The second day of the symposium also featured a seminar on “Building Gender Sensitivity in Government Institutions” with various dialogue sessions. During the sessions, international experts and scholars like Prof Soledad Prillaman, assistant professor of political science at Stanford University and Prof Ben Berger, associate professor of political science and executive director of Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College joined virtually as keynote speakers.
The symposium concluded that measures of bringing change to elevate the economic status of Nepal can be achieved through the policy level. Furthermore, the chairperson of Governance Lab, Dr Pukar Malla unveiled the Declaration for Collective Action at the end of the symposium. The declaration highlights “Inclusion, Innovation, Local Governance and Economic Development” as the four core commitment areas.
Speaking at the pogramme, Kalyan Shrestha, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal said, “Development without inclusiveness will not bring peace but crisis. Our development plans and policies have not been able to incorporate inclusiveness so far. Therefore, it is very important that we create a common vision about inclusive development in Nepal.”
Dr Swarnim Wagle, former vice- chairperson of the National Planning Commission, complained that federalism failed due to the heavily divided public and political opinion which hindered the local government as well.
Similarly, speaking at the programme, Krishna Gyawali, former secretary of the Government of Nepal highlighted the importance of good governance for the success of federalism.