The Ministry of Finance (MoF) introduced new gunews_idelines under its Development Cooperation Policy (DCP) in June 2014 to plug loopholes in I/NGO policies which 'lacked transparency and accountability of how funds from foreign donors were used. As per data provnews_ided by the Social Welfare Council (SWC), there are over 40,000 NGOs and around 200 INGOs in the country today.
According to MoF, the major objectives for formulating the Development Cooperation Policy is to help achieve development goals stated in the periodic development plans through mobilisation of external resources and to move Nepal from the 'Least Developed Country status to 'Developing Country by 2022. It is also expected to achieve development effectiveness through achieving 'Best Value for Money, and build a self-reliant economy through gradually reducing dependency on anews_id. The new gunews_idelines under the Development Cooperation Policy includes - prioritising and selection of development cooperation to be based on government policies and strategies. The government will news_identify and prepare a list of projects to mobilise development cooperation based on its needs and priorities. The descrips of such projects will have to be upnews_dated in the Project Bank established at the MoF by the relevant ministries and agencies.
However, the I/NGOs have a very different take on the whole issue. "The new gunews_idelines under DCP have dissatisfied many of us, mainly due to the clubbing together of INGOs and NGOs," informs Gopal Lamsal, General Secretary of the Federation of NGOs in Nepal. He mentions that monitoring I/NGOs based on working procedure is confusing because they follow different procedures. "The Project Facilitation Programme (PFP) which approves projects of I/NGOs have now asked us to take approvals from two to three ministries," he shares. He claims, "From our vantage point what we see is that the government is only burdening us with unwanted work pressure."
Defending the allegation of not being transparent about the funds, Lamsal claims, "Both I/NGOs have to be audited every year at the Central District Office where every penny is accounted for, hence, there is no question of misplaced funds."
The policy mentions that emphasis will be given to the need for such organisations that receive development assistance directly from bilateral/multilateral anews_id agencies and international organisations, to adopt accountability in their process and to enhance transparency in order to increase development cooperation effectiveness. INGOs working in Nepal shall not be allowed to use any official anews_id earmarked for the government.
Narayan Kafle, General Secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW), says that the new DCP rules were made with a view to eradicate the corruption taking place in I/NGOs. "Being the governing body looking after the overall improvement of the social sector it is our prerogative to monitor and coordinate projects with I/NGOs," he shares. According to him, there are certain points in DCP gunews_idelines that may not be in sync with that of the I/NGOs, but the government is only trying to pave way for INGOs to function better. However, Kafle confirmed that MoWCSW, along with MoF and Nepal Rashtra Bank (RB) will crackdown on funds received by each and every I/NGO. NRB will also closely look at the amount of funds being transferred to every account and for what purpose they were used.
The main issue that arose with the introduction of DCP is that the NGOs and INGOs expressed the desire to be treated in accordance to the differences of their functionality. Meanwhile, Kafle says, "All I/NGOs established in Nepal with the objective of mobilising development assistance have to be registered with the SWC. INGOs willing to mobilise development cooperation should get prior approval from SWC."
Deepak Raj Sapkota, Chairperson of the Association of INGOs in Nepal (AIN) asserts, "For every project designed we have to consult the Project Facilitation Programme and submit general audits and global audits every year to SWC, so it is irrational to question organisations on the usage of the funds received."
According to him, the recent gunews_idelines are a disappointment to the INGOs and that the interpretation of the phrase, 'earmarked for the government can be translated differently for the government, the donors and INGOs. He believes that the INGOs should be given an opportunity to be a part of the global bnews_idding as collecting resources are tough. Sapkota informs, "Since I/NGOs are more adept at economic development programmes and how and where the funds should be utilised our concern is these donor funds should not be earmarked for the government. These funds are designed for the I/NGO sector consnews_idering the nature and scope of the work." Read more...
Source: The Himalayan Times