CSO Dialogue with Provincial Assembly Member on CSO Issues

The majority of the representative of Civil Society Organization (CSO) expressed their dismay over government move to bypass its representative's participation in the development process of Social Organization Bill, 2075 which is currently in the cabinet for its endorsement. They complaint that the government has intentionally undermined CSO participation while drafting the Social Organizational Bill, 2075 and it is undemocratic attitudes of the government. They were speaking at a dialogue with Member of Far-western Provincial Assembly on CSOs issues and existing legal enabling environment.

The event was organized by the GoGo Foundation on 16 March, 2019 at Dhangadi with the financial support of FHI 360. The major purpose of the program was to bring the elected representatives and CSO representatives for creating enabling legal environment of CSO in line with the new federal structure.

The comprehensive discussion on the civil society organization index (CSOSI) report and status of CSOs in Nepal among the nine South and South East Asia countries was also the other key objective of the event. The objective of the event was highlighted by the Program Manager, Poshta KC, while the technical session of the program was facilitated by the Executive Director of the GoGo Foundation. Program was Chaired by Hem Karna President of NGO Federation Nepal (NFN), Kailali Chapter, chief guest was Nepalu Chaudhary, President of internal affairs and legislative committee under sudupaschi province, the special guests of the event were Hon'ble Malamati Rana, Chun Kumari Chaudhary, Tek B. Raika, Purna Joshi, Mina Sawad, Deputy Mayor Ratna Kadayat, Arjun Shah, President, Federation of Nepalese Journalist (FNJ), Far-western Province, Dharma Raj Pathak, Secretary, Central Committee of NFN and Jagat Sawad, District President, FNJ among others.

To set the tone for the dialogue, the Executive Director (ED), Kedar Khadka presented a short description about CSOSI Report 2017 along with Nepalese CSO. He highlighted the different components of the report including the indicator based on which the report has been developed. He also appraised the present status of CSO in Nepal among 9 South/South East Asian countries and explained the causes of CSOs in being such a position.

The presentation opened the floor for participants to express their views and opinions over the existing situation regarding CSO in Nepal. They argued that the cynical view of the government over the past few years has been the major challenges faced by CSOs in the country. The leaders who sought us our support to oust monarchy and restore democracy have turned into our enemy alleging us that we work against the norms and values. Some said that it is very surprising to know that CDO of some district solicited donor's monitoring report for renewal of few CSO

Purna Joshi, Member of Provincial Assembly, Far-western, said that the mentality of some government officials is still guided by old regime and as result have failed to perform as per the expectation of the people. This needs to be changed as we have ushered into republican set up and must acknowledge the role played by CSO over the past decades Ratna Kadayat, Deputy Mayor, Godavari Municipality, echoed similar views. The CSO are the integral part of democratic society and we wholeheartedly admit it. However, some are engaged in bad governance compelling us to tighten our screw on wrongdoers and not all.

Another member of Provincial Assembly, Chun Kumari Chaudhary along with Mina Saud, Tek B. Raika and Malamati Rana, also acknowledged the role played by CSOs over the past decades. However, she asked CSOs to be more transparent, accountable and responsive towards their stakeholders. If it can ensure all these traits, the image of CSOs among public will reach new helm, she suggested.

At the end of program, Chief Guest, Nepalu Chaudhary, President, Internal Affairs and Legislative Committee, Far-Western Province, said that we, including CSOs, are accountable to public. We need to draft the laws in the presence of CSO representatives which will not contradict among three tiers and creates conducive environment for effective functioning of CSOs across the country.