December 15-16, 2016, Kathmandu, Nepal
IGD jointly with AAN has been able to organize Conference on Participatory Democracy, during the previous constructive years beginning from 2012 to 2016 A.D. also to bring together the national and international academics and practitioners to share their knowledge and experiences on deepening democracy and enhancing participatory governance in Nepal. The exchanges of knowledge, national and international practices and experiences would contribute towards building a critical mass of people in strengthening participatory democracy and governance in Nepal. The Nepali state has arrived, civil society sectors, academia, media and even the political parties have realized the need to initiate, deepen and widen the discourse on alternative form of democracy.
At this backdrop, Institute for Governance and Development (IGD) and ActionAid Nepal (AAN) working together since 2012 A.D. to enhance participatory democracy through the Forum for Participatory Democracy. This year, the International Participatory Democracy Conference scheduled for December 15-16, 2016 in Kathmandu has been able successfully accomplished. This conference was fifth in a series of such conferences held during the previous years jointly organized by IGD and AAN. The conference had been creating a platform for deliberations on emerging critical issues of democracy and participation of perspective builders, scholars, advocates and practitioners of participatory democracy in consecutive years from within and abroad where experiences and practices were shared, cross-fertilized and even contested. The present national conference has been designed to deliberate on the thought provoking issues related to Democratic Transformation and Democratic Governance in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nepal fiscal federalism.
At this backdrop, the Annual Conference held on 17-18 December 2016, basically, focused on the issues bearing upon the restructuring and rejuvenation of local democratic governance consistent to the provision in the federal democratic constitution of Nepal with special reference to federal reorganization of the state. The effective management of the transfer of power from center to the subnational units especially local governments has been one of the challenges being faced in the process of navigation to federation. Needless to say, the constitution recognizes local government as the third important sphere of the government with constitutional allocation of competencies and functions. The conference was a step forward towards promoting participatory democracy discourse in Nepal. The evolution of a platform Forum for Participatory Democracy at nation level has been grounded to the subnational discourses.
IGD with valuable support of AAN agreed and stepped into host the annual conference to enhance the participatory democracy discourse in Nepal through the following initiatives:
The overall objective of the conference is to contribute towards the critical discourses around: