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Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

Image of woman learning how to fill out ballot in 2017 elections
International Foundation for Electoral Systems

After more than a decade of armed insurgency, a window of opportunity for peace and reconciliation in Nepal opened in 2006 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. After elections in 2008, Nepal enacted a new constitution in 2015. Strengthening this nascent democracy, USAID promotes citizen participation and government effectiveness and accountability. USAID helped more than 1.7 million people–more than 10 percent of eligible voters, most of whom were women and members of marginalized groups–register to vote for the first time in the last election, which saw a record 75 percent voter turnout.

At the national level, USAID supports government and political systems by assisting key institutions such as the Election Commission, the Constituent Assembly and political parties to become more democratic, inclusive and effective. At the local level, USAID helps communities to participate in development decision-making and foster linkages between citizens and their Village Development Committees and District Development Committees, as well as other local government entities. USAID’s Democracy and Governance programs also strengthen government response and non-governmental organization services for one of Nepal’s most vulnerable populations—Nepalis at high risk for human trafficking (sex, labor, and other) and the survivors of those crimes.

  • USAID supports an informal forum that creates a space for confidential dialogues, helping political parties to build trust and confidence. The Nepal Transition to Peace Forum is used extensively by the parties to negotiate compromises on challenges to the peace process.
  • USAID provided support to the Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Welfare in developing key policy documents, such as the National Minimum Standards for Victim Protection and the Standard Operating Procedure for Shelter Homes for human trafficking survivors. The NMS and SOP establish the policies and guidelines for victim protection and promote standardized services for trafficking in persons survivors.
  • In partnership with the Election Commission Nepal and United Nations, USAID has conducted ongoing voter education and voter registration for upcoming elections and has already registered more than 10 million voters and trained about 2,000 voter education trainers.

Last updated: April 16, 2018

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