After more than a decade of armed civil conflict, a window of opportunity for peace and reconciliation in Nepal opened in 2006 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  Following elections in 2008, Nepal enacted a new constitution in 2015 that included a federal structure of government designed to devolve power and authority to 753 local governments and seven provinces.  To strengthen this nascent democracy, USAID promotes inclusive citizen participation and government effectiveness and accountability.

USAID's development partnership with Nepal has emphasized the importance of democratic values and a society that is inclusive of Nepal’s diversity.  After the cessation of Nepal’s armed conflict in 2006, USAID and the Government of Nepal’s (GON) Nepal Peace Trust Fund advanced the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and showed a durable path toward stability and reconciliation.  In 2015, after Nepal’s devastating earthquake, USAID supported accountability mechanisms for vulnerable populations in the planning and overall implementation of reconstruction efforts.  After the conclusion of Nepal’s second constitutional assembly, USAID continued to champion the successful negotiation of a new social compact in Nepal toward greater inclusion of marginalized communities through a new constitution forming the federal democratic republic of Nepal.  USAID continues to work with civil society and the government to strengthen the devolution of power, establish responsive provincial and local governments, and improve the meaningful inclusion of women and minority communities in the political process.

Strengthening the Integrity of Democratic Systems

USAID partners with the Government of Nepal (GoN) to support key institutions; the Election Commission, the Constituent Assembly, federal parliamentary legislative committees, political parties, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the general public to further Nepal’s transition to federalism. At the local level, USAID strengthens democratic systems for a robust civil society that is capable of government oversight, civic engagement and advocacy on behalf of citizen interests, including the political participation of women. 

Ensuring Equality for Women, Youth, and Marginalized Communities

USAID strengthens human rights leadership capacity to advocate for the rights of marginalized populations to local level planning processes. USAID supports the GoN and civil society to strengthen national and local efforts to improve CSO’s advocacy and engagement, and to increase private-sector partnerships to serve trafficking survivors and at-risk populations.  

Strengthening Citizen Demand for Democracy

With civil society partners and parliament, USAID activities developed 156 publicly consulted, evidence-based policies at the national and subnational levels on democracy and governance issues, including media, human rights, human trafficking, civil organization operations, right to information, accounting systems, COVID-19 response, and local government operations. USAID works with all levels of government to make it more effective in the face of corruption that threatens to undermine the democratic system.

Impact/Results

  • USAID supported the GON to develop 156  policies at the national and subnational levels on democracy and governance issues

  • USAID provided voter and civic education to 267,981 individuals, and trained 506 election officials on electoral tools and constitutional provisions.

  • USAID assisted the parliament’s electoral legal drafting of the  Election Law and Election Commission Bill.

  • USAID supported federal and provincial governments to operationalize their budget planning systems to improve accuracy and transparency.

  • USAID helped all 753 local governments to improve their budget planning, accounting, and reporting systems, training 1,862 officials to use the systems.

  • Ten local governments supported by USAID improved their institutional performance by an average of 10% over a baseline survey in their annual budget and planning process, service delivery, justice delivery, and social inclusion. 

  • USAID facilitated 261 public forums soliciting citizens’ input and assisted CSOs in 34 districts in preventing legislation that would restrict civic space, media freedoms, and freedom of expression. Increasing citizen confidence in civil society’s role as an advocate for their concerns. 

  • USAID implemented a Trafficking in Persons survivor support program where 873 victims received support services leading to their reintegration into society.

*Data from FY202

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