Nepal to Be First Multiparty Project
Following years of conflict, Nepal is moving forward in its effort to democratize. The leaders of all the six major parties have agreed to be part of a project to develop the capacity of the parties to deliver what the citizens demand, and the Board has allocated 3,5 million DKK for the first two-year period.
The overall objective of this joint donor and political party initiative, which has a five-ten year perspective, is to enhance the capacity of political parties in Nepal in order to consolidate multi-party democracy and enhance the effectiveness of the political system.
The formal title of the project is: JOMPOPS – Joint Mechanism for Political Party Support in Nepal. JOMPOPS will strive to achieve a situation, where culture and practices in political parties have become more democratic, inclusive, accountable and transparent (immediate objective).
The JOMPOPS-support to political parties will be based on the following basic principles, which are reflected in the agreed Concept Note:
- Eligibility: JOMPOPS will support all parties represented in the CA/Legislature-Parliament that wish to commit themselves to full participation and to the democratic process.
- Individualized: The support for one party is not necessarily useful for another. Therefore, most of the JOMPOPS-support will be tailor-made to fit individual needs of the parties.
- Multifaceted: The support should cover a range of topics related to the strengthening of political parties, recognizing that not all parties start at the same level or have the same perspectives or needs.
- Inclusiveness: The participation of party members in various activities, supported by JOMPOPS, will be inclusive. The Steering Committee will adopt a set of general selection criteria.
- Consultative: Design and implementation of the support will be arranged through a consultative process between the political parties and independent experts.
- Transparency and accountability: JOMPOPS will live up to the highest transparency and accountability standards with regard to allocation of resources and program management.
Within the first 2-year project period, the specific results expected, would include, but would not necessarily be limited to:
JOMPOPS well established with a responsible Steering Committee, which makes decisions, based on consensus, in a collaborative and constructive working environment and a Secretariat with an Executive Director, which manages the day-to-day implementation of JOMPOPS in an effective and accountable manner.
Six to nine technical modules (role of political parties in a democracy; leadership and communication skills; party development at sub-national levels; intra-party democracy and decision-making; inclusiveness and representation within parties; party financing and accountability; policy development; etc) have been developed by national and international service providers contracted by JOMPOPS and presented to the participating political parties.
Based on an expert-facilitated self-assessment by individual parties, tailor-made, needs-based capacity development packages, which includes one or more of the technical modules, have been designed by at least six participating parties and implementation of the package has started in at least four parties during the first 2 years.
A “quick win”-initiative has been identified, prepared, and implemented in six participating parties, enhancing their capacity in a specific, high-priority area.
It is proposed that the DIPD-support for JOMPOPS is both technical and financial. It is foreseen that Danish political parties – perhaps in association with sister-parties in England, Canada, and in other Nordic countries – could assist the international Technical Service Provider (TSP), which will be contracted by JOMPOPS, to develop (and this is just one example) the Technical Module on “Party development at sub-national levels” with a “Local Party Chapter”-component, which will enhance the capacity of local chapters of political parties. The LPC-component would focus on some or all of the following elements:
- How best to engage party members in policy development and organizational tasks
- How best to strengthen the interaction between local chapter members and the elected representatives of the Party in the Parliament and in sub-national representative bodies
- How best to strengthen the linkages between local chapters and central organs of the parties (central committee, general assembly, party-secretariat) as well as sister organizations (youth wing, student and trade union movements, etc.)
- How best to organize an effective election campaign at the local level
- How best to attract new members and activists to the party
- How best to strengthen democratic practices and promote accountability in the management of local party chapters
- How best to modernize systems and procedures related to the management of local chapters to make them effective and transparent and enhance accountability of local party chapter leaders
- How best parties at the local level can interact constructively with the state to influence the allocation of resources (block grants) at the local level and monitor the quality of public services provided.
The list above is not exhaustive, but rather illustrative for the kind of elements, which could be built into this “Local Party Chapter”-component of the technical module on party development at the local level.
It is furthermore proposed that DIPD and Danish political parties would be directly involved in the delivery of the technical assistance foreseen under the LPC-component described above. Danish politicians with excellent communication (in English) and facilitation skills –- and with practical experience from local chapters of Danish parties – would be well positioned to make useful contributions to the development of local chapters of parties in Nepal, provided that they are willing to invest in understanding the local context under which parties operate in Nepal.
At a little later stage within the project period, local chapters of Danish political parties may also be able to host carefully selected groups of local Nepali politicians, who may make short visits to Denmark to undergo well planned, expert-led programs of learning and experience sharing.