Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) organised a 7-day regional programme orientation and planning workshop for Community Development Programme (CDP) project staff on 2-8 November in Nepalgunj. The project team was informed of the details of the project, consortium partners World Food Programme (WFP), Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and RRN, which is the main implementing organisation. Similarly, the workshop has formulated the annual plan of actions in order to implement the CDP in nine Mid and Far-Western districts.

Making opening remarks Mr Arun Dhoj Adhikari, Executive Director of RRN, said that CDP is not an extension of CSP but a different one. Mr Tom Wingfield, Head of DFID Nepal’s Governance and Service Delivery Team mentioned that CDP supports the objectives of LGCDP in poorest and most challenging contexts. Further, he said CDP attempts to address the challenges of economic transformation, lack coherence, and multiple-accountability.

Mr Madan Acharya, LGCDP Regional Coordinator based in Nepalgunj, wished for the success of the orientation and emphasised the importance of coordination and collaboration for implementation of CDP. He also made a presentation on LGCDP I, LGCDP II and how CDP contributes to LGCDP II which he said is necessary to institutionalise, strengthen, expand and harmonise the achievements and efforts on local governance and community development.

Mr Arun Dhoj Adhikari, Executive Director of RRN presented the policy frameworks on local governance and stressed that little actions and interventions at the local level need to be connected to and contribute to the realisation of bigger goals while seeking greater coherence at the local level.

RRN Senior Advisor Dr Sarba Raj Khadka requested the CDP team to work effectively and honestly based on organisational policies, principles, credos and strategies.

Introducing CDP, Programme Manager Mr Kul Chandra Dahal mentioned that governance strengthening, harmonisation, coherence and integration, adherence to 14 step planning process, non-state led government programme, and within and contributing to the LGCDP framework are some key features of CDP.

All the consortium partners RRN, WFP and OPM were introduced and their roles and contributions in the project were discussed.

During the orientation period, the CDP programme team presented and discussed various aspects of the project and how it will be implemented at the central, regional and district levels in order to achieve the planned outputs and outcomes. Relevant documents and guidelines were shared and discussed. Some of the outcomes of the orientation meeting are the startup plan, district-wise annual plan for the current year and VDC selection guideline which was presented on the last day’s meeting with LDOs of the 9 hill/mountain project districts.

Likewise, Ms Meenu Hada, who represented WFP, introduced WFP and shed light on its roles on supporting for local level development plans formulation. Likewise, OPM team led by Dr Sanjay Acharya introduced OPM as well as roles and contributions of OPM to the achievement of CDP outcomes. They shared the baseline survey questionnaire and introduced how Management Information System (MIS) for CDP operates. OPM will mainly contribute to monitoring and evaluation of the project.

The orientation and planning workshop concluded amidst a special function chaired by Mr Bandhu Prasad Bastola, Under Secretary, NGO Facility in Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development. All the Local Development Officers (LDOs) from the 9 mountain/hill districts, all the consortium partners and RRN/CDP team were present in the closing. Key elements of the project and VDC selection guidelines were shared to the LDOs who have provided their valuable inputs and have expressed their commitments to support CDP.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Senior Advisor for RRN Dr Sarba Raj Khadka mentioned that CDP will be implemented under the leadership of MoFALD. Chair of the closing ceremony Mr Bastola said that CDP has software focus in LGCDP and so we should not be very ambitious about the outcomes. Stating that CDP is a part of LGCDP and CDP staff are like the staff of local bodies, he requested all the LDOs to take ownership of the programme and support for the implementation in their respective districts. He suggested District Coordinators of CDP to work closely with DDC, LDOs and Programme Officers and report regularly.

On behalf of the LDOs, Mr Tikaram Gyawali, LDO for Kalikot district pointed out the challenges in working in the districts and VDCs. Particularly in the case of remote mountain districts, small resources are likely to bring little changes. However, he added, awareness and capacity building programmes as focused by CDP will bring slow but lasting changes in the society. Having mentioned the need of support on periodic plan preparation, he suggested to follow the periodic plans while developing annual plans. Coordination and collaboration with local organisations and their programmes are necessary.

The Community Development Programme (CDP) is a part of the Non-State Led Service Delivery Component of DFID’s Nepal Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGCDP) and is funded by UKaid. RRN as a lead organisation along with the consortium partners – United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxford Policy Management (OPM) has officially commenced the CDP from January 07, 2015.

CDP is closely aligned to the objectives of LGCDP and will support the LGCDP policy framework with the overall aim of reducing poverty. As a complementary component of LGCDP the CDP approach aims to ensure local government systems are more capable, through intensified support for 18 districts (Saptari, Sunsari, Siraha, Dhanusa, Mahotari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara and Parsa of Eastern and Central regions and Achham, Kalikot, Jajarkot, Jumla, Dolpa, Bajhang, Bajura, Mugu and Humla of Mid and Far-Western regions) that have been identified as having particular problems delivering services due to a range of factors including that of poor governance, political interference, remoteness, and insecurity.

>> Click here to see photographs of the workshop.