Social Mobilisation in Local Governance and Community Development Programmes in Nepal

In Nepal, the Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGCDP) was implemented in two phases, the first from 2008 to 2013 and the second from 2013 to 2017. The overarching goal of the first phase of the programme (LGCDP I) was to ‘contribute towards poverty reduction through inclusive, responsive and accountable local governance and participatory community-led government that will ensure increased involvement of women and disadvantaged groups in the local governance process.’ Building the demand side of local governance was central to this goal, enabling citizens to have voice and engage with local governments to hold them accountable.

Social mobilisation was central to achieving this goal. The approach adopted was designed to rebuild and strengthen the citizen–state relationship in the post-armed conflict context in Nepal. It also sought to address the structural causes of inequalities face by economically marginalised and socially excluded groups.

The second phase of the programme (LGCDP II) saw a strengthening of the work with targeted groups and a greater focus on activities designed to improve their livelihood assets. This study of social mobilisation looks at social mobilisation as implemented under the two programmes. It then looks beyond the programmes’ closures to address the question as to whether there is a role for social mobilisation interventions in the new context of representative democracy, and what form that might take.

The paper arrives at six main findings:

  1. Social mobilisation under LGCDP and CDP has been a success.
  2. The Ward Citizen Forums (WCF) became a crucial institution.
  3. The Citizen Awareness Centres (CACs) have usually been a success for their members.
  4. The roles of the social mobilisers lack clarity.
  5. The role of the locally elected representatives remains unclear to many.
  6. Local civil society has an important contribution to make.

This assignment report was commissioned by DFID Nepal in collaboration with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), Government of Nepal.

Full title: A Study of Social Mobilisation in the Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGCDP) and the Community Development Programme (CDP) in Nepal

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