Policies in Nepal are generally formulated by the government of Nepal either through legislative process or through bureaucratic process. While there are existing guidelines on how policies are formulated, general citizens have very little knowledge about how they are carried out in reality. Hence, Niti Foundation aims to look at how policies are formulated by using case studies of two acts that are formulated by the legislature and two policies that are formulated by government officials. Niti will use democratic framework, which basically consist of issues of representation, implementation and accountability, for policymaking to identify existing policy blockages and challenges in Nepal and hopes to initiate policy reform activities in Nepal. For legislative policy making process, Niti is partnering with Nepal Law Society (NLS) – a society of law professionals and for bureaucratic policy making process, Niti is partnering with Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC) – the only institution that provides training to government officials.
Besides, elected officials and government official, policies are also highly influenced by people and organizations outside the government. Niti is also conducting a study on how these non-state actors influence Nepal’s policy making process.
- Bureaucratic Policy making processNiti Foundation has partnered with Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC) – the only institution that provides training to government officials – to study the policy making process of two specific policies. The first one is the Climate change policy prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology, and the second is the Hydropower policy carried out the Ministry of Energy.Analysis of bureaucratic policy making process will map out the process to identify gaps and challenges in representation, implementation and accountability in the policy making process. Basically, the study will look at who are involved in the policy making process, whether the policy is implementable and whether the policy actors are accountable to the citizens at large. Based on the analysis Niti will prepare a revised policy making guideline for the Government of Nepal.
The potential use of this study will be in improving the current policy making process and in building capacity of the government officials to design policies using democratic process.
- Legislative policy making processNiti Foundation has partnered with Nepal Law Society (NLS) – a society of law professionals – to study two specific policies. The two acts to be analyzed are yet to be identified.Analysis of legislative policy making process will map out the process to identify gaps and challenges in representation, implementation and accountability in the policy making process. Based on the analysis Niti will prepare a revised policy making guideline for the Government of Nepal.
- Non electoral representation in policy processFor non-electoral representation in policy process, Niti is looking at how non-state actors are influencing public policies. Niti is specifically looking at the following three policies:
- The first policy that Niti is looking at is the sustainable development policy. To carry out this study Niti has partnered with ISET-Nepal, an organization which has been extensively work experience in environmental issues.The background to this study comes from a national seminar organized by the Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology and National Planning Commission on September 3, 2012 entitled Sustainable Development: Growth, Equity, and Sustainability. Niti and ISET-Nepal supported this event that involved wide numbers of stakeholders representing, government, political parties, national users’ groups, professional organizations etc. This study on non-electoral representation will involve policy dialogues at grass root level to see whether the claims made by local citizens are reflected in national level dialogues.
- The other policy that Niti is studying is the Hydropower Development Action Plan, where the government has declared energy emergency for next four years. In a plan to address the existing load shedding or the darkness in the country, the study on non-electoral representation will look at how citizens’ voices have been represented in the plan. This study is being carried out by an investigative journalist.
- The third issue is the scarcity of fertilizers. In a country where more than 75% of the population workforce is in agriculture, the government could not provide sufficient fertilizers to the farmers in the months of June/July 2012. Despite having a huge scarcity of fertilizers that affected majority of the population, the institutions that represented the farmers, e.g. agriculture cooperatives, agriculture associations, rarely spoke anything about the scarcity. This study on non-electoral representation will analyze why such institutions which claim to represent the farmers were reticent about this national scarcity of fertilizers. This study is also being carried out by an investigative journalist.