UNDP supports training of 64 new women VDC Secretaries among others
Nirmaya Ban, the Village Development Committee (VDC) Secretary of Piple, Tehrathum says, “People still think that women do not have the skills required to work as a VDC Secretary. I faced a lot of challenges in my work as my senior officials and even some of my junior colleagues did not believe that I could handle the pressure that comes with this position,” during the recent training provided by the Local Governance Community Development Programme (LGCDP).
There are 81 women Secretaries out of the total 3,915 positions for Village Development Committee level — the lowest tier of the government body. With the absence of elected government for almost a decade, the villages of Nepal suffer from untimely delivery of services. The rural people are disconnected from central level policies and planning. LGCDP has been strengthening the capacity of the local institutions such as the Ward Citizens’ Forum, Village Development Committees and District Development Committees for better delivery of services and more accountability. Having more women as Secretaries at the Village Development Committee level is a leap progress from gender perspective and a move towards more inclusive participatory decision making process at the local level.
- For the first time in the history of Nepal, a significant number of women are in the position of VDC secretaries.
- In addition to providing local governance training, LGCDP has worked to make local government bodies more accountable by formulating Citizens Awareness Centres and Ward Citizens Forums in all villages and municipalities of Nepal.
As part of strengthening the capacity of local level institutions, LGCDP recently provided technical support to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development with UNDP funding, to organise a basic training for all the VDC secretaries in the five development regions of Nepal. There were 718 participants including 64 new women Village Development Committee Secretaries who received a 4-day comprehensive training on planning, monitoring, financial management, reporting, block grant allocations etc.. The training was facilitated by the government’s Local Development Training Academy.
Nirmaya Ban further says, “This basic training is supposed to be provided after the selection of VDC Secretaries and prior to joining the post, but it does not always happen so. I have found the government’s official procedure to be very process-oriented. I was finding it difficult to executemy responsibilities without my prior experience in the administrative area and without adequate support and mentoring from my seniors. This training has been helpful for me as it has helped me to think in a new angle and get knowledge about some important issues required for inclusive development. Now I am clearer about my role as the Secretary of a Village Development Committee.”
LGCDP began in 2008 and is the first nationwide integrated support programme for local government implemented in all the District Development Committees, Village Development Committees and Municipalities of Nepal. The UN Joint Programme of Support to LGCDP began in 2009 (now with 6 UN agencies) to provide technical and capacity building support to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development. UNDP administers this UN Joint Programme.