ADB, UNDP sign landmark agreement to enhance reforms in local level governance

Dec 2, 2009

ADB, UNDP sign landmark agreement to enhance reforms in local level governance

2 December 2009, Kathmandu - The Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed two Memoranda of Understanding for Administrative Arrangements to support the reform efforts of the Government of Nepal in local level governance. With a total of USD 381,000 from ADB, the two instruments focus on: (i) expanding the outreach of UNDP's ongoing Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE) Programme to four municipalities (i.e., Birganj, Butwal, Dharan and Dhangadhi), and (ii) initiating new methods of supporting service delivery for marginalized groups.

The additional funds for increasing the role of the private sector in selected municipalities will allow UNDP/PPPUE to support them to increase their own-source revenues and provide services more effectively and efficiently. The project will support the efforts of the municipalities to foster greater linkages with the private sector and fund viable small scale projects.

The funds for new initiatives in service delivery are provided by the Australian Government through the AusAID-ADB Development Partnership Facility for South Asia ' and will be used for recruiting and placing 25 national women volunteers within selected local bodies of Nepal (including municipalities) through the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Program. The volunteers will primarily work with relevant women's ' and other disadvantaged ' groups at the local level to ensure effective service delivery, and help conduct social audits and citizen report card surveys as well as monitor the results. They will also ensure participation of the private sector in small-scale projects with the municipalities.

During the signing ceremony, the Asian Development Bank Country Director for Nepal, Mr. Barry Hitchcock said, 'ADB is keen to work with interested development partners in supporting local governance reforms in Nepal. As the country moves towards a federal form of governance, it is necessary that greater focus be placed on providing more effective service delivery at all levels of local government, including municipalities'.
UNDP Country Director Ms. Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau stated, 'We are very pleased at this landmark agreement between the ADB and UNDP and we look forward to seeing improvements in the delivery of basic services through the expansion of Public Private Partnerships.'

Ongoing in 10 municipalities, since its inception in 2002, PPPUE has been playing the role of facilitator and technical advisor to bring municipalities and the private sector together in areas such as improving drinking water, sanitation and solid waste management, and helping municipalities set the standards and procedures for procurement of private sector expertise and resources. It has been providing training in producing business plans, procuring goods and services, and other similar areas to the focal points of the municipalities, private operators, and members of the community. PPPUE has been instrumental in influencing macro policies by contributing to the PPP toolkit, policy papers, guidelines, and supporting the Government and other stakeholders to incorporate PPPs in national plans, policies, and regulatory provisions.

PPPUE's main partners in this project implementation are the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and the Municipal Association of Nepal (MUAN). It is expected that the FNCCI, MUAN, local business people, community organizations, and others will benefit from their direct participation in PPPs and from capacity building support provided by the project.

Contact information

For more information please contact, Development Communications Officer, UNDP Nepal, 00-977-1-5523200/1077

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