Examining the progresses made and challenges faced, with room for suggestions, UNDP and its partner organizations got together to discuss its Country Programme Document (2018-2022).

The first annual progress review of UNDP’s Country Programme Document (CPD) (2018-2022) took place on 11 September 2019 at Singha Durbar. At the meeting, partner organizations urged UNDP to focus more on accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) localization process while keeping the federal structure in mind.

Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Shree Krishna Nepal, highlighted the government’s initiatives in the localization of the SDGs, and its collaboration with UNDP in preparing the document “Need assessments, costing and financing strategy”, and baseline report for Province 5 for provinces in pipeline. He also emphasized on the strong need to think innovatively regarding resource mobilization and the participation of different sectors, including the private sphere, in order to achieve the SDGs. Furthermore, Nepal insisted on resources being channelled to local governments in order to localize the SDGs, according to the roles and responsibilities outlined in the constitution.

Appreciating UNDP’s contributions towards Gender and Social Inclusion and Disaster Risk Reduction, Bharat Raj Paudyal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged UNDP to mobilize more resources towards poverty reduction and hardware component like employment generation education and infrastructures. . He also suggested disclosing the recently conducted evaluations and audits in order to measure the progress made.

That UNDP has been working hard for policy coherence across the three pillars of the CPD was highlighted by Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé, Resident Representative, UNDP. Medagangoda-Labé  stressed on poverty reduction being UNDP’s goal and expressed a desire to more convincingly demonstrate UNDP’s work towards poverty reduction. In terms of SDG localization acceleration, she highlighted the activities that have taken place at the federal level, including the roll out of the Provincial and Local Governance Support Programme (PLGSP).

Woojin Sim, Education Specialist at KOICA, enquired about the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the CPD and how they would help meet the SDGs.

The importance of efficiency and coordination was highlighted by Vivian Opsvik, First Secretary - Governance Adviser, Royal Norwegian Embassy. Opsvik stressed on the significance of a systematic and collaborative process to ensure that projects between the Government of Nepal and development partners provide added-value to each other.

Information about UNDP’s experience and challenges in the field in terms of SDG implementation was requested by Dhruba Raj Regmi, Under Secretary, Ministry of Education, while highlighting the role of renewable energy, Dr. Narayan Adhikari, National Project Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, called for additional funding and technical support for renewable energy at the sub-national level.

Dr. Narayan Raj Poudel, National Project Director, Facilitating the Pursuit of SDGs in Nepal,  identified the financial gaps and resources required for SDG implementation. “There are several difficulties that are related to SDG localization, including the limited availability of disaggregated data,” he said.  Rafeeqque Siddiqui, Head of UNDP Field Office, Surkhet, too mentioned the lack of accurate and updated data, a matter that had previously been brought up by Medagangoda-Labé  as well. “Another challenge is related to the integration of the SDGs in local government planning processes,” he added.

Bhoj Raj Sapkota, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, raised issues related to post-harvest losses, which, he said, are not adequately addressed by the project. He also suggested support from the Ministry of Finance in bringing future projects on-budget, even if they remain off-treasury.

Focusing on the issue of human rights, Bed Prasad Bhattarai, Secretary, National Human Rights Commission-Nepal (NHRC), requested UNDP and other development partners to provide additional support for promoting human rights through partnerships with the NHRC.

Matters of concern were brought up by Kalaniddhi Devkota and Niraj Bag. Citing the SDG Needs Assessment, Costing and Financing Strategy as an example, Kalaniddhi Pokharel from the Municipal Association of Nepal, expressed reservations about UNDP’s work not completely aligning with the new federal structure. Similarly, questions related to the Nepali youth were brought up by Niraj Bag, a representative from civil society organisations, who enquired about UNDP’s strategies in promoting youth employability and entrepreneurship.

The overall progress of UNDP was presented by Bernardo Cocco, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP. Cocco highlighted the broader development context, which showed the notable progress in the implementation of the constitution, including the federalization and operationalization of the three levels of government. He focused on UNDP’s progress in SDG localization, including policy and institutional support in developing the approach paper for the 15th plan, technical assistance and federalism capacity needs assessment. He also pointed out other achievements of the cluster.

The Country Programme Document is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022, which collectively captures and guides the UN’s contribution in Nepal. UNDP contributes approximately 30 per cent of UNDAF’s total resources. The CPD was approved by the UNDP Executive Board in September 2017 and is nationally owned, following the close involvement of the Government of Nepal and other national stakeholders in the process of developing the CPD. Cocco also provided the resource snapshot of the CPD implementation, which includes a budget of USD 25.21 million, an expenditure of USD 21.32 million as of 2018 and a total budget of 209 million for 5 years.

At the meeting, a video on disaster risk reduction and response to climate change (https://youtu.be/_e8e6PvAbWY) was shown as one of UNDP’s major works in the sector.

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