TI-Nepal recognizes that the challenges posed by corruption in Nepal are constantly changing and pursuing ‘Organizational Development’ ensures that its Executive Committee, Membership and Secretariat are best positioned to meet those challenges. The strategy emphasizes the need to retain institutional memory and capitalize on its valuable experience in order to ensure the sustainability of the institution and its programs.
The 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of TI-Nepal was held in Kathmandu on September 26, 2014, with 43 of the 62 members present. The meeting concluded by electing member Bharat Bahadur Thapa as the new President. President elect Thapa had completed his tenure as the Secretary General of TI Nepal at the 19th AGM. The AGM also elected eight Executive Committee (Board) members. The Annual Progress Report and the Audited Financial Report were both presented and unanimously approved by the meeting. Thereafter, among the elected members, Geeta Keshari was nominated as Vice President, Mukunda Bahadur Pradhan as Secretary General and Padmini Pradhananga as Treasurer of TI-Nepal. Former President Bishnu Bahadur K.C. was invited by the Board to become advisor to retain his expertise. The EC met 8 times to provide policy input to TI- Nepal work. Under the leadership of President Bharat Bahadur Thapa and support of Board members, it has provided needed impetus to give the anti-corruption movement a national outlook.
On August 20, 2015, TI-Nepal observed its 20th anniversary in the presence of NIS stakeholders by felicitating its founders. In the event, each founder present – Komal Chitracar, Hem Bahadur Bista, Dr. Posh Raj Pandey, Radheshyam Adhikari, Daman Nath Dhungana, Damodar Prasad Gautam, Tanka Prasad Karki and Prof. Prayag Raj Sharma – was honored with a TI logo engraved red scarf as a memento and token of appreciation. Two longest serving (15 years of service) staff, Admin Officer Dina Nath Bhattarai and Finance Officer Babita Sharma, and Senior Program Officer Rajeev Kunwar (innovative winner of TI strategy name contest) were also honored with the red scarves. During the event a letter from TI Chair Jose Ugaz was read out. Jose appreciated TI-Nepal for the impetus in fighting corruption and impunity in the country. Congratulatory remarks were deliberated by Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal, Hon’ble Chief of Public Service Commission and Cultural Expert and Chief Guest Satya Mohan Joshi. Considering that ‘anti-corruption’ was strongly perceived to be the prerogative of the government during the early nineties, the far sightedness of the founding members, who initiated civil society work against corruption two decades ago, is highly commendable.
An interaction program was organized in Dhulikhel on March 26-27, 2015 bringing 25 TI-Nepal members in one platform to reflect on its Strategic Plan, implementation aspects and future interventions. Founder of TI Nepal, Dr. Devendra Raj Panday and the former Chief Commissioner of CIAA and member, Surya Nath Upadhaya made key-note speeches on the prevailing context. They highlighted the need of greater activism considering the credibility of TI-Nepal and its membership. In the program, board members presented progress made till date and members provided valuable suggestions on issues that needed immediate attention in the current political and social context. The event provided a platform for members to reflect and provide feedback on the focus areas of the strategic plan.
TI-Nepal continued to exchange personnel between the South Asian National Chapters of TI under the South-South Asia Exchange Program. During 2014-15, the 7th round of exchange of personnel between TI-Nepal, TI- Bangladesh and TI-India took place. Khursheed Alam from TI- Bangladesh and Pankaj Kumar from TI-India were stationed at TI-Nepal, worked with the ALAC DP and BNIN programs and provided valuable contributions in research, monitoring and RTI endeavors. Jwala Bhatt from TI-Nepal was stationed at TI-Bangladesh and worked on research and policy, procurement and warehousing, field level research and advocacy, and primary communications processes.
On August 2015 (Phase 8) TI-Nepal, TI-India and TI-Bangladesh exchanged 5 fellows among themselves. TI-Nepal program officer Emojani Shrestha and Intern Samrat Rayamajhi are stationed at TI-India and TI-Bangladesh to learn about the flagship program of TI-India and TI-Bangladesh’s grass root level advocacy, respectively. Two fellows from TI-Bangladesh, Md. Rabiul Islam and Neena S. Nahar are stationed at TI-Nepal to assist in research works. The exchanges have bonded valuable experiences against corruption at the South Asian level.
ORIENTATION AND TRAINING
TI-Nepal focuses on capacity building of its partner organizations to ensure that anti corruption values and practices are institutionalized within the NGOs. In this regard, orientation and training programs were held in Rautahat and Kathmandu with an objective to train the program officers and representatives of AOs involved with the BNIN program. Rautahat orientation on December 29-31, 2015 included RTI, grievance collection and a mobile ALAC conducted in the premise of the District Administration Office and District Development Committee in Gaur. Refreshers’ training on June24-25, 2015 focused on equipping the partner organization representatives with knowledge and tools to carry out BNIN activities at the district level. Resource persons and experts trained the participants on NGO management, Good Governance Act, RTI Act, Mobile ALAC, media mobilization, research, public service delivery and peer facilitator training tools. In addition, discussions on BNIN program planning, reporting, administrative and financial matters were also held. The training and workshops for partner organizations enhance their capacities to carry out anti corruption activities effectively and on a regular basis.
TI-Nepal continued to receive a number of internship requests from both national and international students keen on gaining hands on experience on governance issue. During the year, TI-Nepal selected six interns from a pool of applicants, with two national and four international students. Hutta Raj Adhikari from Shankar Dev Campus, Nawaraj K.C. from Patan College, Helen Manan from Bangladesh, Fernando Jonatan Suarez-Palomino from Eberhard Karls University, Germany, Amina Waltham from Pennsylvania State University, USA, and Anjali Shrestha, a recent graduate from Syracuse University, USA interned at TI-Nepal. Interns learned about the anti-corruption initiatives carried out by TI-Nepal and depending on their field of study and expertise, contributed directly to the targeted activities of the organization. Internships bring in a much needed third eye perspective in day-to day works of TI-Nepal.
As in previous years, the Board and staff of TI-Nepal participated in a wide variety of international events, designed to learn from international experiences and best practices.
Kamal Pokhrel, Deputy Executive Director, participated in a three day TI workshop, ‘Speak-Up Asia’, September 4-6, 2014, at Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The program provided a forum for strategic discussions to build capacities of national chapter staff on case work, strategic advocacy and learning.
Binod Bhattarai, Program Officer, participated in a two-day TI workshop “ALAC Database Management,” December 8-10, 2014 at Berlin, Germany. The program focused on effective management of grievances received via ALAC Hotline.
President Bharat Bahadur Thapa, Executive Director Ashish Thapa, Finance Officer Babita Sharma and Program Officer Nisha Aryal visited TI-Bangladesh from January 12-16, 2015 to learn about TIB activities and interventions. They also called upon the chief commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Bangladesh, Honorary Md. Badiuzzaman and discussed about corruption in the country. Md. Badiuzzaman informed that ACC Bangladesh was reviewing the Good Governance Act of Nepal to explore the possibility of its replication in Bangladesh. On January 14 and 15, the visiting members participated in the South-South Exchange program review organized in collaboration with Fredskorpset Norway.
Treasurer Padmini Pradhananga participated in the “International Conference on Transnational Corruption” organized by TI-India in partnership with the Centre for Transparency and Accountability in Governance at the National Law University, Delhi, on March 24-25, 2015. Pradhananga was amongst the select panelists at the conference that consisted of seven technical sessions and 34 paper presentations.
Finance Officer Babita Sharma, Program Officer Nisha Aryal, Exchange fellows Jwala Bhatt, Emojani Shrestha and Samrat Rayamajhi attended the South-South exchange meeting and Homecoming seminar in Bangkok, Thailand during, July 29-31, 2015. At the meeting TI-Nepal, TI-India, TI-Bangladesh and TI-Sri Lanka shared their experiences on exchanging fellows. Fellows shared their experiences, lessons learned and the challenges faced during their stay at the host country. In addition, the program also reflected on the challenges that partners face while hosting participants and the results achieved through the exchange. New fellows, before going to their respective host countries, were provided a 12 day training, that focused primarily in cross–cultural communication, health and safety, and working in a new environment.
TI-Nepal President Bharat Bahadur Thapa, General Secretary Mukunda Bahadur Pradhan and Program Coordinator Mohan Budhathoki attended the IACC (International Anti-Corruption Conference) 2015 during September 2-4, 2015 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. IACC 2015 was jointly hosted by the Government of Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Malaysian Society for Transparency and Integrity (TI Malaysia). Prior to the IACC, President Thapa also attended the Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) of Transparency International which was held in the same city.
Visits are an opportunity to exchange ideas with other leaders of TI movement. Lessons learnt from international visits help to bring in new ideas and new partnerships.
For institutional sustainability, an endowment fund was created by TI-Nepal a few years back. The fund is topped off annually through savings and contributions. At the end of f/y 2014/15, total savings stood at around NPR 15 Million, including the endowment and accumulated funds. In addition, TI-Nepal has office equipments, vehicles and other assets to assist its operation. This has provided the organization an avenue of sustainability.