‘Sectoral Focus’ concentrates on the integrity of Nepal’s public sector and its services to citizens. TI-Nepal has several important sectoral focuses, including public service delivery, research, and raising public awareness. With the objectives of making all stakeholders conscious of efficiency in public service delivery, urging the providers to be sincere in their duty, benefitting them through research findings, and engaging the stakeholders in comprehensive public awareness, TI-Nepal carried out several activities.
Anti-corruption campaigns are successful when awareness amongst the people on an issue is raised to a certain level. Keeping this in mind, TI-Nepal has been using various awareness tools: newsletters, radio messages, jingles, brochures, stickers, pamphlets, calendars, note books, posters, hoarding boards and publications. The aim is to disseminate information to empower citizens to demand accountability and integrity in society. Currently messages are disseminated using various media outlets in Kathmandu and 20 districts to bring people closer in the movement against corruption. Messages appeal to the people to contact the TI-Nepal hotline 166022211 or affiliated organizations in case they face any problem in public service delivery. The campaign has given TI-Nepal a public face as an organization leading the fight against corruption
Under BNIN and ALAC DP program, TI-Nepal initiated six studies on: Integrity System, Public service delivery, Public procurement, Budgetary System, Good Governance Act and Satisfaction Survey. Most of the studies were undertaken by independent consultants on behalf of TI-Nepal. TI-Nepal advisory teams provided feedback on the draft reports.
National Integrity Study (NIS): To gain a deeper understanding of integrity in the key institutions of Nepal, the study examines 12 national level pillars from Executive to civil society. Led by senior journalist Rama Krishna Regmee, it highlights key areas within the National Integrity System that needs improvement, and gives policy-makers and lobbyists a clear picture of the issues facing the country. Preliminary findings suggest mediocre NIS in Nepal and lackluster performance of oversight bodies. The draft report is currently being updated to include the latest political developments.
A survey on Public Service Delivery (PSD): To understand the PSD problems at the district level and develop a targeted advocacy program to reduce identified gaps, a household survey on public service delivery has been completed with Project Research and Engineering Associate (PRENA) as Consultant. The survey maps service delivery at the district level to provide an important baseline in nine selected BNIN program districts. Preliminary results suggest that service delivery is poor, filled with red-tape, and mistrust of the government grievance redressal system.
Integrity Pact plan in public enterprises: A study on Integrity Pact plan in public enterprises has been completed with Scott Wilson Nepal Pvt. Ltd. as consultant. Main findings of the study include, inability of the PPMO to monitor public procurement, loss to the exchequer due to malpractices, among others. The study suggests the introduction of the Integrity Pact (IP) in Public Enterprises for integrity in public procurement. The report is currently being studied for discussions with the government.
A survey of the budget formulation process: The study was undertaken by Molung Foundation as consultant, and Madhav P. Ghimire, former secretary, GoN, as the lead researcher. The study has identified key areas of allocation of public funds for a more transparent budgeting process tailored to the needs. The study states that the budget formulation is more process oriented than following public finance ethos and with erratic changes in allocations. The report is under TI-Nepal review.
Good Governance Act Study: The study was initiated to identify weaknesses inherent in the Good Governance Act Nepal 2064. Former Education Minister Madhav Prasad Poudel, conducted a study examining the improvements needed in the Act. A report has been submitted, which TI-Nepal intends to use as a tool for advocacy with the government.
Public Service Delivery Satisfaction Survey: To gauge public perceptions and experiences on corruption in the service delivery of the Government of Nepal, a “Satisfaction Survey 2014” was carried out in six districts where the ALACDP program is implemented. According to the survey, majority of the respondents acknowledged that government institutions have to be effective in providing services but the role of these institutions are neither effective nor ineffective. In addition, 36% considered government offices to be the most corrupt institution, while about one fourth indicated politics to be the main cause of corrupt practices. The study has been published as a booklet.
These studies will enable TI-Nepal to carry out evidence based advocacy and demand authorities to make sustainable reforms that promote governance in the country. TI-Nepal intends to summarize the main issues related to the reports and submit its recommendation to the government.
TI Nepal’s Nepali Newsletter ‘Paradarshi’ and the English Bulletin ‘Capsule’ were published regularly, disseminating important information to stakeholders. The publications provide a quick glimpse of TIN activities at the national and local level. Copies were dispatched to TI Chapters, Members, AOs and other concerned stakeholders, including the government. The publications are also a feature of distribution in TI-Nepal events and sought out by stakeholders as an information tool.
VISITS TO EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATED DISTRICTS
To assess the post-earthquake scenario and observe the relief distribution system, TI-Nepal teams visited three districts hit hardest by the April earthquake, Bhaktapur, Dhading and Dolakha during May-September 2015. The teams led by President Thapa, held meetings with the concerned offices, including the district administration office of each district, to draw their attention to public grievances relating to malpractices in relief distribution. To follow up on the meetings, public grievances were facilitated through the operation of mobile clinics by partners. Based on the initial observation, TI Nepal is currently contemplating a long term program to monitor earthquake reconstruction efforts of the government.
GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL HOTLINE
Public grievance redressal is one of TI-Nepal’s core sectoral approaches. The present environment demands an efficient platform where people can lodge complaints. To address this, TI-Nepal uses public appeal, a hotline and offices located in each of the 21 districts of ALAC DP and BNIN programs, and the Secretariat at Kathmandu. The modality of redressal is a thorough examination of the complaint by TI-Nepal’s legal team, followed by verifying facts and supporting documents, and finally contacting the concerned office to draw attention to cases. During September 2014- August 2015, TI-Nepal and its ALAC DP and BNIN affiliated organizations in various districts received around 3500 public contacts. The grievances primarily dealt with service delays, misuse of budget, and other malpractices in the education, health, administrative, land and others sectors. The victims were provided legal consultations and grievances taken up for necessary redress. In most cases, TI-Nepal intervention acts as a catalyst, generally resulting in the rectification of the problems. Whenever problems persist, help is sought from the state or statutory anti-corruption body. These initiatives serve as an avenue for the public who have encountered corruption, undue delays, irregularities, and malpractices in various forms, to seek help and bring TI-Nepal to ground level activism.
CLIMATE FINANCE GOVERNANCE ACCOUNTABILITY
TI-Nepal organized a round table discussion on the theme of climate finance governance and accountability in Nepal on August 31, 2015. Participants included academicians, government officials, researchers and experts. The discussion was organized as a part of the SSE program based on lessons learnt by TI Nepal Exchange Fellow at TI Bangladesh. The program provided valuable insights on corruption in the climate financing sector for possible engagement of TI-Nepal in the accountability of climate aid.
CREATIVE ART MESSAGING
TI-Nepal has used a number of creative methods to support its advocacy efforts, cartoon being one of them. In collaboration with the Cartoonist Club Nepal a cartoon-calendar for the Nepali New Year 2072 was designed and produced. The calendar includes works from prominent cartoonists: Abin Shrestha, Rabindra Manandhar, Rajesh K.C. and Basu Kshitiz, among others. Cartoons vividly portray contemporary issues in comical satire, depicting the tendencies of high public officials, powerful politicians and rich businessmen towards corrupt practices rather than honest and transparent ones. The calendars with elements of anti-corruption messages are in popular demand, and the approach has proved to be appealing. The calendar has been distributed to partner organizations and government offices to promote creative messaging against corruption.