PRI hold the third round of interaction with policy experts
On 18 August 2021, PRI held an interaction amongst policy researchers and experts registered in the roster which PRI has been preparing as per Clause 17 of its Formation Order. In the roster are over 570 experts from different fields of public policymaking, including research, knowledge management, public advocacy and communication.
The meeting was held virtually as per PRI’s plan to organize a series of meetings to explore how the expertise in the roster can best be mobilized in policymaking and other related tasks. Around 95 experts (out of 120 invited) participated in the meeting and shared their ideas and perspectives for PRI’s consideration. The key points that have emerged from the interaction include the following.
- With the delay in enacting policies as per the constitutional spirit of the socialism-oriented polity, the federal system of governance has failed to deliver effectively. Federal and provincial governments are even at odds on some crucial governance issues. PRI should immediately research what prevents Nepal’s policy community from developing policies in the spirit of the constitution of Nepal.
- Policy inconsistency is a major problem besetting Nepal’s development. We have a bunch of good policies awaiting implementation. However, instead of implementing them, we rush to develop new policies every time there is a change of government. This is both frustrating and damaging. PRI should take it up seriously.
- Nepal lacks an enabling environment for foreign-trained experts to utilize their expertise. Those who have returned home after overseas training are sitting painfully idle, having had no space to apply the skill and knowledge. Shouldn’t there be a specific policy on how best to use the expertise available for the nation’s development?
- Nepal’s policymaking is largely donor-dependent. Donors have a strong say in the process as well as in the outcome. A policy externally influenced may not always match the need of the day and reality on the ground. PRI should break with this tradition and institutionalise a new culture of policymaking, in which there should be no room for donor money and influence in policy research and any other policy-related undertaking.
- Policymaking should involve a consultative process. It should hear all critical voices and noises, not just of those in the capital and cities but more so of the people in provinces and local levels.
- Six years since the adoption of a new constitution, the federal system of governance has not been able to deliver both in terms of administrative integration (among the three tiers of government) as well as horizontal relations (among provinces and municipalities). Although some progress has happened in terms of the delegation of the fiscal authority, there is a long way to go in terms of the delegation of administrative authority, particularly as regards concurrent power-sharing. There should be a critical study on the bottlenecks hampering the smooth functioning of federal governance.
- Not only do we have a limited budget set aside for research, but we also lack the culture of using the knowledge generated by it. Many important works of academic institutions and non-governmental think tanks have not found their way into application. PRI should be aware of this and act accordingly. PRI’s relevance lies in its ability to get its evidence/publications appreciated by relevant institutions, such as the National Planning Commission, and its recommendations responded to by policymaking bodies
- Together with research, PRI should also focus on capacity building of the members of the policy community, not least the members of parliament