Nepalese participatory planning is a unique method of participatory budgeting which emphasizes in-depth planning and maximal community participation so as to completely engage local citizens in the deliberative process of decision-making.
Problems and Purpose
Nepalese Participatory Planning is a unique, multi-layered Participatory Budgeting (PB) process which focusses on maximal community participation and decision-making based on dialogue and deliberation and involves an in-depth planning process.
As in a standard PB process, participants are involved in choosing how funds will be spent. However, they are then also involved in the planning of the proposed project/s.
Origins and Development
Participant Recruitment and Selection
How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making
The process of Participatory Planning (PP) specific to Nepal offers various opportunities for people to participate, interact, deliberate and thereby influence the overall decision making process. Firstly, the local bodies communicate the policy and budget guidelines to the communities via the Ward Committee (supposed to be elected authority but currently are run by the appointed bureaucrats). The community-based organisations, non-governmental organizations and other sectoral institutions such as the sub-health posts, schools, forest user's committees are invited by TLOs, WCFs, Community Mobilizers and alike to deliberate on the guidelines. The deliberation takes place in public places and any of the community member can participate and join the discussions. A local staff of the municipality is also present in these meetings. Experts, activists including the representatives of local political parties and advocates also take part in the process.
Then, the decisions of such deliberations are forwarded to the Ward Committee office which organizes a comprehensive workshop (Ward-Bhela) by inviting the selected representatives of community-based organizations where they justify, argue and defend their initial proposals made at the community level. These workshops are also attended by interested ordinary people, local officials, political representatives and media. Such deliberation can happen from few hours to many days.
Finally, the decisions of Ward-Bhela are then forwarded to the municipal/village secretariat. The municipality then reviews all the proposals. The reviewing process is relatively less open to public however a number of associated institutions such as the Budget Advisory Committee provide extensive feedback onto the proposals. After the revision (mainly from the perspectives of technicality and financial viability), the municipality then organises the meeting of Integrated Planning Formulation Committee (IPFC) which is comprised of all the representatives of communities, NGOs, sectoral organisations and so on. The IPFC deliberates on the refined proposals for many days before recommending the municipal council with the policies to be decided. In absence of elected authorities at the councils, the centrally appointed bureaucrat then endorses the decisions (exactly as is recommended by the IPFC).
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
Much of this entry draws on the Participedia entry for Participatory Planning in Nepal.