On 7th July 2017, Centre for social change Nepal organized a half day workshop on “Accountability practices within civil society organizations in Nepal: Problems and prospects” at SAP falcha, Babarmahal Kathmandu. With the participation of personnel from various Civil Society Organizations (CSO) like INSEC, NGO Federation, PACT Nepal, and FHI 360 to name a few, the event kicked off with a short welcome session by Dr Prakash Bhattarai, the president of center for social change, followed by a short introduction session by the participants.
The half day workshop was divided into three sessions, where the first session highlighted the existing status of CSOs in Nepal. With 45 minutes of panel discussion, the speakers reflected upon the functions and operations of CSOs in Nepal, the challenges faced by the CSOs in Nepal, and the existing frameworks, mechanisms, and practices relating to CSO accountability in Nepal and their implications. This session shed light on the need of self-regulation of accountability amongst and within the CSOs, in addition to the challenge of collaborating with the government agencies and stakeholders to play their respective parts in the process.
This session was followed by a presentation on CSOs accountability in a global context with reference to its global standards by Katja, a representative of International Civil Society Centre in Berlin, Germany. In the session, she shared about the development of a global accountability standard with the idea of “accountability to strengthen our (CSOs’) collective voice”, reflecting upon the challenges of relevance, effectiveness, and legitimacy faced by the CSOs globally. She also talked about the opportunity brought forth by the challenges, to do things innovatively. With a short brief on global standard’s approach to align, join, and promote; i.e. to revise and benchmarks one’s accountability code, to join accountability initiative, and to add one’s voice to the discussion, the session was concluded with a Q & A session where the participants inquired about the relevance of the global standard in Nepalese context and the need and possibility of its adaptation in Nepal.
The final session of the event was a time for discussion for the participants about a possible roadmap for CSO accountability practices. Based on the previous two sessions, it focused on developing a clear roadmap for ensuring CSOs accountability in Nepal. In this session, the participants focused on discussing the actions to be taken by CSOs themselves for ensuring their accountability, actions to be taken by the government for providing an enabling environment for CSO accountability, and actions to be taken by other actors for facilitating CSO accountability.