Public Service Delivery – Challenges and Opportunities in Federal Nepal

This study assesses the status of local government units’ public service delivery in Nepal following the introduction of the federal governance framework, as evidenced by primary data collected from six local units in Sunsari and Rupandehi districts in the sectors of health and education. It focuses on the services provided by the local government units from the perspective of service delivering and seeking individuals and groups. Overall, it finds that substantial improvements have been made in the efficiency, inclusivity, accessibility, and participation levels in public services in both sectors since 2015. However, in comparison to the education services, key health service indicators are found to be lagging, which could be informed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Further analysis reveals the most pertinent challenges currently being faced by governments. In the health sector, the main challenges include the management of medicines and equipments, inclusion of marginalized groups, and improved intergovernmental coordination. In the education sector, the main challenges include the urgent need for strategic rebound from participation loss caused by Covid-19 disruptions, improved gender inclusivity, and maintenance of public education outcomes competitive with private sector actors under resource constraints.

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