International IDEA has been working in Nepal since 2004. Following the rise of the People’s Movement for Democracy and the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006, International IDEA began supporting national actors in the process of constitution building. We provided comparative knowledge and expertise, facilitated dialogues and promoted public participation.
The people of Nepal reached a historic milestone in 2008 with elections that ended a decade of civil war, popular protest, and constitutional stalemate. The 2008 elections were the first aimed at electing a body (the Constituent Assembly) tasked with drafting a new democratic constitution. Measures were taken to ensure that the legislative body reflected the ethnic diversity of the country. IDEA assisted the country in negotiating, drafting and implementing the new constitution and supported reforms in election management.
2017 was again a significant election year in Nepal. Local, provincial and parliamentary elections were held under the constitution that was passed in 2015. Throughout the election period, Nepal’s National Election Observation Committee made use of International IDEA’s Electoral Risk Management Tool. International IDEA also had a role in convening legislative consultations relating to the rights of victims of crime, natural resource management, natural disaster management and gender inclusivity. Currently, we collaborate with Nepal’s Parliament, the Election Commission of Nepal and other actors to facilitate Nepal’s transition to an inclusive and open democracy.
The Coherence Programme
The Coherence Programme is a partnership between the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), in operation between 2017-2019. During this period, the Programme extended mentoring (helping hands) support to a selected local governments through a team of young mentors to help elected representatives better understand and discharge their roles and responsibilities.
The second phase of the partnership between MoFAGA, (UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (UKFCDO) and International IDEA, was in operation from 2020 to 2022.
It aims to build common understanding of deliberative democratic local governance concepts and practice among federal, provincial and local stakeholders. The programme tries to achieve this through a combination of developing processes and materials for deliberative public decision-making, piloting support to their introduction and establishment in selected newly formed local governments, and structured policy dialogues and sharing of knowledge resources and experience with wider audiences. The focus is on establishing ‘deliberation’ as the overarching means of public decision-making and consensus-building in local governments.
Challenges and Lessons Learned from Nepal’s Road to Federal Democracy
International IDEA's Head of Mission in Myanmar, Marcus Brand talks with Budhi Karki, Senior Advisor Constitutional Lawyer for International IDEA in Nepal about lessons learned and experiences from Nepal's process of introducing and implementing a federal constitution.