KATHMANDU, June 7: The US Embassy in Kathmandu, in coordination with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, launched training for local government officials in Kathmandu on Thursday, focusing on imparting knowledge on budget planning, conflict resolution, and community engagements, conducting effective meetings and building an effective judicial system.
The first training, targeting 33 local officials from across the Kathmandu Valley, will help enhance awareness about the roles and responsibilities of local officials and the resources available to them to provide optimum services to the citizens under Nepal's new federal system, according to a press statement issued by the Embassy of US in Kathmandu.
A team of experts from the University of Maryland (UMD) traveled to Kathmandu, Bardiya, Banke, and Dang districts to meet firsthand with Nepalis and find out what is most important to them in local governance in order to create this program. “Focus groups of local officials shared their perceptions of knowledge gaps and the most pressing needs among Nepal's first cohort of locally-elected officials in 20 years, while citizen groups discussed their needs and concerns from the perspective of constituents,” said the statement. The team of experts from UMD was led by Ron Sitoula, the Nepali-American Vice Mayor of the town of Indian Head, Maryland.
Speaking at the launch on Thursday, Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration, Lal Babu Pandit said the training will provide specific skills to Nepal's newest local leaders to best serve their communities. Borrowing a phrase from President Abraham Lincoln, US Ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry, went on to say that “elected officials are helping to build a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
According to the statement, the trainings are divided into five modules: Conducting Effective Meetings, Resolving & Managing Conflict, Community Engagement, Local Government Budget Training, and Building an Effective Judicial System. Each module will provide valuable skill-sets such as creating and managing budgets, conflict management, and conducting effective meetings. The training will be administered by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry at all seven American Corners throughout Nepal.