Over the past decade, the Local Government and Community Development Programme LGCDP (2008 - 2016) has been the only nation-wide programme on local governance. It was designed for rebuilding the trust between the citizens and the state at a time when the country had just emerged from a period of conflict, and there was no elected leadership or the sense of accountability and citizen oriented service delivery at the local level. The LGCDP was meant to prepare the ground for institutionalized elected local governments that have become a reality under the new constitution.
The promulgation of the new federal constitution also necessitated structural changes in the LGCDP and a faster transition to a new programme “Provincial and Local Governance Support Programme” with an aim to support the newly elected provincial and local governments as per their need and as per the spirit of federal transition and devolution.
A transitional bridging programme known as the ‘Transition to Sub-national Governance Programme’ was implemented in FY 2017 during the bridging period when elections to the new levels were taking place and aimed to assist with a smooth transition towards the federal structure and the preparatory and immediate capacity building needs. The enactment of legislation such as the Local Government Operations Act, 2017; the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Management Act, 2017; the National Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission Act, 2017 and the Staff Adjustment Act, 2017 together with deliberations by the federal parliament and the government on various Bills to legislate federalized sector governance and optimize the federal structures to reach their greatest potential is a further testimony to the fact that the government is busy in ensuring the quick and smooth transition to the federal system of governance as envisaged in the constitution.
A new programme with objectives of policy support, institution building and capacity building at the provincial and local levels of government in new strategic ways which respect to the principles of devolution and local/provincial autonomy caters to them in accordance with their needs and with their ownership and aims to harmonize the IG relationships in the true spirit of cooperative federalism. This is a highly needed framework programme in the area of federal governance for Nepal.