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The Provincial and Local Governance Support Programme (PLGSP) commenced officiallyon the very first day of the Nepalese fiscal year 2076/77 (16 July 2019) and it has duration of 4 years, PLGSP was formally launched at the Cabinet meeting when the project document was approved on 23 August 2019. A Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) was signed between the Ministry of Finance and Development Partners (DEID, Norway, SDC and EU) on 4 September 2019.

A major milestone was achieved in laying the foundational and the institutional framework for the PLGSP implementation. Thus, MoUs were signed with all 7 provincial governments in November 2019 at PG and LG levels. The Provincial Coordination Committee (PCC) and Provincial Programme Implementation Unit (PPIU) were formed in all 7 provinces immediately after the signing of the MoU. Following the approval of the PLGSP project document, the Annual Strategic Implementation Plan (ASIP) for 2019/20 was formulated along with budgetary approvals. The first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting was held on 29 November 2019, where the draft ASIP for the fiscal year 2019/ 20 was endorsed. With the final approval of the ASIP in February 2020, the programme embarked on its mission.

A considerable time lapse occurred between the programme approval and the budget mobilization period, some activities related to the TA could continue, but the ASIP implementation process was delayed due to the need toprepare a procurement plan and establish the PCGGS. In order to avoid further delays, a special Technical Assistance (TA) arrangement was agreed to keep the PLGSP up and running from November 2019 to January 2020. UNDP provided TA support to the PLGSP through a 'start-up project' assistance upon mutual understanding between MoFAGA and the key development partners. As a first step in the start-up of the PLGSP, UNDP was selected as a Technical Assistance Support Partner (TASP).

The second key milestone was achieved with the Cabinet decision on 17 February 2020 to handover LDTA's regional training centers to the provincial governmentsin order to help them function in line with their legal mandates which paved the way towards the formation of PCGGS under the respective provincial governments.

The third key milestone was holding ofthe very first Technical Assistance Sub-Committee (TASC) meeting on 24 January 2020 which gave the momentum to the PLGSP implementation process.

Simultaneously, a series of consultative meetings were carried out between the PLGSP and provincial governments including the key sectoral ministries. In the meantime, the PLGSP managed to complete the LGCDP's assets handover process and initiated some of the PLGSP's startup activities.

The COVID-19 global crisis emerged at the time when the ASIP was approved in February 2020. The GoN enforced a nationwide lockdown, effective from 24 March 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown came aboutduringthe ASIP startup amidst staff recruitment processes. As a result of the pandemic, the whole focus of the program was diverted towards responding to COVID-19, which severely affected the PLGSP activities at provincial and local level. Consequently, the implementation of most of the planned activities was not possible.

The total budget of PLGSP for the fiscal year 2076/77 was NPR 1500 million, where NPR 300 million is a contribution of GON and NPR 1,200 million is from JFA. NPR 273.8 million (18) % was utilized and NPR 1226.2 million remained unspent. Of the total amlunt spent, about 12 % (NPR 32,858,366) was spent on GESI related activities of the PLGSP. During the reporting period, the budget spent was less than the amount planned, i.e. 18% of the total budget due to the various reasons which are detailed in this APR,key among which was the outbreak of COVID- 19,

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