MoFAGA conducted one-day orientation on Innovation Partnership Fund (IPF) to high level government officials of the seven provinces and the technical staff of PLGSP on 11 January 2022 in Dhulikhel. IPF is an important and landmark component of PLGSP (2019/20 – 2022/23), the joint programme of GoN and development partners. The representatives from the Development Partners were also present in the occasion. A total of 62 participants including 7 women attended the orientation.
The programme was run by Mr. Chiranjivi Timsina /under Secretary of MoFAGA/National Programme Manager of PLGSP. Dr. Gopi K Khanal, Joint Secretary MoFAGA/National Programme Director PLGSP welcomed all the participants highlighting the objectives of the IPF as to promote innovation in the area of governance, service delivery and local economic development and promote the concept of cooperation, collaboration and cooperative federalism. He further underlined the objective of orientation as to harmonize understanding on the IPF implementation guidelines among all participants and speed up the implementation. He mentioned IPF as the main driver of the innovation and urged all the participants to be a champion of the innovation in governance through the implementation of IPF at the local level.
Mr. Suresh Adhikari, Secretary of the MoFAGA highlighted on the needs to achieve development results at the local level through the implementation of IPF. He expressed his opinion to focus on what is and how to select innovation schemes. He underlined SuTRA, PEFA, FRAF, LISA as systems developed by the government as innovation at a time. He emphasizes on modernizing the existing practices, use of technology, making the services of LGs user-friendly, increase engagement of people bringing the governance closer to them. He suggested all the participants to be interactive and gain more knowledge about innovation for its effective implementation at the high level of the quality.
The IPF implementation guidelines was presented in details including objective, governing principles, innovation scheme selection process and steps, evaluation criteria, implementing arrangement, grand disbursement and cost sharing with LGs, example of innovation, allowing the participantsto interact and express their views/opinions on the provisions of the guidelines, the expected role that they need to play and the issues that they may face in the implementation. The discussion was concentrated to clarify the implementation process, managing timeline, compliance to the guideline, managing human resource, providing technical support to the local governments to identify the innovative schemes and achieving the development results. Two external experts from the University and the retired high level government official were also invited in the orientation to share their knowledge and experiences about the innovation within the scope of the IPF guidelines. The concept and a frame with key elements and steps to assess the problems and to recognize the innovation that addresses the problems and benefits the people was shared and discussed among the participants. The interaction among the participants and the experts has helped to explore and enrich the understanding to identify the possible innovative scheme at the local level.
The participants also worked together to trace out the IPF implementation plan with time line and responsibility to speed up the implementation. An online system on the IPF implementation was also presented. The online system is expected to support the process of application for project, evaluation and handover of project, monitor and review the progress of project. The participants expressed their opinions that the orientation has become very useful to harmonize the understanding and expressed their commitments to speed up the implementation in line with the approved IPF Secretary/MoFAGA Opening the Orientation Participants of the Orientation 2 implementation guideline. All provinces committed to immediately start the implementation process and complete awarding contract to LGs by within 21 March – 3 April 2022.