By Mr. Narayan Dhakal, Under Secretary, International Economic Co-operation Coordination Division, Ministry of Finance, Nepal
Nepal acknowledges the urgent need to enhance effective development co-operation if we are to achieve the SDGs by 2030. We also recognise that principle-led, evidence-based development co-operation can and must catalyse this progress. As we transition from Least Developed Country (LDC) to Middle Income Country (MIC) status, the Government also recognises the importance of continuing to build national capacities, mobilise resources, and optimise development co-operation.
This commitment is evident in Nepal's participation in the Global Partnership’s monitoring exercises. For years Nepal has been an active advocate for development effectiveness, recognising the difficulties faced in consolidating what are often fragmented development financing flows.
The Global Partnership's global monitoring exercises carried out in 2014, 2016, 2018, and now in 2023, which focus on tracking effective partnerships, hold significant value for Nepal. As we strive to enhance transparency and accountability in support of our national development priorities and SDGs achievement, these monitoring exercises have, indeed, become essential.
On 10 April 2023, the Government of Nepal formally joined the fourth Global Partnership monitoring exercise – committing to bring diverse development actors together to discuss new evidence on what is working and what is not in development co-operation. Significant progress has been made, building on previous monitoring rounds, in turn furthering trust and enhancing evidence-based policy dialogue. Being an active player in the Global Partnership also allows us to benchmark our progress against other partner countries through standardised indicators and to learn from other countries’ experiences.
A Strong Case for Country Ownership
As a country showcasing strong country ownership, Nepal’s firm political commitment to advancing the global effectiveness agenda at the country level is reflected in various national development planning strategies. This includes our long-term, 15th Five-Year Plan (FY2020-FY2024), which serves as our country’s medium-term development plan, and other development plans.
The Plan provides a comprehensive framework for establishing an effective development approach by prioritising clean, results-oriented, accountable, and transparent governance. In addition to governance reform, the Plan also charts a strategic course incorporating policy, legal, and institutional architecture reforms designed to guarantee the systematic and effective implementation of the SDGs.
To finance the implementation of the SDGs, as detailed within the Nepal Needs Assessment, Costing, and Financing Strategy for SDGs, Nepal will require NRs 2,025 billion annually. Acknowledging this financing gap, the Plan outlines key domestic resource mobilisation measures. These measures include progressive taxation and improving tax administration to expand the tax base, encouraging private and other sectors to invest in development interventions, promoting effective public-private partnerships, and mobilising foreign assistance and investment through international development co-operation.
To further the achievement of goals set within the Plan, Nepal’s International Development Co-operation Policy aims to optimise the mobilisation of development partners’ capital and technology in national development efforts in accordance with national needs and priorities.
Recognising the importance of managing development finance and increasing the quality of development finance data, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance International Economic Co-operation Coordination Division and in collaboration with UNDP, is upgrading our Aid Management Information System (AIMS). This upgrade will further improve our understanding of a greater diversity of development finance flows and enhance longer-term predictability, especially relevant when planning for and financing SDG achievement.
To further drive the effectiveness agenda, the Government has resumed hosting regular multi-stakeholder development co-operation and dialogue mechanisms. Recent Multi-Stakeholder Development Dialogues and ongoing Local Development Partners Meetings are each designed to enhance the coordination and dialogue relevant to national development priorities while enhancing mutual accountability among development partners, the Government, and civil society.
The Government of Nepal is acutely aware that our country's transition from LDC to MIC status brings with it a range of complex considerations. However, for us, monitoring the effectiveness of development co-operation remains crucial. Doing so provides a platform for us to maintain an accountable, transparent, and evidence-based approach to our joint development efforts. We believe that through in-depth monitoring, we can better ensure accountability among the wide range of development partners contributing to Nepal's development progress and help make more informed policy decisions based on the successes and shortcomings of existing strategies.
Our experience also shows that consistent monitoring allows us to identify and address potential shortfalls regarding resource mobilisation and alignment of international assistance with our national development priorities. This, in turn, helps us to implement the SDGs more effectively, which are, of course, central to Nepal’s national developmental agenda. In addition, the GPEDC’s standardised indicators allow us to benchmark our progress against other countries and learn from their experiences.
Nepal’s Continued Commitment: Participation in the 4th Monitoring Round
The Government’s continued commitment and political will have allowed Nepal to make notable progress in the GPEDC monitoring exercise. Serving as one of 36 countries confirmed for the new monitoring round, we have already developed a High-Level Roadmap to outline the strategic direction and necessary steps, including milestones, to track our progress. Moreover, our roadmap identifies key development stakeholders that contribute significantly to driving progress and ensuring the effective implementation of development initiatives.
Currently, Nepal is moving ahead with the second phase of the monitoring process, which is data collection. Information gathered from this phase will help generate evidence to optimise the strategic impact of technical assistance, enhance the impact of development stakeholders who make up our country’s varied development landscape, and support Nepal in navigating our transition from LDC to MIC status. The monitoring results will be used jointly with our development partners as a basis for further action planning, capacity building, regular dialogue, and coordination.
To promote transparency and mutual accountability throughout the process, the Government of Nepal actively engages in-country development actors from development partners, the private sector, and civil society. All identified partners have expressed their interest in participating in the monitoring process and acknowledged the importance of the exercise to enhance the effectiveness of development co-operation.
We are committed to leveraging opportunities to connect with partners and ensuring alignment with national priorities. To advance the effectiveness agenda in the region, Nepal also aims to share lessons and best practices from our monitoring process.
Please explore Nepal’s page on the GPEDC Global Dashboard for updated contact information as well as updates on the country’s participation in the monitoring process, development of co-operation policies, mechanisms, and more. Please click here for Nepal’s recent presentation on its monitoring rollout.
©️Photo Credit: UNDP Nepal