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New project to strengthen Nepali civil society and media’s capacity to advance public interests

May 17, 2016

DURHAM, NC — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded FHI 360 the five-year Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project (CS:MAP). The project will work in Nepal with civil society organizations, media and the Government of Nepal to improve the laws and regulations governing civil society and the media, while also strengthening self-regulation practices for increased accountability and improved public image. 

people discussing“FHI 360 has a long, successful history of working in Nepal. We have spent 22 years on local capacity building that has included strengthening civil society, and CS:MAP comes at a transformative time for the country,” said FHI 360’s country director in Nepal, Satish Raj Pandey. “The September 2015 promulgation of the new constitution is a major milestone to further establish Nepal as a country that values democratic principles and to move the country toward prosperity. This is expected to act as a catalyst for Nepali civil society and media to engage with citizens and government in ways that advance accountability and inclusive governance. This project will foster an accountable and resilient civil society and a media capable of advancing public interest. FHI 360 is looking forward to contributing to the process.”

At the local level, CS:MAP will develop the capacity of civil society organizations and media working across sectors to engage in effective policy advocacy and to monitor public resource use and service delivery for greater government effectiveness and accountability. Gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) principles will be integrated in project activities, ensuring the voices and interests of Nepal’s most marginalized populations are represented.

FHI 360 and its international partners, Equal Access and International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, will employ a number of strategic approaches to ensure effective implementation, including early identification of government champions. In addition, the project will work with intermediary service organizations to build their capacity as they support civil society and media advocacy, government engagement and oversight activities, with the goal of ensuring local scale-up beyond the life of the project. Project tools will be tailored to the needs of women, youth, ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups. 

FHI 360’s Chief of Party, Bishnu Sapkota, will lead an all-Nepali team to achieve project objectives. The team’s firsthand familiarity with actors, needs and political dynamics will facilitate a project in which local partners lead with context-specific, local solutions. 

Learn more about our work in Nepal. 

Photo credit: Shyam Thapa/FHI 360