The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has decided to phase out the nation-wide Social Mobilisation Prgramme with effect from today.
The SMP was launched under Local Governance and Community Development Programme by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development in July 2008 to fill the void left by the absence of elected representatives in the local levels.
Bishwo Raj Mainali, an under secretary at the ministry, said the MoFALD had decided to phase out the SMP as per a decision taken on December 27. Social Mobilisation and NGO Coordination Section at the MoFALD has already issued a circular to all social mobilisation coordination committees in the districts and municipalities, local service provider organisations and social mobilisers regarding the decision.
Social mobilisation approach had been adopted as a mainstay for community development and created 31,280 ward citizen forums covering 99.7 per cent of the local levels. These WCFs were created to strengthen local level coordination and downward accountability, according to a report published by the ministry.
So far, 771,355 citizens (46 per cent women) were directly engaged in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation; social development; advocacy; coordination with service providers; engaging in disaster and environment protection activities and helping communities in economic development opportunities.
Similarly, a total of 10, 976 Citizen Awareness Centres were formed in poverty pocket areas identified through detailed poverty mapping. CAC members had reached 294,811 (poor people) whereby 87.4 per cent members were women
and were widely engaged in creating awareness on civil rights and duties, informing people about government services and facilities; resolving social problems; engaging in income generating activities, community infrastructure, and environment protection; increasing social harmony, among others.
Moreover, the SMP supported people by raising their awareness on their rights and responsibilities through community institutions like CACs and WCFs. CAC members were oriented on basic human rights as part of the social mobilisation campaign. Awareness about their rights led to increased participation of citizens in the decision-making process of local bodies which enhanced the access of these communities, mainly marginalised women, children and disadvantaged group to local resources and services, the ministry said.
Source: The Himalayan Times.