Laxmi Capital News
'Plan Int'l prefers doing soft programs to physical infrastructure'

PlanInternational Nepal has proposed a project of Rs 8 billion allocating onlyabout 10 percent of the budget for physical infrastructure development.

KATHMANDU,April 20: In keeping with the trend of international non-governmentorganizations (INGOs) investing more in soft programs than physicalinfrastructure development, Plan International Nepal has proposed a project ofRs 8 billion allocating only about 10 percent of the budget for suchinfrastructure. 

PlanInternational, which started working in Nepal since 1978, is not ready torevise its programs as per the government's suggestions. The government alsohas taken a stance not to approve the INGO's proposal until it changes itsbudget allocation.

INGOs workingin Nepal have been found selecting projects that are not under nationalpriority, according to  officials at the Ministry of Women, Children andSenior Citizens. "One  example is Plan International Nepal,"said the officials . 

It recentlyproposed the Rs 8 billion project -- Child Centered Community DevelopmentProject Phase  II --   for five years and covering 14 districts,according to the Social Welfare Council (SWC), the regulatory body under theministry for I/NGOs . 

Under theproject, Plan International has earmerked only Rs 780 million  forphysical infrastructure, with the remaining funds allocated for soft programsincluding  training . The ministry has rejected the project file, statingthat it was not as per the national priorities for projects. "It wasnegligent of SWC to forward the files to the ministry without looking at itcarefully," said  ministry officials. "The government is alsoresponsible for the current situation."

Admitting toweakness on the part of the SWC, Pralhad Pant, spokesperson for  SWC, said they have not taken any visible action  but there were some INGOsthat are doing a good job. 
Plan International in its written response said  it's new project  iscurrently under review by the government  as per the regularprocess. 

The objectiveof the government-led review process is to receive input and feedback fromstakeholders and  ensure full alignment of  proposed actions withgovernment priorities  at municipal, provincial and national levels andwith socio-economic development and  Sustainable Development Goals. 

"Ourprograms are a  mix of hardware and software as per the priorities set bythe organization in consultation with the communities where we work, eventhough the software programs are mostly related to support for hardware,"said Shree Ram KC, communications manager at  Plan International. He citedas an example the construction of safe schools, birthing centers or  newwater supply schemes where the software part are related to supporting suchhardware in the work areas.

Generally, INGOs are allowed to work in the country after they sign an agreement toabide by Nepal's constitution, laws and rules, including the Social WelfareCouncil Act.  
A total of 255 INGOs are registered with the SWC. There are 47,600 local NGOsregistered in the country, out of which about 5,000 are active. 

The INGOs,which spend around Rs 30 billion annually in Nepal, have to work incoordination with the local NGOs in their respective fields. They cannot spend their budgets directly and have local NGOs as working partners.

Source: My Reublica, 20th April 2018

Click here to download...!