- Capacity Building
- Public Interest Litigation
- Collaboration, Partnership and Networking
Pro Public conducts various research programs in its focus areas, which help identify the causes of the problems plaguing the Nepalese people. A number of research activities have been completed and some are being carried out under various programs implemented by the Pro Public. Some of the important researches conducted in the past are as follows:
· Community-based Integration of Ex-combatants (2012/13): Pro Public conducted a baseline survey in 13 communities absorbing ex-combatants in Nepal, including in the districts of Sunsari and Saptari in the east; Makawanpur in the central; Nawalparasi, Rupandehi and Kapilbastu, in the west; Dang, Surkhet, Banke and Bardiya in the mid-west; and Kailali in the far west, during August 2012 to August 2013. The major focuses of the survey are highlighted below:
· How Can Nepal Benefit by Signing ITPGRFA? (2006): Pro Public has conducted a research on the mentioned topic under the Farmers’ Rights Program (FRP), Phase II. The study has been conducted to study the implications of signing the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) by Nepal. The study has come up with recommendations to the government to sign the treaty since it ensures farmers’ rights to seed and benefit sharing in the present context of globalization.
· Study on Functioning of Anti-corruption Agencies (2005): Pro Public conducted a study and came up with a research report in which it appraised the performance of Commission on Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and Office of the Auditor General (OAG). The research was conducted with the hope that it would assist the government and international donor community to strengthen these two constitutional bodies to enable them to fulfill their constitutional mandate and ultimately promote good governance.
· Baseline Consumers’ Satisfaction Survey on Government’s Service Delivery (2005): This study was conducted in five districts of Nepal. The main objective of the study was to assess people’s satisfaction on the service delivery of the government. One overall report and five district specific reports of the study have been prepared in Nepali.
· A study on the Socioeconomic Impact of Glacier Lakes Outburst in the Sagarmatha National Park Area (2005): The main objective of the study was to assess the knowledge and awareness level of the local people, living downstream of the Dudhakoshi River in Eastern Nepal, regarding climatic change, GLOF and its socioeconomic and environmental impact, including their interest and capability for legal action.
· Impact of liberalization on Agriculture and Livelihoods of Farming Communities in Nepal (2004): Under Farmer’s Right Program (FRP) Phase I, the study on the impact of trade liberalization on food security and livelihood of farmers was conducted. The study indicated that the performance of the agricultural sector in the country post liberalization has not been encouraging and the key problems of lower productivity, input supply and marketing aspects have been more complicated in the recent years.
· Baseline Survey of Civil Society Organizations Involved in Governance and/or Advocacy Sector (2004): This study was conducted to identify potential organizations working in the field of governance and/or advocacy sector for central networking. Based on the findings of the study, a profile of 82 potential NGOs/civil society organizations has been collected.
· Impact of trade liberalization on food security and livelihood, 2003.
· Compliance monitoring of industrial effluent standard in Nepal, 2003.
· Review of existing forest, water and local self-governance related policies, Acts and Regulations of Nepal, 2003.
· Study on political corruption, drawbacks in anti-corruption laws and Institutions for combating corruption in Nepal, 2002.
· Study on the indigenous knowledge and traditional practices of the hill farmers of Nepal, 2002.
· Study on rule of law, justice system and human rights situation in Nepal, 1999.
· Study on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) modalities, formation and evaluation of its achievements and challenges, 1999.
· Impact study of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights of GATT/WTO on the farmers, biodiversity, food security, pharmaceutical products, consumers and small and medium scale industries, 1999.
· A study on gender and judges, 1999.
· Strategic review of the performance of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority and the office of the Auditor General, 1998.
· A study on good governance: an opinion survey, 1997.
· Study on violence against woman in Nepal, 1997.
· Study on political rights and discriminatory legal provisions against woman, 1995.
Advocacy is one of the major approaches of Pro Public for implementing the programs. The advocacy approach has been effective for increasing transparency, accountability and adherence to the rule of law by public agencies and help create public access to right information. In order to promote good governance and lessen the scope of corruption, impropriety and malfeasance in public dealings, Pro Public commonly used a combination of the following advocacy tools.
Publication and dissemination of information
· Good Governance Bulletin (Nepali): A monthly good governance bulletin is widely circulated to the different sectors of society throughout the country.
· Good Governance Magazine (English): A bimonthly good governance magazine serves as an eye opener to both the national and international communities.
· Publication of Briefing Papers in Nepali: Briefing papers on topical issues related to: wetland management, food security, consumer rights protection, biodiversity conservation, protection of traditional knowledge of the local communities etc. have been published regularly and distributed widely to the concerned stakeholders.
· Publication of Research Reports: Pro Public published reports on the studies conducted under its programs. So far more than a dozen of study reports covering all the major focus areas have been published and disseminated widely to the interested readers both nationally and internationally.
· Publication of Training Manuals and Resource Books: Pro Public has been publishing small hand books, training manuals and resource books on the focus areas and making these publications available to interested peoples and institutions.
· Publication of Proceedings Case Studies etc: Pro Public publishes proceedings of various workshops/seminars conducted on the focus areas and disseminated among a wider mass of readers both nationally and internationally.
Use of Media
In order to promote “Why Culture” in Nepalese society, the following electronic and the print media are widely used by Pro Public.
· Good Governance Radio Program: The weekly radio program aired through national and FM stations aims to create a critical mass against irregularities. More than 4,000 Good Governance Clubs (GGCs) with 40,000 plus members have been formed throughout the kingdom. The GGCs have proved to be a good network to reach out to the grassroots.
· Radio Help-Line: Help-line aims to address the problems of people from remote areas who have not been able to receive services from the government authorities for a long time.
· ForNagainst TV Program: The fortnightly TV program aims at creating critical masses against irregularities. Program intends to provide an easy outlet to the people’s voice to get their grievances addressed.
Public Hearing: Pro Public has been conducting a number of public hearings on topical issues of wider public concern such as “Appointment in Constitutional Bodies”, ”Mal-practice in Medicine Market”, “Terror & Killing: Why and for Whom?”, “River Pollution”, among many others.
Memorandum to Authorities: Writes letters to different government agencies requesting them to perform their legal duties and implement the laws by rectifying the anti-public policies.
Pro Public conducts various capacity building programs for the members of government and NGOs in order to enhance their efficiency and potentiality. Following are the major activities towards this end:
Short-term training programs
· Training on “Advocacy for natural resource management” for women and disadvantaged groups, May 2003.
· Training on “Advocacy for natural resource management” for all the lead group members, representatives of Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal and National Federation of Irrigation Water Users Associations, Nepal, and social mobilizers, June 2002.
· Training on “Convention on elimination of all discrimination against woman” for local representatives and woman activists, May 2002.
· Training on “Biodiversity conservation education” for heads of local government institution, heads of concerned government line agencies, representative of NGOs, media persons and lawyers, 2001.
· Good governance trainings are on-going programs conducted for the members of GGCs, local bodies, NGOs, CBOs, journalists, since 1997.
Workshops/seminars and interaction programs
· National workshop on “Medical waste management in Nepal”, July 2003.
· Regional dissemination workshop on “Conservation of agro-biodiversity and traditional knowledge of the farming community for securing rights to sustainable livelihoods”, May 2003.
· Regional dissemination workshop on “Globalization and WTO: implications to the rights and livelihoods of the hill farming communities of Nepal”, June 2003.
· Regional workshops on “Economic liberalization (Pokhara, April 2002), farmers’ rights and mountain development strategies”, May 2002.
· Workshops on “Natural resource and justice”, February 2001 and “environment and justice” for the judges of district & appellate courts, July 2001.
· Asia pacific regional meeting on “Judicial gender equality education and human rights: broadening the spectrum”, January 2001.
· Various three-day interaction programs on “Gender equality and justice” for the judges of district & appellate courts, 1998-2003.
· Different regional and national seminars on consumer protection in different parts of the Kingdom, 1995-1998.
Research assistantships/internships programs
· Pro Public has been providing research assistantships to master level students for conducting research in the areas directly related to its on-going research activities implemented under various programs.
· A number of research fellows/students (national and international) working for their master/doctoral degrees are provided internship facilities in various units of Pro Public.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a far-reaching, high-impact strategy that brings issues in the substance and enforcement of the law into the courtroom. It is recognized as an effective mechanism to pursue legal solutions to discriminatory practices or rights abuses that affect the interests of certain groups who would otherwise lack the resources or legal capacity to pursue them. Pro Public files public interest cases in the court to make His Majesty’s Government and the concerned authorities accountable to the constitution and laws of the kingdom in order to maintain the rule of law. Since its foundation in 1991, it has been working to promote democracy, rule of law, social and economic justice, good governance and environment protection through PIL. It has filed and supported several cases relating to environment protection, public grievances, fiscal indiscipline, corruption, civil rights and gender inequalities. It has handled more than 40 such cases till November 2003. Some of the landmark PIL cases filed and supported by Pro Public in the past include:
· Kathmandu valley open space case aims at protecting open space in the valley from encroachment and misuse for private purposes, 2003.
· Delay in the appointment of the members of the constitutional bodies case aims to establish rule of law in the Kingdom, 2003.
· Sexual harassment at workplace case aims to protect right to work and movement of woman worker, 2003.
· Solid waste dumping case of Kathmandu and Pokhara has been able to control pollution in Bagmati -1996 and Seti – 2001 river pollution.
· Protection of Rani Pokhari case has been able to conserve and enhance the beauty of 350 year old national heritage site, 2000.
· Environment quality standard case has compelled government to set the national ambient air quality standard and several industrial effluent standards towards combating air pollution and industrial pollution, 1999.
· Balkhu open space case has been able to protect 17 ropani (0.88 ha.) open space for public use, 1997.
· Air pollution case has been able to control air pollution including making available to lead free fuel, conducting road carrying capacity study and establishing air quality monitoring stations etc., 1996.
· Annulment of gender discriminatory legal provisions case guaranteed tenancy right to the daughters of the tenants of the land, 1995.
· Godawari marble industry case has established the right to healthy environment as a fundamental right of the citizen, 1989. In this case the Supreme Court concluded that the clean and healthy environment is the part of the right to life under article 12(1) of the constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990. The supreme court also issued directives in the name of the government to enact necessary legislation for protection of air, water, sound and environment and to take action to protect the environment of Godawari area (Kathmandu Valley).
Pro Public has been actively engaged in carrying out and participating in various collaborative activities with different agencies and organizations at the national, regional and international levels and is affiliated with various such organizations.
Regional and international levels
· Active member of Friends of Earth International, 2001.
· An active member of NGO Forum on Asian Development Bank, 2000.
· Active member of the management committee of Asia Pacific Forum for Judicial Education on Gender Equality Issues, 1997.
· Associate member of consumer international, 1997.
· Active member of Environmental Law Alliance World Wide, 1995.
· Founder member of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), 1995.
National and grassroots level collaboration with government
Pro Public has recently joined its hands to a bilateral project of the government in order to implement its governance reform program to ensure and enhance people’s access to improved services of the government with emphasis on greater accountability and transparency in the service delivery system. In this venture, Pro Public has been working with civil society organizations in order to support the government reform process and for monitoring the progress of implementation of the governance reform program.
· Founder member of “The National Alliance for Food Security in Nepal” since its establishment in 2001 and has been actively engaged in raising the concerns of food security in Nepal.
· Founder member of “NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation”, an alliance of NGOs working in the area of water, sanitation and environment.
· Founder member of “Coalition for Clean Environment”, an alliance of NGOs working in the area of natural resource management and environment pollution.
· At the grass root level, Pro Public has formed a network of GGRLCs, influenced and motivated by the Pro Public run weekly Good Governance Radio Program.