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Project to Prepare the Public Administration for State Reforms (PREPARE)

UNDP Nepal country office launched the Project to Prepare the Public Administration for State Reform (PREPARE) starting from 2013 aligning with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) cycle to support the Government of Nepal as the country moves towards federal structure.

The project has now been extended till 2016. The project design has been featured with two interrelated components: 1) Transitional: a two-year project (extended as a nearly three-year project) to support to preparatory administrative reforms and capacity building of government institutions during the transition period, both pre- and post-constitution promulgation, which creates  the ground for initiation of the second phase of work for administrative restructuring and reforms; and 2) Implementation: a long-term comprehensive umbrella program to support the re-structuring and capacity development of new institutions at federal, provincial and local level once there is more clarity on the way forward.

Nepal has been in a political transitional period following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2006. Based on CPA, the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 had declared the country to be federal by the promulgation of the new constitution. The first President of the country promulgated the Constitution of Nepal, on September 20, 2015, which was passed by Constituent Assembly after going through rigorous exercise for around six years.  Most important feature of the Constitution is that the country would have federal system of governance with seven provinces.

As the federalization and state reforms related issues and challenges could not be foreseen clearly during the early years of the project and until the Constitution had been promulgated, the project has been supporting to prepare the Government for the ensuing change to federal structure. It worked on the premise that the functioning of core public administration would be substantially altered during the transition to meet the demands of the new Constitution and that basic public services would likely be disrupted tremendously affecting the vulnerable groups more negatively if transition was not managed properly. The project initiated its activities with an understanding that federalization and decentralization process that the country was going to undertake cannot be implemented without substantially changing and restructuring the civil service. The PREPARE Project has been contributing towards the federalization  of the civil service concurrently with the new political processes by undertaking various preparatory activities for administrative reforms in the context of wider state reform processes.  

Currently, the project has pursued two pronged approach focusing on two interrelated areas: a) administrative restructuring and transition management; and b) other administrative reforms for building capacity of selected government institutions, promoting social inclusion approach in civil service and ensuring accountability/transparency in civil service.

To support the re-structural reform agenda through administrative restructuring and transition management, the project has been undertaking activities related to functional analysis and assignment of key government sectors, and development of institutional re-arrangements, including their inter-linkages and staffing for federal structure of the State. The other key activity is support to develop the transition management plan for the civil services.

To address to the gradual administrative reforms, the project has been supporting a) promotion of accountability and  transparency in civil service through preparation of manual for performance contracting, support to anti-corruption drive in line with United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and support to management audit training; b) Institutional capacity building for effective civil service administration by supporting strengthening of  Public Service Commission (PSC), Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and Ministry of General Administration (MoGA); and c)boosting efforts to increase social inclusion through affirmative action within civil service by building capacity of socially excluded groups to appear in PSC entrance exams and development of Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) policy for civil services for improved workplace environment.

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