Advocacy and Lobbying for Sustainable Housing for Vulnerable Municipal Residents of Nepal

Advocacy and Lobbying for Sustainable Housing for Vulnerable Municipal Residents of Nepal

Nepal
Organization type: 
government
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

MuAN, the umbrella organization of all 58 municipalities of Nepal was formed by bringing all municipalities under a single banner in 1994. However, with the absence of elected peoples’ representatives for almost a decade, the housing sector has always remained neglected in the country’s national development plans and policies.

As only the self reliant and autonomous municipal government can implement plans and programmes of housing effectively, MuAN has been advocating and lobbying to ensure autonomous local self-governments in the federal structure of Nepal. Since MuAN’s Secretariat Members are former mayors and deputy mayors and have good network with policy makers, planners, various ministries and departments; they can influence policy and can work as the agent for change.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

This project aims to advocate and lobby for sustainable housing for vulnerable municipal residents. The vulnerable population is identified by poverty profile and baseline surveys. As MuAN is the only organization representing the interests of municipalities in Nepal, its voice is often heard by policy makers and planners. Housing is one of the most neglected sectors in Nepal; MuAN ensures sustainable housing through this campaign and by building networks with concerned ministries and stakeholders. It can refine the housing policies which have become futile. MuAN can also help achieve the MDGs by 2015 through the localization of this project. The poor and vulnerable community will eventually be empowered, sensitized and in the long run will be benefitted by our project.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

As per the strategic interim planning (2009-2011), MuAN is committed to secure a strong position of local self-government in the new constitution of Nepal. The vision of MuAN being “Making Cities Autonomous, Prosperous and Self Reliant” explains its commitment towards the betterment of cities and municipalities. Likewise, one of the core functions of MuAN is to work for the localization of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the municipal level. However, Nepal is not on the track to achieve all the MDGs including that of Goal 7, which is to ensure environmental sustainability. The alarming rate of rural-urban migration combined with the absence of planned urban development is threatening the cities of Nepal. The decade long armed conflict of Maoist and political turbulence has further exacerbated the scenario with thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs). Likewise, land encroachment by squatters has become a major problem in cities and towns, most importantly in the capital city Kathmandu. The soaring price of land within few years has made housing impossible for the poor people because of which the gap between the haves and the haves not has widened dramatically. The apartments that are being built in the cities and urban peripheries neither meet any legal criteria nor do they are meant for the poor who can by no means afford them. Considering all these facts, MuAN has taken a bold step to ensure the role of local governments with sustainable urban housing for vulnerable residents of municipalities.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

This campaign has been able to aware general public about the importance of actively functioning local governments. Countries where local governments are functioning have gone way ahead than those without. Since housing is one of the essences of the campaign, the policies and plans will definitely be revised and sustainable and eco friendly housing concepts will be planned. Kathmandu has become a melting pot with more than 300,000 populations. Likewise, the other municipalities and urban settlements are also facing problems such as uncontrolled urbanization, pollution and haphazard housing. If local elections take place, the mayors and the deputy mayors will primarily be responsible for the betterment of their municipalities which in turn will concentrate on this issue. Housing, which is currently the most neglected sector, will at least get some attention from the concerned authorities. This will be visible by the gradual change in the growth and development of the municipalities in the long run. The priority areas identified as PRSP of municipalities are being tackled by the municipalities and donors. For instance, WATSAN plan which is an integral part of housing for cities, have been supported by UN-HABITAT Water for Asian Cities Programme.
About You
Organization:
Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN)
About You
First Name

Sara

Last Name

Neupane

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN)

Organization Phone

+977-01-4436725, +977-01-4420559

Organization Address

190 Niketan Marg, Dillibazar, Charkhal, POB. 14286, Kathmandu, Nepal

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

MuAN since its inception has represented the sole interests of towns and municipalities of Nepal. The status of local government is very weak due to the absence of locally elected representatives and failure in plans and policies. This is undoubtedly a major concern for an organization like MuAN that has always been committed for sustainable urban growth and good governance. Absence of actively functioning local government has threatened all sectors of development and housing is no exception. Realizing this fact, the Members of MuAN who are the distinguished former mayors and deputy mayors of Nepal, came up with the concrete idea of advocating and lobbying to ensure sustainable housing for vulnerable municipal residents of Nepal.
The idea took a different direction when MuAN along with GTZ or the German Technical Cooperation, recently renamed GIZ and Ministry of Urban Development (MoLD) initiated Urban Poverty Reduction Campaign in 2004 in which some of the poor municipalities of Nepal were supported to develop their (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper) PRSP. The PRSP identified housing as one of the priority areas as much as water, sanitation and hygiene of the marginalized communities. Since then, 21 municipalities have developed their PRSP. MuAN has been advocating and lobbying against the government for implementable housing policy for municipalities. The Government is positive and has assured that the issues of housing and poverty reduction will be addressed by the Five Year Interim Plan of Nepal.

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

More than 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Political instability is the most possible hindrance in case of this campaign. The polarization between the major political parties has already delayed the Constitution making process and the situation is likely to be more chaotic. Chances of local elections seem impossible without the new Constitution. So municipal/local development will also be affected by this.

Likewise, the turn over of Executive Officers is very frequent in municipalities. Lack of social mobilization is another possibility that can hinder the project. However, with many years of struggle and continuation MuAN has created mass awareness regarding this issue. It aims to continue to advocate and lobby for sustainable housing for vulnerable municipal residents in the days to come.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

MuAN's goal to advocate and lobby for sustainable housing for vulnerable municipal residents continues. It has also initiated a study “Functions and structures of autonomous urban government and metro cities in the federal structure of Nepal” by mobilizing team of experts from 6 thematic committees. Since MuAN has maintained itself as a credible organization, it is likely that it will be supported by various ministries, I/NGOs and authorities concerned in this herculean endeavour. The other activities MuAN will do in three years are as follows:
•Clear criteria to create municipalities
•PRSP for all 58 municipalities will be developed
•Coordinated advocacy for approval of housing policy for municipalities
•Municipal housing desk will be established till advocacy is achieved

Sustainability
For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

As all 58 municipalities of Nepal are members of MuAN, it collects membership dues on annual basis. This is the primary source of funding in MuAN. Likewise, the Ministry of Local Development (MoLD) of Nepal provides block grants to MuAN every Fiscal Year i.e. in July. Even the municipalities get the grant from MoLD on the basis of the Minimum Conditions Performance Measurement (MCPM). They can use this grant for conducting activities and programmes that are beneficial to people and the municipality. Similarly, the Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGCDP) launched in mid-2008 by MoLD also supports MuAN to conduct programmes and activities.

GIZ being one of the oldest partners of MuAN can also play a significant role in this campaign. The credit for the massive urban development in Nepal goes to this organization. The Urban Poverty Reduction Campaign initiated by GIZ and MuAN is exemplary. The beautiful city of “Bhaktapur” very near to Kathmandu was in fact developed by the very institution and this can be replicated in future. There are other national and international donors and agencies which can provide financial and non financial support to MuAN in its venture. Some of the major partners and donors till date are UN-HABITAT, CITYNET, Association of Municipalities of the Netherlands (VNG), Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE), UNDP and so on.

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?
Collaboration
Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Urban development, Public policy.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

No

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?

No

Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)
Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed

randomness