Nepal’s vast landscape and diverse demographic – which includes a complex mix of ethnic groups who speak more than 100 local languages – means local governance is vital. Yet locally and nationally, corruption is rife and continues to threaten peace, freedom and stability in communities nationwide. In 2002, the then leading monarch King Gyanendra dissolved elected local government and gave power to remote officials indifferent to local public opinion. Since the abolition of the monarchy in 2008, and the replacement ‘multi-party mechanism’ also failing to represent citizens’ voices, trust and support of local governance remains low.

Saferworld believes that inclusive, transparent and accountable government is essential to break Nepal’s cycle of conflict. Since 2009, we have continuously worked with rural communities and marginalised groups to hold constructive meetings and dialogue with local authorities. We engage with donors to develop and implement new governance that is sensitive to local concerns and informed by peacebuilding theory and practice.

We collaborate with civil society, media, business and political actors to put in place the principles of the Open Government Partnership – a multilateral agreement that aims to ensure that commitments from government are acted upon. Commitments include empowerment, anti-corruption and transparency-based solutions to Nepal’s changing political landscape. It is hoped Nepal will join OGP in the near future.