Provincial and Local Governance Support Program (PLGSP)

Project TitleProvincial and Local Governance Support Program (PLGSP)
Program Period16 July 2019  to  15 July 2022
Total budget of ProgramUS$130 million.
Financial contribution: (Grant – Reimbursable)GoN: $30 million.          
DPs: $100 million.
Distribution of fundFinancial Support: $120 million.
Technical Assistance Support: $10million.
Development Partners (DPs)DFID, SDC, Norway, EU and UNDP (Technical Support).
Brief Introduction of ProjectThe Provincial and Local Governance Support Programe (PLGSP) is a national flagship program of the Government of Nepal (GoN) aimed to build institutional, organizational and individual capacities at all levels of government, with a special focus on provincial and local levels. The ultimate goal of the Program is to attain functional, sustainable, inclusive and accountable provincial and local governance. The Program aims to contribute to delivery of quality services at provincial and local levels, promote local development and enhance economic prosperity.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) is the executive agency of the Program. The seven provincial governments, the 753 local governments, and the seven provincial-level training centers (Provincial Centre for Good Governance) are the implementing agencies of the Program. The Program is supported by international development partners (DPs), namely, the Department for International Development (DfID) of the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU), the Government of Norway, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the United Nations. MoFAGA is partnering with UNDP to support the implementation of the Program through Technical Assistance (TA). With a US$ 130 million budget for four years, total amount of US$ 100 million will be supported by the development partners and the remaining US$ 30 will be financed by the Government of Nepal.
Objectives of the ProjectTo strengthen provincial and local governance system and procedures with an improved inter-governmental relationships to maximize benefits of cooperative federalism for Nepali citizenry. To enhance the capacity of provincial and local governments to deliver services and development outcomes effectively to citizens.
Major activities of the projectPrepare policy, laws, strategies, directives and guidelines for federal governments, Provincial and the local governments. Strengthen inter-governmental mechanisms for full functioning. Establish and strengthen Provincial Center for Good governance (PCGG (re-structured LDTA regional training center) at the province as a center for excellence to drive the overall capacity development activities for the local governments. Establish and operationalize Innovative Partnership Fund (IPF) system and procedures to implement innovative scheme for economic development at the local level. Capacity development and knowledge enhancement of the provincial and local government official and elected representatives. Mainstream Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) in the service delivery of the local and the provincial governments. Support all governments to use IT and strengthen e-governance system. Knowledge sharing, learning and documentation.
Project Area7 Provinces, 6 Metropolitan Cities, 11 Sub Metropolitan Cities, 276 Municipalities and 460 Rural Municipalities.
Progress of project (up to December 2020)Physical Progress                                          
Federal Level Held 2 NEC meeting, 1 TASC meeting and 14 PCC meeting; Recruited more than 64 % of the TA staff through TASP; Developed Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Audit directives, Developed 16 model laws for three levels of governments, and three acts/regulation for LDTA regional training center, nine different training model for LDTA training centers Organized a learning visit to elected representatives and senior civil servants to Kerala, India; Developed model capacity development plan for LGs and approved; Initiated IPF operating procedures, PCGG operational guidelines and other similar tasks; The Cabinet approved the handing over of LDTA assets to PCGG; SuTRA has been used by 747 LGs for income estimation, 751 LGs utilize it for expenditure estimation, while 730 LGs for budget approval; LISA indicators improved and LISA guideline drafted; IT system of 753 LGs strengthened through PLGSP continue supports Drafted a Capacity Development software (CD-MIS) for PCGG; Updated experts’ roster that was prepared last year (during LGCDP–II); Supported to conceptualize, design and prepare an ‘operational MEL guidelines’ applicable for DCCs
Provincial level Province 1 and Karnali province have nominated GESI focal points in all its sectorial ministries- total 13 GESI focal persons; Two ministries in Gandaki Pradesh have conducted GESI audit; Gandaki Pradesh has drafted GESI Guidelines; Province 5 and Karnaliprovince each have developed one legal provision.The Karnali Province drafted legislation for PCGG establishment and planned to get approved from assembly next year, the Province-5 has prepared Province Civil Servant /Staff Management Guidelines which was approved by the provincial assembly. Financial Progress:
Total budget of PLGSP for the fiscal year 2076/77 (2019/20) was NPR 1,500 million with NPR 300 million (20%) from GoN contribution and NPR 1,200 million (80%) was JFA (DPs) contribution.
A total of NPR 273,819,718.70 (GoN NPR. 20,563,543.18 + JFA NPR. 253,256, 175.52) has been spent during 2019/20, i.e., as of 15 July 2020.  Thus, total utilization rate of the fiscal year stands at 18%. If we break down the total utilization rate, there is only 6.8% utilization in GoN part and 21.1% utilization in JFA part.  An amount of NPR 1,226,180,281 remained unspent due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting the most important time in implementation, i.e., from March to July 2020. million Statement Budget Expenditure Ratio % GoN 300 20.6 6.9 DPs 1200 253.3 21.1 Total 1500 273.9 18.3 TA 300 40.89 13.6 In addition to the above, NPR 300 million was planned under technical assistance (on the-budget, off-treasury) for 2019/20 and of which NPR 4, 089, 6874.80 (13 %) was spent. 
Major issues/challenges in implementation of the projectThe Institutionalization process of PLGSP took more time than expected resulting on delay of signing the MoU with PGs, ASIP approval, TASP selection, staff recruitment etc. LDTA being an autonomous institution with internal liabilities of staff, assets and others took more time than it was expected at the beginning to undergo the restructuring process. The countrywide lockdown in relation to COVID-19 crisis was imposed (on 24 March 2020) at the time when PLGSP was taking its initial steps and picking its momentum in implementing ASIP activities. The whole focus of the program was then diverted towards responding to COVID-19 crisis. Consequently, the implementation of the PLGSP planned activities faced numerous challenges.  
Efforts made to address the issuesProgram implementation was continued with limited staff Following the cabinet decision to handover LDTA regional training center to the provincial government, most of the provincial governments choose fast track of issuing executive order to establish the PCGG (re-structures regional graining center) instead of waiting for assembly process, which will help to expedite he institutional process towards establishing PCGG and implementing the activities in next fiscal year. PLGSP office remained closed during the lockdown due to the outbreak of the COVID-19. PLGSP attempted to contextualize program through the preparation of contingency plan, adopted virtual mode of working via online communication and continued interactions and meetings at different levels.