Public Participation and Its Impacts in Development: an experience from Nepal. “Think about public participation for development and apply it for betterment” Always, a play plays in my mind about all being winners between drivers of development and helping hands for it. These drivers not other than the government, investors and donators for the development for poor people of poor countries to pull them up on the way of completeness. Similarly, Helping hands are really those of rural peoples who are always waiting for making their hands busy for perpetual development, joy at present and secure life for generation.
Yes, this is a concept of public participation in development works and decision making from village to national level. And I am mainly focused in the context of Nepal; what was the condition of public participation in development works in past, its consequences in present and lessons that should be learned from the past. In case of Nepal, we find some regulations and acts of government about mandatory public participation for public concerned development works. Some of such acts and manuals are as follows: 1. National EIA guide lines, 1993. 2.
Manuals for Public Involvement, Scoping, Public hearing for EIA of any public concerned projects like cement industries and hydropower in Nepal. The government has prioritized the concept of Public Participation (PP) in 10th five year plan (see at link: http://www. npc. gov. np/uploads/plans/20081228122339. pdf). During FY 1996/97; the Nepal government lunched a popular program between its citizens with slogan “make village ownself” which became so successful mainly to built new corridors of roads in a national level and its gist is being followed in one to another way by succeeding governments.
This means the concept of public participation for development is in forefront of governments’ priorities since more than decade back. Similarly, many NGOs and INGOs, ADB and WB working in Nepal are also found encouraging for maximum public participation in any social works and development works. Even some studies in context of Nepal showed the willingness of local rural peoples from project affected area to be involved in such development works though public participation (Singh, Dilli Bahadur, 31 January 2007. P 8).
As a result of involvement of different NGOs and INGOs in village level and from past experiences about their involvement in development works and its positive impacts in front of their eyes have increased the awareness and interest in public participation in spite of being idle or anonymous. More than that, it has added pace in development works right from the individual level to national level in agreed manner among all stack holders ranging from villagers to government or investors. In sum, healthy public participations can bring our dreams in to reality for developing countries like Nepal to be a developed one.
This is all because of compliance that comes due to feelings of oneness and self involvement. Thus, more than involvement of local peoples in the development works public participation is a way of bringing consensus on unseen conflicts in work to be implemented or that is on the way of succeeding goal. So I urge to all be unite and participate in development work rather than doing alone. References: 1. Singh, Dilli Bahadur, 31 January 2007, Public Acceptance for Sustainable Power Development: Shearing Nepalese Experience (look at a link: www. worldenergy. org/documents/p001433. doc) By: Yadu Nath Timsina
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