Public Hearing and Public Auditing helps minimize corruption



Posted on 25 January 2013  | 
Ekendra Sunuwar from Kailali, Sugarkhal is very happy. Recently at the start of Hariyo Ban Program activities the Wandali Community Forest Users Group from Sugarkhal gathered for the first time for a public hearing. "In our public hearing around NRs 99,072 was caught in embezzlement and official steps were taken to retrieve the money immediately from the perpetrators. The communities here have understood the importance and effectiveness of Public Hearing and Public Auditing, and now we are committed to continue this every year and to take relevant actions against anyone involved in corruption," says Ekendra Sunuwar.

CARE Nepal and FECOFUN, consortium partners of the Hariyo Ban Program, are very active in strengthening governance of natural resource management (NRM) groups through Participatory Governance Assessment (PGA), Community Learning and Action Centers (CLACs), Participatory Well Being Ranking (PWBR), and PHPA. So far the Hariyo Ban Program has supported 147 NRM groups to conduct PHPAs.

PHPA is a recognized tool that promotes participation to strengthen transparency and accountability in institutions. The public hearing part of PHPA involves a participatory discussion session between a community forest users group’s members and its executive committee. Here, information is shared and assessed on managerial activities and outcomes. In the public auditing part, financial transactions and group funds are reviewed.

"PHPA helps to sensitize both general members and the executive committee to fulfill their roles, rights and responsibilities by acting on provisions laid down in their constitution and operation plan. Several issues have been raised during PHPA such as inclusive representation in executive committees, transparency in decision making and financial transactions, allocation of group resources for pro-poor activities and recovery of misappropriated funds in the NRM groups," says Madhav Dhakal, Governance Specialist, Hariyo Ban Program, CARE Nepal. PHPA has acted as an expanded and inclusive negotiated space between empowered citizens and service providers.

Hariyo Ban trains local resource persons to facilitate the PHPA process in community forests. Local resource persons also capacitate NRM groups to conduct PHPA in a strategic manner. One of Hariyo Ban’s important cross-cutting themes strengthening internal governance of NRM groups and their networks, is critically important to enhance the role of these groups as custodians of natural resources and ensure equitable benefit sharing amongst the group members, particularly the poorest and most marginalized.

For further information:
Pallavi Dhakal
Communications Officer, Hariyo Ban Program
WWF Nepal


Disclaimer: The Hariyo Ban Program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the responsibility of WWF and CARE Nepal and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
Community gather for public hearing and public auditing
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