The Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN) clarifies that non-Nepalis serving as Country Heads, experts or staff members in its member INGOs had not been working illegally as reported in a spate of recent news items.
Since the early 1990s, non-Nepali INGO professionals had been working in Nepal as per two legally valid provisions. First, each non-Nepali INGO professional was hired on the basis of verified, recommended and signed general and project agreements with the Social Welfare Council (SWC). Second, each of SWC’s approval was further endorsed by the Government of Nepal so that the concerned INGOs could make necessary arrangements to legally hire the approved number of non-Nepali professionals for a duration of time.
According to a press release of AIN, the Social Welfare Act of BS 2049 says that the SWC is the focal government institution which deals with all INGO matters. Respecting this provision, the AIN and its INGO members had long been abiding by the SWC’s recommendations and the subsequent governmental endorsements to hire non-Nepali INGO professionals. If this background information is left out, it becomes both disingenuous and misleading to report – that too, without asking a single AIN representative to offer the other side of the story -- that INGOs had been illegally hiring non-Nepali professionals.
As development partners, AIN and its member INGOs are fully committed to abide by the laws of the country. AIN urges for better coordination among different governmental entities so that there is clarity with regard to the nature of INGOs’ work (i.e. social service and development) and the processes which foster the growth of such work in Nepal.