PROYEL: Lesson From Bheri Municipality

Following the implementation of the Promotion of Youth Engagement in Local Governance Process (PROYEL) project, funded by the European Union and Helvetas-Nepal, the youth of Bheri Municipality in Jajarkot District are developing the necessary skills to participate in the local governance process.

March 4, 2024, 8:52 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 15, March.10,2024 (Falgun,27. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

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With the increasing involvement of young people in the budget and planning process, the Bheri Municipality in the Jajarkot District of Karnali Province has begun allocating funds for youth in areas such as mental health, GESI, enterprise and education.

After the implementation of the PROYEL project in the Municipality and the establishment of Youth Panel (YP), Helvetas Nepal's PROYEL project in collaboration with the Women Empowerment Action Forum (WEAF), the local partner, has already organized 21 training and interaction programs since April 2022.

Following learning about the constitutional, legal and procedural issues of local governance, youth are showing more interest in municipal programs, budgeting and planning process.

Chandra Prasad Gharti, the Mayor of Bheri Municipality, has noticed a significant increase in youth engagement during his second consecutive tenure. He stated," six years ago, very few young people would come to the office with request for projects and budget allocation for the youth population. However, since the establishment of the Wad level Youth Panel in all 13 wards of Bheri Municipality as well as one at the municipal level Panel in August 2022, youth have been becoming a priority at all levels of the municipality."

"As 40 percent of Nepal's population is youth, with over 43 percent being elected representatives at the local, provincial and national level, it is concerning that youth participation in local governance and democratic processes are negligible, “said Dr. Prabin Manandhar, Country Director of Helvetas Nepal.” Through the implementation of PROYEL, Helvetas Nepal aims to increase youth participation and make local government more youth-friendly. It is good to see things are changing now."

During in an interaction meeting held on January 23 at the office of Bheri Municipality in Khalanga, the Municipality and the Bheri Municipality Youth Panel discussed the youth agenda with mayor Gharti. Prem BK, convener of Bheri Municipality Youth Panel, led the discussion.

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The meeting, which was held in Khalanga of Jajarkot, was attended by the ward chairpersons, Dal Bahadur Gharti, Acting Chief Administrative Officer, Helvetas Nepal Country Director Dr. Prabin Manandhar, PROYEL Project Coordinator Aagya Pokharel, Om Khadka, Knowledge Management and IT Coordinator, Shreda Shrestha, Project Officer and Caroline Guillet, Helvetas Nepal Office and YP members. Additionally, WEAF officers. Supported by his two colleagues, Dharmasara BK, 22, and Binisa Oli, 19, YP members from Ward 9 and Ward 8, respectively, BK asked the municipal leaders to increase the budget for youth employment. Oli suggested that necessary efforts should be made to prevent child marriage in the context of the earthquake.


PROYEL, implemented in the five municipalities of Karnali Province, including Bheri Municipality as well as three municipalities in Madhesh Province, has facilitated young people in expressing their concerns to local governments in a structured and institutionalized way."Apart from supporting the formation of the youth body, we have initiated various capacity building programs for youth, youth organizations, municipalities and elected representatives. The project has already conducted twenty-two programs in the municipality in collaboration with local partners," said Aagya Pokharel, Coordinator of Helvetas Nepal's PROYEL project.

"I learned about the budget-making process, annual planning preparation process, GESI and democratic process. The elected representatives actually listen to us," said Dharmasara BK, 24, coordinator of Ward No. 9 of Bheri Municipality. The project carried out many programs including a baseline survey to determine the status of young people, and the youth policy in Bheri Municipality. Additionally, the project included an introduction to the new elected local government representatives.

To provide legal and constitutional provisions on federal structures, three tiers of government and Gender Equality Social Inclusion (GESI), the project organized trainings that provided basic information on federal structures, the constitution, laws and the role of the three tiers of government in relations to youth. Additionally, trainings were conducted on human rights, violations against women and the rights of sexual minorities.

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Shortly before the federal elections in November 2022, the project conducted training on electoral literacy. In addition, the project facilitated the youth-Palika dialogue, palika internship training program, third-party financial support, and consultative session with Palika during the planning and budget process.

The project also provided training on budget tracking surveys, good governance, and citizen satisfaction surveys and gender audits. It mobilized Youth Good Governance Practitioner to monitor the ward level planning process and introduce social accountability tools in all 13 wards of Bheri Municipality in November-December 2023.

Dal Bahadur Gharti, the Acting Executive Administrative Officer of the Municipality, acknowledged the contribution of PROYEL in bringing the youth population and the municipality together.

Alongside the youth, the project also conducted capacity-building sessions for local elected representatives of Bheri Municipality on meaningful use of social media and digital literacy. The Deputy Mayor as well as other ward chairpersons and members actively participated in the training.

"At every stage of the project, GESI has been a cross-cutting issue," said Shreda Shrestha, Project Officer of the PROYEL project.

Helvetas Youth Panel member BK.jpg

With constant monitoring, inspection, and guidance from Helvetas Nepal's PROYEL team led by Project Coordinator Aagya Pokharel, the project has made remarkable progress in achieving the set goal in Bheri Rural Municipality of Jajarkot District.

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