Council instructs nonprofits to report financial details through softwareRepresentatives of non-government organisations say they welcome the Social Welfare Council’s move so long as it is not aimed at controlling them.
Prithvi Man Shrestha
The Social Welfare Council has asked the domestic non-governmental organisations to submit the details about the resources they have collected from foreign countries and their uses.
The details have been sought so that they could be entered into the Aid Management Information System of the Finance Ministry to ensure transparency in foreign aid management. For this purpose, the government has developed a software, called Aid Management Platform.
“As per the request of the Finance Ministry, we have asked all domestic NGOs to furnish the details so that they could be uploaded into the system,” said Shiva Kumar Basnet, the spokesperson for the council. “Once they start entering their details into the system, the entire picture of foreign aid mobilisation in the country will be transparent.”
According to the Development Cooperation Policy 2019, domestic and foreign NGOs should use the window of the council while mobilising development aid.
Domestic NGOs have been collecting a significant amount of money and resources from foreign countries and foreign partner organisations, Basnet said.
“In order to avoid duplication of reporting, we have instructed domestic NGOs to submit the details of the aid received from abroad just as foreign NGOs have been reporting about the resources distributed to their partner domestic NGOs.”
According to the council, it issued approval for the domestic NGOs to bring in around Rs10 billion during the first eight months of the current fiscal year. Foreign NGOs got approval to bring in around Rs12 billion. Last fiscal year, domestic and foreign NGOs had secured the council’s approval to bring in around Rs60 billion.
The NGO Federation of Nepal, a grouping of domestic NGOs, has cautiously welcomed the government’s initiative.
“Having one window system for reporting is a good idea. I hope the government does not have the intention to control the NGOs but to encourage the NGOs to finance in the areas where there is a resource deficit,” said Jitram Lama, president of the federation.
Late last year, the council had revised project proposal format with the provision of having some control measures on domestic NGOs. Such provision was only applicable to international NGOs in the past.
In the revised project proposal format, the council has barred non-partner NGOs from receiving funds from international NGOs.
Aid Management Platform has so far helped the government in tracking down the foreign aid both by foreign donors and foreign NGOs.
International NGOs disbursed $215 million to various projects in Nepal in the last fiscal year 2018-19, according to the Development Cooperation Report 2018-19. The amount was almost double of what they had spent—$110 million—in the previous fiscal year, according to the report.
The share of foreign NGOs in the total official development assistance of donors stood at 12 percent in the last fiscal year. During the period 2010 to 2020, foreign NGOs disbursed $1.11 billion, according to the Finance Ministry.