Monitoring committees in local units ineffectiveCommittee members are responsible for evaluating projects but they don’t have the necessary skills.
Janaki Rural Municipality has around 400 projects in the current fiscal year. The monitoring committee of the rural municipality is responsible for monitoring works but it has not started the preparations on a single project since none has taken off.
“Not one project has been initiated this fiscal year,” said Uma Mahato, vice-chairperson of the rural municipality and coordinator of the monitoring committee. According to her, the monitoring and evaluation works do not seem likely to start anytime soon.
Last fiscal year, the monitoring committee of Tikapur Municipality conducted 11 meetings in one day but did not evaluate even one project. The meetings were held only to release funds for the projects.
Meen Bahadur Shahi, associate professor at Tikapur Multiple Campus, said members of the monitoring committee are busy attending functions rather than helping expedite underperforming projects.
“The Local Government Operation Act directs the committee to monitor the projects regularly but their roles have not been effective so far,” said Shahi.
Although the deputy chief or the vice-person of the local unit is authorised to monitor projects, they don’t have technical knowledge and training to monitor development works. Laxman Tharu, chairman of Janaki Rural Municipality Ward 7, said they only evaluate the works superficially as they lack proper skills.
Nabin Ojha, an engineer at Tikapur Municipality, said monitoring committee members are responsible for project evaluation but they do not know how to run the task. “Committee members are not equipped to monitor development projects since they do not have the technical knowhow,” said Ojha.
Local representatives also agree that they don’t have the skills required to monitor development projects. Keshari Bista, deputy mayor of Tikapur Municipality, said they have been facing difficulties to monitor large development projects such as road upgradation, and construction of bridges and other infrastructure. “We pass a project after technicians verify the construction works,” said Bista, calling it a complex activity.
The monitoring committee has vice-chairperson of the local unit as coordinator and chief administrative officer, two executive members and chief at the planning and monitoring section as members.