Nepal

Field Bulletin - Issue 32, January 2012 - Independence of the NGO sector? A case study from selected Eastern districts

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The Context

The Government of Nepal established the Social Services National Coordination Council (SSNCC) in 1977 to foster the establishment of NGOs and to coordinate their activities. The SSNCC de facto controlled the development money which entered the country and was headed by the then queen. At the time when democracy was restored in 1990 and the SSNCC was dissolved, only 222 NGOs were registered in Nepal. In 1992 the new government set up the Social Welfare Council (SWC) to be responsible for registering NGOs who wanted to access government funds or work directly with donors. Nepal consequently witnessed a phenomenal rise in the number of registered NGOs with the SWC database consisting of over 30,000 NGOs by July 2010. As the government also authorized the Chief District Officers (CDOs) to register NGOs at a local level (and to renew their registration annually upon submission of their progress report and financial audit reports) rough estimates suggest that there may be more than 50,000 NGOsregistered in the country.