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In a new issue of Insight, Maksha R. Maharjan and Basan Shrestha presents a summary of process, major outcomes and key lessons learned from Public Hearing and Public Auditing (PHPA) as practiced in CARE Nepal's SAGUN program in Nepal.

Insight: Notes from the Field is a new publication from RECOFTC. The publication aims to create a forum for practitioners to share field level cases from work to support communities and other local stakeholders to manage natural resources and to improve their rural livelihoods.


Abstract:

Although Community Forestry in Nepal has been very successful in improving forest condition and meeting the forest product requirements of user groups, there is a growing concern whether the community forestry programme has been successful in practicing good governance for its equitable and sustainable management, and empowering poor, women and marginalized groups. Taking these issues in view, "Strengthened Actions for Governance in Utilization of Natural Resources" (SAGUN) Programme is making all its efforts through various interventions to create awareness and build up confidence of user groups to institutionalize good governance in community forestry. Public Hearing and Public Auditing (PHPA) is one of the major interventions carried out in order to promote good governance practices among user groups.

On the whole, the PHPA has been effective in promoting good governance practices at the group level in terms of transparency and accountability among executive committee members as well as general user groups. This has not only helped improve the financial management system in the groups, but has also helped in improving social inclusion in terms of participation and representation of women, Dalits and the poor in the decision making process, including their access to natural resources and equitable sharing of the benefits. More importantly, the PHPA has been very effective in contributing towards an anti-corruption drive at the group level. This paper presents a summary of process, major outcomes and key lessons learned from PHPA as practiced in the SAGUN Programme in Nepal.


Public Hearing and Public Auditing in the Community Forestry User Groups: A summary of process, outcomes and lessons learned from the SAGUN Programme in Nepal. By Maksha R. Maharjan. Ph.D., Basan Shrestha & SAGUN Forestry Buffer Zone Team, CARE Nepal. Insight: Notes from the Field. Issue 1. 2006

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