On August 27-28, 2023, NFRJ organized a provincial workshop for Lumbini Provincial Dialogue Forum. This workshop was strategically designed to empower participants with
the essential skills and practices of effective dialogue, dispute resolution, and inclusive
governance. Additionally, it focused on clarifying the collaborative and distinct rights of the
three tiers of government. The workshop served as a valuable platform for fostering both
theoretical and practical knowledge in the realm of dialogue work, A total of 24 people (17 male, 6 female and 1 Gender Sexual Minority) were present in the event.
Central to the workshop’s agenda was a critical discourse on the pivotal role of provincial
governments within the federal system. The discussions revolved around elucidating the
substantial contributions of provincial dialogue forums in strengthening provincial governance, fostering intergovernmental relations, and enhancing communication strategies in the realm of
governance reform. These conversations aimed to dissect the jurisdiction of provincial
governments, clarifying both their exclusive rights and collaborative rights as outlined in the
Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal 2015.
The workshop commenced by examining the foundational concepts underpinning dialogue,
engaging participants in thoughtful discussions about its essence and significance in facilitating
effective communication and conflict resolution. It also delved into the historical trajectory of
dialogue as a tool for addressing societal conflicts, highlighting its contemporary relevance
within Nepal’s evolving federal governance system.
During the workshop, the consultant, an expert in intergovernmental relations, federalism, and
policy structures, was tasked with facilitating sessions on the fundamentals of the Federal system
of governance, which involves multiple tiers of government responsible for constitutionally
assigned mandates. The discussions also revolved around intergovernmental relationships among
the three levels of government in Nepal’s federal system. In a separate session, the consultant
focused on the role of provincial dialogue forums in enhancing intergovernmental relations
within this federal framework.
Additionally, participants engaged in conversations about how these dialogue forums could
identify and prioritize agenda items among various cases and issues for dialogue with provincial
governments. To support these discussions, the consultant provided content-rich presentations
and reading materials covering topics such as federal systems, multi-level governance,
constitutional provisions regarding provincial government competencies, stakeholder
engagement, and the role of civil society and government organizations in public service
The terms of reference outlined six key themes for the consultant to address: the fundamentals
and practices of federal governance, the roles of provincial governments as defined by Nepal’s
constitution, the significance and challenges of intergovernmental relations in Nepal, the position
of provinces in multi-order governance within the federal system, the role of dialogue in
intergovernmental relations, and the potential of provincial dialogue forums in promoting a
culture of dialogue on public agendas.
The sustainability of dialogue initiatives and their applicability across different conflict phases
were also discussed, with real-world examples illustrating the diverse scope of dialogue in
conflict mitigation. In pursuit of fostering an equal and inclusive society, the workshop underscored the importance of incorporating perspectives from all segments of society. It emphasized the need to value the diverse knowledge and insights present within society, even when they differ. The workshop
highlighted the underrepresentation of women, historically marginalized groups, including
gender minorities, persons with disabilities, individuals from the Dalit community, youth, and
ethnic minorities, within dialogue forums. Inclusion in dialogue is the practice of ensuring that
all voices, regardless of background or identity, are heard and valued in discussions and
decision-making processes. It involves creating a respectful and safe environment, promoting
active listening, and encouraging equal participation from diverse participants. To foster
empathy and empowerment, participants should use inclusive language and seek feedback for
Leadership and role modeling play a crucial role in setting the tone for inclusive dialogue.
Finally, the workshop delved into the role of dialogue forums at the provincial level,
emphasizing their significance in promoting inclusive governance. Practical action plans were
formulated to harness the power of dialogue for effective conflict resolution.
In conclusion, the workshop emerged as a vibrant platform for delving into dialogue within
Nepal’s federal governance framework. The array of sessions provided a holistic view of
dialogue, spanning its historical origins to its modern-day relevance. The knowledge acquired by
participants promises to enhance conflict resolution sustainability and bolster the efficacy of
governance. The valuable insights gleaned from this workshop stand as a foundation for
nurturing a culture of dialogue and cooperation within Nepal’s evolving federal system.