On August 19-20, 2023, the Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice organized a provincial workshop on dialogue for the Sudurpaschim Province Dialogue Forum, focusing on strengthening capacity for dialogue practices and skills, dispute resolution and inclusive governance, and collaborative and detached rights of three tiers of government. The workshop developed knowledge and skills in the conceptual and practical aspects of dialogue work. A total of 19 people (10 male, 9 female) were present in the event.
The objectives of the workshop were:
- to provide a deeper understanding of the three-tiered governance system and the role of provincial government in this system.
- to workshop ideas on how provincial Dialogue forums can play a more conducive role in provincial governance.
- to provide the technical support (conceptual knowledge and practicing skills) for members of Provincial Dialogue Forum of Sudurpaschim province.
The workshop was initiated with icebreaking between participants, introducing between the participant, and sharing about the workshop objectives and session schedules. The workshop convened with the primary aim of delving into the multifaceted realm of dialogue within Nepal’s federal governance system. The sessions conducted during the workshop were thoughtfully designed to encompass various dimensions of dialogue, ranging from its conceptual landscape and historical evolution to its contemporary relevance. The framework of Nepal’s federal structure, as outlined by the constitution and laws, was thoroughly explored to highlight the interconnections between different layers of government. This report presents a comprehensive overview of the workshop’s proceedings, focusing on the key topics covered.
The workshop centered around a critical discourse concerning the pivotal role of provincial governments within the framework of federalism. A primary focus was placed on elucidating the vital contributions of provincial dialogue forums in bolstering provincial governance, fostering intergovernmental relations, and enhancing communication strategies within the context of governance reform. The discussions were directed towards dissecting the jurisdiction of provincial governments, shedding light on the distinct boundaries of their exclusive rights as well as the collaborative rights they share, as delineated in the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal 2015. The highlights of session delivered in workshop:
This session provided a historical trajectory of the evolution of dialogue as a means of addressing societal conflicts. The session highlights the concept of Dialogues came after world war II, and in 2001, UNESCO introduced the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Subsequently, in December 2002, the UN General Assembly designated May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development through resolution 57/249. Also, in the session there was discussion on the contemporary relevance of dialogue was emphasized, showcasing its adaptability to the changing dynamics of Nepal’s federal governance system.
Three Tiers of Federal Government and Interconnections
A meticulous analysis of Nepal’s federal structure was presented, elucidating the intricate layers of government and their interdependencies. The constitutional mandate and legal framework were highlighted, shedding light on the relationships between various levels of governance.
Dialogue Correlates and Dynamics
The diverse facets associated with dialogue, including discussion, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and conflict transformation, were explored comprehensively. The session delved into the design, steps, and processes of effective dialogue, integrating a 5P analysis framework.
Dialogue Skills and Conflict Transformation
Participants were provided with an opportunity to enhance their dialogue skills through interactive exercises and role-play scenarios. The potential of dialogue in transforming conflicts and fostering sustainable resolutions was a focal point of this session.
Sustainability and Scope of Dialogue
The workshop presented insights into the sustainability of dialogue initiatives and their applications across various conflict phases. Real-world examples were discussed to illustrate the diverse scope of dialogue in mitigating conflicts.
The workshop focused creating an equal and inclusive society necessitates the incorporation of perspectives from all parts of life. It emphasizes the importance of not solely highlighting the most vocal and conspicuous voices, but valuing the varied knowledge and insights present within our society, even when they differ. Women, and those from historically marginalized groups, such as gender minorities, persons with disabilities, persons from the Dalit community, youth and ethnic minorities, continue to be underrepresented in Dialogue forums.
Role of Provincial Dialogue Forums and Action Plans
This session 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.
The workshop proved to be a dynamic platform for the exploration of dialogue within Nepal’s federal governance framework. The diverse sessions collectively illuminated the nuances of dialogue, from its historical roots to its contemporary applications. The comprehensive understanding gained by participants is poised to contribute to the sustainable resolution of conflicts and the promotion of effective governance practices. The insights generated during this workshop serve as a stepping stone towards fostering a culture of dialogue and collaboration in Nepal’s evolving federal structure.