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Politically Polarized Policies Failing To Address People's Aspirations

16 May 2014
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Republica

KATHMANDU, May 15: Nepal has long been suffering from politically-polarized public polices due to the prevalence of politically-polarized policy-making institutions which have been gradually making the people more frustrated, experts said at an event held in Kathmandu on Thursday. 

Speaking at the event on ‘Furthering the Public Policy Discourse’, organized by Nepal Economic Forum (NEF), in association with the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), Professor Rajeev Malhotra of Jindal School of Government, India, emphasized that policy-making institutions shouldn’t be polarized on political ideologies. 

JSGP has published the India Public Policy Report (IPPR), the objective of which is to anticipate and highlight issues that have a bearing on the development prospects of a country in the short to medium-term and help inform and influence the process of policy formulation. 

It aims to strengthen evidence-based policy making, anchored in normative principles. The discussion focused on learning from the Indian experience and deliberating on matters that would be relevant to Nepal. 

Professor Sudarshan Ramaswamy, the Dean of JSGP who has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), discussed holistic perspectives on the discourse relating to public policy taking a global view of how public policy issues are dealt with and comparing it with regional perspectives. 

Malhotra, a policy maker and a leading author of India’s Public Policy Report, explained the manner in which the India Public Policy Report was prepared and how it focused on key issues to deliver the policy effectiveness index, as well as the various components of the index.

Sagar Prasai, the Deputy Country Representative for The Asia Foundation and an advisor to the National Planning Commission on inclusion policies, shared his experience of working in the public policy domain in Nepal, along with the Niti Foundation and talked about the absence of policy process as well as the need for knowledge creation in policy discourses. 

Speakers also highlighted the key challenges emerging in the public policy discourse ranging from changing aspirations of a changing democracy to emerging issues like IT and climate change, as well as issues related to the need to focuses on processes as well as policy stability.