In what could be called a positive step forward to bring Nepal’s development partners on the same page in garnering financial support for huge rebuilding work after the earthquake, the Government of Nepal (GoN), together with the development partners, is completing Post-Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) within the next weeks. This document would sum up the common position of the GoN and the development partners at the proposed first round of donor conference to be held towards the last week of June.
At a time when the development partners, citing inefficiency of Nepal’s state instruments, are responding sluggishly towards the call of the government to make contributions in the National Reconstruction Fund, the government has involved major development partners to carry out the much needed PDNA. In the process, the National Planning Commission (NPC) has brought key ministries of the GoN together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Union (EU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and German Technical Cooperation (GIZ).
The GoN seems to hope that the joint document would be a milestone towards eliminating reasons to argue for spending through the donors’ parallel channels. This time, the public sentiment is also hugely in favor of the government as people appear to recognize the risks of allowing scores of parallel spending instruments of the donors.
The PDNA, being prepared by Nepali as well as international experts, is expected to bring uniformity in the assessment of damages, help run programs through GoN’s single door, and assist in medium and long-term development planning. The PDNA is also expected to propose integrated settlements in identified locations, and recommendations to cope future catastrophes. Many donors have recurrently referred to the absence of inter-ministerial coordination in GoN as a reason for moving away from one-door cooperation. The PDNA is likely to propose a powerful Disaster Management Institution to address this concern.