Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) organised a six-day Eastern Regional Programme Orientation and Planning Workshop of Community Development Programme (CDP) for all CDP staff members in Biratnagar from 28 February to 4 March 2016. The programme was organised in order to orient CDP district staff on CDP programme documents and prepare annual district level plan for CDP implementation in the 9 programme districts in Tarai.

Key officials from CDP Programme Management Unit (PMU), including consortium partners World Food Programme (WFP), Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and representatives from Local Governance and Community Programme (LGCDP) regional office Biratnagar, DFID/GIZ Risk Management Office (RMO) and regional and district level CDP staff were the participants of the workshop. Mr Gobinda Neupane, Local Governance Coordinator at DFID, was present during the workshop to observe and provide guidance.

The workshop opened up with an inaugural session. Ms Mana Dahal, RRN President, Mr Gobinda Neupane, Local Governance Coordinator at DFID, and Pranay Sharma, Regional Livelihood and Local Economic Development Expert at LGCDP Biratnagar made their brief remarks. Ms Dahal highlighted Community Development Programme (CDP) as both an opportunity and challenge to RRN and CDP consortium partners. She expected all the consortium partners, DFID, LGCDP Regional Offices, and RMO would share ideas, bring clarity and build greater collaboration, and that the participants would actively take part in the discussion and apply the learning in the field. Mr Neupane requested all the participants to have utmost interest and readiness to learn during the workshop. In the presentation that followed, he highlighted the background and the social, economic and political problems on which CDP was designed. Poverty, remoteness, poor governance, absence of economic transformation and lack of coherence in delivery are the key issues CDP aims to address. CDP complements LGCDP by utilising the best practices from the past. Likewise, Mr Sharma said that mutual coordination with concerned stakeholders including LGCDP and sharing of learning would be the success factors of CDP. He expects the CDP to provide policy feedbacks as well.

Dr Sarba Raj Khadka, Executive Director of RRN, provided strategic guidance for the implementation of CDP. In addition, he highlighted and made aware the CDP/RRN team on organisational policies, guidelines and practices that everyone associated to RRN should comply with.

For rest of the days, the participants presented and discussed on the background information, policy guidelines, programme documents and implementation procedures with a view to enhancing knowledge and skill of the CDP team.

Ms Meenu Hada and Mr Prem Dawadi from WFP presented the role of WFP in CDP as a consortium partner focusing on village development periodic plan (VDPP), and capacity building. Similarly, Dr Sanjay Acharya from OPM presented how surveys, rapid assessments, MIS and overall monitoring and evaluation will be managed. OPM would lead baseline, midline and end-line surveys and rapid assessments as well as manage MIS and oversee the overall implementation of CDP.

Likewise, Mr Raj Kumar Rai from RMO updated the on the general risk and security situation in central and eastern Tarai along with the key services that are provided by RMO. He also suggested the CDP team the measures to be taken to ensure safe and effective development as well as preparedness and mitigation measures for smooth implementation in Tarai districts.

Series of presentation and group discussions on CDP documents, such as logical framework, indicators and activities, CDP implementation guidelines, social mobilisation guidelines, resource mobilization guidelines, communication strategy, sustainability and exit strategy, 14 step planning process, accounting system and financial guidelines, and community score card were the main topics of discussion during the 6 day programme.

As the key outcomes of the workshop, district-wise annual plan has been prepared, VDC selection criteria and process has been revised and the districts teams have set an initial plan to initiate activities in the districts.