Daayitwa Nepal Public Service Fellowship Governance Symposium
Daayitwa organized Daayitwa Nepal Public Service Fellowship Symposium at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Tahachal to mark the successful completion of the three-month long Fellowship Program. Since its inception in 2013, Daayitwa Fellowship has directly worked towards bridging gaps between youth and the government while strongly emphasizing the importance of use of evidence in policy making. It has brought home knowledge, skills, and expertise acquired by Nepali youths internationally; the program has seen overall participation from Nepali youths from 26 different countries. The conclusion of the 9th Daayitwa Nepal Public Service Fellowship in 2019 marks an impressive milestone of 99 young Nepalis having worked closely in 28 ministries and public agencies, and with 21 honorable parliamentarians.
As the opening speaker, Juliana Shrestha, on behalf of 10 Daayitwa Fellows of 2019 enlightened the audience about their experiences on a shared journey of three months. “From complaining about the government to working very closely in government organisations, we have undergone an eye-opening experience about how the government works. Despite hurdles and challenges throughout our Fellowship, we take back home persistence and patience as the main learnings and a promise to return to work for the government in the future,” she said.
Dr. Pukar Malla, Founder and Executive Chairperson, Daayitwa, remarked that the outcome of the Fellowship Program has been invaluable efforts in learning, and search for an identity among the fellows. “The program receives application from young Nepalese living all over the world. Daayitwa fellows have demonstrated a willingness to work with the government – reflected in the Investment Board, and public and administrative services. The Fellowship programme needs to be institutionalized and we intend to work with the private sector in technical capacities in the long run”, Dr. Malla remarked.
Keynote speaker Mr. Baikuntha Aryal, Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Commerce, and Supplies congratulated Daayitwa on contributing to bridging the gap between government and the youth, especially where institutions are frictional and policies binding. He expressed that with his close association with Daayitwa Fellowship came a belief that the contributions of the Fellows have been remarkable in the institutions they have been a part of. He recommended the Fellowship Program to be extended to the private sector so that gaps and friction points between the public and private sectors can be identified and bridged.
Honorable Prof. Dr. Puspa Raj Kadel, Vice Chair, Nepal Planning Commission graced the event as the Chief Guest. “Daayitwa is committed to doing great work and trying to solve a huge problem that is brain drain. The organization is driven by a great mission and given the dedication, I feel Daayitwa can play a critical role in solving that problem. Such works need recognition and support from the government and I see possible collaboration in the future,” said Hon. Puspa Raj Kadel in his address at the event. He also mentioned how a need to serve at the local level is pertinent and that the government respects Daayitwa’s sentiments and commitment to serving the nation.
Three panel sessions were also held at the event. The first panel session, moderated by Ms. Diva Shrestha addressed the issue of ‘Evidence-Based Policy Making in Nepal’. Radhika Aryal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, expressed that research reflects people’s voices and evidence is important in every stage of policy making since it identifies gaps in policies and budget allocation, proves effectiveness of policies, and also makes officials accountable. She also highlighted updated quantitative contextual data as the need of the hour. Dr. Ram Phuyal, Member, National Planning Commission, in his closing remarks mentioned a long history of data in Nepal. He led the National Data Profile to incorporate comprehensive framework of change. Lastly, he applauded Daayitwa Fellowship for meeting the need for psychological development among young people by bringing in a change in perception.
The second panel was moderated by Dr. Nisha Onta and it covered ‘Innovative Interventions by the Government of Nepal’ where Daayitwa Fellows Lisha Dangol expressed her dissatisfaction in implementation, and reception by the society of the otherwise well-placed laws. The third panel on ‘Boosting Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship’ was moderated by Ms. Sangeeta Thebe Limbu.
Dr. Kiran Rupakhetee, Joint Secretary, National Planning Commission applauded the Fellows for being active participants in the society at such a young age. He was impressed at the audience’s willing to join the government in various capacities. Likewise, he concluded by exploring the possibility of apprenticeship in the 15th National Plan. Former Hon. Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha, inspired by Daayitwa’s mission, marveled at the inclusion of youth in public spheres overcoming a major hindrance of trust deficit between the youth and the government. Concluding the program, Mr. Raunak Thapa, Coordinator (Daayitwa Fellowship) expressed his vote of thanks to the personnel who supported the team to ensure a smooth program over a period of three months.
Daayitwa envisions an enterprising Nepal where every youth has opportunities for a prosperous future.