Creating and Sustaining a Free Society: A Colloquium

Call for Proposals

Terms of Reference

1. Context

The general elections of 2017 gave the Communist Party of Nepal government, the mandate to lead Nepal’s transition from erstwhile unitary system of the governance to a federal structure. The government is now charged with the responsibility of institutionaise the change through crafting new new policies, drafting new legislations and setting up a large number of new institutions at the federal and sum-national levels.

In a bid to expedite the enactment of such laws, the government has imposed arbitrary rules on its citizens challenging freedom at all fronts. In an unprecedented move, the newly introduced criminal code curtails press freedom as the law prohibits releasing of private information, satires or disrespecting government officials. The Information Technology Bill empowers government authorities to restrict social media access by imposing penalties for posting ‘improper’ content on social media platforms. Moreover, the moral policing of the government by arresting popular singers and comedians for promoting ‘anti-social values’ has threatened the civil society space. In the economic front, the institution of the contribution-based social security scheme has deprived individuals from their right over the fruits of their own labour (after taxes.)

All of these instances substantiate the fact that the economic, political and civil space in Nepal is not just shrinking, but the ideals of a liberal democracy – personal autonomy and individual rights, freedom of expression, rule of law – are facing the hammer of draconian laws and rules. This absence of a free society and a space to creatively project and test ideas will eventually hinder the prosperity of the nation. Therefore, this requires immediate intervention.

 As an organization whose ideals are rooted in freedom, we intend to play the role of a watchdog to sensitize the civil society regarding the spread of anti-liberal practices. Samriddhi strongly believes in the creation of a free society in Nepal because it is only in a free society with different value systems that one can freely contest their ideas in the public sphere and policy can be robustly formed without any undue influence.

2. Principles of Liberalism – A Colloquium

Samriddhi Foundation, hence, is organizing a ‘Creating and Sustaining a Free Society’ colloquium.

2.1. Objective

  • to encourage the exploration of ideas through informal, yet serious, discussion among a group of young intellectuals 
  • immerse the participants in the values of a liberal society who can then act as the ambassadors of liberalism in Nepal

2.2 Outputs

  • Eight sessions of moderated discussions key principles and insights of liberalism
  • One compilation of selected essays on liberal values

2.3 Outcome

  • A network of likeminded young intellectuals from both political and apolitical backgrounds which could be leveraged to promote ideas of a free society in Nepal.

3. Methodology

The colloquium will be a political education program whereby it will engage with 20 young intellectuals by bringing them on the same platform to partake in a rigorous discourse over the key principles of liberalism like individual freedom, rule of law, limited government, property rights, and so on in a Socratic discourse manner.

Participants who believe in the philosophy of liberty will engage with one another over eight virtual discussion sessions discussing specially selected classical liberal texts with experienced and knowledgeable session moderators. The program will intend to encourage the exploration of ideas through informal, yet serious, discussion among a small group of individuals from a range of disciplines and expertise. Participants will be shared a list of articles around the theme of Liberalism, which will be further sub-divided into eight sub themes, which they will read and sit at an online setting to have a moderated Socratic discussion on.

Call for quotations

In order to deliver this project, Samriddhi invites quotations from interested consultants for the following tasks and responsibilities. Interested individuals or consulting agencies are requested to send in detailed quotations including estimated costs, and detailed resumes to:

Either info@samriddhi.org, nabina@samriddhi.org, akash@samriddhi.org via email, or,

 via post to Samriddhi Foundation, PO Box No.: 8973, NPC 678, Kathmandu, Nepal, or,

hand deliver the quotation to Samriddhi premises at 664, Bhimsengola Marga, Minbhawan Kharibot, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Kindly mark the positions that is being applied for on the cover of the envelope. The quotations should reach Samriddhi by 6th November, 2020, no later than 5.00 PM Nepal Standard Time. Contract award will be communicated by 9th November, 2020 to all the applicants.

Position: Colloquium Coordinator

The Colloquium coordinator will be responsible for:

  • Working with Samriddhi Foundation to communicate selection results with candidates
    • Compile reading materials and all videos and other reference materials to be used by lecturers and participants throughout the colloquium
    • Coordinating the online organisation of the colloquium including participant sign ins and management of break-out rooms on daily basis
    • Coordinating with the colloquium moderator, communicating colloquium’s expectations with him/her and make necessary arrangements as per the moderator’s session plans.
    • Conducting pre and post tests of the participants
    • Ensuring record-keeping of all sessions
    • Handling participant queries and issues throughout the colloquium
    • Overall logistical support of the colloquium

The consultant should have the following qualifications:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Social Science,
  • Have at least 3 years’ experience of organizing and coordinating workshops and trainings,

Preference will be given to candidates who have worked with public policy institutes in the past

Duration: The Consultant will work on this project for eight man-days.

Remuneration: Negotiable. The Consultant is required to offer their quotation first.

Position: Colloquium Moderator

The Colloquium Moderator will be responsible for:

  • Conducting all eight sessions of the colloquium
  • Implement the adopted methodology and colloquium schedule
  • Moderating the sessions of the colloquium as designed by Samriddhi Foundation through external curriculum developer,
  • Have completely read all reading materials as designed by the colloquium curriculum developer and have referred to additional resource materials upon guidance of Samriddhi Foundation as per the objectives of the program to instigate the discussions in the same line as the objectives. 
  • Ensure that all participants are actively partaking in the discussions by createing avenues for them to participate.

The Moderator should have the following qualifications:

  • Have a Master’s degree or higher in Social Science (preferably public policy),
  • Have at least 5 years’ experience of working in Nepal-based organisation studying public policy,
  • Have an understanding of policy process in Nepal,
  • Prior experience of having moderated trainings and seminars

Preference will be given to candidates who have run trainings and seminars in the past

Duration: The Moderator will work on this project for eight man-days.

Remuneration: Negotiable. The Consultant is required to offer their quotation first.

Position: Colloquium Reader Developer

· Develop a comprehensive reading material covering at least the following areas as per the program objective:

  • Rule of law
  • Limited government
  • Private Property
  • Trade and globalization
  • Spontaneous order
  • Role of incentives
  • Role of Civil Society

· Recommend additional reading and reference materials for the moderator as well as the participants.

· Develop a mechanism for testing the learnings of participants

Duration: The Moderator will work on this project for ten man-days.

Remuneration: Negotiable. The Consultant is required to offer their quotation first.