Terms of Reference
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 institutionalize the change through crafting 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.
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.
On top of that, the sub-national governments that have now been charged with the responsibility to draft laws that regulate their own jurisdictions, have neither the prior experience to draw lessons from, nor the experience of engaging with their own policy consumers (citizens) to understand their interests and craft liberal as well as pluralistic and actionable policies. There is therefore, need to educate policymakers as well.
As an organization whose ideals are rooted in freedom, and who has over a decade of educating policymakers in the federal level by having them engage with intellectuals, bureaucrats, non-elected political leaders, locals and the private sector, we intend to play the role of a watchdog to sensitize the civil society regarding the spread of anti-liberal practices as well as educate policy makers to create liberal policies that can actually pave the path for the economic transformation of the country. 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. Program – Political Education on Principles of Liberalism
- To transfer the knowledge of engaging political leaders in discourses with their constituencies (esp. private sector, civil society and local intellectuals) to identify popular as well as liberal policy and policy reform needs
- To institutionalise these leadership circles in three provinces of Nepal.
- To encourage the exploration of ideas through informal, yet serious, discussion among a group of both partisan and non-partisan young intellectuals
- To immerse the participants in the values of a liberal society who can then act as the ambassadors of liberalism in Nepal
- Given the context of COVID-19 and the need for digitalization of regulatory and business practices, map the major hindrances facing women entrepreneurs in terms of doing business in the new normal.
- 12 sessions of moderated discussions on key principles and insights of liberalism
- One compilation of selected essays on liberal values
- 12 mini booklets from local experts on the selected themes for discussions which can be used as educational materials during the educational discussion series as well as latter educational programs of Samriddhi Foundation
- Formation of three provincial level leadership circles that will be comprised of the private sector and political leaders in three provinces of Nepal. The leadership circles will deliberate on the pressing reform needs of the respective provinces and provide reform agendas to the provincial policymakers.
- Two meetings of leadership circles in each of the three provinces
- One research paper that outlines the major hindrances for women entrepreneurs regarding doing business in the new normal given the current context of COVID-19 and wave of digitalisation.
- A culture of private sector and political sector dialogues in the provincial governments in order to build a shared vision of sub-national growth and making public policies truly public
- 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.
- Availability of liberal texts by local authors in local language
The discussion series will be a political education program whereby it will engage with 20 young intellectuals (both political and apolitical in around 65-35% ratio) 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 12 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 Principles of Liberalism, which will be further sub-divided into twelve sub themes, which they will read and sit at an informal setting to have a moderated Socratic discussion on.
In the meantime, Samriddhi will also use this opportunity to engage with some supporters of liberalism in Nepal to come up with small local language write-ups (which will be converted into mini-booklets) connecting these basic principles of liberalism with the local context and use the same as educational materials for Samriddhi’s other regular programs and engagements with students and young professional in future.
Samriddhi has also had a successful history with hosting a platform that allows for the private sector and the political sector to come together and identify policy reform agendas to enable economic growth at the federal level. Members of the FNF have also had a chance to sit and observe these platforms at play when in Nepal. Samriddhi will replicate similar platforms in three provinces of Nepal whereby it will leverage its networks with federal level political leaders and prominent business leaders to take this platform to provincial level and institutionalise it in the three provinces.
Given the context of COVID-19 and the growing discussion over digitalisation of regulatory and business practices, Samriddhi will also conduct a research that maps the challenges esp. to women entrepreneurs regarding going digital in terms of doing business. Samriddhi will engage with expert stakeholders in this area to identify the challenges and come up with actionable policy response agendas.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 19 March, 2021, no later than 5.00 PM Nepal Standard Time. Contract award will be communicated by 31 March, 2021 to all the applicants.
Position: Research Guide (X1)
The Research Guide for the research assignment will be responsible for:
- Designing the study including scoping
- Identifying relevant literatures and guiding the research assistants through the literature review and international case studies.
- Conducting qualitative interviews and consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders to gather information on the stakeholder’s views and position on the topic being studied,
- Highlighting international best practices, and
- Drafting the research paper.
- Providing overall direction to the study,
The research guide should have the following qualifications:
- Have a Master’s degree or higher in Social Science (preferably economics),
- Have at least 5 years’ experience in policy process,
- Understand the policy process in Nepal,
Preference will be given to candidates who have participated in policy reform process in the past
Duration: The Researcher Guide will work on this project for 10 man days.
Position: Research Assistants (X2)
The Research Assistants will be responsible for:
- Conducting literature review under the guidance of the research guide.
- Mapping private sector, government and civil society stakeholders related to the research topic.
- Studying and assessing government’s plans and programs dedicated at facilitating women entrepreneurship in Nepal
- Conducting qualitative interviews and assisting in consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders to gather information on the stakeholder’s views and position on the topic,
- Studying international best practices
- Initial drafting of the research papers
The Research Assistant should have the following qualifications:
- Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Social Science (preferably economics),
- Understand policy process in Nepal,
Preference will be given to candidates who have participated in policy reform process in the past
Duration: Four Research Assistants will work on these two projects (two per research) for 14 man days each.