Emergency Peace Support Project (EPSP)

Emergency Peace Support Project (EPSP)

YEARS: 2013-2014
GRANT AMOUNT: $120,549
THEMES: Social Saftey Nets

The Emergency Peace Support Project (EPSP) seeks to contribute to the peace building process in Nepal by providing interim cash transfers and services to eligible conflict-affected groups. So far, interim cash benefits have been provided to 14,104 families of the deceased and 4,444 widows. Employment and self-employment services (ESES) have also been delivered to about 3,030 conflict-affected persons (CAPs). Beneficiaries have access to rehabilitation in targeted districts, including widows, orphans, and those injured and disabled in conflict, families of those killed in conflict, families of the disappeared, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and those abducted during conflict. A major component of the project is centered around increasing transparency and accountability in the delivery of benefits.

The general objective of the sub-project was to assess the effectiveness of EPSP and to enhance rights, transparency and accountability through citizen participation by 2014. Specific objectives were to:

  • Assess the extent to which service providers are delivering the rehabilitation support to conflict-affected persons
  • Indicate the level of understanding on benefits and support among beneficiaries, and to increase the familiarity of citizens with peace support packages
  • Improve the grievance redress mechanism at local level
  • Promote accountability among service providers by identifying the key areas of interventions/ improvements

The sub-project produced a report based on the use of citizen report cards and a final assessment. Both reports included recommendations to improve the service delivery of benefits to conflict-affected persons. Local peace committees (LPCs), conflict-affected persons, civil society and political parties publicly committed their support to enhance the effectiveness of EPSP through citizen participation.

Some of the key sub-project results included:

  • Increased level of awareness among conflict-affected persons,  resulting in increased applications for support.
  • Increased citizen engagement and empowerment facilitating the formation and organization of local conflict-affected persons alert groups, citizen charters and LPCs at the village development committee (VDC) level.
  • Establishment of an effective grievance mechanism at the VDC level. LPCs recorded grievances, published updated status and forwarded complaints to the district level when necessary. LPCs, district staff and local radio informed people about grievance management mechanisms and encouraged them to register complaints at LPC.
  • Increased citizen awareness and motivation through media mobilization. Local radios broadcasted interviews with key stakeholders and motivated citizens to follow community organizations and write complaints.
  • Enhanced fulfillment of the Right to Information Act through the formation of an information desk at the district level.

Before CARTA, service providers had neither monitoring nor grievance mechanisms in place. In addition, an overwhelming majority of conflict-affected persons (73.9%) had no information of the EPSP program. After the CARTA intervention, service providers became more transparent and accountable as beneficiaries had a better understanding of benefits, including eligibility criteria, application process, payment disbursement mechanism, service providers, the formation process of local peace committees and grievance mechanisms.

Any positive relationship requires constant effort so it is expected that stakeholders will continue to cooperate and remain actively engaged in improving the service delivery of the ESPS program. If this occurs, ESPS has the potential to set off the path for reconciliation and bring unity and cohesion to Nepal.