The DFHRI conducted 2nd phase of civic dialogues in 2013 and 2014 with and among different stakeholders including political leaders, civil society members and interest groups at different levels across the country so as to collect their opinions on the contentious issues obstructing Nepal’s constitution drafting process. State restructuring (federalism), governance system, electoral system and fundamental rights were the main issues focused in the dialogues.
The DFHRI conducted series of dialogues/discussions, from grassroots to policy making levels, and submitted the output of the discussions to the Constituent Assembly, political parties and the government to pay attention to. The dialogues helped people expressed their opinions on the constitutional issues and created a kind of public pressure on the political parties to find a way of constitution making. Some specific achievements were as follows:
- Providing platform to the people of most remote and rural areas of Nepal, where civil society are hardly active, to express their opinions highlighting the contentious issues and their concerns on constitution making.
- The CA decided to take the ownership of the issues passed by the previous CA which has helped the CA save time from discussing on the same issues already passed by the previous CA, and focus on the issues remained unresolved.
- Differences on contentious issues were narrowed down. In the beginning of the dialogue program in 2013, some ethnic groups and political parties were demanding for ethnic identity based federal structures thinking that their ethnic group would have chance to rule over the federal state created under their identity. Through regular discussions, they came to understand and realize that if the federal structures were created in ethnic line, there would be a conflict among different ethnic groups over the sharing of power and resources. The dialogues contributed to build a strong view that the federal structures should be created in such a way that could forge communal harmony, address the problems of marginalization and exclusion of disadvantage and poor groups, and strengthen local governance.