Association of District Development Committees of Nepal (ADDCN)
The Association of District Development committees (ADDCN) were founded by the DDCs themselves in 1995. Registered under the National Directives Act, 1961, with the approval of the cabinet, ADDCN is a representative, collective institution of all seventy-five (75) DDCs. The DDCs are its institutional members. ADDCN has a council, an executive committee and a secretariat based in Kathmandu. Each member DDC is represented in ADDCN council, which functions as the sovereign body. DDC Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are ex-officio members, while other two members, at least one woman, are elected from among the DDC members of the member districts. Generally, the council meets once a year. For tenure of two and half years the Council elects officials of the Executive Committee. Out of 23 Executive Committee Officials, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are elected by council members, while 15 members of the committee are elected on regional basis, three (3) for each development region. The remaining six (6) members are nominated by the elected body ensuring that DDC leaders belonging to various minority political parties and women are included. The Executive Secretary General is appointed by the Executive Committee. A person having high academic credentials and national repute in decentralization and local governance areas qualifies to occupy this position. He is responsible for all policy and institutional affairs of ADDCN. In order to discourage partisan biases within the institution, promote secular and objective approaches in decentralization and local governance through convergence and consensus building, ADDCN has established tradition of offering the seat of Vice-Chairmanship to a DDC chairperson belonging to party that has second largest majority in local government.
Establishment of democracy at the national level alone does not ensure functional, efficient and effective democracy at the grassroots such that maximum number of citizens is directly participating in governing themselves. Decentralization of the state power is the means to achieve this goal. It not only empowers local governance institutions but by so doing also brings them closer to the people, the sovereign citizens of the state. Therefore, local self-governments are institutional arrangements that initiate, ensure and institutionalize democratic process at the grassroots. As immediate, local self-governments offer better public goods and services as these reflect, owing to relatively common aspirations, preferences and needs of the local population, the increasing tendency towards optimization of social (public) welfare function. After the restoration of democracy in Nepal, a democratic constitution was promulgated in 1991. The constitution has recognized the decentralization of authority as a means to provide maximum opportunity to people in their governance and hence enjoy the benefits of democracy and development. However, there was no constitutional provision of autonomous local governments. Furthermore, following the successful aftermath of the historic Peoples Movement of April 2006 and commencement of the peace process in the country, the Interim Constitution, 2007 has been promulgated. The Interim Constitution has made constitutional provision of autonomous local governments. This is the significant achievement in the decentralization paradigm in Nepal. There is a two tier local authority system in Nepal. The lower level consists of Village Development Committees (VDCs) and Municipalities. The second tier consists of District Development Committees (DDCs). There are altogether 75 DDCs, 3915 VDCs and 58 Municipalities. VDCs and Municipalities are formed on the basis of direct popular election, while DDCs are formed through indirect voting, their electorate consisting of all elected representatives of VDCs and municipalities. Therefore, DDCs are aggregate institutions of Village and Municipal Governments in district levels. Their main function is to coordinate the development initiatives of entire district as district governments. Following the establishment of Association of District Development Committees (ADDC/N) in 1995, a new impetus was given with collective strength of DDCs and decentralization supporters for speeding up the process toward decentralization. Eventually after 4 years of hard struggle a new Local Self-Government Act was enacted in 1999, this can be regarded as a milestone in the gradual but steady movement toward decentralization. The Act has been a means to uplift the state of decentralization in Nepal from the delegation/deconcentration phase, paving the way for eventual devolution of state authority to Local Government in accordance with subsidiay principle in governance.See more