DelegationPublished on 09.03.2020

Strengthening fiscal Federalism in Nepal

Sharing best practices


Between the 24th and 28th of February, the Institute of Federalism has held a study tour in Switzerland on the Swiss Fiscal Federalism, with particular emphasis on local governance.

While spring is upon us, the Institute of Federalism started this year 2020 receiving a high-ranking Nepali delegation. Responding to a request from the World Bank office in Kathmandu, a weeklong Learning and Exchange Program on Fiscal Federalism was put together by the Institute as a part of a broader program of good-practices sharing with other federal States, like Kenya, Brazil or Canada.

Organized in five different places in Switzerland, the programme aimed at gathering experts, scholars and practitioners from local, cantonal and federal levels in order to give the delegation an insight into the activities of Swiss cantonal and municipal authorities. Between the 24th and 28th of February, the delegation - formed of 18 Nepali civil servants, as well as World Bank and UNDP senior officers - had the opportunity to acquire a deep understanding of multi-level governance, local autonomy and fiscal equalization mechanisms. Focussing every day on a specific aspect of the Swiss fiscal federal system, speakers that included renowned specialists in federalism, as well as dedicated cantonal and local practitioners discussed the specificities of the complex Swiss system, the issues that it might face and the importance of local autonomy to ensure national cohesion. By accessing behind-the-scenes of Swiss Federalism and by directly confronting the speakers with their concerns, any legitimate apprehension that a young federal States might have was defused, as the delegates themselves highlighted.

The programme, which was organised by the Institute of Federalism with the support of the World Bank, received a very positive response from the delegation as well as from their supervisors. It was with no doubt a win-win situation for both sides and the fruitful discussions led to new insights.