4th Conference

4th Conference on Governance and Public Policy in South Asia

Deepening Democracy: Enhancing Voices and Choices of Citizens

Background & Rationale

Recent decades have witnessed a broad acknowledgement that formal processes of democracy are necessary but not sufficient for delivering good governance and societal expectations for development and change. Important lessons have already emerged as to how such formal processes fail to live up to expectations of good governance and efficient and effective service delivery, and on tackling myriad of social, economic and environmental challenges. In South Asia, as elsewhere, this realization has led to arguments that democracies should move beyond the formal constitutional process and periodic elections. it is also essential that democracies allow people to participate in decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods and enable them to have a sense of control over their circumstances. Accordingly, the main concern remains – how we devise government policies and institutions that enhance citizens’ voices and expand their choice?

The conference themed “Deepening Democracy: Enhancing Voices and Choices of Citizens” is the fourth in the series of Conference on Governance and Public Policy in South Asia which has been hosted by Nepal Administrative Staff College in collaboration with Niti Foundation (Nepal), Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, (ISET) Nepal, Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies, Nepal, Institute of Public Enterprises, India; North South University, Bangladesh and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, Bangladesh. The fourth conference will be joined together by Kathmandu University, School of Management, Nepal Open University from Nepal and other like-minded institutions from South Asia. The fourth conference brings forth the cumulative learning of the previous three conferences to bear on how the governments in South Asia can act to enhance citizens’ voice and choices.

The conference will prove to be opportunity to share innovations in the South Asia region and beyond. It will allow participants share the common challenges of deepening democracy in the region, either as specifically a national character of a particular country, or within each as specific historical, political, social, cultural contexts in the sub-national contexts.

Aim and Objectives

This conference aims to bring together researchers, public policy actors and political leaders of South Asia to deliberate and share learning on the particular policy challenges, ground-level experiences, and reform opportunities for expanding citizens’ voice and choice in the South Asia region. Specifically, the conference has the following objectives:

  • Deliberate on the larger political context of deepening democracy in the region – especially of the political will, bottlenecks and reform opportunities.
  • Share experiences of national and sub-national level practices, innovations or challenges in enhancing government transparency, accountability, and for expanding citizen voice
  • Discuss reform opportunities, cross-country learning and collaboration 

Conference Theme and Sub-Theme

This fourth conference on Deepening Democracy: Enhancing Voices and Choices of Citizens will focus on the following themes. The organizers encourage papers and panels on these themes.

A. Democratic Institutions
B. Quality of public services
C. Accountability
D. Inclusive governance
E. Public space for contestation and collective action
F. Governance of Infrastructure
G. Political economy of representation
H. Deliberative democracy
I. E-governance and citizen’s engagement
J. Sub-national governance

Key Dates

Abstract submission 15 January 2020
Abstract acceptance notification
15 Feburary 2020
Full paper submission 15 April 2020
Conference date  11-12 June 2020

Further Information

For further information and queries, please contact:

Conference Secretariat 
Centre for Research and Development 
Nepal Administrative Staff College 
Phone: 00977-5522002 
Email: conference@nasc.org.np, nascconference@gmail.com 
Contact person: Roshani Bhujel 
Mobile Number: 00977-9851201046 
Webpage: www.nasc.org.np/conference