freedom1 Forum has initiated its new project from January 1 2017 titled as ”Enabling Environment for Media Law Reforms & Improved Right to Information Practice” under the broader objective ‘strengthen enabling environment for civil society and media’ of Civil Society Mutual Accountability Project (CS:MAP).The CS:MAP is a five year ( April 2016-April 2021) project supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by FHI3660 in Nepal having its goal to foster legitimate, accountable, and resilient Nepali civil society that is capable of advancing the public interest. To make above mentioned goal and aim into a reality freedom1 Forum is implementing this project as a selected partner organization of FHI360 for accomplishing following objectives:
Objective 1 : Improved legal and policy framework based on international standards, to create an enabling environment for civil society and media
Objective 2. improved public understanding and confidence in the role of CSO and media
The project aimed to fulfill those objectives as Nepal has passed its new constitution in recent back which has laid solid benchmarks for various sectors including civic and media freedom1, freedom1 of expression, freedom1 of association and right to information. Following the provision of new constitution, the Government of Nepal has brought forth some communication policies and laws which apparently contravene with the provisions laid out in the constitution and international standards and practices. To make compatible policy with national and international standards the project will review the existing communication policies in Nepal creating close coordination with government officials, parliamentarians, party leader, other prime stakeholders and beneficiaries.
Beside these policy issues the project also work for some practical aspects of building a sound and ideal image of Nepali civil society and media through promoting civil vigilance, capacitating media professional for transparency of humanitarian fund and work in earthquake affected fourteen districts. In the same way, the project addresses the implementation constraints of citizens’ access to information according the constitutional and legal provision. It also works for building capacity of supply side for disclosing public information and encourages and supports demand side to continue their effort for assuring transparency and accountability.
Finally, we believe that the above mentioned activities help to enable environment and positive public image of media and civil society thus strengthen democracy.