But we must hope all their efforts produce fruitful results and help Nepal achieve inclusive economic growth.
Recently, there have been new and innovative approaches taken to planning. For the first time we are seeing the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Britain's DFID working on a common strategy for their next three-year program. It would be good if there were more organisations pursuing such joint strategies rather than duplicating their efforts.
Nepal has received billions of dollars in donor assistance in the past five decades, but when one looks around, apart from introducing workshop-seminar habits, paid junkets, cocktail receptions, report-generating and SUV driving habits, the impact vis-?-vis the costs has been minimal. One may sound cynical, but it is difficult to pinpoint 10 successful interventions that have really altered Nepal's future.
One change that has occurred is that now Nepal produces a good number of development workers who find jobs both here and abroad. But should these highly talented and educated Nepalis have been sucked into a sector where they are led to believe they can earn $800-$1,000 per day?
The embracing of development work as a career has probably let many great people avoid the real world, where performance is measured by the accomplishment of set targets rather than by the number of pages written in a report.
While much debate is conducted and many column inches filled questioning the accountability of the state, little is known about the funds that come in or the work that is done. If public companies are required to disclose their accounts to the public, why shouldn't money that is given in the name of the Nepali public be accounted for too?
Perhaps Nepal is competing with some African nations to have the highest number of reports per capita. Surely the time has come to move on from writing to implementation. Probably in every sector?barring nanotechnology or space programs?there are heaps of reports that have been written in the past 15 years. The challenge now is not to write more of them but to start putting their recommendations into practice. Whether one is looking at managing state enterprises or financial sector reform, education sector reform, health sector reform or labour issues, a lot of man hours have already been spent on writing about such topics.
Nepal has a great pool of young people that can be trained to make those plans happen. Of course they have to be inspired by people other than those who are not bothered about implementation or who have already retired. There is a window of opportunity once again to make an impact and perhaps make amends for past bungling.