IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we spotlight, Mr. Rewati, Dhakal from the Nepal, whose work focuses on institutional transparency, accountability and good governance.
Visitor: Mr. Rewati Dhakal
Title: Executive Communication and Resource Mobilization Officer, Youth Vision
Country of Origin: Nepal
Itinerary: Washington, DC; New York, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Salt Lake City, Utah
IVLP Project: Transparency and Accountability in State and Local Government
What have you been up to since your IVLP experience?
Since my 2018 IVLP on “Accountability and Transparency in State and Local Governments” I have incorporated transparency and accountability as one of the major thematic areas of my parent organization called the Youth Vision. We incorporated the concepts into the constitution of the organization. Also, as a member of the organizing committee in Nepal and in support of the U.S. Embassy in Nepal I organized a national one-day seminar/workshop, “Finding Innovative Solutions for Transparency and Accountability.” I was also inspired to join the philanthropic online newspaper the MangoPost as a Country Representative for Nepal and India. The newspaper is dedicated to promoting the civil society organizations’ roles and philanthropy in Asia. Finally, I registered an organization called the Nepal Center for Philanthropy and Development, the main aim of which is to enhance the capacity of civil leaders and organizations.
What one lesson that you learned or idea that you gained on your IVLP experience have you started to apply in your organization or your work?
I was very much impressed by the case study which had examined the corruption case of the former Utah Attorney General John Swallow, who was forced to resign from his post after an investigation into his campaign finances after the pressure campaign led by civil society organizations in Utah. Media, as well as our host organization the Alliance for a Better Utah, an NGO, had taken part to protest against John Swallow and urged law enforcement agencies to charge him. Being inspired by that instance I was determined to foster the role of civil society in Nepal.
My IVLP taught me that transparency and accountability among civil society organizations AND government agencies are crucial to the national development. It demonstrated strategies for bringing along colleagues in pursuit of transparency, accountability and good governance which I have implemented through my numerous organizational affiliations. I learned that it is crucial to find ways to the trust deficit in Nepal and in Asia.
What message would you like to share with the people who hosted and met with you in the US?
I would like to thank the Department of State, U.S. Embassy in Nepal, the Meridian International Center in DC as well as the host organizations in DC, NYC, Ohio, and Utah. The places and the organizations that were scheduled for us to visit and observe were very impressive and insightful. The evidence-based observation and interactions were effective in providing models of management and accountability that can be replicated in Nepal. I have been very motivated to work in the area of transparency and accountability and collaborate with persons and organizations whom I met during my US visit.
The International Visitor Leadership Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by Meridian International Center.