The Basic Operating Guidelines were introduced in Nepal in 2003, in the context of the internal armed conflict between the State and the then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), and were revised with minor changes to the wording in 2007. The armed conflict was having a negative effect on operational space for development organisations, and the BOGs were developed as a way of keeping operational space open and ensuring the security of staff. They allowed development work to continue by clearly explaining the operating principles to all actors concerned in a clear and comprehensible way. There were initially ten signatories to the BOGs – the European Commission, Danish International Development Assistance (Danida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Norwegian Embassy, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Embassy of Finland and Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). The United Nations in Nepal initially had its own Basic Operating Guidelines, which were drafted in 2003. Likewise, the Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN) had a Code of Conduct and some of the other donors had a set of basic operating guidelines, which were drafted in 2004. However, since 2007, one unified set of BOGs exists. The United Nations, Association of International NGOs in Nepal and Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID) became signatories in 2009, bringing the total number of signatories to 13.
Although the armed conflict has now been concluded, the BOGs and their fundamental principles of impartiality, transparency, accountability and inclusion remain as relevant as ever. The context in which the BOGs signatories are working is becoming increasingly complex. It is important to remember that the BOGs express principles that are internationally accepted best practices that should be respected in war, peace or periods of transition.
For more information about the BOGs, you are welcome to download the training manual found on this website, or to contact the BOGs Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org