1. Inclusive services and institutions
In 2019, 17.4 per cent of Nepalese are reported as multi-dimensionally poor, that is 5.2 million people. Although poverty alleviation was integrated into the Fifth Plan in 1975, the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1997-2002) adopted an aim of poverty reduction from 42 per cent, in 1996/97, to 10 per cent, by 2016/17. The dynamics of poverty and exclusion get further complicated by disability, sex, literacy, health, and income. For example, the richest 20 per cent consumes about 7.8 times higher than the poorest 20 per cent in terms of per capita consumption.
As the country aims to graduate to Middle-Income Countries (MIC) and absolutely poverty may be tackled in the next few years or so, wealth inequality and relative poverty remain as serious threats to national ambitions. Excessive dependency on remittance and foreign aid to meet the basic needs of most of the households, Nepal needs a robust, inclusive and accountable governance system that do not just work ‘for’ the people, in particular the poor and marginalised, but rather work ‘with’ them.
Support Nepal works with communities, civil society organisations, government agencies, and others with a stake in the process to understand the political economy of the given context and tailor interventions, together with them, so that causes behind poverty and exclusion are adequately addressed. Our approaches enable citizens, in particular the poor and marginalised, to have opportunities and services so that their basic needs, freedom, and rights can be ensured.
Some of our tested strategies include:
Political economy analysis, and gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis to understand why and how public decision-making, including decision over and sharing of public resources and opportunities, are entertained.
Development of effective communication strategies and media mobilization for raising mass awareness on governance issues and demand for inclusive service delivery.
Capacity building of local communities and their representatives in engaging the process of local governance and sustainable development.
Support to government agencies in formulating and implementing inclusive policy measures prioritising quality in service delivery to the poor and marginalised communities with a focus on health, education and livelihood.
2. Human dignity and justice
Nepal has ratified Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1991 and has since then reflected the commitment in all major legal documents, including the latest Constitution of Nepal, 2015. The UDHR reaffirms human rights are ‘inalienable’ and that these rights are intimately related to human dignity. In the case of human rights violation, the victim in general and the poor and marginalised groups in particular are often at risk of abuse and vulnerable leading to denial of their rights and access to justice. Poor and marginalised groups are, alike their fellow citizens, also entitled to the realisation of all human rights- civil, political, economic, social and cultural- on equal terms with others in the society, without discrimination of any kind. Nepal’s constitution guarantees 31 fundamental rights, including the right to social justice, social security, equality, and anti-discrimination.
Newly adopted federalism in the country has transformed the way we govern our society and has provided new avenues for sharing opportunities. However, inheritances of human rights violation, and social injustices across social and economic groups and regions in the country need special attention, as the new form of governance system does not automatically address deep roots of impunity and structural inequalities. Seeking justice and fair treatment in new multi-layered system require more efforts and resources which poor and marginalised communities often struggle to have. As a result, endeavour to seek justice and entertain rights often become costly and superseded by mainstream politics and priorities.
Support Nepal works with the poor and marginalised groups, their organisations, concerned government agencies and wider society to ensure inclusive participation of poor and marginalised groups as rights holders in the due process, whether in human rights protection and promotion or quest for social justice. Our approaches empower the vulnerable groups to stand for what is right and enjoy their dignity irrespective of their background and positions.
Some of our tested strategies include:
Awareness raising on the cost and benefit of human rights for all, in particular the poor and marginalised communities, and those forced to pursue economic migration due to hardship and unemployment.
Capacity building of rights advocates and activists to participate meaningfully in the human rights and social justice campaigns.
Evidence-informed policy advocacy with the statutory bodies and other state agencies to protect and promote the rights of vulnerable groups, and access to justice.
Knowledge exchange on non-violent ways and means of protecting and promoting the rights of vulnerable groups and their endeavour for social justice and protection.
3. Disaster & crisis management
Nepal is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, having 80 per cent of its total population at risk from natural hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, fires and hailstorms. During 1971-2018, Nepal suffers from 57,194 incidents, causing the death of 82,012 people and affecting over 11.9 million households across the country (MoHA, 2019). Limited domestic economy, geographically dispersed, unconnected population, as well as diverse groups belonging to various castes contribute to the compounding social vulnerability to disasters (UNDRR, 2019).
On the other hand, 12,686 people died during 1996-2006 in Nepal’s Armed Conflict (OHCHR, 2012) and over 2,500 people are reported under involuntary disappearance (NHRC, 2020). Social and cultural disparities, elite capture of decision-making and resources, resource-deficit in public institutions further impaired by inadequate preparedness and response, and poor civic awareness and participation in the process increase vulnerabilities to deal with conflict and disaster. Whether natural or man-made disaster or emergencies such as COVID-19, poor and marginalised communities suffer more and take longer to recover given their fragility due to lack of awareness, information and resources- before, during and aftermath.
Support Nepal partners with humanitarian and peace building actors and agencies- both state and non-state- to help the marginalised communities, their organisations and concerned government agencies to adopt an inclusive approach in the preparedness, response and recovery frameworks and initiatives. Our approaches prepare the communities to stay prepared and resilient in dealing with natural disaster and conflict incidents while putting all efforts to minimise human casualties and rebuild communities.
Some of our tested strategies include:
Awareness raising on the gender and social inclusion issues in the disaster preparedness, response and recovery frameworks, plans and programmes.
Capacity building support to the poor and marginalised groups and their organisations to participate and influence crisis management and emergency response policies and plans of their respective governments.
Technical support to the public institutions and civil society organisations in formulating and implementing inclusive prevention and response mechanisms.
Monitor and analyse trends, set up early warning systems and institutionalise systemic practices of dealing with human, natural and health emergencies and cries.
Support Nepal works strategically to address the injustice and inequality poor and marginalised groups face in their daily lives. To do so, our focus is to address the causes of poverty, exclusion and marginalisation at home, community, and society at large so that solutions are locally-owned and can last.
Madhesh and Bagmati Province