We have chosen to work in the poorest geographical areas of Nepal.  These areas are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, affecting the rural population that depends on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods or live next to the river that is flooding more frequently.

Although progress has been made for many of the Millennium Development Goals, years of civil war and continuous unstable governments hinder investment in rural areas, leading to continued vulnerability for rural poor families. The program seeks to support and add value to the new local democratic structures and elected representatives after the first local elections on 20 years.

The Development Fund works with the following main areas in Nepal:

Improved food security and better nutrition

DF works with the poorest and most vulnerable people in Humla and Western Terai where food and nutrition insecurity is acute. The projects promote knowledge of nutrition for children and women, and access to enough, various and nutritious food all year around.

Specific measures

  • Support leasing of land for food production to landless Dalits and Kamayas
  • Support home gardens and stimulate nutritious food production
  • Support building of greenhouses and use of plastic tunnels in high altitude areas to extend growing season
  • Support improved livestock production and veterinary services
  • Implement awareness raising on the importance of a diversified diet with special emphasis on mothers, girls and children

Increased adaptive capacity to climate change

The program aims to strengthen community’s capacity to adapt to climate change.

Specific measures

  • Support communities’ work with land rehabilitation, soil and water conservation, water harvesting and irrigation, and agroforestry
  • Support efforts to strengthen local seed systems and increase crop diversity on farms through community seed banks, crop improvement and community seed production
  • Promote climate-smart technologies, including energy saving cooking stoves, biogas and solar energy
  • Support local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRR/M) by incorporating it into the Participatory Periodic Planning and Climate Adaptation planning.

Increased business and entrepreneurship among the rural poor

Specific measures

  • Support value addition and processing of agricultural produce
  • Strengthen local cooperatives
  • Support improved links between producers and markets
  • Support savings and credit groups/self-help groups
  • Strengthen involvement of the private sector
  • Strengthen the economic and decision making capacity of women and marginalized groups

Civil society, organisations and local institutions strengthened

Because of the lack of local governmental institutions and inclusion of women and lower casts in decision making processes in Nepal, DF supports initiatives that promote democratic and participatory processes in local governance. Around 100 VDCs in the country have carried out participatory VDC (municipality) planning where more than 70 % of plans have been implemented with support from local governments.

Specific measures

  • Support efforts to strengthen the capacity of local authorities’ planning, monitoring and evaluation
  • Support the process of formulating and updating periodic plans for VDCs/Municipality/District Development Committees (DDC)
  • Promote that the periodic plans at the VDC level involve broad-based stakeholders
  • Increase the capacity among target groups organizations for governance, anti-corruption work and rights
  • Provide leadership and good governance training for women, dalits and young people
  • Increase the capacity of target group organisations to participate in planning processes and advocacy
  • Provide tools that help civil society organizations ensure the accountability of local government and carry out social audits
  • Increase access to information and local resources for women and Dalits

Social inclusion and gender equity

The program support women’s economic independency and leadership in all projects. One of the most successful cases were in Ilam (phased out end of 2016) where women cooperatives manage to establish a diary processing factory in the district. The Authentic Leadership project in Dang, gave leadership training in combination with insights in local democratic processes, and has successfully prepared local women before the local elections in 2017.

Specific measures

  • Mainstream Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) at an organizational and target group level
  • Ensure that women and disadvantaged groups take active leadership roles.

Government ensures rights and participation

Specific measures

  • Present policy briefs on farmers’ rights, climate adaptation, and loss and damages due to climate change, in Nepal and internationally
  • Document local seed systems in Nepal as part of advocating farmers’ rights locally and internationally
  • Document examples of the Climate Adaptive Village model
  • Document loss and damages due to climate change in Nepal
  • Promote climate-smart technologies, including energy saving cooking stoves, biogas and solar energy
  • Promote transparency by advocating public feedback tools

Partner organizations in Nepal:

Namsaling Community Development Centre (NCDC)

Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)

Sahakarmi Samaj (SS)

Jana Jagaran Samaj (JJS)

Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO)

Community Based organization Development Center (CBODC)

Youths in Empowerment Sector (YES) Nepal