Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Nepal

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Nepal

Post-conflict Nepal needs reliable evidence-base on development to build on the solid progress already made

Nepal has made good progress against most socio-economic indicators in the aftermath of armed conflict (1996-2006), and there has been a decline in material poverty. At the same time, significant policy challenges remain and need to be addressed through well-designed and targeted interventions.

This paper addresses these issues presenting the following findings:

  • the Nepali conflict exerted serious negative impacts on food security and nutrition, access to services and children’s wellbeing
  • despite aggregate improvements in welfare, poverty remains pervasive and differences and inequalities between social groups persist
  • large funding shortfalls are hampering effective service delivery and coverage, and access to essential services in Nepal remains highly unequal
  • likewise, existing interventions have not generally been sufficient to improve economic opportunities for people in Nepal’s remote rural areas

On the other hand, the authors find that there is a lack of reliable evidence on the empirical impacts of social protection programmes in Nepal, and the evidence base on livelihoods and basic services is patchy and weak in places. In this respect, they note that the linkages and interdependence between the micro, meso and macro levels of livelihoods need to be investigated. In addition, further information on the wellbeing of children and child poverty are required, whereas gender specific and gender disaggregated analysis need to be adequately conducted.

The paper concludes that good research and evidence can help the government of Nepal, supported by a range of aid actors, address the country’s future challenges and build on the solid progress made to date.