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The Nepal research programme

It is now eight years since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement brought an official end to a decade-long conflict (the ‘People’s War’) between the Nepalese state and Maoist insurgents. Yet peace remains fragile and the construction of a state able to effectively deliver services to its citizens is very much a work in progress. International aid actors’ engagement in Nepal is largely premised around support to state- and peace-building processes, with the 2010–2015 Nepal Peace and Development Strategy developed by donor agencies (including DFID, USAID, the EU and UN agencies) making explicit connections between effective service delivery and state-building. However, little is known about how people have been accessing services and interacting with local-level governance structures in the post-conflict period, which leaves the central premise of donor engagement in Nepal on shaky foundations. Furthermore, the limited evidence we have suggests some significant challenges persist, including: the presence of local political vacuums stemming from an absence of elected local government; weak government and aid interventions in remote rural areas; and uneven inclusion of various conflict-affected groups in formal social protection programmes.

The Nepal research programme seeks to generate usable evidence on livelihoods, service delivery and social protection that will help inform better modes of international engagement in Nepal. The programme is driven by two central research themes, outlined below, and focused geographically on Rolpa and Bardiya – two of the most conflict-affected remote areas in the mid-western hills and Terai – as well as Ilam, a relatively accessible district in the far eastern hills.

The Nepal Research Programme will focus on the following themes:

  1. State-society relations in ‘New’ Nepal: What determines people’s views of the state and how do perceptions affect legitimacy?
  2. Rules of engagement: What can international actors do to improve post-conflict capacity development in Nepal?

More information


The team

Our SLRC Nepal Research Programme is being led by the National Center for Contemporary in Research (NCCR) based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Contact us

Dr. Bishnu Raj Upreti
Nepal Center for Contemporary Research
Ekantakuna, Jawalakhel
GPO Box: 910
, Nepal
Tel. + 00977 1 555 47 56, 500 00 5
Website: http://www.nccr.org.np/
Email: slrc@odi.org.uk
Follow @NCCRSouthAsia

Title Author Summary Country Date
What does Nepal’s Old Age Allowance mean for the elderly? Evidence from Rolpa Sony KC, Bishnu Raj Upreti, Suman Babu Paudel, Gopikesh Acharya, Annal Tandukar and Babken Babajanian In Nepal, the Old Age Allowance is an essential lifeline for the elderly, but a series of constraints in its design and implementation are limiting its effectiveness in practice. This briefing paper looks at what should be done to further improve the programme. Nepal 31/10/2014
The Old Age Allowance and perceptions of the state in Rolpa District, Nepal Sony KC, Bishnu Raj Upreti, Suman Babu Paudel, Gopikesh Acharya, Annal Tandukar and Babken Babajanian This working paper explores the Old Age Allowance programme in Nepal, focusing on how it influences people’s views of the state. The paper offers valuable insight into the beneficiaries’ experiences, concerns and priorities and looks at what can be done to improve the Old Age Allowance programme. Nepal 27/10/2014
Gambling on a better future: is international labour migration worth it? Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Richard Mallett Drawing on research carried out in Rolpa district in western Nepal and the districts of Swat and Lower Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in north-western Pakistan, this briefing paper asks: is international labour migration actually working for those people gambling vast amounts of money – and, in some cases, their lives – to participate in it? Nepal 01/10/2014
Migration from the margins: mobility, vulnerability and inevitability in mid-western Nepal and north-western Pakistan Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Richard Mallett, Anita Ghimire, Qasim Ali Shah, Bishnu Upreti and Haider Abbas This report sets out to describe and explain the multidimensional process of international labour migration from two post-conflict contexts – Rolpa, Nepal and Swat and Lower Dir district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan. Nepal 01/10/2014
Surveying livelihoods service delivery and governance: baseline evidence from Nepal Bishnu Raj Upreti, Pravat Uprety, Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Sony KC and Richard Mallett In 2012, SLRC implemented the first round of an original sub-regional panel survey in Nepal aimed to produce data on people's livelihoods, access to and experience of basic services, and people’s perceptions of governance. Nepal 03/06/2014
Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Nepal Bishnu Raj Upreti, Sony KC, Richard Mallett and Babken Babajanian This working paper seeks to investigate what is currently known about livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Nepal. Nepal 03/09/2012