An unequal and divided society towards democracy
The women in Odarapur in southwestern Nepal had until recently no contact with the outside world. MS' partner organisation CWD held a workshop for them, where they explained about the local authority and about how budgets are also supposed to benefit poor villages. After the meeting, the women to approached the local authorities and asked to the road to their small community repaired. They received an amount of money and combined with their own labor the road has now been finished. This gave women taste for change and have now applied for funding to construct toilets in the village - and again they received a positive response.
In Nepal, a small group of elderly high caste men holds most power, and the majority of political decisions have so far benefited this group. Despite recurrent political instability, the slender democracy, with a broad-based Constituent Assembly, gives hope of a future with a deeper democracy. It is this hope MS, together with ActionAid Nepal, work to strengthen both at central and local levels.
MS supports poor and marginalised groups of the population in getting their share of resources and in gaining a political voice. In Nepal, there is a special need for supporting local democracy, which has lain dormant during the 10-year long armed insurgency and has yet not begun functioning for real. There is also a need to support land reforms to benefit the poorest and to support conflict resolution and peace work, which may curb ethnic conflicts and give peace to the many who lost family members during the insurgency.
Within all areas of work MS supports poor, women, youth and marginalised groups to be involved and have influence on the development of the country.
How we work
Since April 2010, MS in Nepal has been merged with ActionAid Nepal. This means that our programmes will continue as before, but now under the umbrella ActionAid. Together this gives a larger organisation, with opportunities for greater influence on central level and to disseminate the successful parts of our work to even more people.
Most of MS's resources in Nepal is put into developing local democracy by:
- Supporting partner organisations to inform the poor and marginalised about their political rights and democratic rules, and give them tools to enhance their active involvement in local democracy.
- Establishing dialogue with local authorities and strengthening their capacity. E.g. a lot of municipalities have difficulties using their budgets because they lack knowledge about their local area. Hence, there is a need for involvement of local groups and support for more efficient use of local resources.
- Supporting the development of partner organisations' internal democracy - e.g. with board elections, affirmative action for women and ethnic minorities and transparent budgets and accounts.
We also support
- A more equitable distribution of land, which will also promote a much-needed growth in agricultural production.
- Small farmers' and former bonded labours' right to land.
- Advocacy and organising bonded labours.
- Umbrella Organisation CSRC's work with land reform.
- Conflict and peaceful reconstruction after 10 years of civil war years of political vacuum.
Learn moreRead more about our work in Nepal
14 May 2012 As an Inspirator in Nepal, I worked with ActionAid’s partner organization, the Muslim Community Development and Awareness Centre, seeking to educate and empower Muslim women to advocate, organize, and exercise their legal rights.
15 February 2012 A film about Activista’s work in Nepal: Youngsters stand together for a better future.
23 June 2009 The Nepal government has unofficially declared the exemption of loans that has been taken by generations of Haliyas (bonded labourers) in the far-western region.
28 April 2009 Many poor villagers in southern Nepal do not have ownership of their land.
18 March 2009 The International Land Coalition (ILC) will hold its 2009 Conference and Assembly of Members in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 21-24. The event will be hosted by MS partner CSRC.
15 January 2009 Nepal: Kapilvastu partner SSDC is preparing to built four new green schools in conjunction with MS, a Danish building company and the district education office.
12 January 2009 According to the Local Self-Governance Act of Nepal, project proposals from local women are supposed to be the driving force in the planning of activities for women’s development.
06 January 2009 Nepal: You don't have to be litterate or member of a women's group for years to take part in local democracy. In Banke one new women's group got money for a new road from local authorities.
10 October 2008 Bardiya, Nepal: How can a green and earthquake safe school be built in 20 days? View the process or read the daily diary and tips.
15 September 2008 Nepal: BASE Bardiya is building a new climate responsive, cheap and participatory school in just 20 days.
More articles from Nepal
ActionAid International Nepal
GPO Box 6257, Apsara Marga, Lazimpat,
Phone: (00 977) (1) 4436477, 4419115
Fax: (00 977) (1) 4419718
Mobile: +977 9813844477