News & Resources

09 June 2017

Celebrating World Environment Day 2017 together

Test Karin
World Environment Day 2017 was celebrated in Dungeshwor village municipality, Dailekh, by active participation of school students of Shree Triveni Sangam Higher Secondary School and women farmers of Belpata in collaborative support of Everest Club Dailekh and Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Programme of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal on 5th June, 2017.

Water Use Master Plan has a high value for money and thus worth investing in

March 2017, Kathmandu
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, together with Rural Village Water Resources Management Project conducted a study of Water Use Master Plan (WUMP) to assess its value for money in 2014-2015. The study found that the WUMP is an economic, efficient and effective approach in managing water resources at local and thus has a high value for money. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal has published a Water and Infrastructure Series based on the findings of the study.
For full publication, follow link

Water and Infrastructure Leaning Series 2017/1

PDF, 52 page(s), HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, 1.91 MB

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

8 March 2017, Kathmandu
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017. Speaking at the occasion, Country Director Dr. Bharat Pokhrel spoke about his childhood experience of realizing the extent to which the patriarchal mindset was embedded in our society. Dr. Pokhrel shared an instance where he asked his mother is she was the Kali, Saraswati and Laxmi (Hindu goddesses representing power, knowledge and wealth respectively) of the household as he equated her position with acquiring all three virtue in the household.
Deputy Country Director Mona Sherpa stated her interpretation of this year’s theme: Be bold for change. She said women have pursued to be bold for change since they started speaking up for gender equality and women’s rights. It was time now for also men to ‘’be bold for change’’. She distributed copies of the American Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ to HELVETAS staff which was welcomed and appreciated by all staff.
As part of experience sharing, Roni Pradhan, Senior Program Officer at the Safer Migration Project-SaMi, voiced how women returnee migrants are stigmatized and discriminated only because they have chosen a socially unacceptable profession. She recounted how during her work in Kathmandu and field visits, she came across wives left behind who were often blamed for squandering the migrant husband’s hard earned money or having an extra marital affair without evidence. She also recounted her almost seven years in HELVETAS and becoming a mother in this duration. Women friendly policies within the organization made it easier for her to enjoy motherhood as well as continue with her career.
Similarly, Bhanu Pandit, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Employment Fund spoke about his experience where sometimes he was also required to work on typically female-related problems such as uterine prolapse. He also narrated his personal experience of traveling to Manang as the only male member in a group with six female colleagues. His witty presentation of the circumstances surrounding the trip and comments from friends, family and colleagues for being the only male in the group left the audience rejoicing with laughter, but also leaving them thoughtful by the subtle nuances of gender stereotyping.
Songs and dance followed with the start of all staff singing the national anthem. The welcome song performed by Employment Fund was penned by Kriti Bhuju, Gopal Krishna Dangol, Sumitra Gayak and Bal Mukunda Neupaney from Employment Fund.
A group dance was performed by Gopal Krishna Dangol, Kreeti Bajracharya and Sumitra Gayak from Employment Fund and solo dance by Bishnu Maya Shrestha from Food Nutrition and Security.
Gopal Krishna Dangol from Employment Fund and Usha Pandey from Bio-Energy narrated their poem which were themed on the concept of gender equality and women empowerment.
Srijana Shrestha from the Country Office also took this opportunity to collect inputs from the staff to improve the practices and knowledge on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion at HELVETAS Nepal, its partners and at community level. 
While participation from the entire HELVETAS family made the program a huge success, special mention goes to Kanti Singh for coordinating logistics, Usha Dahal for hall decoration and infectious enthusiasm, Bhavna Adhikari for hosting the program with great vivacity.
 
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How water treatment and safe storage system worked better in remote areas of Nepal- A blog post by Zenebe Uraguchi

January 2017
Access to and use of enough and safe water enable poor women and men to lead a healthy life by improving the quality of drinking water and reducing water-borne diseases. Better functioning water treatment and safe storage system addresses unimproved water sources and unsafe or unreliable water supplies. The challenge, however, is sustainably delivering water treatment and safe storage services to poor women and men living in remote areas.

In this blog post, we share the experience of the Water Resources Management Programme (WARM-P) in Nepal that sought to change how access to and use of safe water has been done. The programme understood the root causes for the lack of access to and use of safe water by poor women and men in remote villages of Nepal, and worked with different local actors for successful marketing and use of water treatment and safe storage system.

It´s all about the impact of a project, not the deliverables! - IPMA Blog

January 2017
Mr. Reinhard Wagner, President of International Project Management Association visited and interacted with Employment Fund project on 22nd December 2016. He organized a workshop about communication for project success. Here is his analysis of project from project management perspective.

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal implemented a research project

January 2017
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal implemented a research project on “Developing a participatory approach for roadside protection of rural roads in Nepal” for Research on Community Access Partnership (ReCAP). The overall aim of this research is to analyse existing practices and to develop innovative approaches for the successful management of land within the right of way of the rural roads in Nepal. The research was conducted in Dhankuta and Kailali districts. The research suggested a model for utilisation of right of way with specific plant types for Dhankuta and Kailali.

HELVETAS Swiss intercooperation Nepal wins Innovation award 2016.

December 2016
The Innovation Award committee has announced the winner of Innovation award 2016. The 1st prize is won by the research proposal “Recognising the value of care: connecting paid and unpaid care work” by the HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Programme along with COPILA projects under Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Programme, out of 21 submissions from about half of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation project countries.
In addition to the recognition the award winner also gets benefit from financial support of 5000 Swiss Franc contributing to develop and implement ideas.
So far, most of care work analysis has focussed on unpaid care work carried out by women in Belpata Village Development Committee of Dailekh and River Bed Farming Rupandehi. To make our intervention design more relevant for a (peri-)urban context, the Nepal team suggests to collect additional data, taking the continuous trend of (peri-)urbanisation into account. It will conduct a pilot analysis on paid care work in order to understand better the implications and impact on other time uses (i.e. education), the public/private divide and decent work, issues of skills development and mobility and how unpaid care work is redistributed down the care chain (i.e. to grandparents or younger siblings) as a result of the time invested in paid care work. The Award Committee considered this proposal innovative because it brings a clear gender perspective in the time allocation discussion at household level, which could have a potential upscaling effect to other project interventions of HELVETAS.

Please follow this case study on One of the child care centre in Dailekh District in Nepal and also other related documents within COPILA project page in our website.

We would like to congratulate the team for their success and also wishes for its execution. Along with it, our another submitted proposal on walnut oil press for the commercialisation of oil from hard shelled walnuts in remote regions of Nepal is also honored. This initiative recently featured on Swiss television (in Swiss-german)
 

Glacier Trust documentary nominated for Charity Film award UK

December 2016
The Charity Film Awards have been created to celebrate the success of film in fundraising, to increase exposure of charity films and to encourage donations for good causes. The short film made by the Glacier Trust has been nominated for the charity award. The trust has funded to Climate Awareness and Community Adaptation (COPILA) project of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal during 2014 -2015  to pursue Integrated Pest Management Programme as adaptation measures to minimize negative impacts of climate change by involving women farmers in Ramechhap and Sindhupalchowk districts. The project’s interventions are part of the film.
The film can be watched through this link.

The rise of the Shahi falimy - a pictorial three generation story

Thanks to HELVETAS Nepal; a widow, now 75 years old, and his son, now 43 years old, could succeed in their struggle to improve their family’s livelihood. The widow’s grandson, now 17, is following a junior technical assistant course in veterinary science. This story from Birpath, Achham describes a family’s journey over three generations from poverty to prosperity.

Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium highlights on solar lifting drinking water supply system in Nepal

November, 2016
The Water Resources Management programme, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal has supported to implement Kadalpani Drinking Water Supply System using Solar Power in the Dailekh district that served 573 people (275 women) of 91 household. The system has designed taking 5 hours average Peak Sun Hour per day at site and per capita water demand 35 liter per day. There are 26 numbers of solar PV modules 150 Wp which generated 3640 watt power that booster the 15 hp Grundfos submersible solar (SQF 2.5) pump of 0.95 lps pumping capacity that lift 24000 liter water per day in two distribution reservoirs, 10 cum capacity of each, located at an elevation 100 meter above the pump station and there is 350 meter pipe length from pump station to reservoir tank. From the two distribution reservoirs, water is distributed in 17 public tap stands through pipeline by gravity system. The total investment cost of the scheme is 3.63 Million rupees with per capita investment cost of NRs. 6500.

Suitability Analysis and Projected Climate Change Impact on Banana and Coffee Production Zones in Nepal

October 21, 2016
Kathmandu, Nepal

Coffee and bananas have encouraged smallholder farmers to convert their subsistence farming practices to more commercial cultivation. Identification of suitable agro-ecological zones and understanding climate-related issues are important for improved production and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Here, the suitability of coffee and banana crops is analyzed for different agro-ecological zones represented by Global Environmental Stratification. Future shifts in these suitability zones are also predicted. Plantation sites in Nepal were geo-referenced and used as input in species distribution modelling. The multi-model ensemble model suggests
that climate change will reduce the suitable growing area for coffee by about 72% across the selected emission scenarios from now to 2050. Impacts are low for banana growing, with a reduction in suitability by about 16% by 2050. Bananas show a lot of potential for playing an important role in Nepal as a sustainable crop in the context of climate change, as this study indicates that the amount of area suited to banana growing will grow by 40% by 2050. Based on our analysis we recommend possible new locations for coffee plantations and one method for mitigating climate change-related problems on existing plantations. These findings are expected to support planning and policy dialogue for mitigation and support better informed and scientifically based decision-making relating to these two crops.
 

Interaction meeting with Ambassadors to promote Nepali Coffee

September 5, 2016
Kathmandu, Nepal

A two hour interaction meeting was organised by the National Tea and Coffee Development Board on 5th of September, 2016 to brief newly appointed honourable Ambassadors to United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Egypt, Belgium, Austria and Russia about the current status and future scope of Nepal Coffee and Tea sector, thereby seeking their support to promote coffee and tea in the respective countries. The meeting was attended by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, Ministry of Commerce officials, coffee and tea farmers, traders, processers and Coffee Promotion Programme HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal team including Trade and Private Sector Development Project.
The main objectives of the meeting were:
  1. To brief newly appointed Nepalese Ambassadors on the present scenario of Nepali coffee and tea production, processing, market status and trade potentiality.
  2. To explore and gain possible supports from them to promote Nepali Coffee and Tea products in the respective countries.
In the meeting, Coffee Promotion Programme and Trade and Private Sector Development Projectro highlighted the current scenario and potentials for promotion of Nepali Specialty Coffee. It emphasised in linking smallholders’ coffee with the international fair trade buyers and thereby seeking collaboration for the advancement of production and processing technologies. Representatives of the farmers and traders also briefed about the potentialities for export in the international market and trade hurdles being faced to promote it. They also requested the Ambassadors to facilitate removing the present trade barriers and explore opportunities for trade diversification of tea and coffee.
The meeting concluded with strong commitment from the Ambassadors to facilitate the trade and knowledge sharing of these two commodities in the respective countries. They requested for providing high resolution coffee visuals and information so that they can facilitate effective sharing and obtain fruitful support to the farmers and traders. They also requested stakeholders to maintain quality of the products so that they can proudly and strongly position the Nepali tea and coffee in the relevant events. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperaton Nepal team is hopeful that this initiative will bring some visible changes in Nepal coffee and tea sector.
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Macadamia nuts from Nepal available in Switzerland

September 2016
Kathmandu, Nepal

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal has successfully supported macadamia export from Nepal to Switzerland: women have dried, shelled, sorted and prepared macadamia from 10 farmers from Kaski, Syangja, Bhaktapur, Nuwakot and Lalitpur for the export at the Coffee Cooperative Union Ltd. in Lalitpur. The macadamia kernel were shipped to Switzerland, where a second quality assessment was done before packing them into bags of 200 g by Naturkostbar. They can now be purchased in their shop at the train station of Switzerland’s capital Bern as well as online (https://naturkostbar.ch/en/shop/products/macadamianusse-nepal/?#.V8aQHjVBrG8   https://naturkostbar.ch/de/shop/products/macadamianusse-nepal/#.V8aQETVBrG8 ). This was a first test and hopefully, based on the successful sale and farmers’ interest, this business relation will be strengthened for future exports.
 
Macadamias Nepal in Naturkostbar outlet in Switzerland Macadamias Nepal in Naturkostbar outlet in Switzerland

Now their son can study …

August 2016
The Swiss television presents the case of Surendra Chaudhary and his family, who thanks to their involvement in different banana activities, have changed their lives. They have a banana plantation, sell banana saplings from their nursery and they produce banana paper. The business is going well, so that their son now studies electrical engineering. ‘All thanks to the banana’, Surendra says. See the video in this link (in Swiss-german).
 

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal celebrates its’ 60 years of establishment

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21 June, 2016
Kathmandu Nepal,
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation celebrates its’ 60 years of establishment in Nepal by celebrating a special programme organized in presence of its’ President Mr. Elmar Ledergerber. The programme marked the presence of dignitaries from beneficiaries, the government ministries and departments, donor communities and various development partners. 
HELVETAS started its engagement in Nepal in 1956 with supporting dairy development and vocational training, one year after establishment of Swiss Association for Technical Assistance (SATA) in Switzerland. The first agreement between the Government of Nepal and SATA was signed in 1959.  Until 1963 SATA was one of the few international the organizations working in Nepal. SATA expanded its engagements in integrated rural development and trail bridge building already by the end of the 1960s. It further expanded its engagement in community water supply and sanitation in the 1970s, rural roads in the 1980s, localized bridge building and rural livelihoods in the 1990s, and vocational trainings in 2000s. In the context of the devastating earthquake in 2015, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is supporting rehabilitation of affected people through skilling people for reconstruction, reconstruction of  infrastructures, community water supply and irrigation schemes and   rehabilitating their livelihoods.
 
During 60 years of engagement, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation has contributed much to development of Nepal in general and in rural areas in particular. By the end of 2015, it has contributed in betterment of lives of more than 15 million Nepalese through many of its programmes and projects. It has supported the government of Nepal for construction of more than 5’000 trail bridges through material support and technical assistance. Similarly, it has provided employable vocational trainings to 100’000 youth. Moreover, it has significantly contributed in bringing about timely innovations like small irrigation, rain water harvesting, production and marketing of Nepali organic coffee, potato farming, Nepali carpet, and high hill cheese production. It has been always proactive in advocating and working for social inclusion, gender equality, and women empowerment and leadership. Besides, it is also working for river bed farming for land poor and landless people, banana farming and banana paper production, safer migration for informed decision making in regards to foreign employment, vegetable farming, non-timber forest products, and climate change education.
 
HELVETAS Nepal has always been an innovator, relevant development actor and long-term collaborator of the Government of Nepal and will remain so in the days to come. It will continue working towards dignified lives of Nepali women and men, especially those who are economically poor and socially marginalized, through interventions in food security and nutrition, integrated water resources management, Economic growth and decent employment, Climate change and disaster risk management, Gender Equality and social inclusion, and Good Governance. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation hopes to bring about some degree of transformation towards an egalitarian society in the country in future.
 

Tripartite agreement with National Reconstruction Authority signed

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6 June, 2016, Kathmandu

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal  signed a tripartite agreement with the National Reconstruction Authority together with the concerned line agencies for  the implementation of the projects entitled “Rehabilitation of Facilities of Earthquake Affected People (REAP) and the Recovery of Agriculture Livelihood Project (ReAL). The signing ceremony was organized by National Reconstruction Authority at its office in  Singhadarbur  on 6th June, 2016.
  
The total amount of the project to be invested is 9.125 Million Swiss Franc which mainly contribute to skills for shelter and house construction, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, irrigation and agricultural livelihood support in the  six Village Development Committees ( Helambu, Ichok, Kiwool, Mahankal, Palchok, Dubachour), and five wards of Melamchi Municipality(ward 1 and 2 covering the then Talamarang Village Development Committees and ward 5,6 and 7 covering the then Melamchi Village Development Committee). The project is expected to be completed by October, 2018. As per the agreement, HELVETAS  Swiss Intercooperation will support to rebuild 1’000 private houses, 40 irrigation canals, 25 water mills. It will further support the reestablishment of  agricultural extension service including the reconstruction of an Agriculture service Center. Currently 2500 households affected by the earthquake receive immediate livelihood. The projects REAP and ReAL are implemented jointly by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and Solidar Suisse with funding from Swiss Solidarity. 

Partnership for Transparency Fund report on : Lessons learned from the CARTA program in Nepal and Bangladesh

Recent years have witnessed concerns about issues of governance, particularly public service delivery accountability. There is a growing need to identify and promote approaches toward building accountability that rely on citizen engagement. CARTA builds on the World Bank’s continuing emphasis
on supporting initiatives aimed at engaging citizens and citizen groups as a way to strengthen the accountability of governments to poor people. CARTA offers valuable practical lessons on program design and operation, establishment of local partnerships, and project management. This report summarizes the primary findings and synthesizes lessons from the varied implementation challenges.  
The Citizen Action for Results, Transparency and Accountability (CARTA) Program was a unique initiative designed “to enhance the development impact, sustainability and client ownership of pro-poor projects financed by the World Bank (WB), by promoting civil society organizations’ engagement, experience and
capacity to demand better governance.” What made it unique was the feature that, to improve project responsiveness and results, the Government and World Bank agreed to complement the projects’ internal monitoring and evaluation systems with independent third-party monitoring by communities with the assistance of CSOs under the CARTA program. CARTA supported a total 11 World Bank-financed projects—6 in Nepal and 5 in Bangladesh with 12 sub-projects.  CARTA started in mid-2011 and ended November 30, 2015, with each subproject lasting from one to two years during this period. Each of these sub-projects was a small-scale unique pilot for local CSOs to independently carry out awareness-raising, monitoring, capacity-building and empowerment activities through grants ranging from US$65,000 to US$150,000. Since the World Bank-financed projects
covered many sectors, including education, restoration of livelihoods, road construction, and others, the sub-projects tested citizen engagement strategies in a variety of sectors, and in different implementation structures—some public and semi-private, and each with its own complex relationships.

Newsletter 2016-04 Spotlight publishes : Employment Fund “Skills for Reconstruction” – Building Back Better

The earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May 2015 affected about 5.4 million people, caused the destruction of​​ 500,000 houses and the damage of 280.000 buildings. 

High numbers of masons and carpenters are needed to rebuild the houses in an earthquake resilient manner. Even before the earthquakes, Nepal suffered from a labour shortage in the construction sector due to the high labour migration to the Gulf countries and Malaysia. Therefore, the labour force has to be strengthened with additional skills trainings that include earthquake resilient building techniques and application of the revised building codes. 

The Employment Fund is providing training for occupations relevant to reconstruction in six disaster-affected districts of Nepal. It has the aim of training 3,000 people in reconstruction relevant trades and focuses on the use of earthquake resilient techniques to rebuild 4,000 houses until the end of 2016.

The project does not promote standardized model houses because house types vary depending on the geographical location and their climate, traditional methods and available resources. Instead, the project applies an owner-driven approach to reconstruction by integrating earthquake resilient elements into existing construction techniques. For this purpose, Employment Fund adjusted curricula and training manuals of construction related trades in collaboration with experts in this field.

Blue schools in Dailekh celebrate the International Women’s Day

March 9, 2016
On the occasion of the International Women Day, March 8, the Water Resources Management Programme (WARMP), HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal supported Bijaya Higher Secondary School in Dullu, Dailekh to organize an interaction and elocution competition on the importance of menstruation hygiene. A total of 68 students (64 girls), 13 teachers (4 female), 14 parents (10 mothers) participated in the event from five blue schools: Bijaya Higher Secondary School, Premdevi Secondary School, Saraswati Higher Secondary School, Dhuleshowr Higher Secondary School and Bhaneshwor Secondary School from Dullu Municipality of Dailekh district.
Divided into three sessions, the first session opened with the girl students singing a welcome song which was followed by a welcome speech from the teacher of Bijaya Higher Secondary School. Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and Poverty Orientation  focal person of WARMP, Nilkantha Pandey highlighted the objective of this program, women’s contribution in WASH sector in Nepal and HELVETAS Nepal's 60 years of work in the country. The first session ended with the focal persons, respective teachers from the blue schools highlighting the progress of blue schools, the impact of the blue school programme on students' health and hygiene.
The second session was an elocution competition on the importance of menstruation hygiene. Five girl students from the participating schools sang songs relating to menstruation and Chhaupadi tradition in between the programme.
The last session was an interaction programme on menstruation hygiene. Dr. Lal Bahadur Gurung and the Health Assistant, Ms. Karina Shahi were invited as experts and gave useful information on menstruation hygiene. The session was facilitated by Ms. Rubika Shrestha, Planning, Monitoring and Information Officer, WARMP. All students, parents and teachers participated actively in the interaction programme sharing experiences and putting up queries. The team from Dullu Hospital answered responded to the queries put.
Organized to break the social belief of adolescent girls on menstruation, the programme received positive response from students, teachers and parents alike. They said that it was the first time that they were celebrating the International Women’s Day and learning new things important to women’s health. They suggested that such events should include a larger group of mothers and students. The programme was successful in creating awareness on several misconceptions and practices associated with menstruation, which often times result in adverse health outcomes for adolescents and women.
 
Celebration photo Celebration photo

Workshop on water-livelihoods-gender nexus to advance Koshi Basin Management

Koshi River basin, a trans-boundary basin spread across China, Nepal and India, supports the livelihoods of nearly 40 million people by providing irrigation, domestic water and has a large potential for hydropower development.

Most rural people in Koshi basin depend on traditional agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods. Major drivers of change such as market, demographic changes, migration and climate change have significant impact on water resources and ultimately on the livelihoods of the basin people. Some shifts are being observed in livelihoods patterns with a major increase in the commercialisation of agriculture, and the subsistence farming has been replaced by cash crops. There is a trend of growing number of male out-migration for overseas work. Although remittance income contributes to the local economy, the work burden for most women has increased in the absence of a large male workforce. Women bear more responsibilities both within and outside their households, especially with regard to agricultural work and managing water for irrigation. 

A number of initiatives have been undertaken by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the Department of Irrigation, the Department of Agriculture, the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation to generate evidence-based knowledge.

"What a celebration!" - HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal celebrates International Women's Day 2016

8th March 2016
We made it a very memorable day yet again, after last year’s unforgettable International Women’s Day celebration.

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal staff celebrated International Women’s Day today in a special way.  Kathmandu-based men colleagues joined the usual group of women colleagues in the fun-filled-cum-reflective programme at Moksh, Jhamsikhel from 8.30 am to 2 pm.

Some moments of the programme were profound enough to make one misty-eyed, e.g. the atmosphere in the hall as the national anthem was played, the opening song sung by colleagues from our projects, welcome speech by the Country Director and anecdotes retold by colleagues.  

Sita Ghimire, Project Manager of Safer Migration Project, made her closing remarks, “Let each one of us make a commitment today to work towards gender equality; and when we meet again on International Women’s Day next year, let us gauge where we stand.”

Everyone who was involved in organizing the event so well, Srijana Shrestha and Bhavna Karki in particular, deserve kudos.  This also happens to be one of the many events which we have lined up to celebrate HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation’s sixtieth year in the country.

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal team
 
participants of Women's day 2016 participants of Women's day 2016

Solar-powered lamps to earthquake survivors

February 2016
Hundreds of earthquake-affected families in Ratanchaura and Baseshwor Village Development Committees of Sindhuli district are no longer sitting in darkness after receiving solar-powered lamps donated by TERI University. Earlier in January, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Nepal distributed lamps to 440 earthquake-affected households in Sindhuli, a district hit hard by the earthquake on 25 April.

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal Rising 2016

Against violence against women, discrimination, injustice and for gender equality and climate justice
February 2016, Kathmandu
1 in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS (UNWOMEN).  Every February through March 8th, thousands of Risings take place in hundreds of countries across the world and within local communities – to show the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors of various forms of violence face. People around the world, rise through dance to express rage against injustices; and the power of global solidarity and collective action. They dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that together, violence can be defeated. They rise to show a determination to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is un-thinkable. – One Billion Rising.
One Billion Rising campaign has been globally celebrated every year since 2012. Since, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal is on its 60th year and is taking steps towards new programmatic and implementation approaches with Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and advocacy as one of its major theme; on 12th February, 2016, in the premises of Program Management Unit, a program was held in the presence of 43 HELVETAS staff and 14 youth activists from the slum community, Pathivara Youth Club, coordinated by Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj, an organization working with slum community women. The campaign will continue and lead to a major event in March 8th, 2016, International Women’s Day, in collaboration and solidarity with various other women’s groups, networks and women’s rights organizations. 

The Rising
The program started with a brief introduction of the global campaign, followed by two videos, on various kinds of violence being suffered by women and the rising that took place around the world, all ages, sexual-identities and genders together. A speech by the Deputy Country Director, Ms. Mona Sherpa, on importance of campaigns like OBR in line to the new Country Strategy Paper 2016-2020, informed and encouraged the audience to show commitment towards ending violence against women.
After that, a poem was recited by Team Leader of Community Practice in Schools for Learning Climate Change Adaptation Project, Ms. Usha Aryal Dahal, published in a Nepali e-newspaper, Setopati, written by Sulochana Dahal, expressed the emotions of a woman who is chained by various cultural taboos, values and restrictions and wants to break that chain of unjust structure. Then, a case story was shared by Sr. Program Officer, Ms. Srijana Shrestha, of a man expressing his commitment and role in ending discrimination and violence against women.
The patriarchal socialization process existing in our culture restricts women to live freely and the program proved to be an opportunity to commit to challenge them which was witnessed through the expression of individual commitments by the participants. The participants continued with showing their commitment and rising through their dance to the theme song of One Billion Rising campaign – Break the Chain. 
Following this event, the Deputy Country Director, Ms. Mona Sherpa, a feminist activist herself, was interviewed in the national television of Nepal (Video Link) , on One Billion Rising and the importance of global women’s rights movements and campaigns in Nepal and globally. 
The Rising, that is; being a part of global campaign to show solidarity for gender equality, is just a start for HELVETAS Nepal. Campaigning being one of the methodologies that can be used for awareness raising and policy advocacy, HELVETAS Nepal plans to take it forward with commitment towards attaining gender equality in all its interventions. 
 
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Investing in Sustainable Mountain Development publishes the case study on Employment Fund

February, 2016
The publication, “Investing for Sustainable Mountain Development” features case studies and lessons learned from mountains across the world, gives overview on challenges related to financing sustainable mountain development and conclude with a set of policy recommendations. It is a part of the Sustainable Mountain Development Series and is published by the Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, with Bern Open Publishing. 

This issue features the case study on Employment Fund (pg. 34), its approach to training for employment, differential pricing mechanism for better targeting and outcome based financing for market orientation of the training programme, and the results attained. 

Two new projects started!

21 January, 2016
Nepal Agricultural Services Development Programme (NASDP) 

Bilateral agreement between Government of Nepal and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation was signed this week for the implementation of Nepal Agricultural Services Development Programme (NASDP). HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is entrusted by the governments of Nepal and Switzerland to implement the programme. 

The focus of the programme is on helping rural farmers increase the productivity of their land. This will be done using relevant knowledge, information and technology and by capacitating a decentralised and pluralistic research and extension system with appropriate technologies and services as needed and demanded by farmers. Extension and advisory services will be provided through Agriculture, Forest and Environment committees of Village Development Committees, farmer groups and local agriculture resource persons. Farmer-to-farmer extension through demonstrations, farmer field and business schools, exchange visits, cascade trainings, coaching, and participatory planning and monitoring will be the main focus activities. In addition, capacity of decentralised Nepal Agricultural Research Council will be used for innovative activities such as woman-farmer-led experiment in the frame of participatory innovation development and multi-stakeholder platform of local enterprises, woman-farmers, extensionists and researchers. 

The duration of this Phase I of the programme will be 4 years, between 2016 and 2019, with a preparatory period of 10 months. The total budget of the phase is estimated to be Swiss Franc 9.09 million.


Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment (ENSSURE) 

Switzerland has made another commitment – a 10-year support in the area of Technical Education and Vocational Training to address the increased rate of Nepal’s youth unemployment and under-employment. Another bilateral agreement between Government of Nepal and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation was signed this week for the implementation of Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment (ENSSURE). HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is entrusted partner of governments of Nepal and Switzerland to provide technical assistance to the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training to enable the latter to implement the programme. 

The aim of the programme is to improve the employability of skilled youths with an established favourable work environment for a more inclusive private sector, to be expanded for services in skill development. Mobilisation of “roving” or visiting instructors to advise and help companies in all training aspects - notably in improving on-the-job informal apprenticeship and enhanced apprenticeship - is the innovative element of the programme. Connecting the training of corporate workforce with the existing skills testing system leading to national certification is going to be another major intervention of the programme. It is envisaged that industry associations will play a crucial role in identification of demand, guiding their members towards staff development concepts and cooperating with Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training. Unlike in the past, these associations will also be considered as recipients of the project’s intervention for their capacity development. 

Phase-I will run from 2016 to 2019 with a total budget of 9.8 million Swiss Franc, of which 3.34 million Swiss Franc is allocated for technical assistance component to be implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.
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The first Earthquake resilience house built by the trainees

January 2016, Dolakha

This is the first earthquake resilient house built by trainees of the project Employment Fund – Skilling for Reconstruction themselves. With the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation has started implementing this Government of Nepal project.  Under this initiative training is provided to family members of the great earthquake victims of 2015 for constructing earthquake resilient houses.  HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is mandated to work in six earthquake affected districts - Gorkha, Dhading, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechap and Okhaldhunga. 
The beneficiary of the first complete houseis Ms. Dhaulima Sherpa (31) of Marbu Village Development Committee 4 - one of the remotest village development committees in Dolakha district. She is one of the ten participants in the training conducted there. Ms. Sherpa is a widow and has four children. 
A total of 4,000 houses are planned to be built in the course of training carried out to construct earthquake resilient houses.  The project, which began in July 2015, will end in December 2016. Currently construction of 176 houses by 88 groups of mason trainees is ongoing in five districts.  Training in Melamchi area of Sindhupalchowk district will begin soon. The first round of training for masons and carpenters will be completed by mid-February 2016 after which they will be available on the job market. 
The training is conducted on-site. During the 50 daysof the training two houses will be constructed by two groups of trainees.  Each group comprises of ten traineesled  by an instructor. The second round of training will begin in March 2016. Around 1,200 additional persons will be trained on masonry and carpentry in this training.
Only local materials are used in the construction of houses and there is voluntary contribution from the neighbourhood and training participants.  The project's contribution is to provide trainers and a stipend of NRs. 200 per trainee or the respective household. This has proved to be a very pragmatic approach to construct earthquake resilient houses. At the same time it is affordable and indigenous methods are adopted.  
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New Nepal Country Strategy for 2016 to 2020

January 5, 2015 January 5, 2015
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal  has formally started the implementation of its new Country Strategy for 2016 to 2020. This strategy guides the current and future actions of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Nepal and is based on the achievements and lessons learnt during the previous strategy covering the period 2011 to 2015.
In this first country programme management meeting Country Director Bharat K. Pokharel highlighted  the strategic shifts and the new programmatic approach. At the same time he reminded all of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal’s celebration of 60 years’ dedicated engagement in Nepal. The more than 60 participants then actively discussed the contents of the theory of change focusing on the primary stakeholders, the working approaches, the programme actors, the organisation’s role and the six programme areas.

Download Country Strategy from link below 

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Country Strategy 2016 – 2020 – Full version

PDF, 47 page(s), HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, 1.22 MB

Effects of improved management and quality of farmyard manure on soil organic carbon contents in small-holder farming systems of the Middle Hills of Nepal

Taylor & Francis online
Simple and widely adopted sustainable soil management practices, especially improvements in the management and quality of farmyard manure, have enabled many thousands of small-scale farmers in the Middle Hills of Nepal to increase organic matter in their soils. This has been achieved without increases in livestock numbers or in the quantity of manure available. The organic matter contents have increased in all of five time series of on-farm topsoil monitoring over periods of one to three years, at rates varying from 2% to 27%. Overall, the increase from 3.3% organic matter to almost 3.8% was highly significant. Systematic full-profile comparisons of forest soils against arable soils with and without sustainable soil management showed that the benefits are not confined to the topsoils, and that there were some lesser increases in the subsoils. Sustainable land management and improved farmyard manure quality significantly improved total nitrogen levels. The effects on available Phosphorus and Potassium were inconsistent and only occasionally significant, with some indication of Potassium decline in topsoils. The enhanced organic matter status of the soils was also reported to improve structure, workability, and moisture characteristics. The increase in soil organic matter can partially offset some of the substantial losses of carbon storage incurred when the forests were originally cleared, and contributes to the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

 

To access the full article click here http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17565529.2014.966045

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