Pro-Poor Grant Projects
part of New ERA's initiatives to alleviate rural poverty, it has
provided financial and
technical support to the poorest of the poor people in Kaski and
Sankhuwasabha districts to help them lessen their hardship. During
2006/07, New ERA provided a grant support of Rs 200,000 as Income
Generation Activity (IGA) for the poor in these two districts. New ERA
aims to make these funds revolving, self-supporting and sustainable in
the future. In order to make this happen, it has worked through
intermediary organizations to mobilize and manage the funds.
ERA has worked in both these districts (Kaski and Sankhuwasabha) in the
past. It conducted a Participatory Action Research Project on Adaptive
Collaborative Management approach to community forestry there. This
research was led by the Center for International Community Forestry
Research (CIFOR). This study was implemented in two phases. The first
phase was implemented from 2000 to 2002, and the second phase was done
from 2004 to 2007.
1. Goat Raising by Poorest of the
Poor Households of Bamdibhir CFUG, Kaski District
ERA provided financial and technical support to the poorest of the poor
users of Deurali-Bagedanda CFUG of Kaski district to raise goats as an
income generating activity. The total amount allocated for this purpose
was Rs. 80,000. The District Chapter Federation of Community Forest
Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) has assumed the overall responsibility of
mobilizing and executing the fund.
total 143 users of Bamdibhir CFUG, 23 households are
involved in goat raising. The district chapter
she-goat to each of the 23 poorest of the poor households during
November 2006. Of the total number of goats distributed, 19 gave birth
to kids. The understanding was that
anybody whose goat gave birth would present the first kid to another
poor family in the neighborhood.
report received from the FECOFUN District Chapter, Kaski reveals that
all the 19 poorest goat-keeping households have been handing over newly born kids to the poorest families in their
neighborhood. New ERA staff made a field visit to the project site and
interacted with some of the 19 successful goat raising households in
December 2007. All of them expressed happiness at the support received
from New ERA. This is in fact a great contribution to poor rural
households. They are now able to earn a little extra income from the
goat rearing enterprise.
2. Saw Mill for the Poor
New ERA provided financial and technical support to the poorest of
poor users of Deurali-Bagedanda CFUG of Kaski district to establish a
sawmill as an income generating activity.
The total amount allocated for this purpose was Rs.
The District Chapter Federation of
Community Forest Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) has assumed the overall
of mobilizing and executing the fund.
Sixty-three poorest of the poor blacksmith families of Deurali-Bagedanda
CFUG have been working to set up a sawmill in their community. The
sawmill is not yet in operation because it does not have an electric
The grantee, District FECOFUN, claimed that the Deurali-Bagedanda CFUG has purchased the necessary machinery for the
sawmill. However, the sawmill project has hit a major snag because the
electricity generation project has stalled. The CFUG, therefore, has invested this
grant in building a house for the sawmill. The CFUG committee has promised to revolve this fund as
soon as electricity becomes available to run the factory. The committee
plans to involve these poorest households in manual work to make
furniture at the factory.
3. Revolving Fund Support to Poorest of the Poor Households of Tinjure
ERA has provided a gift of Rs. 40,000 to Tinjure Hattisar NTFP network
of Sankhuwasabha district for a revolving fund to be invested in running
IGAs for the poorest of the poor users. A total of 50 poorest of the
poor households of Tinjure Hattisar NTFP network, a federation of 10
CFUGs, have been involved in NTFP enterprise development activities.
Reflecting the influence of this
initiative on poor people's control over and benefits from a
community-based NTFP network enterprise, a paper published by the
Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC) in January 2008
(page 14-24) states:
"… The approach involved shifts in
governance and management, especially regarding inclusion of
marginalized people and the development of risk and uncertainty
analysis. The major outcome of the network’s adoption of this approach
is a redistribution of control over livelihood benefits from NTFP
resources towards the 'poorest of the poor' families in the enterprise
notable change is that network members shifted from working in relative
isolation to building alliances and greater interdependence, a change
that helped mitigate conflicts between them regarding benefit sharing.
Significant enterprise ownership and decision-making opportunities have
been created for these poorer households by providing them access to
revolving funds that enable them to become shareholders in the network
enterprise. Furthermore, because of the learning-based collective
action, this network has been able to increase its profit margin from
the sale of processed NTFPs …"
4. Pig Raising by a Group of Women Living with
In 2009, New ERA from its reserve fund provided a grant support of Rs.
53,000 to Asha Jyoti Sahayog Samaj (AJSS), an organization established
by a group of women living with HIV/AIDS in Rupadehi district. The
organization since its inception in 2063 has been advocating against all
forms of discriminations to the people living with HIV/AIDS and trying
to prove that they are strong enough to make progress and sustain
themselves in the society. With this objective the AJSS members have
initiated a number of self-employment initiatives like vegetable
framings and poultry, pigs and goat raising activities in the area for
its members abandoned from families after the death of their husbands.
With the support from New ERA, the organization has been rearing three
improved variety piglets (Himstar) in its farmhouse located at Dandakhet
community, Ward No 2 of Khadwabangai VDC in Rupandehi district. Three
single women living with HIV/AIDS have been taking care of the animals,
which will be ready to sell after fourteen months. These women reported
that the growth rate of these animals is remarkably higher than that of
the local pigs reared in the nearby communities. However, New ERA
monitoring report indicates that since these women were the beginners in
this kind of entrepreneurial skill, they need constant feedbacks and
external supports to make the program successful.
5. Assessment of TEWA Supported Program
Tewa is a non-profit organization
committed to philanthropy for equitable justice and peace. It is
committed to human resource development in all aspects of its work.
Its work consists of two main programs: grant-making and volunteer
fund raising. It provides funds to the grantees with the objective to
support the women empowerment and upliftment of women. Tewa supports
those women groups who have had no support but are diligent, organized
and have forward looking plans.
Tewa received Rs. 250,000 from New ERA
for above purpose. As per recent monitoring report of the programs, Rs.
199,800 (80%) of the total fund has been utilized as grants to four
different local women’s organizations. The organizations who have
received grants are:
Gaurighat Mahila Jagaran Samuha, Nuwakot
Adhikar Kolagi Ekta Jagaran Manch (WRUAF), Udaypur
Satasi Mahila Mauripalan Sahakari Sanstha, Doodhe Bazar, Jhapa
for Women’s Participation in Rights and Development (FOWOPARD),
Chandanath VDC, Jumla
Dr. Harka Gurung Fellowship Program
ERA initiated the New
ERA Fellowship Program in 1995 to encourage and contribute to quality
research in Nepal. From 2007, this program has been known as the
"Dr. Harka Gurung Fellowship Program" in memory of the late Dr. Harka
Gurung. The program aims to promote the development of social science in
Nepal and to strengthen the research capacity of Nepali students.
The priority areas for research
fellowship are conflict resolution, social exclusion, social movement,
gender equity, social forestry, poverty, and internally displaced
people. Other possible areas include land tenancy, natural resources,
HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. The students who have completed their
course work for a Master's degree and are planning field research are
eligible to apply.
In order to
facilitate smooth operation of the program, New ERA has formed a
steering committee that formulates the guidelines and closely monitors,
supervises and supports the overall program. The committee consists of
the following persons:
1. Mr. Ashoke
Shrestha - Chairperson
Jagat Basnet - Member
3. Mr. Madhup Dhungana
4. Dr. Narayan
Kaji Shrestha - Member
Shibesh C. Regmi - Member
Pranita Thapa - Member
In order to
select the fellowship grantees, New ERA places an advertisement in
national newspapers calling for proposals from prospective students.
After the proposals are received, New ERA forms a committee of
reviewers/supervisors from among its senior researchers. The submitted
proposals are reviewed by the committee members and the short-listed
students make a presentation of their proposal before the committee. On
the basis of their proposal and presentation, the reviewers/supervisors
select the students to be enrolled in the Fellowship Program. The
committee members provide feedback/comments on the proposals presented
by the students and they are asked to make adjustments/corrections as
necessary in the proposal in consultation with their university
supervisor. After their proposals have been finalized, the fellowship
grantees are provided the necessary financial assistance. The concerned
supervisors of New ERA provide them necessary technical assistance
throughout the study period.
C. Educational Support for Sabina
New ERA’s educational support for Ms Sabina Bishwokarma was initiated
in response to a news article published in the Kantipur Daily on
August 18, 2006 regarding her dream to pursue further studies and
become a doctor. Residing permanently in Kot Danda VDC, Ward no. 5,
Luee village of Mugu district, Sabina passed her SLC in the year 2009 and
is currently studying in class 12 in Mahadev Mashta Higher Secondary School situated in Ratapani, Luee
village of Mugu district. Belonging from Dalit caste group, Sabina is
the only girl studying at the higher secondary level in the Khaptad
region of Mugu district.
The amount that New ERA decided for Sabina's educational support was Rs. 15,000 per year, which she started receiving when she was in grade
8, and the support continued until she completed her SLC in 2008. As
Sabina decided to study further after completion of her SLC, the last
year's AGM decided that New ERA would provide her with the amount of
Rs. 25,000 for her 10+2 level education. New ERA has provided her
with a total of nearly Rs. 100,000, which includes cash amount plus
expenses for educational materials and installation of solar panel in
As per the discussion with Mr. Ramchandra Tiwari, the Principal of
Shree Mahadev Mashta Higher Secondary School, Sabina took her final
exam of class 11 and is currently studying in class 12 of the same
school since Bhadra, 2067. Though result for class 11 has not been
published, the principal is expecting that it will be a good result.
As he mentioned, Sabina is a disciplined student, hard working and
very much focused on her studies. Hence, he is confident enough to say
that Sabina will definitely pass in her final exams of her class 12,
which is scheduled for the month of Baisakh, 2068. Being weak in
English, Sabina has been taking English tuition classes for six months
starting from the month of Mangsir, 2067 for which she has to pay Rs.
3,000. According to her father, Sabina has no plan to get married
now, as she looks forward to pursue further studies.
Nationwide Scholarship Program of SEBS
The Nationwide Scholarship Program (NSP) was started by the students
of Budhanilkantha Students in 1991 with the broad educational
objective of helping underprivileged Nepalese children. The program
was incorporated as one of the programs of the Society of Ex
(SEBS), alumni of Budhanilkantha School, in 1993. NSP provides
scholarships for the students studying grade 8 to 10 in governmental
schools. Till now NSP has sponsored 500 students from 54 districts.
New ERA and NSP engaged in a joint program to support students with
scholarships for 3 years, starting from Baisakh 2066, for which New ERA
provided Rs. 250,000 to SEBS Nepal so these students may continue their
education. Students were chosen from Low Human Development Index (HDI)
districts: Doti, Kailali, Rukum, Sindhupalchowk, Mahottari and
Sankhuwasabha. This joint scholarship was provided to 20 students (12
girls and 8 boys) in selected schools of these districts. New ERA Board
members and NSP members jointly reviewed over 100 applicants, from which
20 students were selected from 6 low HDI districts. The selected
students are from poor households and marginalized castes/groups.
Large Block Demonstration-Cum-Seed Multiplication of Rapeseed in Dang
In 1991, New ERA using its own core fund, created a
non-profit making sister organisation “New ERA Agriculture Development
Centre (NEADC), with its office based in Tulsipur, Dang. NEADC was
uplift the livelihood of rural poor by launching
action programs through
promotion of improved agricultural technologies;
training to farmers and NGOs’ workers using participatory
approaches in the field of agriculture and rural
development; technical assistance; conducting adoptive/social research
and creating awareness. Based on these objectives, NEADC
introduced improved and high yielding rapeseed variety ‘VIKASH’ and
started a ‘Large Block Demonstration-Cum-Seed Multiplication of
Rapeseed. It also created awareness among local people on different
aspects including marketing of their products at reasonable price and
social welfare. Similarly, its also conducted
‘Demonstration-cum-seed multiplication program’ on high yielding
recommended varieties of Lentil, Niger, Potato and Maize. These programs
were conducted in Chakhaura village of Hekuli VDC, Motipur and Dumre
gaon of Tulsipur Municipality; and Thap gaon of Shree Gaon VDC in Dang.
The program uses participatory, bottom-up planning and a one window
approach. The aim of the program was to increase the yield of these
crops through improved production practices as well as to produce good
quality of seed to be used in the subsequent year. The program was
successful in increasing the yield of these crops and as a result, the
demand for NEADC seed increased. For example the seed yield of toria
went to 1.259 metric tons/ha as against its average yield of 0.6 metric
ton/ha in Dang district. The model developed by NEADC was replicated by
Education, Manpower and Employment - A Study Report.
one of the interest is to contribute research on critical issues of
investments in vocational and technical education, shortage of
semi-skilled and skilled manpower remain acute. At the same time the
problem of unemployment or under-employment of educated population is
In 1988 New ERA,
using its core fund, was initiated a research project on "Education, Manpower
The main objective of the study was to examine the magnitude of
manpower problem and different variables affecting it. It also looks
into the technical and vocational training programs and the investment
pattern in technical and higher education since the launch of the New
Education System Plan (NESP) in 1971. The study recommends steps to
improve the manpower situation in Nepal and to attune higher education
to meet the manpower needs.