Responding to Nepal’s Transition (RENT):

Testing an evidence-based approach for adaptive programming and portfolio-wide learning

Nepal’s political transition to federalism presents a potential opportunity for creating a more inclusive social contract and strengthening economic development. Leaving no one behind requires a substantial broadening of political and economic opportunity and depends upon citizens having a greater political and economic stake in the country’s future.

This research collaboration led by researchers from Yale University, SOAS and London School of Economics seeks to understand whether and how policy can support these objectives in the context of Nepal’s move to a federal system using two types of research: ‘tracking research’ which is designed to track the progress of federalization and ‘targeted studies’ addressing specific research questions. The collaboration will seek to understand how research can help identify: (i) policy interventions that seek to best support progressive change in a fast-changing, but messy political transition? (ii) practical, politically smart ways for development partners with relatively small budgets to support a more inclusive political and economic environment? (iii) whether the logic and efficacy of current policies and strategies still hold in the changing political landscape? (iv) new opportunities or challenges in enabling inclusive growth? (v) Finally, are different development strategies currently supported by DFID Nepal working together or at cross-purposes?

Recent RENT Work

1. Local and Provincial Government Survey

To understand and map the specific response at each elected office in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and nation-wide lockdown, we conducted a mobile phone survey of elected officials and bureaucrats at the local and province level across all seven provinces. Respondents included Mayors, Deputy Mayors and CAOs from the local level municipalities, and include secretaries or undersecretaries from the Office of Chief Minister, Ministries of Social Development and Internal Affairs at the Province level. We also surveyed non-government key informants from the same local level municipalities to understand their experiences of their local government’s response. The key informants are representatives of civic and social NGOs who are registered with the Social Welfare Council in Nepal. Phone numbers for officials, bureaucrats and non-government key informants are available on their official websites. 


We administered the Covid19 Local Government Survey to officials and bureaucrats from the local level municipalities, and to NGO representatives from the same local level municipalities. We administered the Covid19 Provincial Government Survey to officials in the Chief Minister’s office, the Social Development Ministry and the Internal Affairs Ministry at the Provincial level. Both surveys were designed to take an estimated 15 mins. Our team conducted these phone surveys by hiring a team of experienced surveyors that placed calls in their homes via a computer assisted telephonic interviewing (CATI) application installed on their phones.



2. Covid Data Synthesis

Reliable and reliable evidence is essential for an effective response to disasters and pandemics. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal, we used data from recent surveys on different aspects of the pandemic in order to derive policy implications for the design of Covid-19 policy. In particular, we investigate the WFP’s Mobile Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (mVAM) survey, UNRCO’s Quarantine Sites’ Assessment, and WFP’s Market Price Monitor. We have used other surveys like LPGS, FCNA, HRVS, and AHS along with administrative datasets such as CMIS and HMIS. We presented a summary report of analysis across all datasets as well as a presentation to the development Partner Statistics Coordination Group in August 2020.



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