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Livelihoods Recovery for Peace (LRP) project
What is the project about
The 20 southern plains districts of Nepal that border India have most of Nepal’s productive farmland, large areas of valuable forest and most of Nepal’s industry. In spite of this wealth many inhabitants of this Tarai area live in poverty and suffer serious socio-economic disadvantage. The long-standing grievances of the people of this area came to the surface in early 2007 as the Madhes Andolan (uprising) disrupted life across the Tarai with violence between hill and Madhesi people. Many of the grievances had yet to be addressed and the area was characterised by frequent strikes and shutdowns (bandhs) and weak law and order.
In 2009, the Livelihood Recovery for Peace project (LRP) was launched in the three poorest and most conflict-affected districts of the Tarai. Sarlahi, Mahottari and Rautahat are the districts where poverty, conflict and natural disasters most hinder development. The 1.7 million people of this area have a mixed makeup with 40% from traditionally disadvantaged groups.
What have we accomplished so far
1. Mobilising the poorest communities for peace and development — LRP is an integrated community-based project that works for the largest proportion of vulnerable, excluded and economically deprived (VEED) people. As of December 2013 LRP has formed and consolidated a total of 917 community groups in the ‘poverty pockets’ across all 271 Village Development Committees (VDCs) to assist the socio-economic and political empowerment of the community members. More than 95 percent of the members in the groups are women and 60 percent are Tarai and Hill Dalits, who are the poorest of the poor amongst Nepal’s many caste and ethnic groups. Social mobilisation of the community members from the poorest households and communities has created an enabling environment for them to improve their access and control on local resources and enhance their participation and representation at the community level decision making bodies like the school management committee, health post management committee and VDC planning council.
2. Improving the local infrastructure — LRP is supporting communities to build new common infrastructures and rehabilitate damaged ones to improve their livelihoods and health. Work began in 2010, and as of December 2013 a total of 3934 community infrastructures have been constructed and renovated through the formation of 392 user committees. The District Development Committee (local government) provides technical support while the financial assistance is made directly to the community groups. Of the amount provided, approximately 37% has gone for toilets, 32% for community buildings and school buildings, 14% for drainage and lane improvement, 9% for drinking water supply and 4% for rural electrification. The remaining infrastructures include culverts, health posts and river training. The completely decentralised model of community contracting applied in the building of community infrastructures has assisted the beneficiaries to identify their common need, agree on a locally owned and managed process of completing the construction and follow a transparent process of implementation.
3. Improving livelihood of the poorest and most vulnerable — LRP is supporting a total of 20837 poorest households with a focus on women, youth, individuals from conflict-affected families and Dalit communities to make a decent living by providing them with:
• skills and knowledge to enhance livelihood assets;
• support for income generating activities;
• micro and small enterprise development support;
• improved access to micro-finance and cooperatives; and
• access to 2017 homes with solar lighting system.
The micro capital grant has boosted the overall confidence of women and the poor to get engaged in income generating activities and widen their access to public domain through marketing, trading and increasing access to financial services. A total of 4000 households amongst 20837 beneficiary households who have received grants for income generating activities (IGA) have transformed into micro entrepreneurs.
4. Empowering women — Many women in that area are severely disadvantaged. LRP's baseline data carried out in the poverty pockets shows that less than 21% of the men and women are able to read and write in the three districts compared with 65.9% national average according to the National Census report of 2011. LRP is empowering women in the area, in coordination with the Women and Children's Office other UNDP projects and agencies, by improving their access to livelihood assets, involving them in decision making (80% of leadership positions in the community groups are held by women) and consolidation of Women’s Rights Forums (WRFs). These forums are supporting women victims of violence and providing legal literacy training. As of 2013, a total of 2587 WRF members have been provided training on the basic concept of gender based violence. These women consecutively play a proactive role to sensitize more women members of their community group on Gender Based Violence (GBV). As a result of women empowerment and gender sensitisation at the community level, the reporting on gender violence has increased. LRP has supported a house-to-house sensitisation campaign on child marriage, witchcraft, dowry and violence against women to reach out to 201818 family members of the community groups, WRFs and youth clubs. The project has also prepared and implemented a three-year strategic plan to fight against gender based violence in the three districts.
5. Strengthening local institutions — The project is helping youth clubs, local government bodies and other institutions to become more responsive to promoting livelihoods and peace. Youth empowerment — One of the area’s most pressing problems is the high rates of youth unemployment. LRP is running a Youth for Social Cohesion and Peace programme through youth clubs and NGOs. It is providing tutorial support in the poverty pockets and helping young people to hold peace conversations and run other peace activities. The project is also appointing youth volunteers to serve alongside the project’s peace and livelihoods facilitators (PALs) in all VDCs. Aiming for a lasting impact LRP is taking a socially inclusive approach by, for example, encouraging the implementing NGOs to have a diverse staff. Whilst its main focus is on improving and empowering the neediest people, it also supported work that benefits all communities and classes. This should help the project overcome the main challenge it faces of getting the area’s many political groupings to work together for the benefit of all local people. Success stories from project districts point the way forward. After the communal conflicts of 2007, weekly meetings facilitates by LRP in this area are rebuilding trust between the area’s hill and Tarai origin people. As a result of this and some infrastructure improvements these communities has begun to mix again and common trust is growing.
Who Finances it?
|Total Budget||$18 million|
Delivery in previous fiscal year
- Project duration:
- August 2009 to December 2014
- Geographic coverage:
- All 271 Village Development Committees in Sarlahi, Mahottari and Rautahat districts
- Focus Area:
- Poverty Reduction
- Government partner agencies:
- The 3 DDCs, their local development funds and district energy and environment units/sections; district women and children's offices, the Ministry of Local Development, Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation
- Other partners:
- Local NGO for social mobilisation and household income improvement, local government for community infrastructure, energy services and women's empowerment, youth clubs and community groups
- UNDP focal point
- Anjani Bhattarai
Programme Officer, Poverty & Inclusion Unit
UN House, Pulchowk
P.O.Box 107 Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-5523200 Ext 1012
- Project focal point
- Prem Kant Jha
Mujeliya, Janakpur Municipality
Tel: 041- 620911