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CARE Nepal: Recent Lessons Learned

A compilation of
findings from evaluations
and studies
1999 - 2001

May 2001
Kathmandu, Nepal

F\Archive\Recentll\May01\lessons

Acronyms
AHWs
AIP
BTRT
BZ
BZDP
CBOs
CDCs
CDCC
CFs
CFUGs
CHDK
CIB
CO
DWUG
DDC
DFO
DSCO
DLA
DADO
FCHVs
FG
FHP
FP
HMG
ICDP
IGA
IUG
MG
NFE
NGOs
PIR
PRA
TBAs
TNAs
UAKWMP
UC
UG
VDC
WG
WUG

Animal Health Worker


Annual Implementation Plan
Begnas Tal Rupa Tal Watershed Management Project
Buffer Zone
Buffer Zone Development Project
Community Based Organizations
Community Development Committees
Community Development Conservation Committee
Conservation Farmers
Community Forest User Groups
Clean Home Delivery Kits
Community Institution Building
Community Organization
Drinking Water User Group
District Development Committee
District Forest Office
District Soil Conservation Officer
District Line Agency
District Agriculture Development Officer
Female Community Health Volunteer
Focus Group
Family Health Project
Family Planning
His Majesty's Government of Nepal
Integrated Conservation and Development Project
Income Generating Activity
Irrigation User Group
Mothers Group
Non-Formal Education
Non-Governmental Organization
Project Implementation Report
Participatory Rural Appraisal
Traditional Birth Attendants
Training Needs Assessment
Upper Andhi Khola Watershed Management Project
User Committee
User Group
Village Development Committee
Womens Group
Water User Group

Acknowledgements
This document could not exist without the hard work and analysis of a large number of
consultants and partners, who worked together with CARE staff in undertaking the
evaluations and studies which are synthesized in this document. We would like to thank Tara
Rao, Mary Manandhar, Gregory Ira, Laya Uprety, Philip Franks, Devaki Shrestha, Buddhi
Kunwar, Johan Bertens, Baburam Adhikari, B.K. Shrestha, Yamun Yadav, Ram B. Chhetri,
Katrine Danielsen, Bill Buffum, Raj Kumar Chaudhari, Ram Narayan Shah, Balaram Thapa,
Marcie Rubardt, Sandra Bernklau, Monique Beun, Lynne Brennan, Rita Thapa, Wendy King,
Basanta Rimal, Prakash Mathema, Ram Chandra Neupane, and Krishna Poudel for enabling
CARE Nepal to become a more effective organization which supports poor people to improve
their lives. Special thanks to all of the CARE staff who prepared for, and took part in, these
studies.
As well, Mark Giffard-Lindsay did much of the work in putting together this document,
pulling out lessons from the many studies he reviewed. His contribution is much appreciated!

Marcy Vigoda
May 2001

Table of Contents
CARE Nepal: Recent Lessons Learned .......................................................................................1
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................1
Project Summaries.........................................................................................................................3
Summary of Lessons Learned .....................................................................................................5
Design, Methodology and Cross-cutting Themes
1. Project Design, Process and Quality .....................................................................................5
2. Subsidies.........................................................................................................................................5
3. Phase-out ........................................................................................................................................5
4. Monitoring and Evaluation............................................................................................................6
5. Partnership, Civil Society and Local Governance.......................................................................6
6. Gender/Women in Development...................................................................................................7
7. Caste Equity................................................................................................................8
8. Working in Remote Areas .............................................................................................................8
9. Documentation, Dissemination, Learning and Policy Feedback ..........................................9
Project Components
10. Agriculture and Livestock ...........................................................................................................9
11. Forestry.......................................................................................................................................10
12. Income-Generating Activities ...................................................................................................11
13. Health and Family Planning ......................................................................................................11
14. Rural Infrastructure ....................................................................................................................12
15. Green Engineering .....................................................................................................................13
16. Non Formal Education...............................................................................................................13

ANNEX:
Specific Lessons
Learned...............14

CARE Nepal: Recent Lessons Learned


Introduction
In August 1998 CARE Nepal produced a "lessons learned" document, synthesizing lessons from
evaluations and studies carried out from 1996 to 1998. The purpose of the document was to share
the learning from evaluations and studies with as wide a number of CARE staff as possible, so that
lessons could be applied. The document was therefore intended primarily for CARE staff involved
in designing and implementing programs.
From early 1999 through mid 2000, formal evaluations were done for most of CARE Nepals
projects. In addition to these, CARE undertook a number of sector or theme-specific studies,
covering gender and birthing practices, child-feeding and the first gender and caste diversity audit.
This report, therefore, serves as an "update" to the first lessons learned document.
In general, CARE projects have made significant improvements in health security (awareness,
access, practice, supply), improved management and access to natural resources (water, forests),
increasing food production and strengthening local institutional capacity, although meaningful
impact in economic security is yet to be achieved. The lessons which follow focus more on
experiences from particular sectors and key cross-cutting themes.
This synthesis document summarizes lessons learned from the following eleven documents:
1. Gender Practices Study: Remote area Basic Needs Project Bajura & Natural Resource
Management Project Mahottari, Tara Rao, March 1999.
2. Birthing Practices Study: Remote Area Basic Needs Project Bajura, Dr Mary Manandhar, May
1999.
3. Final Evaluation: Royal Bardia National Park Buffer Zone Development Project (June 1997
June 2000), Gregory C. Ira, Laya P. Uprety, and Philip Franks, September 1999.
4. Final Evaluation: Mahottari Natural Resources Management Project, Phase II (1995 2000),
Mrs Devaki Shrestha, Buddhi Bahadur Kunwar, Johan Bertens, January 2000.
5. Final Evaluation: Remote Area Basic Needs Project, Gorkha, Phase II, Babu Ram Adhikari,

Bihari Krishna Shrestha and Yamun Yadav, March 2000.


6. Mid Term Evaluation: Remote Area Basic Needs Project, Bajura, Phase II, Ram B. Chhetri,
Yamun Yadav, Katrine Danielsen March 2000.
7. Post Project Impact Evaluation: Begnas Tal Rupa Tal Watershed Management Project Bill
Buffum, Ram B. Chhetri, Raj Kumar Chaudhari, Ram Narayan Shah, Balaram Thapa March
2000.

8. Mid Term Evaluation: Community-Based Family Health Project, Marcie Rubardt, Sandra
Bernklau, May 2000.
9. Child Feeding: Traditions Practices and Beliefs, Kanchanpur District, Monique Beun, July
2000.
10. Diversity Audit: Gender and Caste Equity in CARE Nepal and its Programs, Lynne Brennan and
Rita Thapa, July 2000.
11. Upper Andhi Khola Watershed Management Project, Syangja (Phase II) - Draft Report, Wendy
King, Basanta Rimal, Prakash Mathema, Ram Chandra Neupane, and Krishna Poudel,
December 2000.
The lessons learned are structured around a number of issues and themes, as follows:
Design, Methodology and Cross-cutting Themes
Project design, planning processes and quality
Subsidies
Phase-out
Monitoring and evaluation
Partnership, civil society and local governance
Gender/Women in development
Caste equity
Working in remote areas
Documentation, dissemination, learning and policy feedback
`Project Components/Themes
Agriculture and livestock
Forestry
Income-generating activities
Health and family planning
Rural infrastructure
Green engineering
Non Formal Education
Below is a summary of the projects for which the studies and evaluations were done. Lessons
learned are then summarized in the next section of this document, shown in italics. The summary
does not indicate the specific sources of the lessons.
Specific sources on which the lessons are based are included in the Annex. The Annex includes
both direct quotations from studies, and some paraphrasing.

Project Summaries
The evaluations and studies were undertaken in the following CARE Projects:
Begnas Tal Rupa Tal Watershed Management Project: This project began in 1984 in Kaski
district and was completed in June 1997. Funded by the Dutch Government, and implemented jointly
by the Department of Soil Conservation (DSCWM) and CARE Nepal the project has served as a
model for the design of watershed management projects in Nepal. In February 2000 CARE and
DSCWM conducted a post-project evaluation of BTRT, almost 3 years after the completion of the
Project.
Mahottari Natural Resources Management Project: This project, located in the Terai area of
southern Nepal, began in 1989 focusing on community organization, natural resource management
and health and family planning activities. It was completed in December 1999. The final evaluation
took place during December 1999 January 2000. Family health activities under the current program
will continue in the District until June 2002.
Bajura Remote Area Basic Needs Project: Bajura Remote Area Basic Needs Project began in
1990, working in one of the poorest districts of Nepal in the far western region. It is also a multisectoral project, addressing natural resource management, rural infrastructure, health and family
planning, non-formal education and support to community organizations and local governance. The
project has spearheaded CAREs efforts to work more extensively with local government, improving
their planning and implementation capacity. The project is currently in its second phase, which is
funded by CARE Denmark (with Danida funds) and USAID.
Gorkha Remote Area Basic Needs Project: Gorkha began in January 1992 as a multi-sectoral
project working in the poorer, more distant part of Gorkha district. Owing to the presence of other
agencies, CARE focused on rural infrastructure, community organization and natural resource
management, leaving health and non-formal education to be done by others. The project ended in
December 1999.
Bardia Buffer Zone Development Project: This six year project began in July 1997 with funding
from the EU, Danida and CARE Denmark. Working in the buffer zone of the Royal Bardia National
Park, it aims to improve the socio-economic security of communities in the buffer zone, in a manner
which safeguards existing natural resources and biodiversity. The project began its second three-year
Phase in January 2001.
Forestry Partnership Project: This project is funded by USAID and works in eight districts Terai
and hills in mid- and far-western Nepal. It began in 1996 and runs for just under six years. The
project aims to facilitate local control and management of natural resources in the project area,
improve forestry productivity and sustain the environment. It does this through pairing CARE staff
with HMG forestry staff, strengthening the capacity of district forest offices, increasing the level of
technical assistance (in support of forest handover and post handover activities) and group
strengthening support available to forest user groups, and promoting private forestry.

Child Survival Project: This project is funded by USAID, HMG and CARE USA and works in
Kanchanpur District in Far Western Nepal. The project, which works in all Village Development
Committees as well as the municipality of Mahendranagar, aims to improve maternal and newborn
care in the district, and reduce the number of children suffering from malnutrition, diarrhea,
pneumonia and malaria. It focuses on the most disadvantaged groups, such as landless Tharu people
and Dalits. It began in October 1999 and runs until September 2003.
Upper Andhi Khola Watershed Management Project:
This project is funded by Danida through CARE Denmark, USAID and CARE USA and works in
Syangja, Mid-Western Nepal. This watershed management sector covers 180 square km, covering
41,000 people in 14 Village Development Committees (VDCs) and one municipality. It aims to
improve local understanding of resource issues and enhance the capacity of households and
communities to manage common resources. It focuses on community organization, green
engineering, agroforestry. It started in 1992, and is now in Phase II which began in June 1997 and
finishes in June 2002.

Summary of Lessons Learned


1. Project Design, Process and Quality
There are relatively few lessons on design issues included in evaluations. Overall, designs have
become more rigorous. Flexibility to respond to changes in the operating environment are a
particular strength of CARE's projects. More work needs to be done in ensuring appropriate
targeting.
1. As the operating environment of CARE's projects is evolving, it is important that projects are
flexible enough to adapt to changing or dynamic conditions
2. Projects should clearly identify target groups for particular interventions, so as to ensure
that interventions reach those who need and can benefit from them. This will also enable
analysis of how project funds are channeled, and to whom. This does not preclude working
with all households, for particular activities, but rather encourages analysis of how project
funds are channeled, and to whom, and ensure that marginalized households benefit.
3. Projects should aim to facilitate change in the local institutional environment, so that it is more
responsive to locally felt needs.

2. Subsidies
Subsidies do not promote sustainable results. Projects should aim to create demand, and limit
subsidies to specific pilot activities and action research.

3. Phase out
Phase out plans are generally in place for all projects. CARE needs to think about provisions for
post project support, to ensure that nascent partners have access to some sort of assistance after the
completion of projects.
1. It is important for projects to have a phase out strategy from the start, which is understood
clearly by all stakeholders.
2. Phase out plans might benefit from provisions for some low key post project support to
provide minimal backstopping, encouragement and motivation to groups and NGO partners.

4. Monitoring and Evaluation


Monitoring and Evaluation ( M& E) have most definitely improved, but there is still a way to go.
All projects have M&E plans, but they are inconsistently used. Some of the specific lessons
reflect difficulties with older logframes, not more recent designs.

1. Projects benefit from monitoring and evaluation plans that are as specific as possible, to

ensure that they can be easily put into practice by stakeholders.

5. Partnership, Civil Society and Local Governance


Partnership is generally working well, extending reach and replicability and reducing staff
intensity, but more thought needs to go into really thinking through what types of partners are
suitable in different circumstances and to ensuring adequate support to nascent partners.
CARE's work with institution building has shifted quite a bit from a focus on small Community
Based Organizations (CBOs ) to much more of a concentration on local government and NonGovernment Organisations (NGOs) partners. This is appropriate, given changes in the
environment, and VDC training has been very successful. Still, support to grass roots groups
remains important to promote transparency and accountability of government, as well as
empowerment and to ensure that marginalized groups do not lose out further. CARE needs to
ensure more of a balance between institutional capacity building and activity support to partners,
and ensure that partners are well linked to the local institutional environment [and also, though it
is not addressed in these studies, to take the time to identify appropriate partners and to be a
better "partner" ourselves].
1. CARE projects have had some success in supporting member-based NGO's in project areas.
Certainly not all the NGO's that have been supported have flourished, and some groups may
have been prematurely encouraged to "become" NGO's. As well, the way in which NGO's
are supported could be strengthened, to ensure an appropriate balance between institutional
development and program funding. Nonetheless, the creation of locally-based NGO's
remains a significant contribution to local human resource development, civil society and
sustainability of project benefits.
2. The proliferation of community groups [Community Development Committes (CDC), Forest
Users Group (FUG), Irrigation User Groups (IUG), Drinking Water System-User Group
(DWS-UG), Mother Groups (MGs), etc] has multiple benefits, including local capacity
development; empowerment; and transparency and accountability in VDCs' functioning. At
the same time, it is acknowledged that it is difficult for agencies to support such a large
number of groups.
3. Working with NGOs is a good way to extend reach and replicability, but it requires long
term support as well.
4. Specifically, the groups managing their own resources [CFUG's, IUG's, Saving and Credit
(S/C)] or accessing external resources are the most viable and active. However, generally
groups require additional training tailored to their particular needs.
5. To promote group credibility and access to resources, it is key to link groups up to local
government and other key institutions as early as possible.

6. CARE has struggled with the best approach to supporting local groups. We've moved from
the practice of "creating" groups responsible for community planning for project purposes
(which, though often not sustainable, nonetheless had a number of benefits for local
participants) to focusing instead on activity-specific user groups and putting greater
emphasis on working through local government. While this shift is appropriate in light of
changes in the environment, there remain concerns about how best to ensure that
traditionally marginalized groups do not further "lose out".
7. With decentralization of Government authority under the Local Self-Governance Act, as well
as resources, CARE's role in local capacity building has become an even more important
component of its work and requires work both with local government and in support of civil
society organizations.
8. The impact of training to VDCs in participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation
appears to be significant, with VDCs being very responsive to the training, putting it into
practice, and subsequently being more inclusive and participatory in development plans.
Longer term support, covering an entire district, is most effective.
9. Partnership with local and private service providers (seed vendors, leader farmers, animal
health workers, etc) increases sustainability of project interventions.
10. The type of partner selected depends on the purpose of the partnership: whether we are
seeking technical expertise (as with the Participatory Varietal Selection program), or aim to
help develop local expertise among locally based NGOs which may have strong links with
the community.

6. Gender/Women and Development


Overall, CARE appears to be a leader in ensuring a gender sensitive organization, and has been
effective in improving the status of women in its project areas. While the basic strategies are
sound, more effort needs to be put on "mainstreaming" women, and supporting gender sensitive
planning, implementation and monitoring rather than supporting separate programs for women.
1. CARE has made considerable headway in establishing an organizational and programmatic
commitment to women through senior staff leadership, program designs, human resource
policies, and this is recognized by staff and outsiders as well. Despite these achievements
there is more to be done to promote more equitable representation of women and men staff at
all levels.
2. The projects' strategies to involve and benefit women have been effective in increasing their
self confidence and roles in decision making. However, the reach of these strategies may be
limited to a relatively small group (those who belong to groups and so forth). Also, there is a
need to ensure that strategies are working towards "mainstreaming" women.

3. Many "technical problems", such as poor birthing practices, are grounded in cultural and
religious traditions and are clearly gender issues, not only technical issues. Projects need to
find sensitive ways to deal with such issues.
4. Development of the organizational commitment to gender is very much a process, and not
simply something that can be checked off as "completed" in an annual plan. While staff
support the commitment to gender, they don't feel that they have adequate conceptual clarity.

7. Caste Equity
Generally, much more progress has been made in CARE Nepal on gender than on caste related
issues, which is perhaps not surprising given the particular foundations of caste discrimination.
More careful development of strategies to support caste equity considering heterogeneity
among Dalits, implication of "separate" programs, and analyzing implications of interventions on
Dalits/non-Dalits is required.
1. Despite debate on whether to "mainstream" Dalits or have separate special programs, it
appears that activities targeted to Dalits have had at least some limited impact on their well
being and confidence. Regarding this debate, it seems that the decision must be contextual,
and when it is supported should be seen as a means to later mainstreaming.
2. There has been inadequate focus on discussing social discrimination with non-Dalit groups.
3. CARE's commitment and progress to caste equity has not been as successful as its

commitment to gender; addressing caste equity is a greater challenge since caste


discrimination is so deep rooted.
4. It is easy to look at Dalits as a homogenous group, but this is misleading.
5.

Interventions supported by the project will often have a differential impact on Dalit/nonDalit groups, and this therefore calls for careful social analysis in identifying and selecting
activities to be supported.

8. Working in Remote Areas


CARE is well known for its work in remote areas. Support to multi-sectoral programs in remote
areas makes sense both programmatically and financially. CARE's role in addressing
improvements to living standards is an appropriate one, but should also be accompanied by more
policy and advocacy-related activities.
1. Working in remote areas is more logistically challenging and expensive. However, the
approach of having multi-sectoral projects in an area is a good and cost-effective one. Also,
working through local NGOs is an effective strategy. CARE's rotational policies and
benefits for staff in remote areas have a positive impact on morale of staff working in remote

areas.
2. At a higher level, a twin track approach to remote areas makes sense: trying to reduce the

degree of remoteness (something supported by government through road building and so on)
while making efforts to improve living standards of remote area residents: this is where
NGOs can play a key role.

9. Documentation, Dissemination, Learning and Policy Feedback


CARE has missed opportunities for advocacy, opportunities based on its strong field experience: in
particular, regarding decentralizations. This is now being addressed.

10. Agriculture and Livestock


Agricultural activities have had a positive impact on people's livelihood, though more focus on
ensuring location-specific support, and more focus on participatory extension approaches to
ensure adequate reach, are needed. Linkages between farmers, groups, and institutions that can
support them are also key.
1. Participatory, farmer-to-farmer processes (such as Participatory Varietal Selection) are very
suitable ways to promote experimentation, participation of marginalized groups, and
strengthen local capacity.
2. Agricultural activities supported by the project have benefited participants. However, longer
term impacts, replication, and innovation resulting from these activities has not been
measured.
3. CARE's role in supporting agricultural activities needs to be location specific, and will be
quite different in the hills than in the Terai.
4. There are opportunities, as well as a need, to link programs and trained participants with
locally-based organizations and offices which can support their work after the completion of
CARE projects.
Livestock
Support to local animal health workers can have positive impacts and be self-sustaining, so long
as adequate attention is paid to (a) selection of trainees, (b) business aspects of the work.

11. Forestry
Community forestry has been a very successful intervention in many project areas. The greater
awareness of forest management generated in CFUGs can lead to protection and better use of

resources beyond the boundaries of the community forests, such as the national forests. Basic
needs for fodder and fuel are increasingly being met. The importance of careful identification of
users and attention to equity; adequate and appropriate training to CFUG members, in language
they can easily understand; and effective linkages with His Majesty Government (HMG) are
some of the lessons learned. Private forestry has also been successful, though the equity
considerations have not really been assessed.
1. Community forestry has been one of the most successful components in some projects,
providing direct benefits to households.
2. It is important that users be properly identified, so as to avoid later conflict in CFUGs and
forest management (which can delay handover of the forest or cause problems afterwards).
3. Confidence in tenure is key to changes in sustainable resource management, whether or not
the tenure is official or non-official. (But it is important that this confidence not be lost
through uncertainty about whether control over resources will be provided to user groups.)
4.

CFUG members need to have adequate training in both technical and non-technical aspects.
Ensuring that documents such as constitutions and operational plans are in simple language
and are easily understood by non- and semi-literate men and women is important.

5. Staff both CARE and HMG -- also need to be adequately trained so as to provide quality
support in community forestry. Gender equity sensitization is among the training needs.
6. To ensure that CF adequately responds to women's needs, it is important that the process of
facilitating formation and making constitutions and operational plans be gender sensitive, as
well as ensuring women's representation in the decision-making process.
7. Private nurseries offer the potential for a sustainable (though admittedly small scale) income
generation activity. Support and training to nurseries should be oriented towards this
longer-term sustainability.
8.

Linkages with the District Forest Office (DFO) and their staff [as well as other district line
agencies and NGOs] are key to CFUG's accessing training and ongoing support.

9. While there are equity issues pertaining to private forestry (i.e. who benefits?), private
forestry nonetheless has been an effective strategy to reduce pressure on national forests
(especially as CFUGs regenerate) and promote stall feeding of animals.

12. Income Generating Activities


More attention to assessing feasibility of income generating activities is critically important, as is a
focus on gender and caste implications of our support. Skills training has multiple benefits for
individuals, households, and in terms of services available in the community though currently the

10

number who benefit from the income-related aspects is relatively small.


1. It is critically important to ensure that Income Generating Activities (IGAs) undertaken have
been analyzed for their feasibility (technical, social, economic) and that markets exist for the
products.
2. Skills training in specific areas for which there is a local "market" has been effective, both as
an income generating activity and as a means to provide services to local communities,
though it benefits a relatively small number of people.
3. IGA promotion must consider gender and caste implications, so as to avoid either
undermining traditional areas of employment; inadvertently increasing workloads; or
inadvertently undermining women's roles and decision-making power.

13. Health and Family Planning


CARE's health and family planning programs have contributed to significant changes in knowledge,
attitudes and practice of program participants, have improved access to and availability of services,
and improved the capacity of local health workers. There are important lessons to be learned which
will enable these programs to have a more significant impact. These lessons centre on recognition
that certain types of behaviour change take time (and therefore a lot of effort as well, involving a
wide range of audiences); the need for a broader understanding of "training" and follow on support;
and the need for development of messages based on locally understood beliefs and practices.
1. Certain types of attitudinal and behaviour change take time, particularly when it challenges long

held beliefs and practices that are rooted in traditional culture and religious beliefs. Identifying
promoters of change is one way to go about addressing such issues.
2. Training (for government staff and community-level volunteers including Female Community

Health Volunteers (FCHV) and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) has been very useful in
improving knowledge, skills and confidence. However, training is only part of the picture. It
is equally important to ensure that there is effective post-training follow up to ensure
internalization and application of new skills and knowledge. As well, it is critical that the
right people are being trained!
3. The information and messages promoted with participants need to be based on the particular

practices and beliefs of the participant groups. In some areas, several groups will have
distinct practices and beliefs which staff need to understand and work with. Often, these
groups speak different languages, which staff must also be able to speak.
4. In order to effect behavior change, a broader range of groups/audiences key decision

makers at the community and household levels -- need to be involved, including men,
mothers in law, traditional faith healers and so on.
5. The Safer Home Delivery Kit has had some impact on birthing practices and has great

potential. Perhaps its greatest contribution is that the small kit serves to stimulate
11

discussion on the importance of a clean blade and materials, in the same way that the
package of Jeevan Jal promotes discussion around control of diarrheal disease. If the
commercial kit is to be sustainable, more effort on ensuring supply mechanisms will be
needed, possibly through mothers groups, FCHVs or TBAs.
6. Working with government health staff in remote areas is a challenge, due to frequent

transfers and absences. The projects' strategy of focusing on more junior workers who are
often from the area is therefore appropriate. However, inadequate training has been done
with them.
7. Awareness about HIV/AIDs has increased substantially, but there is still a strong denial that it
poses a risk to project communities. There are considerable taboos in talking about sexuality,
and the projects will need to look at mechanisms for doing this in a culturally sensitive way that
is, on the one hand broad enough to reach a large population, but which is also targeted to
particular audiences.

14. Rural Infrastructure


Infrastructure interventions such as drinking water and irrigation are generally successful. More
efforts on operation and maintenance are required to promote sustainability, and this might
include more involvement of local government bodies and greater efforts to promote women in
decision-making processes. Technology choice has an implication on who benefits (and who
doesn't), and more attention should be paid to this. A recent upsurge in local road construction,
though not part of any "CARE project", has enormous environmental implications and
implications for project impact that cannot be ignored.
1. Drinking water and irrigation systems remain very popular and respond to a real community
need. Moreover, water interventions often provide multiple benefits beyond the provision of
the water itself. Projects have put a strong emphasis on operation and maintenance systems
and issues. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to better ensure sustainability through
follow up training to caretakers; ensuring cash contributions from users for maintenance
funds; early registration of groups with government bodies; and to link water more closely
with sanitation.
2.

In addition to user contributions, it is appropriate to require matching funds from local


government for irrigation, to ensure that the system really is a local priority.

3. More attention should be paid to ensuring appropriate and pro-poor technologies are
chosen, for example water pumps instead of gravity flow systems in the Terai; shallow tube
wells instead of gravity fed irrigation systems.
4. Women play a key role in water collection, and should therefore play a larger role in water
user committees.
5. With decentralization of funding and authority to local government, there has been a huge
12

upsurge in the construction of local roads. However, these appear to in many cases pose
serious environmental risks, risks which are not being overseen by any body/office. This is
an area requiring attention and, particularly in watershed management projects, needs to be
integrated in project plans.

15. Green Engineering


The experience from "green engineering" activities provides a number of lessons for success,
and suggests the importance of:

there being an overall plan and responsibility for watershed management in the area,
ensuring that upstream landslides have been stabilized before working downstream on
river training activities,
focusing on rivers (for river training) where success is likely or possible,
focus on activities that will protect water sources and agricultural land,
utilize vegetative measures to the extent possible for landslide and gully control,
avoid dependency by the user group and
working with strong and effective groups.

16. Non Formal Education


Non-formal education (NFE) functional literacy classes -- has been focused particularly to women,
and has been an effective mechanism to build confidence and skills. Facilitating opportunities for
follow up to classes should be strengthened. The evaluations reviewed did not usually speak to the
issue of CARE's role in literacy, though it was generally assumed that the approach of working
through local NGOs/CBOs should be continued.
1. Non-formal education has helped to build women's confidence, skills and contributes to their
broader participation in community development activities. It therefore serves as a useful
entry point activity.
2. To promote sustainability of new literacy skills, more attention should be paid to
facilitating/supporting follow up activities to NFE classes.

13

Annex: Specific Project Lessons Learned


LEGEND
Gender
Gender Practices Study: Remote area Basic Needs Project Bajura & Natural Resource
Management Project Mahottari, Taro Rao, March 1999.
Birthing
Birthing Practices Study: Remote Area Basic Needs Project Bajura, Dr Mary
Manandhar, May 1999.
RBNP
Final Evaluation: Royal Bardia National Park Buffer Zone Development Project (June 1997
June 2000) Gregory C. Ira, Laya P. Uprety, and Philip Franks, September 1999.
Mahottari
Final Evaluation: Mahottari Natural Resources Management Project, Phase II (1995
2000), Mrs Devaki Shrestha, Buddhi Bahadur Kunwar, Johan Bertens, January 2000.
Gorkha
Final Evaluation: Remote Area Basic Needs Project, Gorkha, Phase II, Babu Ram Adhikari,
Bihari Krishna Shrestha and Yamun Yadav, March 2000
Bajura
Mid Term Evaluation: Remote Area Basic Needs Project, Bajura, Phase II, Ram B. Chhetri,
Yamun Yadav, Katrine Danielsen March 2000.
BTRT
Post Project Impact Evaluation: Begnas Tal Rupa Tal Watershed Management Project Bill
Buffum, Ram B. Chhetri, Raj Kumar Chaudhari, Ram Narayan Shah, Balaram Thapa March
2000.
FHP
Mid Term Evaluation: Family Health Project, Marcie Rubardt, Sandra Bernklau, May 2000.
Child
Child Feeding: Traditions Practices and Beliefs, Kanchanpur District, Monique Beun, July
2000.
Diversity
Diversity Audit: Gender and Caste Equity in CARE Nepal and its Programs, Lynne Brennan
and Rita Thapa, July 2000.
Syangja
Upper Andhi Khola Watershed Management Project, Syangja (Phase II) - Draft Report,
Wendy King, Basanta Rimal, Prakash Mathema, Ram Chandra Neupane, and Krishna
Poudel, December 2000.

14

Annex: Specific Project Lessons Learned


1. Project Design, Process and Quality
There are relatively few lessons on design issues included in evaluations. Overall, designs have
become more rigorous. Flexibility to respond to changes in the operating environment are a
particular strength of CARE's projects. More work needs to be done in ensuring appropriate
targeting.
1. As the operating environment of CARE's projects is evolving, it is important that projects are
flexible enough to adapt to changing or dynamic conditions.
Projects operating in a nascent policy context should be flexible and prepared to adapt to
evolving conditions. From the time the first project document was completed, to the time of the
Final Evaluation, significant changes occurred in relation to specific Guidelines that affect the
project. The Projects ability to adapt to this policy context by emphasizing User Committee
(UC) strengthening before Forest User Group Formation was critical to its success. (RBNP)
Community institution building is a long-term process. CARE Nepal has, over the years and
based on experience, further developed its community organisation concepts. This demonstrates
the willingness and ability of the organisation to learn from experience and, subsequently, apply
these lessons to (all) its projects. (Mahottari)
2. Projects should clearly identify target groups for particular interventions, so as to ensure
that interventions reach those who need and can benefit from them. This will also enable
analysis of how project funds are channeled, and to whom. This does not preclude
working with all households, for particular activities, but rather encourages analysis of
how project funds are channeled, and to whom, and ensure that marginalized households
benefit.
Targeting strategies for Integrated Conservation and Development Programs (ICDP) or
Buffer Zone Development Programs (BZDPs) need to include criteria that specifically
identify sub-populations that have a high degree of dependence on forest resources. Without
these criteria, resources may be invested on groups whose actions are not linked to forest
degradation. Therefore, the linkage to improved conservation will not be made. There is, of
course, value in involving a broader group to increase the local support to the project.
Similarly, the BZDP does have some commitment to support all households within the
Buffer Zone. In this regard, finding a balance between targeting the households where impact
will be greatest and supporting the entire population will be a critical question for a second
phase. (RBNP)
While targeting the household, one cannot assume the same level of access and control of
resources for all its members. Moreover, targeting of technologies and practices at
individuals can have different effects due to gender disparities in the access and control of

15

resources. (Gender)
Given that the makeup of a community is mixed and varied, and the targeting of the
"resource-poor households" by the projects, the target group needs to be identified on the
basis of their livelihood systems which depend on the resources and opportunities available
to them, even within the category of "resource-poor households". Therefore, this
categorisation (of survival, security, growth) can not only be used initially as a basis for
analysing the community as a whole, but also in the process of further disaggregating the
target group. (Gender)
Developing specific criteria for selection of the target group on the basis of the socioeconomic reality would ensure more precise identification of the recepient/participant group
and provide a basis for measuring whether the group identified actually gains the benefits
planned for by the project. This increases the probability of the projects fulfilling the
objectives they have envisaged. (Gender)
As with agricultural interventions, it might be possible to improve the impact on poorer
target groups, for example, by putting greater emphasis in training on treatment of goats and
chickens (i.e., animals of the poorer households). (Bardia)
3. Projects should aim to facilitate change in the local institutional environment, so that it is
more responsive to locally felt needs.
Any new "project" for remote area development must emphasize its catalytic role right from the
beginning. Its role must not be direct implementation on its own as happened in the case of
RABNP-Gorkha for the entire duration of its First Phase and much of the Second Phase. Soon
enough, access to support must be "out-sourced" to existing institutions in the government or in
the private or non-government sector so that the local communities has linkages to a more stable
source for it.The idea is to make the project redundant within as short a time as possible.
(Gorkha).

2. Subsidies
Subsidies do not promote sustainable results. Projects should aim to create demand, and limit
subsides to specific pilot activities and action research.
Distribution of free inputs is found to have negative effects on sustainability of results.
Besides, supply driven activities or inputs tend to have very little or no effect after the project
leaves the scene. Emphasis on demand-driven approach needs to be furthered as a project
strategy. (Bajura)
Reduce subsidies for initial construction of check-dams, and stress that future work in the
same area will be primarily the responsibility of the user group. (BTRT)
Withhold subsidies for check-dam construction until bamboo has been planted. (BTRT)
16

Reduce subsidies for river training as soon as the positive effects of the activity have been
demonstrated. (BTRT)

3. Phase out
Phase out plans are generally in place for all projects. CARE needs to think about provisions for
post project support, to ensure that nascent partners have access to some sort of assistance after the
completion of projects.
1. It is important for projects to have a phase out strategy from the start, which is understood
clearly by all stakeholders.
The phase out strategy has effectively prepared communities and partners for the project's
phase out. However, the institutional capacities of partners to take over project activities are
not yet strong enough. The role of partners needs to be differentiated. (Syangja)
Returning to some of the phased out VDCs with monitoring and other software support is
also recommended. (Bajura)
The VDC Profile Report prepared for Phase Out Workshops should include maps showing
activities, district line agency service centers, partners areas of work, and other relevant
information for continued watershed conservation management. The report should also
include all information required for linking with district line agency services who they are,
what they do, how to contact them (phone numbers, addresses), what requirements the
District Line Agencies (DLA) have, application forms, etc. (Syangja)
2. Phase out plans might benefit from provisions for some low key post project support to
provide minimal backstopping, encouragement and motivation to groups and NGO
partners.
Even though sustainability has been well planned for and most of the Districts are already
working towards phasing out, the projects (including the adjunct development projects)
should consider seeking minimal funding for occasional follow-up support for the
community level structures that have been strengthened and left in place by them. This
might mean a quarterly visit by a team of several people for a year or two to monitor the
continued function of the NGOs and VDCs, to provide reinforcement and motivation, and to
assist with problem solving where needed. (FHP)
The project is nurturing eight local NGOs to develop the institutional capacity to provide
watershed conservation management support to communities in the upper watershed area.
The local NGOs primarily arose in response to the second phase of the project. These NGOs
are still maturing. If CARE Nepal is serious about supporting local NGOs for watershed
conservation management, a matching grant fund mechanism should be established to
17

support local NGOs after the project period ends. (Syangja)


Phase out should be properly worked out. CARE staff at all levels should be well aware
about the phase out process. Local communities should be prepared by the project for phase
in as well as phase out. Phasing out from a VDC when some CBOs have been strengthened
would be more reasonable than doing it on the basis of number of years spent in the area.
(Bajura)

4. Monitoring and Evaluation


Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) have most definitely improved, but there is still a way to go.
All projects have M&E plans, but they are inconsistently used. Some of the comments below
reflect difficulties with older logframes, not more recent designs.
1. Projects benefit from M&E plans that are as specific as possible, to ensure that they can be
easily put into practice by stakeholders.
There are significant inconsistencies between the surveys, the monitoring system, and the
indicators outlined on the log frame. Several of the impact indicators on the first page of the
log frame need adjusting or additional clarification in their definition since they are either
impossible to measure or inadequately defined for consistent measurement. (FHP)
The relationship between inputs, activities, outputs, assumed impact and (intermediate) goals
was not clearly established which causes inconsistency of the logical framework and makes
it difficult to monitor, analyse and evaluate achievements. Furthermore, the intermediate
goals are mixed up with strategies, targets, etc. while it is also not clear which activities
would contribute to achieving which intermediate goals (partially or wholly). (Mahottari)

5. Partnership, Civil society, and Local Governance


Partnership is generally working well, extending reach and replicability and reducing staff intensity,
but more thought needs to go into really thinking through what types of partners are suitable in
different circumstances and to ensuring adequate support to nascent partners.
CARE's work with institution building has shifted quite a bit from a focus on small CBOs too
much more of a focus on local government and NGO partners. This is appropriate, given
changes in the environment, and VDC training has been very successful. Still, support to grass
roots groups remains important to promote transparency and accountability of government, as
well as empowerment and to ensure that marginalized groups do not lose out further. CARE
needs to ensure more of a balance between institutional capacity building and activity support to
partners, and ensure that partners are well linked to the local institutional environment [and
also, though it is not addressed in these studies, to take the time to identify appropriate partners
and to be a better "partner" ourselves].

18

1. CARE projects have had some success in supporting member-based NGO's in project
areas. Certainly not all the NGO's that have been supported have flourished, and some
groups may have been prematurely encouraged to "become" NGO. As well, the way in
which NGOs are supported could be strengthened, to ensure an appropriate balance
between institutional development and program funding. Nonetheless, the creation of
locally-based NGOs remains a significant contribution to local human resource
development, civil society and sustainability of project benefits.
Register well motivated community groups as NGOs if they have a demonstrated capability
to generate funds internally or externally. Registration will give them legal status and
facilitate their capability to raise funds. ... Do not register groups as NGOs unless the groups
already have a clear objective for becoming an NGO. (BTRT)
Encourage the NGOs to seek alternative sources of funding from other agencies right from
the beginning, rather than waiting until the end of the Project (BTRT)
Develop alternative leadership in NGOs to avoid dependency on one leader. (BTRT)
The project itself needs capacity building to be able to promote viable institution/CBOs. At
present the projects competence and capacity for institutional building does not appear to be
fully adequate. (Bajura)
Bajuras emphasis on capacity building in a systematic and transparent way, including short
and long term planning, monitoring and evaluation, and management has led to a remarkable
sense of ownership and involvement on the part of the these groups. This becomes the
foundation for sustaining activities and progress long term. (FHP)
Groups which were able to access both institutional development and funds for activity
implementation seem to be the most sustainable. (BTRT)
2. There can be great value in supporting a large number of community based organizations
(civil society organizations), related to the awareness that is built and the potential for
promoting greater accountability on the part of government. That being said, partnership
with a large number of NGOs, VDCs, and CBOs in a short time is difficult to manage, and
to ensure adequate support to them.
The project developed a great number of Local Non-Government Organization
(LNGOs)/CBO partnerships in a relatively short time and for a limited duration only.
Intensive collaboration with all, required for capacity building, may be difficult to achieve.
Concentration on, and intensive collaboration with, a limited number of partner
LNGOs/CBOs in the project area or district may yield better results in terms of capacity
building and maturation. (Mahottari)
The proliferation of community groups has contributed to the promotion of good governance
... An association is observed between the proliferation of community organizations in VDCs
and the local bodies becoming more open, responsive, and accountable to the people. The
19

pressure comes mainly from the constituents of the community organizations to relate with
the VDCs so that the latter's resources are used for fulfilling the priority needs of the
community people. (Gorkha)
Bajuras emphasis on capacity building in a systematic and transparent way, including short
and long term planning, monitoring and evaluation, and management has led to a remarkable
sense of ownership and involvement on the part of the these groups. This becomes the
foundation for sustaining activities and progress long term. (FHP)
It appeared that the MNRMP established partnerships with 21 LNGOs and 21 CBOs in the 9
Phase II VDCs. Although the final evaluation team could assess only some of these
partnerships, the sheer number seems to suggest that intensive collaboration, required for
capacity building, may be difficult to achieve even over a five year period. (Mahottari)
While most mothers groups provide a forum for health education without offering a lot of
potential for sustainability, a few groups take on a life of their own and provide a mechanism
for increasing womens empowerment. Both groups are worthwhile and should be
encouraged, but when a group develops into a forum for social change it is something special
and should be supported. (FHP)
The proliferation of the community groups such as the CDC/CDIs, WGs, UGs, CFUGs and
local clubs have contributed to the promotion of good governance...An association is
observed between the proliferation of community organizations in VDCs and the local bodies
becoming more open, responsible and accountable to the people. (Gorkha)
Experiences of Gumda, Lapu, Keraunja, Thumi, Uhiya and Kashigaon show that the resource
allocation of their respective VDC's are not a problem so far as transparency and accountability
is concerned. The latter two conditions of good governance has been ensured primarily because
of the organized interest and intermingling participation of the Project-promoted community
groups in the affairs of their respective VDCs. (Gorkha).
3.

Working with NGOs is a good way to extend reach and replicability, but it requires long
term support as well.
NGO partners, as shown in Solukhumbu and Syangja, can significantly extending the reach
of the project in a cost-effective way. They do, however, require informal, low-grade support
for a long time before they can remain independently effective. (FHP)
CARE should establish a mechanism for continuing to support local NGOs beyond project
periods. A matching grant fund can be jointly managed by District Soil Conservation Office
(DSCO) and CARE with the DSCO taking primary responsibility for coordinating with
VDCs and local NGOs, reviewing proposals, monitoring, and managing funds. CAREs role
would be to provide support in reviewing proposals and providing the funding. This will be
contingent on DSCO drafting a partnership strategy, and establishing a system for coordinating with and monitoring VDCs and local NGOs. (Syangja)

20

Many of the NGOs and VDC partners are still relatively recently trained in capacity building
elements. They need continued informal contact and support as they gradually begin to
function more independently. (FHP)
4. Specifically, the groups managing their own resources (CFUG's, IUG's, S/C) or accessing
external resources are the most viable and active. (BTRT) However, generally groups
require additional training tailored to their particular needs.
Management of the groups, especially the financial management, is still weak in many
groups and requires strengthening. Most groups have little idea about micro enterprises, and
require stronger guidance and training support. The community and self-evaluation also
found that the application of accounting and financial management training was minimal, and
further training appropriate to the groups capacities are required. (Syangja)
Resource based Community Organizations are seen to be more viable. Strong institutional
base at the grass-root level is essential for sustainability of project results. (Bajura)
5. To promote group credibility and access to resources, it is key to link groups up to local
government and other key institutions as early as possible.
Despite strong linkages with District Line Agency's (DLA), only CFUGs [and not other
types of groups such as irrigation and water user groups] were able to maintain linkages and
access support. (BTRT)
One of the strengths of the community development institutions is their expanding linkage
with the local VDCs. (Gorkha)
A lesson that the project has learnt in the process has been the realization that more efforts
may be needed to increase the participation of CBOs in the VDC level meetings and
activities. Such could be a step towards setting up operational linkages between the CBOs in
their respective VDCs. (Bajura)
Develop linkages between the user group and the District Irrigation Office to facilitate future
sources of funding and technical support. (BTRT)
A policy of registration of Drinking Water User Group (DWUG) and Irrigation User Group
(IUG) should be made with concerned offices in the district. For example, DWUG could be
registered with District DWS Office and IUG with District Irrigation Office. Advocacy is
required at the central level to influence government policy makers to design and adopt
similar registration processes as with FUGs registering with the District Forest Office. This
kind of system does not only help to simplify the registration but may also improve the
efficiency of these systems through providing disciplinary support. The current system of
registration of these UGs is cumbersome and the executive committees members were
complaining for repeated visits and uncooperative and rent seeking behaviour of Chief
District Office (CDO) staff. (Mahottari).
Encourage networking, coordination, partnering and linkaging between clubs and Women
21

Development Groups (WDGs)/Women Groups ( WGs) through project activities (health,


Participary Variety Section [PVS], IGA, etc.) in order to strengthen the operational capacity
of both types of groups (and hence their institutional capacity and sustainability) at the local
level (Gender).
6. CARE has struggled with the best approach to supporting local groups. We've moved from
the practice of "creating" planning or multi-purpose groups for project objectives (which,
though often not sustainable, nonetheless had a number of benefits for local participants)
to focusing instead on activity-specific user groups and putting greater emphasis on
working through local government. While this shift is appropriate in light of changes in
the environment, there remain concerns about how best to ensure that traditionally
marginalized groups to not further "lose out".
Work with traditional community groups if they exist, rather than forming new groups. If no
groups exist, form groups to encourage participation in project activities. (BTRT)
Avoid forming multiple groups in the same area that have the same membership. The
participants prefer to have a smaller number of multi-purpose groups. (BTRT)
The positive impact of the Gorkha project emanates from the fact that its social mobilization
component has been at the forefront of all sectoral interventions and formed the basis for their
effectiveness. The large number of community groups form the axis around which all
development projects in the communities revolve. They are also the basis for their future
sustainability. (Gorkha)
7.

With decentralization of Government authority under the Local Self-Governance Act, as


well as resources, CARE's role in local capacity building has become an even more
important component of its work and requires work both with local government and in
support of civil society organizations.
The role of organizational capacity building is central in situations where recent policy calls
for the establishment of new organizations and institutional arrangements. This is particularly
true when the authority and management is devolved to a very local level where
organizational management skills are limited (RBNP)
Higher level organizations (networks, associations) are more effective in influencing
government functions for policy change and accessing resources. (Gorkha)

8. The impact of training to VDCs in participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation


appears to be significant, with VDCs being very responsive to the training, putting it into
practice, and being more inclusive and participatory in development plans. Longer term
support, covering an entire district, is most effective.
Participatory planning with VDCs, bringing together communities and VDC officials to
jointly decide on future interventions in the VDC, is considered a valuable and logical further
development in community based planning. In particular with communities that have been
exposed to higher levels of organization (such as CDCs and UGs introduced by the project)
22

and which are assumed to be in a position to voice their needs and demands in a more
structured way. (Mahottari)
In the case of the MNRMP, this [planning] concept was, however, introduced only about 15
months before termination of the project. Additional to that, the project covers only 17 out of
76 VDCs in the district. The final evaluation team therefore doubts whether this effort was
actually worthwhile, both in terms of time and resources spent on it as well as in relation to
the longer term effects. Consideration may need to be given to actually support DDC and
VDC (participatory) planning on a district wide scale for a period of, perhaps, five years,
rather than only in some of the VDCs and without a clear and substantial link into DDC level
planning. (Mahottari)
However, the final evaluation team is of the opinion that more consideration should be given
to the specific project situation before lessons learned are put into practice. In particular it
was found that, in the MNRMP, moving into four new VDCs about two years before
termination of the project has caused a certain degree of frustration with VDCs,
CBOs/LNGOs and communities because of a perceived lack of sufficient exposure to
building up their capacity to stand on their own feet. In this particular situation,
concentration on consolidating and further strengthening of (project formed) community
groups and a limited number of partner LNGOs/CBOs in existing project VDCs might have
given better results. (Mahottari)
9. Partnership with local and private service providers (seed vendors, leader farmers, animal
health workers, etc) increases sustainability of project interventions.
Particularly effective and productive have been the strategies of ...building of technical
capabilities of the local technicians at the grassroots. (Gorkha)
10. The type of partner selected depends on the purpose of the partnership: whether we are
seeking technical expertise (as with the PVS program), or aim to help develop local
expertise among locally-based NGOs which may have strong links with the community.
A lesson learnt from the PVS Program activities in Syangja and Mahottari Districts is that a
strong linkage between farmer groups and research agencies (eg LIBIRD, Nepal Agricultural
Research Council, including District Agricultural Development Office) and a village level
seed bank and/or seed multiplication scheme of farmer preferred crop varieties is critical in
securing long-term sustainable access to new crop varieties and seeds by farmers.

6. Gender/Women and Development


Overall, CARE appears to be a leader in ensuring a gender sensitive organization, and has been
effective in improving the status of women in its project areas. While the basic strategies are
sound, more effort needs to be put on "mainstreaming" women, and supporting gender sensitive
planning, implementation and monitoring rather than supporting separate programs for women.
1. CARE has made considerable headway in establishing an organizational and
programmatic commitment to women through senior staff commitment, program designs,
23

human resource policies, and this is recognized by staff and outsiders as well. Despite
these achievements there is more to be done to promote more equitable representation of
women and men staff at all levels.
CARE is in the forefront within the NGO environment in Nepal with respect to hiring women
staff. Project designs speak specifically about improving womens status and skills (Gender)
Local socio-cultural factors not only affect the ability of different community members to
benefit from or participate in project interventions, they also affect the conditions under
which female and male project staff interact with and influence community members.
Despite the difficulties faced by female field staff, the overall number of women staff within
CARE Nepal has increased from around 12% in 1991 to a quite impressive 30% in 1996.
This includes a growing number of women in non-traditional professions, such as
agronomists/foresters and also overseers. However, despite the many achievements by CARE
Nepal until now, it clear that female field staff still face many obstacles which should be
addressed through further improvement of personnel policies and gender-sensitising of staff.
(Gender)
CARE Nepal staff perceive that the organization has a high level of political will concerning
gender equity. They recognize senior managements strong practical commitment, the
inclusion of gender in long range plans, the development of gender sensitive policies, new
project design methodology and family friendly policies. Specific concerns were: gender
related criteria for recruitment, promotions and for professional development are unclear;
gender objectives dont appear in every projects logframe; and budget for gender goals is
not clearly allocated at the planning stage. (Diversity)
Some women perceive that they have been placed in managerial positions without adequate
training and support in administration, supervision and financial management. (Diversity)
Some male staff perceive that women are chosen preferentially for training and other benefits
but others feel CARE Nepal should aim for an even greater percentage of women staff.
Women in projects described having trouble being accepted by staff and by the community
when new. Traditional barriers to women socializing with men colleagues or counterparts
limit camaraderie and networking. (Diversity)
2. The projects' strategies to involve and benefit women have been effective in increasing
their self-confidence and roles in decision making. However, the reach of these strategies
may be limited to a relatively small group (who belongs to groups and so forth). Also, there
is a need to ensure that strategies are working towards "mainstreaming" women. As the
focus in the past has been on "women" as a group, there is a need to implement gender
sensitive planning, implementation and monitoring.
Effective empowerment of women in the context of the society and culture (where concepts
of purity and pollution are all pervasive) in Bajura is a formidable job. Projects approaches
and strategies have begun to bear positive results. It could only continue to put more
emphasis on gender and development if necessary in order to reach the ideal situation
24

wherein men and women (irrespective of caste/ethnicity, economic class) work together,
treat each other as equals, and neither feel subjugated any more from the other. (Bajura)
For both [Mahottari and Bajura] the strategies applied to involve women have been effective
in increasing womens role in decision making. The strategy has included efforts specifically
targeting women (such as the formation of womens or mothers groups and NFE) and efforts
aiming to enable women to take part in local development initiatives at large, including
participation in development fora comprising men as well as women. However, womens
representation in different local fora varies significantly along the lines of a genderstereotype perception of what are womens functions and what are mens functions within
the household and at the community level.
It is noted that one feature of particular importance for the empowerment of women as
individuals or as part of groups is the integration of mutually-supportive activities. Examples
of the usefulness of this integrated approach are many: the use of NFE as a strategic
intervention that coupled with group formation and sectoral interventions enhances the
combined effect and impact of interventions constitutes the prime example in this regard.
(Gender)
The formation of women groups is appropriate. However, members constitute a very small
proportion of women (Bajura and Gorkha).
Womens empowerment works well with homogenous groups (women only) at initial stage,
but for mainstreaming women in overall development process and for long term success,
project needs to emphasize mixed groups (i.e., inclusion of men and women, Dalits, etc., in
single groups). (Bajura)
3. Many "technical problems", such as poor birthing practices, are grounded in cultural and
religious traditions and are clearly gender issues, not only technical issues. Projects need
to find sensitive ways to deal with such issues.
A major cause of womens health problems is within the society, deeply rooted in its
structure and mentality which is supported by religious and cultural traditions. To improve
this situation, we need to consider womens health as a psychological, social and political
issue, and stop seeing womens health purely in terms of their bodies, and seeing women just
as stakeholders (clients) of service delivery (Khanna 1996)..The challenge is to do this
without it being seen by others in the community as an ideological threat. (Birth)
4. Development of the organizational commitment to gender is very much a process, and not
simply something that can be checked off as "completed" in an annual plan. While staff
support the commitment to gender, they don't feel that they have adequate conceptual
clarity.
The processes on cross-cutting issues need to feed back into developing a CARE Nepal
Gender Policy. This policy should be considered a process and not just an output to be
fulfilled. It should ensure that a common understanding/interpretation of gender within the
CARE Nepal working environment is established and not just that gender is considered to be
25

a skill" that has to be gained. (Gender)


Nepals efforts in gender equity. Staff attribute their new attitudes to the training and
expectations of CARE Nepal, to mass media and to role models on senior staff. Projects have
a "family feeling staff find the Country Office supportive. Staff recognizes the role of
CARE Nepals programs in empowering women in the community. (Diversity)
Most staff in CARE Nepal perceives that they have improved their knowledge and
application of gender concepts. Field staff and support staff, however, are not confident
about their understanding and use of gender concepts. Staff from grade one to the Senior
Management Team expressed a desire as well as a need for deeper understanding of concepts
and practical tools. (Diversity)
Universally, staff recognize the importance of "empowering" women in the community, and
perceive that CARE Nepal's programs are having that effect. (Diversity)
Above all, this audit shows that CARE Nepal as an organisation and the staff are open to
change. This learning climate is essential in the difficult, sometimes painful and ultimately
rewarding process of moving toward greater caste and gender equality. (Diversity)

7. Caste Equity
Generally, much more progress has been made in CARE Nepal on gender than on caste related
issues, which is perhaps not surprising given the particular foundations of caste discrimination.
More careful development of strategies to support caste equity considering heterogeneity
among Dalits, implication of "separate" programs, and analyzing implications of interventions
on Dalits/non-Dalits is required.
1. Despite debate on whether to "mainstream" Dalits or have separate special programs, it
appears that activities targeted to Dalits have had at least some limited impact on their well
being and confidence. Regarding this debate, it seems that the decision must be
contextual, and when it is supported should be seen as means to later mainstreaming.
The project has supported Dalit households with Income Generation Activities to improve
their socio-economic conditions, conducted NFE classes for women and Dalit, and requires
proportionate representation in committees. The mid-term evaluation team found that the
Dalit feel that their own attitudes and behaviors are changing, and that slowly, those of other
community members are also slowly changing.
Now we are not embarrassed to say that we are Dalit.
In trainings, we all sit and drink tea and eat snacks together. (Syangja)
Invest in special Dalit programs: they are a sizeable part of the population; they are
historically the most disadvantaged; the ownership and the sustainability of the activities
depends on every groups participation, including theirs; and there is a need for people that
26

can help with the maintenance of activities. (BTRT)


Dalit and non-Dalit dichotomy is not healthy. However, the project alone can not dislodge
this practice from the society. Project can continue to make its efforts in mainstreaming the
dalits in development activities while letting the gradual process of social and cultural
change to attenuate the strength of the said dichotomy from Nepali society. (Bajura)
In group-formation, it is not recommended to segregate according to caste in areas where
settlers now live intermingled.(Birth)
2. There has been inadequate focus on discussing social discrimination with non-Dalit
groups.
The mid-term evaluation team found that the intent of improving social harmony and
decreasing social discrimination is not discussed with the other castes, who are the
oppressors. (Syangja)
Some staff criticized efforts towards caste equity based on special programming for Dalits
without addressing upper caste prejudice. (Diversity)
3. CARE's commitment and progress to caste equity has not been as successful as its
commitment to gender; addressing caste equity is a greater challenge since caste
discrimination is so deep rooted.
In terms of caste equity, project staff frequently made a comparison with the focus on gender.
CARE Nepal has not given priority to the issue of caste in the way it has to gender. Staff
perceive that the representation of Dalits on staff is still low. Strategies for dealing with
community resistance to Dalit staff have not been developed. Currently caste sensitivity is
not part of the screen for partner selection. Strategic alliances with other organizations
committed to caste equity deepen the political will of the organization. (Diversity)
Inequities between castes are deeply entrenched. These very deep beliefs need to be changed
from the inside out. There was consensus that change will take a long time. (Diversity)
4. It is easy to look at Dalits as a homogenous group, but this is misleading.
Do not ignore the huge diversity within the different Dalit groups and treat them as a
homogenous group. Provide training to staff in how to work with Dalits. (BTRT)
5. Interventions supported by the project will often have a differential impact on Dalit/nonDalit groups, and this therefore calls for careful social analysis in identifying and selecting
activities to be supported.
Activities must suit the existing local practices and resource endowment of the communities.
For example, the introduction of high-value crop cultivation suited the marginal landholder
and land-less Dalit communities well. Introduction of high yield crops requiring large areas
27

of land would not have produced successful result. (Mahottari)

8. Working in Remote Areas


CARE is well known for its work in remote areas. Support to multi-sectoral programs in remote
areas makes sense both programmatically and financially. CARE's role in addressing
improvements to living standards is an appropriate one, but should also be accompanied by
more policy and advocacy-related activities.
1. Working in remote areas IS more logistically challenging and expensive. However, the
approach of having multi-sectoral projects in an area is a good and cost-effective one.
Also, working through local NGOs is an effective strategy. CARE's rotational policies and
benefits for staff in remote areas have a positive impact on morale of staff working in
remote areas.
With CAREs increasing involvement in remote areas, the evaluation team was requested to
consider some of the specific observations and lessons learned as they pertain to remote area
programming and management. While specific observations follow, two general observations
provide the backdrop:
Logistics and support for these projects is complex and requires resources.
The amount of time spent in travel, particularly walking significantly limits the time
staffs have available to spend in the field. (FHP)
In Solu, the strategy of working through NGOs allowed for more intensive inputs over a
larger area than would have been possible, due to the long distances and required walking
time, through direct implementation. (FHP)
More than one project in an area significantly decreases the cost per beneficiary. The
overhead to support a remote area project is considerable, but the marginal increase to
supporting more than one project is minimal.(FHP)
Transparent posting and policies for rotating staff between remote and non-remote areas
seem to positively impact staff morale. Creating the sense of family among the staff, many
of whom spend long periods away from their own families, also significantly contributes.
(FHP)
2. At a higher level, a twin track approach to remote areas makes sense: trying to reduce the
degree of remoteness (something supported by government through road building and so on)
while making efforts to improve living standards of remote area residents: this is where NGOs
can play a key role.
The Gorkha Project for one has shown that living condition improvements are possible even within
the state of being remote. The Gorkha experience implies the feasibility of a twin track approach.:
even when slow efforts are being made to reduce the degree of remoteness, aggressive interventions
are possible for the amelioration of the living standard of the people. What it takes is institution
28

building in the communities, support of a professionally motivated team willing to work with the
people, and a package of technology that are relevant to the situation. Impressive gains in drinking
water and sanitation, agricultural and forestry development and capacity building of the people in the
Project communities in Gorkha are some of the convincing evidence in this regard. (Gorkha)

9. Documentation, Dissemination, Learning and Policy Feedback


CARE has missed opportunities for advocacy, opportunities based on its strong field experience: in
particular, regarding decentralization. (This is now being addressed.)
One such missed opportunity is in the field of advocacy for decentralization as intended by the
Project design. The project has had much to offer for a meaningful dialogue at the national level
and in the community of donors interested in good governance in the country. The close
collaboration between the local bodies and the civil society organizations namely, the
CDC/CDIs, clubs, women's groups, FUGs, in most project VDCs have made the workings of the
former more accountable and transparent. These experiences could have been very valuable
inputs to the government's policy-making on decentralization especially at the present juncture
when it seems to be suffering from lack of clear vision in this respect. Other than what was done
in the VDCs in terms of multi-year plans, the project did not take any advocacy initiative "to
share its experience with other agencies at the national level." (Gorkha).
The problem now remains with the environment, i.e. the line agencies, the local bodies, the
overall politics in the district and in the country. They are generally non-responsive,
unaccountable, and difficult for the people of the remote areas to negotiate with. This is where
much more needs to be done in the field of decentralization in the country to which both the
government and donors have been largely insensitive. (Gorkha)

10. Agriculture and Livestock


Agricultural activities have had a positive impact on people's livelihood, though more focus on
ensuring location-specific support, and more focus on participatory extension approaches to
ensure adequate reach, are needed. Linkages between farmers, groups, and institutions that can
support them are also key.
1. Participatory, farmer-to-farmer processes (such as Participatory Varietal Selection) are
very suitable ways to promote experimentation, participation of marginalized groups, and
strengthen local capacity.
Farmer's capacity and confidence, especially in terms of their ability to take risks in
experimenting new innovations and decision making based on the critical analysis of their
needs and local environment, were greatly enhanced. (PVS)
2. The PVS Program significantly contributed to enhancing community participation,
especially women and resource-poor farmers, as revealed by their high level of
29

participation during farm walk and in the actual experiments. (PVS)


Since PVS is an interactive process and an activity by and for farmers who have worked
effectively in teams, which in turn has enhanced the process of group dynamics. There are
opportunities to boost further the farmer-to-farmer networks at the grass root level. (PVS)
Agriculture extension service systems need to be improved to reach more farmers. The
project should support partners through training and grants to better provide extension
services to farmers, and produce and disseminate, through all partners, more extension
materials for awareness building and technical information. The Farmer Field School and
PVS participatory approaches are effective extension approaches. More focus should be
given to training women. (Syangja)
3. Agricultural activities supported by the project have benefited participants. However,
longer term impacts, replication, and innovation resulting from these activities has not
been measured.
The packages of agricultural activities introduced to the target groups are suitable and target
groups reported benefit from the activities. However, an impact assessment study should be
carried out to measure the extent of benefits derived from various activities. The success or
failure stories of individual cases do not represent the overall picture. (Mahottari)
The impact of vegetable production depends on the season. In the summer season, markets
are poor and most of the increased vegetable production appears to have been consumed
within the household, contributing to improved nutrition and some savings from no longer
having to purchase these items. Even so, some farmers have made significant income from
vegetable sales. Several communities noted that external vegetable sellers, who used to be a
common sight, no longer come to the area as a result of increased local vegetable production.
Better prices for vegetables in the winter months have meant that farmers with irrigation
facilities have been able to generate significant income. Project records do not make a
distinction between winter and summer vegetable production. However, anecdotal evidence
suggests at least a third of the vegetable farmers (i.e., 333) have been able to produce winter
vegetables for income (as with other adoption data this may well be a substantial
underestimate). (Bardia)
Those farmers who have adopted improved variety of wheat, paddy and maize reported that
the performance of wheat and paddy was 25% higher while that of maize was 50% higher in
comparison to the corresponding local varieties. From this the mid-term evaluation team
concludes that the potential for increasing food production are better if these improved
varieties became successful and are also widely adopted by farmers in the district (but see
also the section on ANR). If this were to be the case, it could ultimately result in improving
the food security situation in the district. (Bajura)
The productivity and production gains in agriculture have been extensive. The widespread
adoption of vegetable cultivation and of high yielding varieties of cereal crops have resulted
in widely acknowledged enhancement of food security. There has been substantive rise in
30

household income and improvement in their pattern of food intake. Recalling the bad old
days, a group of senior citizens in Gumda would specifically claim that "there has been 70%
improvement in living conditions" compared to the days 10 15 years ago. (Gorkha)
4. CARE's role in supporting agricultural activities needs to be location specific, and will
therefore be quite different in the hills than in the Terai.
The concept of PVS and collaboration with a national NGO like LI-BIRD and national
institutes should be continued for technical support. However, needs assessment and
available technologies should be identified before experimentation with many technologies
in the farmers' field. For example, in case of cereal variety testing, the problem is
unavailability of seeds of desired varieties rather than a lack of appropriate varieties for Terai
region. The process of testing technologies instead of experimentation should be followed
avoiding exhaustive academic exercises. It is suggested that the approach and process of
experimentation be reviewed. (Mahottari)
The Project has shown that there can be a logical packaging of interventions for the development
of remote areas in Nepal. It has particularly demonstrated that improved and new seeds for
diversified and enhanced agricultural production, promotion of kitchen gardening along with
drinking water schemes, FUG management of community forestry, promotion of latrines, and of
course, building self-help community organizations of women and men based on reclaimable
savings, etc, form a rather logical and workable package. Depending upon situation, in future, it
could also be supplemented by livestock improvement, building local seed production and
distribution capacities, and promotion of literacy and education, which are critically essential for
sustainability of development process in the communities. (Gorkha)
The optimum potential of improved farming technology can be harnessed only if a complete
package of technology is transferred to the farmers. (Bajura)
Community approach to forest management and individual approach to tree and land
management has been successful in Mushahar Community Forest where the FUG distributed
4 kattha of land to each user for agro-forestry. Each user has planted fruit trees such as
mango, litchi and some timber trees and also cultivates cereals, legumes and vegetables in
different seasons. This approach provides flexibility for users to cultivate the crops of their
choice, harvest and market crop produce as per their choice by conserving the planted tree
species themselves. The survival rate of saplings of fruit and tree species is estimated to be
above 90% which is extremely high. This type of agro-forestry can be successfully replicated
in land-less or near land-less communities by meeting the dual interest of food security from
users perspective and forest security from the national and community perspective.
(Mahottari)
5. There are opportunities, as well as a need, to link programs and trained participants with
organizations and offices which can support their work after the completion of CARE
projects.
A seed multiplication program after PVS (as observed in Bharatpur) is highly
recommendable. This is in line with the "District Seed Self-sufficiency Program" introduced
31

by HMG/N in the Ninth Five Year Plan. However, this program needs further linkage with
DAO for seed quality control and certification. The superior varieties selected by the farmers
for seed multiplication will disappear after some years in the absence of a seed quality
control scheme. Collaboration with LI-BIRD or other NGOs should be developed for an
effective seed multiplication program. (Mahottari)
It is recommended that Leader Farmers' as extension agents should be linked with the
different agriculture agencies to draw the resources required for their effective performance.
The District Agriculture Office offers various activities and services for farmers groups
which LF groups could tap. For example, the LF groups for seed multiplication activities
could utilise the revolving fund of NRs. 5,000 for seed multiplication. The LFs should also
be linked with private agro-vet enterprises who pay some amount for the sale of agricultural
inputs. (Mahottari)
The project should strengthen the linkages between line agencies and partners especially
with the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO). (Syangja)
The Leader Farmers (LFs) and Animal Health Workers (AHWs) trained by the project
should be considered as important resources in the villages. If they are effectively linked to
or are accessed by LAs and other agencies (including NGOs), they can serve as local
extensionists. The MID-TERM EVALUATION TEAM suggests that institutional linkages
of CBOs as well as individuals (like LF, AHW) created or trained by the project should be
set up with local government (DDC, VDC) and LAs before the project phases out. (Bajura)
Livestock
Support to local AHWs can have positive impacts and be self-sustaining, so long as adequate
attention is paid to (a) selection of trainees, (b) adequate attention being paid to business
aspects of the work.
Training local AHWs is a low-cost activity that can provide benefits to the local community
and be self-sustaining if the AHWs charge for their services. (BTRT)
AHW training offered by Rural Development Centre/United Mission to Nepal is quite
effective, though the duration is short. However, AHW training alone is not adequate. It
should be followed by establishment of a village level veterinary clinic. The Project may
consider provision of soft loans to the trainees. For example, some of the AHWs reported
that they lack funds to buy equipment in addition to those they initially received from the
Project. (Mahottari)
VDCs, farmers' groups and the AHWs should agree to a service fee chargeable by the AHWs
depending upon the types of treatment and travel distance involved. This would avoid
confusion and misunderstandings between different parties including government livestock
technicians. (Mahottari)
Emphasis should be given on the selection of AHWs to avoid poor quality of services and
32

unexpected dropouts. Target of the number of trainees should be set according to the needs
of the communities. Many VDCs have more AHWs than they need. A need-based analysis
should be carried out before selecting trainees. (Mahottari)
The training of AHWs should give more stress to business aspects to ensure that the AHW
will be financially viable. (BTRT)

11. Forestry
Community forestry has been a very successful intervention in many project areas. The greater
awareness of forest management generated in CFUGs can lead to protection and better use of
resources beyond the boundaries of the community forests, such as the national forests. Basic
needs for fodder and fuel are increasingly being met. The importance of careful identification of
users and attention to equity; adequate and appropriate training to CFUG members, in
language they can easily understand; and effective linkages with HMG are some of the lessons
learned. Private forestry has also been successful, though the equity considerations have not
really been assessed.

1. Community forestry has been one of the most successful components in some projects,
providing direct benefits to households.
Community forestry is perhaps the most successful component in NMRMP as cited in both
self-evaluation and community evaluation. Since CF is an important source of revenue to
communities for local development this component should be accommodated in other project
areas where feasible and applicable. (Mahottari)
With CF community protection through in-situ conservation and new plantations, a wide
range of fodder and tree species have been regenerated. A number of users reported that the
diversity would increase even more in future. Every year, communities have been planting a
variety of fodder/tree/timber and forage species in the forest. (Mahottari)
2. It is important that users be properly identified, so as to avoid later conflict in CFUGs and
forest management (which can delay handover of the forest or cause problems
afterwards).
Discuss issues regarding ownership and access to plantations with all stakeholders before
plantation activities are undertaken. Otherwise some groups in the community may not
support the community forestry activities, and some genuine users may be marginalized or
left out from the group. (BTRT)
If forest plantations are to be handed over to the families that participated in the plantation
work, conduct negotiations with the other stakeholders in the larger community to avoid
intra-community conflicts on use rights later. (BTRT)
Chances of success and sustainability are good if the CFUG can address the issues of
33

identifying users in the Terai by providing access to non-members for a small fee. (FPP)
Do not form more than one CFUG from among the same set of users who utilize multiple
forest patches. (BTRT)
Carefully identify the genuine users and/or the forest boundaries before the preparation of the
required documents for hand-over of community forests. (BTRT)
3. Confidence of tenure is key to changes in sustainable resource management, whether or not the
tenure is official or non-official. (But it is important that this confidence not be lost through
uncertainty about whether control over resources will be provided to user groups).

The verbal turnover of Buffer Zone Forest to the control of a specific group (the UC and its
population) was the primary factor behind improvements in local resource management in
the project area. Even though this clarification of tenure was unofficial (i.e., not legal until
formalized through approved Forest Management Plans), it produced measurable changes.
These include new institutional arrangements including access rights, management
practices/regulations, and authority to exclude outsiders. This reinforces the commonly held
belief that tenure is a pre-requisite to sustainable resource management. The exclusion of
outsiders is also a useful group unification strategy, which can generate fairly immediate
benefits. (RBNP)
4. CFUG members need to have adequate training in both technical and non-technical
aspects. Ensuring that documents such as constitutions and operational plans are in
simple language and are easily understood by non- and semi-literate men and women is
important.
It's important to ensure ample skill development training in record-keeping, accounting, and
forestry techniques. (FPP)
It's important that the CFUG constitution, operational plans and any materials produced for
them are prepared in local languages and/ or in simple, straightforward Nepali. (FPP)
Success is promoted if the introduction of new strategies, products, or skills, such as income
generation activities or new non-timber forest products, has continuous follow-up and
training for the CFUG. (FPP)
5. Staff both CARE and HMG -- also need to be adequately trained so as to provide quality
support in community forestry. Gender equity sensitization is among the training needs.
Ensure that the field staff have adequate understanding of Community Forestry policies,
guidelines and practices. (BTRT)
Gender-sensitize the facilitators (i.e.Rangers, Forest Guards, Forest Assistants) to increase
their appreciation and understanding of ensuring broad-based participation during the making
of the forest management plan.(Gender)
6. To ensure that CF adequately responds to women's needs, it is important that the process

34

of facilitating formation and making constitutions and operational plans be gender


sensitive, as well as ensuring women's representation in the decision-making process.
Ensure that the regulations and terms of access to the forest and its resources is based on the
gendered nature of the need for access to the forest and use of forest products: (Gender)
Outline and use, within the context of constitution-making and general facilitation of the
groups, a set of gender-responsive guidelines, which in the long run, will be in the interest
of not only the communities, but also the DFO and its monitoring and patroling function. (Gender)
Ensure increased women representation in FUGs and FUCs (especially in the case of
Bajura where normally there is head of the household representation to the FUG) to avoid
gender biases as regards the representation of interests while making the forest management
plan and the constitution-making process. (Gender)
7. Private nurseries offer the potential for a sustainable (though admittedly small scale)
income generation activity. Support and training to nurseries should be oriented towards
this longer-term sustainability.
Skill based training to nursery managers is appropriate for income generation since grafting,
budding and nursery management are similar in fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants.
These skills will provide new avenues for nurserymen to respond to the changing needs of
the community members. (Mahottari)
Promotion of private nurseries seems to be better than the promotion of community
nurseries. This will provide (local) employment to a few persons only but provides larger
benefits in the long run through the increased availability of fruit, fodder and tree species
locally. (Mahottari)
The shift of subsidy from input based materials to output based saplings has proved to be
successful in sharing cost with the community members, motivating nurserymen and
contributing to a higher survival rate of planted saplings. This should be continued.
(Mahottari)
8. Linkages with the District Forest Office (DFO) and their staff as well as other district line
agencies and NGOs are key to CFUG's accessing training and ongoing support.
The project's co-ordination has been effective with the DFO and their field based staff.
According to DFO staff they discussed issues of the project promoted CF and helped FUGs
with training and obtaining legal status. Inviting DFO staff as local resource persons became
fruitful in strengthening FUGs and DFO relationship and in clarifying the CF and DFO
related issues. FUGs have also developed linkages with DFO and Range Office staff.
(Mahottari)
9. While there are equity issues pertaining to private forestry (i.e. who benefits?), private
forestry nonetheless has been an effective strategy to reduce pressure on national forests
35

(especially as CFUGs regenerate) and promote stall feeding of animals.


The project encouraged community members to plant fruit/fodder/forest trees on private
land. A recent survey undertaken by the project indicated that 2381 (59%) of the sampled
4771 farmers have, on average, 199 surviving seedlings/trees on their land. The survival rate
of the planted trees was found to be an average of 71%. This survival rate is significantly
higher if compared to government supported plantations. The density of these trees and high
survival rate strongly suggest that farmers are likely to have more forest/fodder resources in
the near future which will help them to adopt stall feeding of animals and hence increased
availability of manure. Increased density of trees on private land also contributes to increase
supply of fodder and fuel wood thus reducing pressure on national forests. (Mahottari)

12. Income Generating Activities


More attention to assessing feasibility of income generating activities is critically important, as is
focus on gender and caste implications of our support. Skills training has multiple benefits for
individuals, households, and in terms of services available in the community though currently the
number who benefit from the income-related aspects is relatively small.
1. It is critically important to ensure that IGAs undertaken have been analyzed for their
feasibility (technical, social, economic) and that markets exist for the products.
Selection of appropriate IGA and effective group motivation are the crucial points for the
success of the activities. The selected activities must be commercially viable in the local
socio-economic conditions. CARE's long-range strategic plan (1999-2004) to develop a
strategy and acquire corresponding expertise in Small Enterprise Activity Development
(SEAD) should be adopted for future projects. (Mahottari)
Technical assistance of international/national experts should be considered to provide
technical know-how on inputs, investments, quality control, market, and extension of IGAs
suitable to the socio-economic environment in the communities. It should also be noted that
the activity must be based on simple technologies, require low investment, use locally
available inputs and should be marketable within or in proximity of the communities.
(Mahottari)
Before activities are initiated, cross-visits of group members to other groups who are
implementing similar activities could prove to be a very effective method to help them to
assess their needs and motivation. (Mahottari)
Make sure that the activity promoted is suitable for the local environmental conditions do
not implement them throughout the project area. (e.g. citrus and cardamom failed in
Rupakot). (BTRT)
Instead of large numbers of diversified IGAs, implemented on trial and error basis, only a
few proven activities should be implemented. IGAs with marginal or no profits should be

36

phased out as early as possible to save project resources. (Mahottari)


Ensure IGA programs are carefully tailored to the local context rather than adhering to an
overall common programme, and prioritise IGAs based on indigenous knowledge and locally
available raw materials (Gender)
2. Skills training in specific areas for which there is a local "market" has been effective,
both as an income generating activity and as a means to provide services to local
communities, though it benefits a relatively small number of people.
The project achieved a degree of success in the development of skilled private extensionists
(e.g., animal health, improved cooking stoves, and pit latrine construction). This human
resource development improved income, provided a valued extension service, contributed to
non-farm employment, and to a limited extent reached the target population of landless
disadvantaged groups. (RBNP)
In the case of improved cooking stoves, the additional benefit of reducing dependence on
forest products can be added to the list. In the case of Animal Health Workers, the success
rate of 10 out of 13 is likely to be higher than the success of small income generating
activities. (RBNP)
3. IGA promotion must consider gender and caste implications, so as to avoid either
undermining traditional areas of employment; inadvertently increasing workloads; or
inadvertently undermining women's roles and decision-making power.
Promote IGAs based on careful analysis of the social differentiations within Dalits (Dalits
are not a homogenous entity) and study of how the respective IGAs relate to the sociocultural restrictions imposed on women (important factors include household livelihood
system level, demand on time, capital requirements, the gendered nature of markets).
(Gender)
Critically analyse whether IGA activities should target individuals or groups to ensure
homogenity of groups by gender, economic status, and even caste to avoid the risk of
unequal distribution or fulfilment of responsibilities by individual members, and explore the
possibilities for specific activities, especially for women, at the group level like supply of
raw material and collective selling in markets. (Gender)

13. Health and Family Planning


CARE's health and family planning programs have contributed to significant changes in knowledge,
attitudes and practice of program participants, improved access to and availability of health
services, and improved local capacity of health workers. There are important lessons to be learned
which will enable these programs to have a more significant impact. These lessons centre on
recognition that certain types of behaviour change take time (and therefore a lot of effort as well,
involving a wide range of audiences); the need for a broader understanding of "training" and follow
on support; the need for development of messages based on locally understood beliefs and practices.

37

1. Certain types of attitudinal and behaviour change take time, particularly when it challenges
long held beliefs and practices that are rooted in cultural and religious belief. Identifying
promoters of change is one way to go about addressing such issues.
One of the important roles of the ethnographic approach is to identify potential, even
unlikely, supporters and agents of change, promote them as opinion leaders, and work more
closely with them to change: in fact they probably have the most to lose. (Birthing)
Whilst CARE can show significant infrastructural change and demonstrate success in
training, treatment and rehabilitation, group establishment and kitchen garden activities, the
current policy of phasing in and out of a VDC in less than 10 years is perhaps not conducive
to fundamental behavioural change in the field of preventive health, and against such deeprooted beliefs such as ritual pollution. Acknowledging a more realistic interpretation of the
processes of change may require a longer term involvement to allow for time for behavioural
change to plant deeper roots. (Birthing)
2. Training (for government staff and community-level volunteers including Female
Community Health Volunteers and Traditional Birth Attendants) has been very useful in
improving knowledge, skills and confidence. However, training is only part of the picture.
it is equally important to ensure that there is effective post-training follow up to ensure
internalization and application of new skills and knowledge. As well, it is critical that the
right people are being trained!
Monthly meetings provide an important forum for follow up and reinforcement of training
content. In Solukhumbu, even though all MCHWs received the training, those in the project
area were much more active and competent than others. The regular follow-up was thought
to make the difference. (FHP)
CAREs TBA training is of high quality. However, there are additional responsibilities to
fulfill if the TBA programme is to have long-term sustainable effect. These are to ensure
that:
the best individuals are being trained as TBAs in both low and high caste groups
the legitimate TBAs are being retrained
trained TBAs are using all their skills and knowledge (being allowed to cut and tie
the cord and not just give instructions) (Birthing)
Mostly TBAs are under-used, under-valued, and poorly supervised: more than training in
particular follow-up support -- is needed for this approach to have an impact on safer
motherhood in Bajura. (Birthing)
In CAREs existing project areas like Bajura, and possibly in new areas too, where it is
questionable that there was ever a tradition of a TBA, and given the responsibilities
beyond training for the TBA programme, it may be time to reconsider working with TBAs at
all. (Birthing)

38

3. The information and messages promoted with participants need to be based on the
particular practices and beliefs of the participant groups. In some areas, several groups
will have distinct practices and beliefs which staff need to understand and work with.
Often, these groups speak distinct languages, which staff must also be able to speak!.
CARE field-staff members should be trained in how to use information on food beliefs and
traditions that is mentioned during mothers- group discussions to adapt their general
(nutrition) messages. (Child)
When developing training materials for the mothers groups, it is advisable to make them
multi-language including, at least, Rana and Chaudary Tharu languages. (Child)
Further exploration of differences in traditions and beliefs between different populations in
Kanchanpur District is required to fine tune nutrition messages. (Child)
Based on some of the specific technical recommendations, CARE technical staff should work
with field staff to carefully prioritize and focus IEC messages towards specific behavior
change particularly for reproductive health. Explore the use of multiple IEC strategies including use of peer educators, drama, case studies etc. as a way to reinforce the information
provided during health education. (FHP)
4. In order to effect behaviour change, a broader range of groups/audiences key decision
makers at the community and household levels -- need to be involved, including men,
mothers in law, traditional faith healers and so on.
Safe motherhood work in Bajura needs to address gender as well as health issues, and focus
on men as well as women.(Birthing)
Knowledge about safer motherhood needs to be spread amongst all family members to be
more effective in influencing behavior change in women. (Birthing)
Workshops for faith-healers in each VDC should be organized to learn from their experience
and perception of spirit-related diseases, and to train them on the proper recognition of
symptoms of severe diarrhea, pneumonia and, possibly, other diseases. (Child)
What emerged from discussions with men was that they generally revealed a much lower
level of knowledge than women of the CHDK. Clearly, creating demand amongst men as
well as women is necessary. (Birthing)
Target men with nutrition and sanitation issues to provide the potential for greater consensus
within the household regarding quantity and nature of resources (economic and others)
required with respect to nutrition and sanitation, and provide a better basis for households to
"invest" resources in this area. This could be done by including nutrition and sanitation
issues as part of the STD/AIDS package through the FHEs and male LRPs (Gender)

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Mothers should be stimulated to discuss lessons learned at mothers groups with their
mother-in-laws and husbands in order to disperse nutrition lessons more widely. (Child)
5. The Clean Home Delivery Kit (CHDK) has had some impact on birthing practices and has
great potential. Perhaps its greatest contribution is that the small kit serves to stimulate
discussion on the importance of a clean blade and materials, in the same way that the
package of Jeevan Jal promotes discussion around control of diarrheal disease. If the
commercial kit is to be sustainable, more effort on ensuring supply mechanisms will be
needed, possibly through mothers groups, FCHVs or TBAs.
Introduction of the CHDK was a high profile way to emphasize the importance of clean
delivery and to draw attention to the importance of using a clean blade and materials.
CAREs promotion of CHDK is justified and effective, and there is considerable potential for
further success. (Birthing)
The CHDK has considerable potential to prevent death in mothers and newborns if used
correctly. It also has the potential to give every member of the household knowledge about
the fundamentals of safe home delivery. It gives them the responsibility, rather than relying
on an external service provider. (Birthing)
There remains a supply problem for the kits..With a couple of exceptions, almost no
renewable sustainable supply was encountered in the areas covered by the study and most
groups reported that CHDK stock was low and they did not know how to find the money to
pay for new supplies There were suggestions (e.g. from the Public Health Officer, and
some health providers in semi structured interviews and others in FGs) that a cheaper, locally
made, kit would be more acceptable. (Birthing)
Community groups such as mothers groups and NGOs are effective distribution agents for
supplies such as ORS and CHDK. Funds generated are reportedly used to assist with savings
schemes or participants emergency needs.(FHP)
6. Working with government health staff in remote areas is a challenge, due to frequent
transfers and absences (and limited facilities!). The projects' strategy of focusing on more
junior workers who are often from the area is therefore appropriate. However, inadequate
training has been done with them.
Although the project has seen the health post staff as key support people for FCHVs, TBAs
and community level activities, it has not done enough to strengthen either their capacity or
their motivation to become more involved. (FHP)
7. Awareness about HIV/AIDs has increased substantially, but there is still a strong denial
that it poses a risk to project communities. There are considerable taboos in talking about
sexuality, and the projects will need to look at in a culturally sensitive way that is, on the
one hand broad enough to reach a large population, but which is also targeted to
particular audiences.
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While there does seem to be community level awareness regarding HIV, people are
convinced it is NOT a problem in their communities. The emphasis of the project has been
on direct information transmission without a clear strategy for bridging the gap between
knowledge and behavior change. (FHP)
There is considerable discomfort and social stigma in talking about or addressing the issue of
STIs, and there has not been any discussion on living positively with AIDS. (FHP)
The project should consider alternative strategies for addressing reproductive health/HIV at
the community level. There may be less direct ways to transmit information where people
will accept it more easily are drama, case stories, etc.). (FHP)
The project should focus the HIV/AIDS messages on sexual behavior and take context into
account. Examples might include: AIDS CAN be a problem here. You cant recognize
someone who has HIV. Prevention through abstinence, faithfulness with a faithful partner,
and condom use. They should not focus on behaviors over which people dont have control
such as testing for transfused blood or encouraging HIV testing where it isnt available.
(FHP)

14. Rural Infrastructure


Infrastructure interventions such as drinking water and irrigation are generally successful.
More efforts on operation and maintenance are required to promote sustainability, and this
might include more involvement of local government bodies and greater efforts to promote
women in decision-making processes. Technology choice has an implication on who benefits
(and who doesn't), and more attention should be paid to this. A recent upsurge in local road
construction, though not part of any "CARE project", has enormous environmental implications
and implications for project impact that cannot be ignored.
1. Drinking water and irrigation systems remain very popular and respond to a real
community need. Moreover, water interventions often provide multiple benefits beyond
the provision of the water itself. Projects have put a strong emphasis on operation and
maintenance systems and issues. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to better ensure
sustainability through follow up training to caretakers; ensuring cash contributions from
users for maintenance funds; early registration of groups with government bodies; and to
link water more closely with sanitation.
The development and appointment of a caretaker cum local technician has proved to be
effective in maintaining the [drinking water] system. This type of local technician
development by MNRMP is highly appreciated by the users. To increase their productivity
they should be provided refresher training on a regular basis. All DWUGs that send their
caretaker for training can jointly share the cost of such training. (Mahottari)
In large DWS collecting funds has been experienced by the committee members as a

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daunting task. The users were reluctant to contribute their share of water tax to the Tap
(Dhara) Leader. This indicates that during social mobilisation more emphasis is necessary on
raising the awareness of the users to take advantage of the system while safeguarding its
operation. The project should assess the users business plan before committing systems. If
the communitys willingness to raise maintenance funds is found weak then such DWS
should better be dropped. Furthermore, caution should be taken for introducing large DWS
because the larger the system the larger the size of beneficiaries and the greater the challenge
of social mobilisation. (Mahottari)
Registration of DWUGs as user groups at the CDO was reported to be a cumbersome task.
The user groups that had recently tried on their own got their UG constitution repeatedly
returned despite the fact that they incorporated the comments/suggestions of the CDO staff.
Rent seeking tendency of staff at the CDO has raised frustration not only with users of
drinking water systems but also to emerging community organisations of their VDC. The
project should facilitate and help user groups to register as early as possible after completion
of project. (Mahottari)
Handing over of unused materials of each DWS to concerned users committee by the
MNRMP has proved to be an important IGA for the user committee. The committees are
renting out spare items such as sand screen, shovel and other equipment to the community
members on a daily basis. This system is both effective and appropriate and deserves to be
replicated in other projects. (Mahottari)
A maintenance fund should be established as a precondition to the irrigation schemes and
regular contribution to the maintenance fund must be ensured. This can be generated through
collection of irrigation tax on a per kattha basis which the IUG can decide. (Mahottari)
More than any other intervention, water supply (primarily irrigation), generates multiple
benefits that most directly contribute to socio-economic security and protection of Buffer
Zone and Park forest. Farmers in at least three sites identified similar benefits resulting from
improved irrigation. One of the items not mentioned, however, was the role of forested (or at
the very least, non-degraded) watersheds for the protection and maintenance of a water flow.
This can be partially explained by the absence of severely degraded watersheds in the project
area. The understanding and appreciation of this relationship could provide additional
incentive for watershed protection, and could further strengthen the role of water as a
unifying resource for conservation and development projects. (RBNP)
The linking of sanitation messages with water source improvement was effective. In some
cases, water improvement was linked to latrine construction, which staff felt was an effective
way to gain acceptance for latrines even in areas where they were difficult to construct.
(FHP)
2. In addition to user contributions, it is appropriate to require matching funds from local
government for irrigation, to ensure that the system really is a local priority.
Matching fund from VDC should be set as a precondition for the gravity fed irrigation
schemes. The potential beneficiaries or IUG should have confirmed at least 5% of the total

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cost from the VDC. This system will reinforce the planning process and prove that
community priority is also a VDC priority. In view of the potentially substantial increments
in income it is furthermore worthwhile to consider to increasingly demand a larger
proportion of the investment costs to be borne by the prospective IUGs, e.g. through
providing loans if cash is not available. (Mahottari)
Insist on at least partial funding from the VDC to promote interest in future maintenance.
(BTRT)
3. More attention should be paid to ensuring appropriate and pro-poor technologies are
chosen, for example water pumps instead of gravity flow systems in the Terai; shallow tube
wells instead of gravity fed irrigation systems.
Introduction of hand pump, where technically feasible, should be made the priority
intervention in targeting Disadvantaged groups. The hand pump is a stand alone system and
can be directed to a Disadvantaged group cluster at significantly cheaper per capita cost
(NRs.196) than gravity fed systems (NRs 1,041). Its technology is simple, its easy to
maintain and produces relatively safer and cleaner water if compared to gravity fed water.
However, the user committee, though small in size, should be formed and it should be
strengthened in establishing a maintenance fund and employing one technician cum
caretaker. (Mahottari)
The project should promote shallow tube wells where technically feasible since it is pro-poor
technology. It is also cost effective in terms of cost per hectare and per capita as compared to
gravity fed irrigation schemes. (Mahottari)
4. Women play a key role in water collection, and should therefore play a larger role in water
user committees.
Since drinking water has been the traditional domain of women their representation sould be
gradually improved. Considering the literacy status and socio-cultural environment, existing
percentage (i.e. 28% in executive committee) of their participation is appreciable. Attention
should be given to increasing the quality of their participation as executive members. A
gradual shift of key roles (such as chairperson, secretary) to women would be one of the
important steps in this regard. Experiences from other successful DWUG within the project
area (e.g. Gauribas) demonstrate that women can effectively lead and manage DWUGs.
(Mahottari)
5. With decentralization of funding and authority to local government, there has been a huge
upsurge in the construction of local roads. However, these appear to in many cases
pose serious environmental risks, risks which are not being overseen by any body/office.
This is an area requiring attention and, particularly in watershed management projects,
needs to be integrated in project plans.
The mid-term evaluation team found significant erosion along the roads, and could not find
any institution responsible for supporting communities to plan, construct and maintain local

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road networks. The high level of demand for roads by communities, and the VDC authority
and resources to construct roads, has resulted in very poor road construction with damaging
impact on watershed management. Lack of attention to road construction and maintenance
issues in watershed conservation management is unacceptable. (Syangja)
The major development in the area since the end of BTRT has been the construction of
several new roads with VDC funds. Public buses now provide service to all seven VDCs
except Hanspur, which can only be reached by jeep. The roads are very popular with the
local population. However, some of the roads have clearly been constructed with no
provision for soil erosion. The road to the Begnas high school that was constructed this
winter is a prime example of poor road construction. The alignment is very steep and crosses
several very unstable slopes. There are no drainage facilities; the excavated dirt was dumped
directly downhill from the road, covering up all of the existing vegetative cover, and no
attempt was made to plant grasses or trees to conserve the soil. It is highly likely that the
road will cause a huge amount of erosion this rainy season. (BTRT)
The Study Team interviewed two VDC Chairmen and two VDC Vice-Chairmen representing
three VDCs (Kalika, Rupakot and Hanspur). All were aware of the erosion problem, but said
that they had no choice other than to follow the will of the people. The leaders of the two
largest NGOs in the watershed, KIDEKI and DEPC, told the Study Team that they had
argued against the construction of the roads. However, they admitted that they had little
influence, since the general public fully supported the construction of the roads. (BTRT)
It is recommended that projects provide training to VDCs in the design and construction of
environmentally friendly roads, using green road approaches and provide training and
financial support to NGOs and community groups to mobilize communities to implement
activities to reduce road-related erosion. (BTRT)

15. Green Engineering


The experience from "green engineering" activities provides a number of lessons for success,
and suggests the importance of:
there being an overall plan and responsibility for watershed management in the area
ensure that upstream landslides have been stabilized before working downstream on
river training activities
focusing on rivers (for river training) where success is likely or possible
focus on activities that will protect water sources and agricultural land
utilize vegetative measures to the extent possible for landslide and gully control
avoid dependency by the user group
working with strong and effective groups.
An overall management unit needs to be identified and provided with a conceptual
framework of watershed conservation management as the basis for planning and monitoring.
The VDC is the appropriate institution for taking on the role of the overall management unit.
(Syangja)
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Do not implement river training activities unless the upstream landslides have already been
stabilized. (BTRT)
Give training priority to smaller rivers, where the probability of success is much higher
(BTRT)
The check-dams have clearly had a major impact in stabilizing erosion in the
watershed..the communities were most enthusiastic about the check-dams that had a direct
impact on protecting water sources and valuable agriculture land. (BTRT).
The integration of engineering structures with plantation of trees and grasses and control of
grazing has been highly effective. (BTRT)
The treatment of the Hanspur landslide is an excellent example of how a landslide can be
treated cost-effectively by exclusively vegetative means.by planting a mix of fast-growing
tree species, such as Alnus nepalensis, as well as slower growing fodder and timber trees.
(BTRT)
The project has developed positive working relationships with various partners, including the
VDCs, DDC, national and local NGO partners, and community based organizations
However, none of the current project partners has taken up the role of management oversight
for watershed conservation management. The lack of an overall management unit results in
the lack of guidance to community based groups in linking watershed conservation and
sustainable productivity of natural resources. (Syangja)
The CDCC attributes the success of their checkdams to the following reasons:
Provision of voluntary labor every year to clean and maintain the checkdams;
Strict prohibition of livestock grazing in the gullies;
Strong leadership, and a single ethnic group in the area (Gurung);
Use of large stones for construction, even when it required increased voluntary
labor;
A unique method of construction that divided the community into three groups. The
group with the least understanding was responsible for carrying the rocks. The
group with average understanding quarried the rocks. And only the group with the
most understanding was allowed to construct the gabion boxes. (BTRT)
The Study Team concluded that the problem [community maintenance of check-dams] in
Rungeli is due to poor motivation on the part of the community, rather than poor
understanding.the community seems to be convinced that it will be able to obtain
government assistance when required, and has little interest in investing its own time and
money into the activity. (BTRT)
Most communities have done little or no maintenance to check-dams.they assume that the
government or another development agency will provide assistance when the need arises.

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(BTRT)

16. Non Formal Education


Non-formal Education (NFE) functional literacy classes -- has been focused particularly to
women, and has been an effective mechanism to build confidence and skills. Facilitating
opportunities for follow up to classes should be strengthened. The evaluations reviewed did not
usually speak to the issue of CARE's role in literacy, though it was generally assumed that the
approach of working through local NGOs/CBOs should be continued.
1. Non-formal education has helped to build women's confidence, skills and contributes to
their broader participation in community development activities. It therefore serves as a
useful entry point activity.
The non-formal education program was targeted to women, and has had a positive impact in
building womens confidence to participate in community meetings. Information from the
advanced literacy classes, in conjunction with extension services, have enabled women to
establish kitchen gardens, build toilets, plant fruit tree seedlings, install improved cookstoves, etc. The project did not target nor monitor Dalit participation in non-formal
education programs, though the evaluation team interviews with Dalit women found that
many participated and benefited from the NFE program. (Syangja)
NFE is an appropriate activity to initiate development programs in rural communities
focusing on women. It helps to improve their participation and thus contributes to gender
equity. (Mahottari)
Intervention of new development activities should be preceded by NFE classes for effective
use of the skill and knowledge learned and to ensure that the activities are satisfactorily
implemented. (Mahottari)
2. To promote sustainability of new literacy skills, more attention should be paid to
facilitating/supporting follow up activities to NFE classes.
To retain the reading and writing skill, follow up activities should be built-in under the NFE
programs. Establishment of reading centres and also teaching trainees to use such centres
should be an integral part of any NFE program. The NFE group members of Sakari could not
utilise the benefit of the reading centre because they were not taught how to use such reading
centres. (Mahottari)
The learning ability of NFE graduates greatly varies among individuals. Some groups
reported that there are many NFE graduates who wish to continue even after ALC.
Additional courses should be developed to further enable such participants to improve
writing and numeracy skills. Such courses could be combined with functional activities like
maintenance of household accounts and recording social events. (Mahottari)

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