DSF 2016- Research

Over a period of three months, the Daayitwa-Nepal Public Service Fellowship, Summer 2016 Fellows worked on various high-priority projects in various Ministries, Public Agencies, and Local Agencies.

Daayitwa_Alok Joshi

Alok Joshi

Ministry of Labor and Employment


Project- Inducing behavioral change and creating and enabling the environment to channelize migration capital into investment and enterprise development.

Remittance is one of the major contributors to the budget of Nepal which comprises of over 29% of the national budget. Remittance flows mostly to rural areas, a majority of which is spent on consumption. Though remittance plays a vital role in the daily consumption of many households, it is not as productive as it could be. If remittance amount is spent in investment and enterprise sector, the country will no doubt have positive changes. With regards to the situation, this research is crucial to engage remittance capital into investment and enterprise along with behavioral changes amongst people.

Over the coming 3 months, Alok will be engaging with the Ministry of Labor and Employment to discuss the issues and possible policy amendment. He also plans to collect primary data to further understand the real issue from the ground level.


Anupama Sharma

Ministry of Agricultural Development


Project- Designing interventions to strengthen seeds value chains for increasing productivity and generating employment opportunities through self-sufficiency.

The agricultural sector contributes to 34.6% of the total GDP in Nepal. Seeds are fundamental in agriculture and the access to quality seeds determines the overall yield. Improved quality of seeds increases yield by 15-20%. During the fellowship program, Anupama will study value chain analysis of seeds to formulate effective and efficient program intervention strategies. This will facilitate the growth and competitiveness of seed market in Nepal.The main purpose of her study is to benefit seed growers in terms of increased productivity and to generate employment opportunities through enhancing the functions of various stakeholders.


Dharm Raj Joshi

Ministry of Agricultural Development


Project- Reforming spatial regulations and practices for increasing agricultural productivity and stimulating rural economy.

Nepal has witnessed changes through fundamental social, political, constitutional and governmental changes in the recent years but it has yet to witness paradigm shifts in distribution, management, utilization and practices related to land and agriculture with innovative policy interventions. The large scale of the country’s land is still underused, barren, pasture (rangeland) and misused. Similarly, the amount of land under private ownership has also not been utilized to its full potential. Thus, agricultural households are compelled to employ other alternative strategies for their living. Micro-level and Macro level agricultural contribution to the national economy are still small compared to other industries.

In this context, Dharm Joshi, will be working, in close coordination with Daayitwa Research Team and experts from the Ministry of Agriculture Development, on “Reforming spatial regulations and practices for increasing agricultural productivity and stimulating rural economy”. During the 3 months of the fellowship, Dharm will be discussing with high-level policymakers, influential political leaders, and other land experts about pros-and-cons of hitherto policy practices and development planning, regarding land and agriculture. Additionally, he will participate in national-level policy debates/discussions/meetings to have his say and receive suggestions on his research.


Dixit K.C

Ministry of Industry


Project- Leveraging technology for accelerating the growth of rural SMEs.

Joint Secretary of MOI, Yam Kumari Khatiwada (2016) believes that cottage, small and medium enterprises are the spine of the Nepalese economy. Micro-enterprise development programme (MEDEP) has successfully created over 66,000 micro-entrepreneurs which in turn has created 70,000 jobs (MEDEP Factsheet, 2015). However, one of the major challenges noticed in MEDEP are the difficulties for entrepreneurs to move up in the value chain remaining at the low subsistent level (Focused Evaluation of MEDEP, 2012). Even though the criteria for the graduation of micro-enterprises created by MEDEP has been set, there has not been satisfactory results thus far. Therefore, Dixit KC’s research will focus on identifying the real challenges behind sustainable and profitable microenterprises within the MEDEP programme. He plans to gather secondary quantitative data to establish evidence for his research. Besides this, He will review policies and acts relevant to Technology Development Fund in order to capitalize it in the growth of the micro-enterprises. He is optimistic about conducting semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from MOI, MEDEP and Daayitwa REAP team.



Juni Singh

National Planning Commission

 Project- Understanding the development planning process for increasing the quantity and quality of public expenditure.

Capital expenditure has been limited to 3.3% of GDP for the past four years in Nepal. According to a research by the World Bank, capital expenditure of at least 8-11% is required to overcome the infrastructure gap. Capital expenditure is further skewed towards the end of the fiscal year. What is then responsible for this failure of the capital budget? Why is Capital budget so hard to spend? Looking at the existing literature the reasons seem to be allocation inefficiency, implementation problems, reporting issues and coordination failures within the government bodies. This research project tries to provide quantitative proof using the data from the Finance Comptroller General Office (FCGO). Does the data agree with the existing reasoning? Procurement laws will also be studied in order to identify the bottleneck.  In addition, definitional problems as to what is characterized as capital expenditure might be important. For example, often the government hands out loans to local bodies which appear as a recurrent expense in the budget but the grant could be used as capital expenditure.


Prabha Upreti

District Development Committee Office, Gulmi


Project- Enhancing the role of local public agencies and designing innovative campaign for self-sustainable Gulmi, District Development Committee Office, Gulmi.

The budding and flourishing state of entrepreneurship in Gulmi in areas of agriculture and animal husbandry like coffee farming, vegetable farming, goat keeping etc. is the small achievement of the many efforts made by various local agencies by promoting entrepreneurship and business development. If we observe reports from  the agencies themselves eg. District Development Committee Office, we can see that the state of entrepreneur ecosystem is slowly getting stronger but the growth has not been up to the expectations and the demand for the economy. Prabha will work on identifying the focal points of the problem by mapping stakeholders and conducting a cost analysis of the efforts and effects.


Shriju Dhakal

Nepal Rastra Bank


Project- Stimulating the demand side and designing financial literacy campaign for increasing sustainable access to finance in Nepal.

World Bank aims to achieve universal financial access by the year 2020.According to the recent survey by NRB, only 40% of the people are banked i.e. have access to a formal financial system. Nepal is far behind in terms of financial inclusion despite having 195 formal financial institutions with total branches reaching up to 3838.The reality is, a higher number of branches and ATMs does not ensure greater access to finance. Supply side initiatives will have to be complemented with financial literacy or awareness i.e. demand side stimulation. In this context, formulation of a national financial literacy strategy is a must. At present,50 countries around the world have already adopted some sort of national strategy for financial literacy. Nepal Rastra Bank is also formulating a financial literacy policy.

Shriju will be undertaking a detailed study on financial literacy which will involve mapping out all the existing stakeholders in terms of financial literacy initiatives and also study international trends and practices. Through this research, she will develop a roadmap for developing a national level strategy. In addition, she will also be studying the demand side constraints of access for entrepreneurs of SMEs and identifying other possible constraints to access to finance besides financial literacy.  


Sneha Pradhan

Nepal Rastra Bank


Project- Unlocking key constraints in the supply side of access to finance for the growth of SMEs in rural Nepal.

According to Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director of the International Trade Center; 95% of the global enterprises are comprised of SMEs, which account for 60% of the jobs in the private sector, and thus are crucial drivers of innovation and economic growth. The development of SMEs is particularly important for inclusive economic growth in a developing economy like Nepal. Lack of access to finance has consistently been identified as a key reason for discouraged entrepreneurs and unrealized innovative ideas, especially in rural Nepal. Sneha will map the financial structure of Nepal, review related existing policies and interview different financial service providers to understand the supply side constraints of access to finance. Additionally, she will look at best practices in other countries and try to find innovative products and services as well as policy recommendations that assist in increasing the supply of credit facilities for rural entrepreneurs.



Sujan Adhikari

Ministry of Commerce


Project- Utilizing market access opportunities for high potential Nepali products, with Trade and Export Promotion Center.

Nepal’s trade deficit (vs GDP) has more than doubled, to about 35%, since 2004. During the same period, import increased by 4.8 folds whereas export went up just by 1.4 folds. Over two third of Nepal’s export is to India; over 90% of export is limited to only 11 countries. If Nepal is to achieve its ambitions of boosting exports, studying the status of international markets and cashing in on the facilitations are very important. Sujan will work on exploring potential markets for high-value Nepali products in order to utilize the access opportunities provided to Nepal.


Swadeepa Bohora

Ministry of Finance

 Project- Innovation in economic policy to accelerate the growth of rural SMEs.

With about 29 million people and a quarter of its population living under poverty, Nepal struggles to meet the demand of its workforce – the unemployment rate stands at about 2.5 percent and foreign employment migration rate at about 10 percent. In response to such dire economic circumstances, the Ministry of Finance recently made a provision of the ‘Challenge Fund’ in order to jumpstart its economy through entrepreneurial ventures. During the course of this fellowship, Swadeepa will conduct research on different types of challenge fund, funding modalities while understanding the governance, management, and monitoring imperatives of a public fund.

Daayitwa_TriveniChandTriveni Chand

District Development Committee Office, Ramechhap


Project- Enhancing the role of local public agencies and leveraging information and skill development for enterprise promotion in Ramechhap, District Development Committee Office, Ramechhap.

At present, there has been a growth in the number of national and international non-governmental agencies working in various districts of Nepal. These agencies work alongside the various government agencies at the national and district level of Nepal. The presence of these various organizations often creates an overlap in work areas and duplication of the service in the absence of proper methodologies to share and transfer results. Duplication also occurs due to the lack of coordination and collaboration among these agencies. Triveni during her three-month fellowship will conduct research on existing practices and mechanisms of the coordination and collaboration of DDC and/with other government agencies and non-governmental agencies. She will utilize her experience to suggest policies for better coordination and collaboration among various agencies in Ramechhap. Her knowledge on social enterprises and ongoing research on different enterprises in Ramechhap will help in building a better enterprise ecosystem through an innovative campaign for skills development programs.

Daayitwa_Veera Lamichhane

Veera Lamichhane

Ministry of Industry

 Project- Strengthening the role of SMEs in industrialization by leveraging Special Economic Zones.

Since the development of Industrial Districts in 1960, there has been a steady increase in the sprouting of small-medium enterprises in Nepal. Recently, 14 Special Economic Zones have been declared in order to encourage foreign direct investment and increase exports. Yet the struggle for SMEs to thrive in today’s competitive market continues. Veera, with assistance from The Ministry of Industry, will be evaluating the potential for SMEs to flourish within SEZ’s and explore methods of overcoming the barriers.


SEZ Daayitwa_WREAP One of the Gulmeli entrepreneurs pouring hot jaggery (Shakar) into bowls to give it a firm shape.

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