The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People’s Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. Nepal has a population of approximately 30 million. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and the country’s largest metropolis. Nepal has a rich geography. The mountainous north has eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest. It contains more than 240 peaks over 6,096 m above sea level. This mountainous area contrasts sharply with low-lying, fertile and humid south which is much more urbanized.
Nepal has been a monarchy throughout most of its history. However, a decade-long Civil War by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) during the 1990s, meant that many of the community institutions (user-groups, savings groups, etc.) that had been initiated by International NGOs collapsed following their forced withdrawal. These events left Nepal with a greatly impoverished institutional infrastructure, both in local communities and in local government. They also left the country with a legacy of division and bitterness which has been an obstacle to the revival of collaborative deliberation, planning and development.
In 2008, elections for the constituent assembly overwhelmingly favoured the abdication of the Nepali monarch and the establishment of federal multi-party representative democratic republic. The first President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn in on July 23.
Also during 2008 a constitution committee was established for 2 years, this was extended for two additional years because they couldn’t agree on the constitution wording. In 2012 the constitution was still not completed, the committee was dissolved and an interim government was put in place. Elections were held in November 2013 for an assembly which would write a new constitution, but there was a deadlock as no party won a majority. In February 2014, Sushil Koirala, the leader of the Nepali Congress, the country’s largest political party, was elected as prime minister after securing parliamentary support.
As a result of all the above political unrest, for the last two decades, there have been no elected representatives of local people in local government offices and this has resulted in ineffective services and a lack of response to local marginalised peoples’ needs.
Overall, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with a Human Development Index of 0.463 (157th out of 187 countries listed in the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2013)
An evaluation of the work we help support in Sahakarmi Samaj was done here is the evaluation report