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CARE Nepal/Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities
SAGUN P.O. Box 7802 Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: 977-1-4492762
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE 2. METHODOLOGY 3. PART ONE: REVIEW FINDINGS
3.1. WORKING ENVIRONMENT IN THE PROJECT AREA
3.2. PROJECT PERFORMANCE/PROGRESS DURING INCEPTION
3.3. PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION MODALITIES/MANAGEMENT
3.5. INFORMATION BASE AND COLLECTION MECHANISM
4.2. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS
I. TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INCEPTION REVIEW
II. LIST OF PARTICIPANTS IN REVIEWS MEETING IN THE DISTRICTS
III. DISTRIBUTION OF DHANUK POPULATION BY VDC IN DHANUSHA
IV. DISTRIBUTION OF THAMI POPULATION BY VDC IN
1. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE
CARE Nepal and Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) have launched a project on "Janajati Social and Economic Empowerment Project (JANSEEP) in February 2007. The overall objective of the project is stated as to contribute towards poverty reduction and empowerment of Highly Marginalized Janajatis (HMJ) in Nepal by protecting and promoting the political, economic, social and cultural rights of Thami, Dhanuk and Surel Janajatis in Dhanusha and Dolakha districts. The project outlines four expected results that includes; a) increased awareness and capacity to assert their rights to identity, b) increased household income of HMJs through diversification of income opportunities through building on their indigenous skills and knowledge, c) improved access of HMJs to basic services such as health, education and natural resources, and d) enhanced capacity of Indigenous People's Organizations (IPOs) for protection, promotion, and fulfilment of their rights through policy dialogue. CARE-NEFIN intervention in the Adivasi Janajati social and economic empowerment is based on the premise that imposition of hierarchical social structure with overarching Hindu caste system has restricted the social mobility and caused exclusion and marginalization of indigenous minorities. As a result, indigenous people in general, and the HMJs in particular, are prevented from ascertaining their rights to citizenship, land and access to public services, such as education and health. In order to address this problem, the project strategy is envisaged to complement a right-based and need-based approach so that the project can simultaneously work to strengthen institutional capacity of IPOs for advocacy of their political, social, economic and cultural rights as well as to address the sustainable social, human, environmental and economic development needs. The project was implemented in 13 VDCs in districts of Dolakha and Dhanusha with three groups of Dhanuk, Thami and Surel who are being identified as highly marginalized by NEFIN. The project is being supported by European Union, DANIDA and CARE Denmark with Social Welfare Council (SWC) as counter part for a period of five years. As outlined in the project document, the first year is conceived as "Inception Period" – from February 2007 to January 2008. During the inception period the project focused on rapport building with communities, IPOs, NGOs and local government bodies, assessment of the social, economic and political exclusion of the communities concerned and preparation of second year Annual Implementation Plan (AIP). As a part of regular monitoring exercise, the project planned for review of the inception period with over all objective of refining project plan. As outlined in the Terms of Review (TOR), the inception review had the following two major objectives.
1. Evaluate the project performance including assessment of operating environment
in the districts, appropriateness of the project strategies, approaches and log-frame indicators.
2. Refine the project document and log-frame based on the findings of the inception
This review report covers the first part of the inception review in which it assess the
working environment in the district and project areas and its potential implications on the
project operation. The assessment of working environment is followed by evaluation of
effectiveness of the project in terms of its performance, strategies, implementation
modalities and targeting. Finally, based on the review findings, the report provides
recommendations for improvement in the refinement of the project document and log
frame to be taken up as second part of the inception review. 2. METHODOLOGY
The review methodology primarily consisted of five key steps. The review team started
with review of the documents related to the JANSEEP project in Kathmandu. The
review began with analysis of project document and reviewed CARE Nepal Strategic
Plan, JANSEEP baseline survey report, Sub-sector analysis reports for economic
opportunity and others. The review of documents was followed by intensive discussion
with JANSEEP team members, and concerned officials from NEFIN and CARE Nepal.
The next key steps included visits to the districts of Dhanusha and Dolakha where the
review team had intensive consultation with JANSEEP field staff, Local Resource
Persons (LRPs), community leaders and representatives of District Coordination
Committee of NEFIN, and other NGOs. In Dhanusha, the review team visited
Mithileshor Nikas, Bhuthi Paterwa, and Lagmagadha Guthi VDCs where focus group
discussion and interviews were conducted with Dhanuk community. Similarly, the team
visited Suspachhemawati, Sundrawati and Suri VDCs in Dolakha district for the
interaction with community leaders, men and women from Thami and Surel community.
This report presents the findings generated based on this process.
The review team consisted of two researchers/consultants from SAGUN – a NGO
specialized in training and research in social development and indigenous issues. The
review also benefited from participation of representatives from Social Welfare Council
(SWC) in both districts. Mr. Raju Joshi, Director of Planning Division and Mr. Jivan
Bhattarai, Director of Administration from SWC, provided additional insights to the
review task. Besides, JANSEEP Project Manager, Governance and Advocacy Officer
and Documentation/Learning Officer accompanied the review team in different stages.
The presence of JANSEEP team members not only made this exercise participatory but
also provided opportunity for the team to directly listen to the people’s view on the project as well as to offer on-the-spot clarification of the question whenever needed. This report is broadly divided into two parts. The first part following this introduction chapter provides findings of the review. This part includes, assessment of working environments comprising project's relationship with partners and general social-political scenario in the districts and project areas. This is followed by assessment of project performance, its implementation modalities, management, project approaches/activities and finally, an appraisal of its information base and collection mechanism. The second part of the report deals with the suggestions and recommendations for refinement of project planning including logical framework and summarizes major recommended follow-up actions.
3. PART ONE: REVIEW FINDINGS
3.1 WORKING ENVIRONMENT IN THE PROJECT AREA
Assessment of working environment in the project districts primarily consist three major
parts. The first relates to various stakeholders’ perspective on political stability and
security situation in the project area that is vital for smooth running of the program in
peaceful atmosphere. The second concerns with nature of relationship that JANSEEP
was able to develop with different stakeholders including, DCC, NGOs and local
government bodies. Lastly, it looks at JANSEEP's relationship with the beneficiary
community and their organizations namely, Nepal Thami Samaj, Nepal Dhanuk Samaj
and Surel Samaj as one of the major factors in influencing working environment in the
Political stability and security situation
With Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Signed between Communist Party of Nepal (CPN Maoist) and Government of Nepal on 21 November 2006 (2063/8/5), the violent conflict between rebels and government security forces continued for over 10 years came to an end. Following CPA, management of CPN Maoist’s arms and people’s army went to the UN supervised cantonment which has substantially improved the chance for peace in Nepal since then. The launching of JANSEEP in February 2007 was the time when the prospect for peace in the country and security situation for the implementation project in the districts and project area appeared promising. The situation, nevertheless, did not improve as expected. Although CPN-Maoist's violent war was officially ceased, the violent incidents or threats, continued to exist in various parts of the country including the project districts where JANSEEP was being planned. Apart from this, a new wave of disruption and violence erupted in Tarai during the later half of the 2007 and continued till the agreement between agitating Tarai/Madhesh groups and government in early 2008. Fortunately, security situation after long awaited Constituent Assembly (CA) election in early April has dramatically improved as this national political process was able to acquire participation of majority of political forces operating in the country. Prior to CA election, the Tarai region in particular remained highly affected with political unrest. The community leaders in the Dhanusha districts, for example, reported that there used to be a regular “bandh
” which amounted as high as 20 days in a month. The proliferation of many small armed groups in Tarai, had increased the sense of anxiety and the insecurity during this period. Various small and fragmented but armed groups in Tarai operated with primary interest of exhortation from people including those employees in various programs. Abduction and exhortation which almost become rampant during the period made the functioning of the project team less than easy. As the villagers in Mitheleshowr Nikas reported, many of these groups have band of people about 50 to 100 and roam across the districts in an unpredictable fashion. It is often difficult to foresee their
movement and intentions which make dealing with them further difficult. Records show that during last four months at least 55 people were killed in Tarai region out of which six were from Dhanusha district alone.
Relationship with IPOs and community
Despite such situation, the project team was able to accomplish some of the major tasks they had planned for the first year period. The recruitment of field staff as social mobilizers from among the local peoples, selection and training of local resource persons as well as working closely with concerned IPOs of Dhanuk, Thami and Surel has made the job considerably easy. Most importantly, support received from the community members and leaders in these communities were the most crucial factor for such success. Even when small criminal gangs in the Tarai still are active in abduction and exhortation and killing rampant, the villagers posed an optimistic outlook. During the review exercise, they are expressed their confidence that after CA election, these small bands of groups can be handled well by themselves if necessary. The villagers believe that there is no need to slow down the project pace for sheer reason of security risks these groups pose. Some leaders even suggested that delay in implementation of the project as due to security reason could only be considered as untenable excuse. The relationship built by the JANEESP project team with the local chapters such as District Coordination Committee (DCC) of NEFIN in Dhanusha and Dolakha districts, and Dhanuk, Thami and Surel IPOs has been a significant progress during the inception period. Representatives of these IPOs have expressed their satisfaction of initiation of the projects in the community and shared their willingness to support in this cause. The project was also able to establish link with NGOs and other agencies working the VDCs that they are working. The project on the whole introduced itself to various stakeholders in the district which effectively prepared people for its implementation. With various activities mainly related to information collection including baseline survey, and other assessments, community members are made aware of the project and its objectives. On the whole, relationship with community, IPOs, DCC and relevant NGOs are built which depicts a positive scenario in terms of working environment in the district and the project area. The relationship, however, is almost in infant stage. The actual modalities for working with various partners have not yet been finalized. Community members from across the project VDCs expressed their high expectations from the project with a rapid implementation of the project. Readiness and positive expectation of the community is an encouraging aspect for project implementation but it also poses a risk. For example, if the project is not delivered in timely fashion, relationship with the community and the project partners may get sever leaders towards negative development in working environment. In summary, the project inception period has successfully imparted basic information about the project objective and its promises and the situation is ripe for implementation of project activities without further delay.
1 "Arajkta ko raj
" In Himal Khabarpatrika 30 June – 15 July 2008, Pp. 28.
Working Area Selection
There are however, concerns over the exclusion of some areas/VDCs with higher density of targeted population except for Surel people. According to CBS 2001, total population of Thami in Nepal is 22,999. Out of which 84.5% live in three districts of Dolakha, Sindhupalchok and Ramechhap. In six VDCs identified by JANSEEP there are 10,338 Thami populations living. Although JANSEEP coverage appears to be almost half of its population, representatives of Nepal Thami Samaj, for example, inquired the basis for selecting current six VDCs expressed some reservation regarding the selection and de-selection of the VDCs. It was also equally difficult to ascertain whether project formulation was done through adequate consultation with Nepal Thami Samaj as partner organization representing beneficiary community. Had they been consulted during the project design phase, such omission could perhaps have been easily averted. Exclusion of Khopachagu VDC in Dolakha with dense population of 175 Thami households which is geographically located in between project VDCs of Kalinchowk and Alampu has been the most difficult case to rationalize project VDC selection for the villagers. As the selection of the VDCs was already made in the project document, the project staff had very little idea what can be done with this nor were they fully aware of how such decision was reached at. Thami representatives were concerned for smooth operation of the project and suggested that this issue should be taken seriously as the Thami people in Khopachagu are gradually becoming more agitated. The community members, at one point even, threatened to rally collectively to lock up the JANSEEP office with this grievance. As the project describes itself as working with "Thami" people implicitly implying that it works with all Thami population such expectation was natural for local community. However, given the limited scope of resources and project ability it perhaps required delimiting itself to certain VDCs alone. Since such exclusion appears to create some sort of cleavages among the community, the representatives of the Thami Samaj requested if there is any possibility to include or extend programs to address the needs of the Thami living in adjoining VDCs, including those of neighboring districts. They were also keen to explore possibility whether there could be provisions to work with Thamis who are currently living in Bhimeshor Municipality mostly as wage laborers and have no support (See Annex for distribution of Thami Population in Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk and Ramechhap Districts). It is also worth noting here that Suri VDC where Surel community are living were not included as working VDC for JANASEEP. On the basis of information made available during the start-up workshop, the Suri was later added as working VDC to reach one of the targeted population group. Situation in Dhanusha, in terms of VDC coverage and associated issues is not very different from what we see in Dolakha. The total population of Dhanuk in Nepal, according to census 2001 is 188,150 out of which 33,854 (18%) live in Dhanusha district. In the six VDCs where JANSEEP intend to work reside 9,815 Dhanuk Population. Janakpur Municipality has about 2,299 Dhanuk population and other adjoining VDCs such as Mithileshor Mauwahi, Singyahi Maidan and others have about 1,000 population.
Those Dhanuk community living outside the VDCs selected by JANSEEP for project implementation are equally desirous for support from the project. It is not only that those from among Thami and Dhanuk peoples excluded by the project design who are actively seeking inclusion in the project. The other adivasi janajati groups with “Highly Marginalized” or "Marginalized" status have claimed over the support. During the village interaction in Mithilesor Nikas, a group of people form other VDCs approached the review team members to inquire and request for their inclusion in the project. In summary, the selection of particular VDCs by deselecting others has created a new kind of dynamics and demanded a proper rationalization or redesign of the project. This would constitute one of the key aspects which would have substantial implication in working environment in the future.
3.2 PROJECT PERFORMANCE/PROGRESS DURING INCEPTION
The progress report and the discussion with the staff members in the field suggested that the project team was able to carry out most of the ground work planned for the first year. The work implemented during the first year has effectively set up necessary infrastructure for the project to introduce itself to the community and concerned stakeholders. Nevertheless, it should also be noted at the outset that due to situation of political unrest, insecurity and host of other reasons, many of the activities planned for the first year could not be implemented and were shifted to second year. Broadly, the following time-line summarizes the key events in the life of the project during inception period. JANSEEP Major Events, February 2007 to May 2008 Period
JANSEEP Project Agreement signed. Project officially launched.
Staff Selection for the project completed.
Field Office established in Dhanusha and Dolakha
Social Mobilizers selection in districts
Local Resource Person Selection in both districts
Start-up workshop at national, district and VDC levels
Sub-sector Analysis for employment opportunities
Nov-December 2007 Field Staff and members of IPOs/DCC Training on the Rights
Based Approach/Advocacy TOT on Saving and Credit program
Staff selection from both CARE and NEFIN was completed within few month of project launching. Excluding those officials based in CARE office and NEFIN Secretariat who contribute to the project on part time basis, there are seven staff members in JANSEEP office in Kathmandu. In the districts, there are six Social Mobilizers and two Field Coordinators, one in each district. Out of the total 15 staff members, six of them are women. The project team’s proactive effort as found in Dhanusha district to recruit female Social Mobilizers even through re-advertisement of the vacancy and identification of candidates from project VDCs was noteworthy.
The recruitment of the project staff was followed by orientation and training on the project related themes. These training workshops were not only aimed at orienting the staff members on the overall goal and approaches of JANSEEP but also to strengthen their capacity as Trainer and Facilitators for the project. Another important part of the work carried out during the inception period was Start-Up Workshops at different levels. These workshops were primarily an introductory in nature whereby the JANSEEP staff members introduced project goals, objectives and approaches to the concerned stakeholders at VDC, and district levels. At local level project team conducted Start-Up workshop in all project VDCs with participation of community members and in district with government bodies, political parties and other NGOs. JANSEEP now has three office premises; one in Kathmandu and the other two in town of Charikot and Janakpur. In Janakpur, JANSEEP office facility is reported to have been established in same building with District Coordination Committee of NEFIN and Nepal Dhanuk Samaj. Such office arrangement, conceivably be helpful toward better communication and coordination with local IPO partners. For the IPOs and DCC organizational growth, such sharing could also mean an important aid in strengthening their capacity. There were, however, also several issues raised during review work with regard to office establishment. The first was that based on review interaction, the assessment could not easily found rationale behind setting up of separate office building for JANSEEP in Kathmandu as bulk of work has to be implemented from and in the districts. Even when such arrangement was needed mainly for coordination and advocacy tasks at central level, this could have been done from either NEFIN Secretariat or from CARE head office itself. If the office establishment in Kathmandu was hard to justify, office in district headquarter also not easy to rationalize. Given the trend that district based agencies and programs tend to set up their main office in the working VDC itself, some even were curious whether shifting of JANSEEP office in one of the project VDCs would promote greater interaction with and support to targeted community. Collection of baseline information and income generation opportunity was another important tasks completed during this period. Relevant staff from JANSEEP coordinated external consultants for both the assignments outcome of which was expected to contribute to the main-phase program planning. The project now has spent a considerable time and resources collecting information to be able to speak more concretely how it can achieve desired result as stipulated in the project document. This is another major achievement of the project during the inception period. The involvement of JANSEEP project team was highly significant in this process. Given the quality of the JANSEEP team, at first glance, it even appeared that such tasks such as baseline survey and sub-sector analysis could have been conducted by the JANSEEP team itself rather than hiring consultants from outside. Nevertheless, if the outside consultant brings in new insights that help the project to formulate innovative approach, this might be a value addition.
Baseline survey, sub-sector analysis for the employment generation together with other assessments, provided ample opportunity for the JANSEEP staff to immerse themselves into the needs and aspirations of the Dhanuk, Thami and Surel HMJs. JANSEEP staff member now have familiarized well with the community situation and should able to function with high level of efficiency. The challenge now for the JANSEEP team is how to make best use of knowledge generated about the people and area and rapport established with community during this period would inform project plan and future work. Despite some success of the project during the inception period, when we compared the achievement of the first year against the activities planned in the project document, many activities were not been implemented as planned. With exception of few, such as sub-sector analysis of high value crops, orientation training to and participation in celebration of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2007, almost all activities planned for the expected result 2, 3 and 4 were transferred to second year. Several reasons were given for why these activities were not being implemented during the planned period. Political unrest and insecurity was the primary reason for such delay. Another equally important explanation offered was absence of Project Manager for a substantial period. When the first Project Manager left the job unexpectedly early in the project, it took considerable period to hire new Project Manager. The third reason given to the delay was long administrative process for decision making within CARE-NEFIN. For example, signing of second year annual implementation plan (AIP-2) agreement between CARE and NEFIN which was supposed to have been concluded in January was delayed till April. It was also reported during the inception review interaction that the nature of the NEFIN as an movement organization rather than an ordinary service NGO cause. Working with NEFIN, for example required a higher degree of flexibility to suit its activities as the new advocacy need emerges with each political turns in the country. According to current procedure, request made by JANSEEP must be approved by both CARE and NEFIN officials in major cases such as annual implementation plan. In addition, even signing of the cheque for all regular project transaction needs to go through NEFIN Secretariat. This process is reported to have caused substantial delay in the timely operation. This is possibly caused partly due to other work loads of the NEFIN account personnel as well a lack of time of Project Director based in NEFIN for timely approval of the request. While sheer distance between the JANSEEP and NEFIN office in terms of physical location also contribute to such delay, this could well be attributed to the low level of authority decentralized to JANSEEP team for operation. When villagers are asked how they would assess JANSEEP activities thus far, people replied that they have no basis for answering the question as the project has launched no activities as yet. They are aware of the work related to various assessments and other information collection including base line survey. Through start-up workshops selected leaders have received information on the broad objective of the project but have limited idea about the details of project activities and approach. While some villagers are sympathetic to causes rendered by the project team why project was delayed, many
people find it hard to explain such long delay. Some even suggest that if the project delay continues as caused by political instability and insecurity, people will gradually loose their trust and patience on the project. Corollary to this, the villagers promised that if the project implements activities that are beneficial to the community, they would take responsibility to protect the project team. Interestingly, the pattern is same in all three beneficiary communities that JANSEEP is working with. As Social Mobilizers and Local Resource Persons are from the local community, most of the villagers are aware about them being recruited in the project as staff. But in the absence of regular work being carried out in the community, villagers however, are not fully convinced of the effective use of their time. Social Mobilizers themselves are anxious to implement project activities. A Social Mobilizer, for example, shared her experience that “everyday at least one person asks me, when is JANSEEP going to do something after recording our needs many times? It has become living in community harder.” The challenge for the JANSEEP project now is to implement the project activities as fast and meaningful way as possible.
3.3 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION MODALITIES/MANAGEMENT
This section provides an assessment of implementation modality and management of the
project based on the analysis of the information gathered from various interactions. In
particular, we look at mechanism of partnership at different levels in terms of how it was
articulated in the project document and operationalized during the inception period. We
also look at staffing structure and administrative/logistic arrangements in relation to
JANSEEP project document outlines five main strategies as methods of implementation.
The first strategy emphasizes on the participatory approach to include the HMJs in the
planning and implementation of the project activities which is expected to lead to social,
economic and political empowerment. The second strategy links the JANSEEP activities
with existing CARE programs and initiatives in the district and outside to draw synergy
and mutual learning among different projects implemented by CARE. The third strategy
speaks on need and importance on strengthening capacity of Indigenous People’s
Organizations (IPOs) at district and national level and working with them as partners.
This is linked with working in partnership with NEFIN at central level as well as District
Coordination Committees of the Federation in project districts. The last strategy outlined
is phased implementation with two main phases; inception and main project phase. CARE-NEFIN Partnership
Among the main strategies outlined in the project document, the strategy to “directly
work with NEFIN and the IPOs who are its members” (section 1.8.1) as well as District
Coordination Committees bear critical importance. Joint conceptualization of the project
in CARE-NEFIN partnership was a good beginning in putting the strategy in practice.
As a collaborative effort, the project document reflects not only the views and concerns
of both organizations but also makes a clear outline of how each organization will draw
inputs from its comparative strengths in implementing JANSEEP project. On the work
division, the project document, for example, writes (section 1.8.5):
CARE’s Country Office in Nepal will be responsible for providing necessary administrative, logistic and programmatic guidance to the project to ensure timely implementation of project activities, ensuring program quality, documentation and cross-fertilizing learning, including representation at the country level.
NEFIN will be responsible for the overall implementation of the project activities in the project districts in coordination with other stakeholders. NEFIN has a very profound knowledge of both the Janajatis
and of project-implementation. It is the only organisation representing the Janajatis
and has a unique insight into the Janajati
issues and communities.
Above description clearly delineates the division of the work by giving sole responsibility of implementation to NEFIN and responsibility of administrative, logistic and
programmatic support to CARE. It is perhaps in the same spirit that composition of the staff was conceptualized with distribution of certain numbers belonging to each organization located in various stations from CARE head office, NEFIN Secretariat and JANSEEP office in Kathmandu to districts of Dolakha and Dhanusha. While this arrangement of partnership between CARE and NEFIN appears unambiguous in the panning, experience of inception can offer some insights into how this might be further strengthened. The first thing is that the division of work between CARE and NEFIN do not appear to be as clear as we can see in the project document. For example, the current implementation model is not clear in what ways it gives full responsibility of implementation to NEFIN and CARE intervention is limited to various technical assistance. Although project document outlines in clear terms who should be “initiator” and supporting body in action plan under the column of implementing bodies, there appears to be certain level of confusion as whom to view as accountable for the project success or failure. For example, when the community in the project VDCs is demanding reason for delay of the program implementation, in the absence of taking join responsibility as JANSEEP team, there is risk that the staff members in JANSEEP may locate reasons either to CARE or NEFIN. Such tendency can also have serious implication for team solidarity within the JANSEEP itself. This is also linked with the delegation of authority to JANSEEP team. To begin with, perhaps creation of JANSEEP does not seem to be in full conformity with the idea of distinct work division between two partners. If NEFIN is thought responsible for implementation of project, one could assume that NEFIN Secretariat would be the appropriate place for coordinating project implementation. But if entity such as JANSEEP is created, one would expect it to enjoy certain level of independence with authority delegated properly. Currently, JANSEEP although it is composed as seemingly an independent entity equipped with its own office facilities, and staff members, in fact does not seems to have necessary authority to implement even approved annual projects independently. Ideally, once such body is created they should be delegated with necessary authority for its operation. With work division between NEFIN and CARE at activity level, JANSEEP practically appears to be a "jointly" implemented project than the one in which one partner implements the project and the other provide technical assistance. If this is the case, it might be good idea to explicitly recognize this as project implementation modality. JANSEEP and the partnership between NEFIN and CARE thus can be reconceived by acknowledging this fact and refine accordingly for main phase of the project. This would also require some changes in the current arrangement in the staff structure and time in the light of above discussion. Such changes could also be effective to reduce the delay in decision making that the project is currently facing. Currently, Project Director of JANSEEP is based in NEFIN Secretariat and provides 30% of his/her time. The Project Director (PD), according to Project Document, is responsible for providing strategic and policy supports to the project at the central level and is also responsible for maintaining relationship between CARE and NEFIN, among others. In
practice, responsibility for PD is not limited to strategic and policy support but also
everyday administration including timely signing of cheques. This compounded with
other responsibility as NEFIN General Secretary, current Project Director perhaps is in
short of time to meet project demand.
Another noteworthy point for review is about PM's role and responsibility. Interestingly,
Project Manager who should ideally taking lead on project implementation as full time
employee is appointed as CARE staff. As a CARE staff, the Project Manager
theoretically could only offer strategic guidance to the partner. Although he/she is
expected to lead project efforts in networking and advocacy especially in district level
interventions, ensure project accountability and overall monitoring and reporting of the
project progress, the PM do not have full managerial authority. In order to address this
mismatch of role – three alternatives could be proposed. The first is that PM be made a
joint appointment of NEFIN-CARE and invest in her full responsibility to effectively
lead the project. Second option would be to appoint two PMs - one from NEFIN and
other from CARE each with specific responsibility to implement the project and provide
technical guidance to the team for sooth operation. The third option is simply to make the
Director full time. Alternately, current 30% of the PD’s time could be either increased to
optimum level to provide full support to project or reduce to 10% for regular strategic
and policy support by delegating authority to JANSEEP team.
Partnership with IPOs and DCC
Partnership in JANSEEP is not limited to CARE-NEFIN collaboration alone. JANSEEP
as part of its methodology seeks to work with NEFIN/DCCs and concerned IPOs of
Dhanuk, Thami and Surel people as members of NEFIN. JANSEEP has successfully
acquired active participation and support from these institutions for various activities so
far it has implemented. Support of DCC in Dhanusha in baseline survey was one such
example, without which exercise would be extremely difficult under the given situation
of political instability in the district. The supporting role of Nepal Dhanuk Smaj, Nepal
Thami Samaj and Surel Jati Utthan Samaj have been highly instrumental in providing
information to the project and building rapport with the community.
The partnership modality with the DCC and IPOs of targeted HMJs however is far from
being clear. It appears from the discussion during the inception review that the term
partnership can be applied only to indicate relationship between CARE and NEFIN and
does not necessarily include IPOs and DCCs. As a result, the support provided to and by
DCC and IPOs are in ad hoc and voluntary basis as and when requested by JANSEEP
team. As found from the interaction during the review meetings, they are expecting to
become the partnership modal more structured and systematic. One of the DCC
representative remarked when asked on their partnership interest, "We would like to help
the project because we have high hope that this will help Janajati communities. For now
all we want is full information what this project is about so that we can tell our people. In
the future we want partnership to be more systematic."
DCC in both Dolakha and Dhanusha districts wish to have systematic working relationship with JANSEEP so that they can institutionalize their cooperation and support to project beyond current model of ad hoc exchange. They also demand that they be given adequate information about the project as to be able to answer the public question about the project. In addition, DCCs in both districts are desirous to implement some kind of activities in partnership or with financial support from JANSEP that can benefit HMJs as well as larger Adivasi Janajati communities. Radio program that JANSEEP agreed to support was one good example in this front. Such programs, DCC members argued is essential to fulfill objective of advocacy of Janajati rights articulated in project document simply because the task of advocacy cannot be effective if done in isolation with each other and focus only in certain VDCs of HMJs. IPOs, namely Nepal Dhanuk Samaj (NDS), Nepal Thami Samaj (NTS) and Surel Jati Utthan Samaj (SJUS), are keen in finding their central role in the project. Such interest is a positive indication towards capacity building aims of the project. If JANSEEP wish to advance towards this direction, experience of Chepang Mainstreaming Project implemented by Nepal Chepang Association (NCA) with technical backstopping of SNV with funding Support from ECCO/Netherland could be useful. In this four-year project launched from 2004-2007 (currently extended) NCA worked as a led agency which would coordinate relevant specialized NGOs and other stakeholders. In the NCA model, NEFIN supported as member of advisory committee and facilitator. The mechanism proved to be beneficial for three reasons, for strengthening capacity of the Chepang organization, making the project more accountable to community by greater inclusion of concerned community, and at principle level, helping ensure "right to self-development." Current design of partnership between NEFIN and CARE perhaps does not allow such decentralization of authority and responsibility as both organizations are assuming the role of direct implementers. In addition, recruitment of staff and office establishment of JANSEEP already is set the course for their own direct involvement. Despite such move, to ensure greater ownership of the project by the concerned indigenous groups as well to comply with ILO Convention 169 of ensuring right to participation linked to self-development, finding ways for giving responsibility as equal partner to IPOs is essential. With out such partnership at local level, effectiveness of the project may also be jeopardized in the future. Except Surel Samaj which has only 35 households in Suri VDC, both Nepal Thami Samaj and Dhanuk Samaj have constituency beyond project VDCs delineated by JANSEEP project. As has been mentioned earlier, Thami peoples, for example, are spread in 19 VDCs across three districts. Similarly, Dhanuk population is found across all eastern and central Tarai districts. Due to this fact, and with their responsibility as organization working for common good of all the population of their peoples, NDS and NTS, thus are interested in supporting programs beyond JANSEEP project VDCs. They see the rational of why some activities such as income generation to be limited to project district but wish to explore for activities address concerns of the larger community. Programs of capacity strengthening, cultural and historical documentation could be such areas through which whole community may be benefited.
The partnership/coordination mechanism as well as its capacity building activities must also take into account the different levels of organization such as national, district and local level chapters. Both Dhanuk and Thami Samaj, for example, have central level body and district chapters. Dhanuk central level officials explicitly suggested that any projects that work with the Dhanuk must have consultation/coordination with its central body as well. Such interest for participation is again positive sign for the project and can be addressed through consultation and capacity building measures. When we talk about partnership, JANSEEP also needs to take into consideration of those specialized NGOs which are operational in the districts. Tuki Association in Dolakha, for example, has long experience and expertise on agriculture and livelihood sector in the district. ECARDS work in selected VDCs on rights based advocacy and natural resource management is of some interest. Recently, a NGO devoted in education, women’s empowerment and agriculture – Educate the Children (ETC) has started working in Sushpa Chhemawati, Sundrawati and Sunkhani VDCs in Dolakha. Many of the activities that these NGOs carry are identical to what JANSEEP intends to in many respects. Production of school textbooks for grade one in Thami language, for example, has already been initiated by ETC. Collaboration with these NGOs is crucial for two reasons; first to build on existing knowledge and expertise already in place, and second not to build synergy by avoiding duplication. For example, if JANSEEP plans to develop school textbooks in Thami, it might assist ETC for this task than take on its own. Interaction in the project areas during inception review indicated that there are not as many I/NGOs as found in Dolakha district. Nevertheless, Save the Children Japan, Asman and CARE itself are some of the common names that villagers are aware of. These organizations have initiated saving and credit groups, adult literacy and other micro-economic activities. Although they differ in scale and coverage, there exist an option to work with specialized NGOs in both districts on certain fronts to avoid reinventing the wheel on the part of JANSEEP which itself has limited expertise. The implication also is that JANSEEP can focus on developing those expertises that other agencies do not necessarily possess. Example for such niche for JANSEEP could be historical/cultural documentation for promoting rights to dignified identity and advocacy of rights specific to indigenous peoples as enshrined in ILO Convention 169 and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Role of Documentation and Learning Officer, in this context would become even more crucial with added responsibility for cultural documentation of HMJs besides regular monitoring/evaluation and cross-fertilization of the learning.
2 The ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (1989) is regarded as a major international instrument for promoting the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples around the world. The Convention 169 was ratified by the Government of Nepal on 22 August 2007. 3 The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Thursday September 14, 2007 by a vote of 143 in favor, 4 against and 11 abstensions. Nepal Government voted in favor of the Declaration.
JANSEEP also appears to be outstanding in terms of number of its local social mobilizers and LRPs which can be one of the distinctive features to mobilize external resources. JANSEEP SMs who is based in community can mobilize not only the community but also mobilize themselves for brining services from external NGOs and government bodies. If we take community-based competent local social mobilizers as one of the strength of JANSEEP, perhaps investment in training and mobilizing them might need to be increased. Similarly, we might rethink on the number of JANSEEP SMs. According to current arrangement, a SM has to work in two VDCs. There were concerns expressed from among the field staff, especially in Dolakha with regard to number. Unlike in Dhanusha where transportation is relatively easy, Dolkaha requires a hard walk to reach one VDC from another. Suggestion were made by the team that, if possible number of SMs should be increased to make one Social Mobilizer per VDC. A simple cost-benefit analysis of having greater number of local mobilizers as opposed to bigger investment in higher position personnel may be done to see the financial viability for such venture. Possibility for coordination with other projects launched by both CARE and NEFIN is considered as one of stepping stones for JANSEEP. CARE has several projects being implemented in the districts including Nepal Family Health Program (NFHP), Community Based Disaster Risk Management Project (SAMDHAN), Strengthened Actions for Governance in Utilization of Natural Resources Program (SAGUN) and Jaladh Integrated Watershed and Natural Resources Management (JIWAN) and others. CARE currently does not have running project in Dolalkha but NEFIN is about to conclude its Janjati Empowerment Project (JEP) which supported organizational capacity building for HMJs in Dolakha. NEFIN’s support for Thami Samaj in Dolakha to organize Thami community at VDC level was thought useful by the JANSEEP team. Although, there exist several of these projects, there has not been concerted effort to coordinate with these projects for synergy and the potential, with some exception, remains yet to be harnessed. The CARE’s provision of logistics sharing with other projects in Dhanusha was noted as helpful by the project team. CARE has well established office in Janakpur with long experience working in the district which could indeed be an important advantage for addressing needs of Dhanuk community in multiple ways. As CARE program does not exist in Dolakha district, JANSEEP office in Dolakha would perhaps require higher level of attention.
3.4 PROJECT APPROACH/ACTIVITIES
With combination of four expected results, a) increased capacity to assertion of right to dignified identity, 2) increased household income through diversification, c) improved basic services and d) enhanced capacity of IPOs, JANSEEP envisages a unique project approach that combines rights based approach with livelihood security needs of the HMJs. Further, rights-based approach that JANSEEP covered does not limit to generic rights as championed by many development agencies but works on rights that are specific to indigenous peoples. Further, working in partnership with NEFIN and IPOs, this project is innovative in a way that it charts out innovation by working in partnership with IPOs beyond traditional notion of NGO/CBO. IPOs are characterized by its distinctive agenda of holistic development of their people as representative organizations. In particular, their emphasis on culture and language preservation and “development with identity” is something that make this project unique in a sense. Working with IPOs in a project that combines rights based advocacy and livelihood security, on the other hand, demands certain innovation in the project approach. As suggested by the participants during review exercise, JANSEEP require three sets of skills to approach its task. The first level of skill is obviously those of economic development such as micro-finance, technological innovation, market infrastructure development and so forth. The second level of skills is related to research/generation of advocacy themes and effective lobbying for them including capacity building of IPOs for such task. Again, here the focus might be on the rights specific to indigenous groups within the broader human rights framework. Third and most important one is skill on cultural/language/historical documentation/preservation that contributes to and promotion of identity of the community to achieve dignified living. Based on the interaction during review exercise, JANSEEP, with support from larger CARE operation and NEFIN involvement in the country is well placed in sharpening necessary skills in the first two types of skills. The third level of skills, necessary for cultural/language/historical documentation/preservation, however, is yet to be developed. Lack of clarity in this arena of intervention is natural as this itself is a new field not only
4 Experience of NORAD’s work with indigenous peoples in Botswana is documented by Sidsel Saugestad, in her book “The inconvenient indigenous : remote area development in Botswana, donor assistance and the first people of the Kalahari (2001), Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute” which became one of the important books that synthesized a commonly accepted definition of indigenous peoples and offered important insights in donor assistance to the group. CARE experience elsewhere, if any, might be useful as reference for Nepal. 5 Based on interview with Sara Shneiderman, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, who has conducted ethnographic study of Thami people since last 10 years based in Suspa Chhemawati, Dolkha district.
for CARE/NEFIN but also for whole development community in Nepal. This less articulated practices area of development approach in other sense is also an opportunity. If JANSEEP could pioneer on this arena and build expertise, it could contribute not only to the holistic development of HMJs the CARE/JANSEEP is currently working but also can help stir beyond the organizational boundaries. To introduce new approach to the development of indigenous nationalities, JANSEEP, may begin from translation of project documents and other materials in local Dhanuk, Thami and Surel languages. JANSEEP place high premium to participatory approach to project design, implementation and monitoring. This is not only important for project success but also be recognized as obligation of the development agencies to comply with ethics of “right to self-development” of the indigenous groups for implementing projects that affect their livelihood. So far, the people have participated as information providers for various assessments and studies. Another mechanism developed for IP participation is through SM and LRPs who belong to local communities. But the project in its main phase must go beyond consultation and instrumental use of participation for fostering empowering participation and make them “users” to “choosers” of the project activities. A successful completion of the inception period now brings the JANSEEP project to concrete planning of activities for each VDC, hamlets and households. For refinement of Project Logical Framework with input from Inception Review, baseline survey as well as based on framework provided by second year annual implementation plan, it would be desirable to conduct a participatory planning at village level as second stage to operational participatory planning and monitoring. A procedure to how “Participatory Planning” exercise may be carried out is not yet systematically developed and needs to be carefully carved out. Participatory planning is essential also for rectifying gaps that existed in the past planning. For example, when the selection of VDCs in Dolakha was made, perhaps it was primarily based on secondary data available at that time. Nepal Thami Samaj reported that they were not aware of any consultation meeting with them while planning the project. Moreover, as there are several features in the needs and situation of the targeted communities not known while writing the project document, active participation of the local men and women is critical in making the plan realistic. To take an example, the project documents envisaged saving and credit group formation in the project document but as we are aware from involvement during inception period, there are hardly any villages where there is no saving and credit groups formed. In many cases, communities have already been running Cooperative. Specific situation of each village thus is important to be analyzed by the community themselves to formulate “Village Plans.” While baseline surveys and broad assessment such as sub-sector analysis is helpful in orienting overall direction, specific information is essential for translating bigger framework into implementation. This will also be an approach to refine specific activity or chain of activities outline in the project document to align with the local realities.
In summary, working in partnership is an important element in JANSEEP project approach. Entrusting responsibility including that of financial transaction is an elemental
aspect in capacity building of the IPOs as strategy to ensure effectiveness of the project.
JANSEEP must think the IPOs and HMJs communities with whom it is working as
implementers than mere beneficiary. As the inception period shows, working with
NEFIN also require a great deal of flexibility to accommodate emerging advocacy needs.
Similarly, as far as possible, NGOs which as operational in district with certain level
relevant expertise might be invited to implement the project. For example, Asman in
Dhanusha, Tuki Association and Educate the Children in Dolakha might be such
organizations which have substantial knowledge-base of the area as well as the content
such as income generation and education. This approach would also be helpful in
reducing dependency upon the external consultants coming from Kathmandu. 3.5 INFORMATION BASE AND COLLECTION MECHANISM
With completion of baseline data collection, JANSEEP has achieved establishing a major information base for the project. The baseline information collected on various aspects of the social living of the three HMJs, Surel, Thami and Dhnauk in 13 VDCs can provide bench mark for refining specific program targets as well as use as yard stick for monitoring the outcomes of the project. Information generated through baseline, however, also has certain limitation. For example, since it is based on sample survey, it may not be helpful for detailed planning at village level. Such planning, for example, may require detailed information on household basis for identification of poor families which baseline survey would not possibly produce. The detailed information collection may begin from enumerating number of Thami, Dhanuk and Surel households in teh working VDCs, information on which is not yet available in the JANSEEP office database. Use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) combined with Participatory Village Planning (PVP) could be useful way of combining information generation with community level planning. Reports of studies such as sub-sector analysis for economic opportunities and field visits by various experts related to NEFIN and CARE may also possess important information. Similarly, periodic project progress report compiled by the project team provide important source for building information base for the project. They are, however, yet to be systematized to build usable information base. JANSEEP project staff members reported that the team is currently in the process of developing a detailed monitoring and evaluation system. Systemization of indicators both at output and outcome level would be important addition in planning for information collection mechanism. Such monitoring and evaluation system must also include a detailed plan of collection of information along appropriate methods. Many of the indicators are already been spelled out in the project log-frame. Nevertheless, some of the indicators need to be specified while others can continue with present formulation. One important aspect would be to systematize and adapt appropriate methods for recording and collection of information. There is a need to think, for example, how to enable IPOs to keep systematic records, conduct case studies or evaluate capacity
development. Training JANSEEp staff especially SMs on research methods for collection of cultural as well as other data would be critical in this aspect. As part of participatory and community-accountable monitoring system, additional events need to be added in the current design of JANSEEP. With maturation of NGO activities, social movement and political upheavals in the village, measures for ensuring transparency and accountability to the people with whom the project claims to work with have evolved in an important ways in recent years. In order to address such demands coming from people as well as to introduce new measures of proactively ensuring accountability, many NGOs and government bodies have adopted inclusive measures in their project design and implementation. From the interaction in Dolakha, two specific activities are in particular are found relevant for ensuring transparency and accountability. “Social Audit” is one among them in which budget of the project on each item is publicly shared with concerned communities and interested stakeholders. The second complementary approach is called “Public Hearing.” Public Hearing is an event in which interested people can ask any question related to project and the project is obliged to answer the queries in a transparent ways. Such events, if managed properly can also be valuable mechanism in generating necessary feedback for the project as monitoring tool. To reiterate again, JANSEEP needs to begin working in building information base on culture, language and identity of the beneficiary communities. Ethnographic information about HMJs would be elemental in producing educational materials for the school children with relevant and appropriate cultural content. Such material would also be important in designing advocacy materials for promoting linguistic and cultural rights of the community for development with identity. Moreover, effective documentation of the life of the Thami, Dhanuk and Surel would itself be an input in preserving their living cultural heritage as well as a way of empowering them by giving them tool to represent themselves in the way prefer. For people like Surel, who are almost at the verge of extinction with few number, recording of cultural mores in written, audio and visual forms is an urgent task. The review team enumerated a number of areas in which people are kin in documenting which include their history, rituals, clan system and clan deity worship as well as developing their language through production of dictionary and grammar books.
4. PART TWO: RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1 LOG-FRAME REFINEMENT AREAS
This report together with baseline survey findings will be used for refining the objectively verifiable indicators including target set for each of them. Simultaneous to refinement of the objectively verifiable indicators, there is also a need to systematize method for collection of information articulated in means of verification. Further to information produced through baseline survey and inception review, information generated through sub-sector analysis for economic development, assessments by JANSEEP staff and their progress report on the needs, aspiration and working environment in the districts will provide major basis for refining logical framework. The logical framework refinement is planned as part of the inception review exercise and will be done through a collective exercise of representatives of CARE Nepal, NEFIN, JANSEEP staff as well as representatives from IPOs and DCCs. Based on analysis of logical framework in the light of information so far available in inception review, the following are the major suggested areas that require refinement: In general, overall objective, specific objective and four expected results articulated in the project document remains valid and relevant. Nevertheless, there exist possibilities for refining objectively verifiable indicators for both. These are also linked with the task of systematization of the reviews, studies, record keeping and regular reporting. A substantial amount of work needs to be done in aligning the targets set in the indicators for four expected results. As mentioned earlier, the targets for each of the results in the original project proposal were set only on the basis of secondary information. With availability of primary data on the working area and people in both districts, now the project team can set their target in more realistic manner by making it compatible to situation. The baseline information, information coming from inception review, experience of JANSEEP team over a year and specifics of resources and time available are primary basis for rethinking the targets realistically. The figure set as target in the current form are either too small compared to the need of the area or size of the JANSEEP program budget or unrealistically high in some cases. For example, the project document states that the project will work with 1,510 Dhanuk households in Dhanusha and 1,740 Thami households and 30 Surel households in Dolakha. It was not very clear from the project document itself how such number was derived as project target. The figure does not seem to match with estimate based even on the 2001 census data. 2001 Census data, for example, shows that there are 9,815 Dhanunk population in six VDCs of Dubarakot Hathaletwa, Lagmagadha Guthi, Bhuthi Paterwa, Mithileshor Nikas, Dhanauji and Itaharwa. Which if calculated with average household size of 5.5 persons, would become around 1,785 households. On the other hand, six VDCs in Dolakha namely Sundrawati, Suspa Chhamabati, Alampu, Babare, Kalinchok, and have Lapilang have total of 10,338 Thami people with approximately 1,880 households. Estimate of Surel households, nevertheless, is nearer to actual size of the population which according to information obtained during the inception reviews there are only 36 households in two wards of Suri VDC in Dolakha.
Some of the figures set as target in objectively verifiable indicators of achievement needs to be revisited or provide justification. For example, under Expected Result 1: Increased awareness and capacity of HMJs to assert their right to identity, it is not clear why such awareness creation should limit only to 400 households out of approximately 3,700 Dhanuk, Thami and Surel households in 13 VDCs of two districts. Similarly it needs to be rationalized why only 3 primary schools include curricula that reflect history, culture of janajatis. Such discrepancies appear to exist also under the Expected Result 2: “Increased household income of HMJ through diversification of income opportunities and building on their indigenous skills and knowledge.” Under this result, it is interesting to note, for example, that logical framework sets 50 HMJ households to be benefited from increased production of cash crops and another 50 households through increased income. When we add another 600 households who are expected to benefit from participating in saving and credit schemes (through 12 saving and credit groups?), the total households which benefit from income diversification program would become about 19% of the total households in the project VDCs. This should be verified based on the baseline information, strength and limitation of JANSEEP team and its partners as well as financial resources available for the project. There are other random figures appearing as verifiable indicators of achievement. For example, project document (section 2.2 concrete outputs) lists figures in which it tells in one point that “50 HMJ children will benefit from scholarship schemes and many more will be benefited from enrolment in formal school.” If the figure in the statement sounds arbitrary, the promise following this is rather ambiguous. The opportunity for collective work by JANSEEP team, NEFIN, CARE, and concerned representative IPOs on refining logical framework is an important point in the life of JANSEEP. Finally, the revisit workshop will have higher level of freedom in refining approach/activities delineated in the logical framework than in revisiting delineation of working are or project goal. Given the restriction from donors, this is to say that primary focus of revisit workshop would only be on refining its approach and activities. Within the given resources, time and distinctive competency of JANSEEP, the workshop should expand the activities to make it realistic as far as possible. From reviewers' point of view, there is also a need to establish a clear link between the hierarchies of logic in the logical framework. For example, five activities designed for expected result 2, for instance should be streamlined and refined to make sure that implementation of these activities will actually help achieve the result which can be measured against the set indicators. Besides streamlining the logic, there is also a need to detailed out implementation procedure/approach as to show how to implement a particular task including how partners will work collaboratively to carry out them.
4.2 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS
In the preceding chapters, we presented review assessment in terms of both success and
limitations of the project during inception period. The discussion also suggested various
pointers and options for revisiting the project for main phase of its implementation.
Upcoming “Revisit Workshop” which will be attended by team of implementers and
collaborators is going to be crucial point as a way forward. The workshop will be
benefited from information generated through various studies, JANSEEP team’s own
familiarity with the field situation and more importantly, participation and contribution of
representatives from IPOs themselves. The following summary, although not exhaustive,
of recommended follow-up action emerged out of review findings is presented with a
view to facilitate upcoming discussion in the workshop:
1. Consider incorporating Khopa Chagu and Bigu VDCs in Dolakha district to
2. Empower JANSEEP PM with authority to implement independently with
3. Either reduce or increase Project Director’s time in the project. 4. Increase SMs number in districts if possible to make one SM for each VDC. 5. Shift JANSEEP office to District either to Dolakha or Dhanusha. 6. Strengthen IPOs capacity by giving them responsibility as local partner. 7. Develop specific policy and procedures to work with IPOs and DCC as partner. 8. Consider supporting some activities to DCC and IPOs to benefit community
9. Identify and work with district based specialized NGOs. 10. Conduct Participatory Village Planning with the community in each VDC. 11. Design methodology and action plan for generating learning from JNASEEP and
12. Develop specific ways to benefit from CARE’s operational base and experience
13. Introduce Social Audit and Public Hearing for increased transparency. 14. Develop strong cultural/historical/linguistic documentation mechanism for
empowerment and development of HMJs with dignified identity. Train SMs on research methodology.
15. Revisit target set in logical framework in the light of baseline study and other
16. Consider way to accommodate emerging advocacy needs while working with
Terms of Reference for Inception Review
Janjati Social and Economic Empowerment Project-JANSEEP
January 2008 1. Background
CARE Nepal in partnership with Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN)
has been implementing a project entitled Janjati Social and Economic Empowerment
Project-JANSEEP in Dolakha and Dhanusha districts from February 2007 with the
funding support from European Union, DANIDA and CARE Denmark for a period of
five years. Social Welfare Council (SWC) is the counterpart of the project. The project
duration of five years is divided into two phases - i) Inception Phase
(one year in the
beginning of project), ii) Main Implementation Phase
(48 months after the inception
phase). The project has been developed in partnership with Nepal Federation of
Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) for implementing the project activities. NEFIN is the
primary agent involved in implementing the field activities with the technical support
from a core team of project staffs based in CARE Country Office and Project Office.
The project during inception phase has focussed to review and assess the contexts of
status of socio-economic, political inclusion at various levels, existing policies and their
implementation at district and at national level and prepare second year Annual
Implementation Plan (AIP) followed by ground setting works like rapport building and
coordination seeking from communities, government and non-government organizations,
local government authorities and other stakeholders, strengthening the capability of
implementing Indigenous People organization (IPOs) and started interventions in
different sectors. Project has initiated Baseline Survey to generate an information base to
help the main phase of project for better performance.
The project document has provisioned periodic reviews as a monitoring tool. An
Inception phase review is envisaged at the end of this phase, and thus, the project plans to
accomplish it in the month of January 2008. This document constitutes the term of
reference (ToR) for the same.
2. Project Goals and objectives
Overall objective is to contribute towards poverty reduction and empowerment of highly marginalized
Janjatis in Nepal.
2.2 Specific objectives are to protect and promote the political, exonomic, social
and cultural rights of Thami, Dhanuk and Surel Janjatis in Dhanusha and Dolakha districts.
3. Project’s Expected Results
ER 1: Increased awareness and capacity of HMJs to assert their rights to identity. ER 2: Increased household income of HMJs through diversification of income
opportunities and building on their indigenous skills and knowledge.
ER 3: Improved access of HMJs to basic services (health, education and natural
ER 4: Enchanced capacity of Indigenous Peoples's Organisations for protection,
promotion and fulfilment of their rights through policy dialogue (formulation, implementation and monitoring).
3. Operating context
Dhanusha and Dolakha districts are recognized as one of the area where the significant
size of Dhanuk,Thami and Surel Janjati have the majority of living who are socially,
economically and politically exploited and suppressed and severe form of exclusion in all
spheres of civil rights. These janjatis have to bear various forms of violence, such as
descent- based discrimination, low income, lack of citizenship, registration of land and
landlessness, poor family health status, inadequate access to common property and
natural resources and many women and children specific discrimination such as
education, health and other gender-based discrimination. They live a life of deprivation in
unrelenting poverty, marginalized housing, unaware of health matter, by and large
majority of uneducated. They are in helpless situation to break out the vicious circle of
The project is envisaged to address four components: increase awareness and capacity of
HMJs to assert their rights to identity, increased household income of HMJs through
diversification of income opportunities and building on their indigenous skills and
knowledge, improved access of HMJs to basic services (health, education and natural
resources), enhanced capacity of Indigenous Peoples's Organisations for protection,
promotion and fulfilment of their rights through policy dialogue (formulation,
implementation and monitoring).
The project will be implemented with partners including: Nepal Federation of Indigenous
Nationalities (NEFIN) and many other local IPOs and networks with the participation of
community based groups and like minded organizations, government, cultural and
religious institutions. The project intends to reach to marginalized and most vulnerable
households of Highly marginalized Janjatis of two selected districts.
4. Objectives of the inception review and key questions
There are two main objectives of the inception review;
To evaluate the project’s performance; assess the operating environment in the district, appropriateness of project strategies, approaches and log frame indicators
To revisit and refine the project document and log frame based on recommendations of inception review for main phase of the project.
To achieve the first objective, following are some of the guiding questions for the review process:
1) To review the working environment
in the districts & project areas and its potential
implications on the project operation. a) How cordial is the project’s relationship with the IPOs, District Coordination
Committee (DCCs) and likeminded organizations.
2) To assess the appropriateness
of project's strategies, implementation modalities and
the target groups. a) From the perspectives of rights promotion, sustainability of project processes and
meeting the project objectives, evaluate: i) How effective is the project’s working strategies including capacity
ii) How appropriate is the project’s implementation modality – working in
partnership, management structure of the project and the partner, working area etc.
iii) How well the project has been able to tune itself (strategies, activities and
implementation modalities) to the local working environment?
How do the key stakeholders, including project staff, communities and partners perceive the project’s strategies, approaches, and the start-up activities (appropriateness, timing, and targeting) undertaken by the project during inception phase?
Has the project developed adequate monitoring tools and put into practice?
3) To evaluate the project’s performance
and document the lessons learnt.
a) Assess the project’s performance and progress so far against the log frame and the
project goal, and identify the gap. How effectively the achievements so far have addressed the needs and rights of the target groups?
b) How appropriate are the project interventions towards meeting the project goal? c) How realistic, appropriate and achievable are the project's log frame indicators? d) Assess the sufficiency of project's information base and information collection
mechanism towards understanding the key social issues, and the opportunities available to resolve the key rights based issues.
e) What lessons are learnt so far, and has the project tuned it to match with them to
4) Based on the findings of this review and lessons learnt, and from the view point of
advocacy promotion against rights issues in the district:
a) Make recommendations and prepare a follow-up action plan
to implement them.
b) Revisit and refine the project document
including monitoring and evaluation
5.1 Inception review team and their responsibilities:
This review will be conducted by an independent consultant –expertise in human rights and social inclusion including RBA, GED, governance, advocacy, civil society organization strengthening and sound analytical knowledge on current government policies particularly on janjati issue and right. He/She should possess extensive experience in reviewing performance of rights based development projects/programs, institutional strengthening, rights issues and policy advocacy.
The team leader/consultant will be a Nepalese national. Team leader will be primarily responsible for overall review and revisit process ensuring that all issues of ToR and contract agreement are being addressed satisfactorily, and for the submission of final review report and the refined main phase project document.
More specifically, consultant will be responsible for the following two major tasks, as
follows; i First
a) On signing the contract, review all necessary project documents, including the
project document, annual implementation plan, baseline report and other relevant documents.
b) Develop a work plan for the review process, an outline of inception review
report, field schedule and review processes, and share with the contact persons of JANSEEP for approval before heading to field work. The work plan should clearly describe the review process including tools to be adopted for data collection and analyses, work schedule, and roles and responsibilities of the team members.
c) Visit and discuss implementing partners, concerned IPOs and Concerned
d) Information required should be gathered primarily through qualitative
methods and participatory approaches involving all IPOs and communities of the project.
e) Organize a workshop at the project office in Dolakha and Dhanusha District
with the IPOs, DCCs, project staffs, beneficiary community members and other stakeholders. Supplementary sources of information would be baseline study report, project documents and progress reports,annual implementation plan,implementing partner’s records etc.
f) Conduct interviews with key persons from community, IPOs and officials
g) Conduct a debriefing meeting at Central Office of CARE Nepal in Kathmandu
with the representatives from CARE Nepal and NEFIN to share the findings and seek feedbacks.
h) Prepare and submit draft report, and the final report of inception review.
Consultant visits JANSEEP office,Kupondole collect and review
Preparation of inception review work plan and check lists.
Share objectives, expected outputs, methodologies, tools and
details plan with concerned person at CARE Nepal central office
Brief the project staffs on rational of inception review and its
plan. Revise the plan, tools and methods, if needed.
Field visits, interviews, interaction, group discussions with
relevant persons/organizations (a detail plan is prepared in consultation with project team)
Visit IPOs, communities,DCCs and other relevant organizations.
Write up first draft of inception review report, and submit to
Planning meeting for the central level workshop.
Collect inputs from CARE Nepal and NEFIN
Organize central level meeting at Kathmandu to discuss the
Finalize the review report incorporating comments from the
Submit the final report of inception phase review to JANSEEP
Total 18 days billable
The primary objective
of this assignment will be to revisit and refine the main phase
project document and log frame based on recommendations of inception review and the
lessons learnt. The main phase document will be revisited within the conceptual
framework of CARE Nepal. Some of the key issues to be considered during the revisiting
of the project document are as follows:
The specific situation, the opportunities and the gaps in the district;
The current operating environment and the feasibility of activities that are most
The institutional and technical expertise of IPOs in rights based programming and its
application, advocacy and strengthening good governance.
The Inception Review consultant will facilitate the process for revising and refining the main phase project document based on a series of interaction and discussions within a “Revisit Team”.
The Revisit Team will facilitate the revisit process within a workshop setting to
brainstorm and discuss each element of the main phase project document. The
consultants will document the discussions and will present in a coherent format resulting
eventually in a revisited project document including activities verses cost prepared based
on the experiences and norms of CARE Nepal and NEFIN. b. Tentative Schedule
Formulation of a work plan for the revisit process. Share draft with JANSEEP and finalize it incorporating inputs.
Revisit workshop (venue will be finalized later)
Revisit main phase technical proposal and submission of first draft to JANSEEP.
Collect inputs from CARE Nepal and NEFIN.
Organize a meeting at the Central Office of CARE Nepal in Kathmandu to discuss main phase project document and obtain feedbacks.
Finalization of technical and cost proposals for main phase and submission to JANSEEP.
Total 13 billable days
6. Proposed participants for the central level workshop in Kathmandu.
(Total – approx. 31 persons)
Documentation and learning Officer, Advocacy and governance
Officer, Economic Empowerment and livelihood Officer, AFO
7. Logistic Support and Contact Persons
CARE Nepal will avail an information package comprising relevant documents of CARE
Nepal. CARE will facilitate the review team’s works through making arrangements of
meetings, workshop, project area visits and transportation outside the Kathmandu
wherever necessary. However, the team is expected to arrange his/her lodging, food and
secretarial services themselves. Consultants should keep flexibility in work plan
(methodology as well as work schedule) given the uncertainties over working
environment, transportation and other logistical considerations.
Mr. Jay Shanker Lal, the Program Coordinator will be the prime responsible/contact
persons for coordinating the whole process, including communication. The other
responsible person would be Ms. Subala Subha, the Program Manager, who will support
and facilitate the whole process, and both of them can be contacted for further
Mr. Jay Shankar Lal Kathmandu 01-5522800
The Consultant will be responsible for preparing and submitting draft and final version of
reports of both the tasks separately to the contact persons of JANSEEP. S/he will produce
first draft report and again the final report of inception phase review incorporating all
valid comments generated during the meeting/workshop at the central level as per the
Based on the findings of inception review and comments of CARE Nepal and NEFIN,
the Consultant will be responsible to revisit the main phase project document and the
project's logical framework, and submit a draft and again a final version (incorporating
comments made) of the project documents to CARE Nepal as per the approved schedule.
All the documents should be prepared in English language using MS Word and MS Excel.
The TOR, respective work plans effected, questionnaires and checklists used, lists of
persons interviewed and documents reviewed and workshop agenda should be annexed to
the reports. The report size should be within 30 pages
excluding annexes and log frame
in both the cases. Besides, a one-page short summary be prepared for inception review
and submitted to facilitate wider dissemination. The reports should be a well-written
coherent product complemented with tables, graphs and photographs in appropriate
sections. All the reports should be submitted in two hard copies as well as an electronic
copy in CD. The electronic copy should also include the raw data collected during the
study from field.
9. List of reference documents
1. CARE Nepal Strategic Plan 2006-09 2. Draft Agreement between SWC and CARE Nepal/NEFIN on the Implementation of
3. JANSEEP Project Document, 2006 (with log frame) 4. Guidelines for: Drawing up Terms for Reference for Evaluations & Evaluation
Methodology, Criteria & Suggested Layout for Evaluation Reports, Brussels by European Commission, 1999.
5. Baseline Study for JANSEEP by the consultant. 6. Financial Agreement Between CARE Denmark,DANIDA and EU. 7. Relevant policy documents of Nepal Government. 8. Relevant community advocacy plans. 9. Proceedings of the training and workshop.
APPENDIX II List of Participants in Review Workshops in Districts with partners JANSEEP INCEPTION REVIEW MEETING JANSEEP STAFF AND REPRESENTATIVES OF IPOs DHANUSHA DISTRICT 2 MAY 2008 S.
Director, Social Welfare Council, Kathmandu
Advocacy and Governnace Officer, JANSEEP
JANSEEP INCEPTION REVIEW MEETING JANSEEP STAFF AND REPRESENTATIVES OF IPOs DOLAKHA DISTRICT 17 MAY 2008 S.
Director, Social Welfare Council, Kathmandu
Distribution of Dhanuk Population by VDCs in Dhanusha
Distribution of Thami Population by VDCs
(Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk and Ramechhap)
Distribution of Thami Population by VDCs
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