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Effectiveness Evaluation of the Programs Implemented for the Upliftment and Development of Neglected, Suffered and Depressed Community

(Executive summary)

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OBJECTIVES The overall objective of the study is to find out the effectiveness of the programs implemented for the upliftment and development of Neglected, Suffered and Depressed Community (NSDC). The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

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To examine whether the neglected, suffered and depressed communities are effectively assuming their roles in the society by participating in the mainstream of national development making use of their inherent qualities, skills and knowledge, To asses educational and awareness level and absorptive capacity of these communities in taking benefits from the programs initiated by the government and non-government organizations, To assess the balance between the needs of these communities and the programs designed for them, To examine the level/degree of coordination among the programs implemented for them by the government and non-government organizations, To review the effectiveness and weaknesses of policies, programs and activities implemented so far by the government and non-government organizations, To identify issues, problems and constraints and potential areas for their development/empowerment by reviewing data related to their economic, social and political participation, To find out the constraining factors and recommend the appropriate policy measures for the elimination of all forms of discriminations against these communities to bring them into the mainstream of national development. METHODOLOGY

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The study is basically based on primary data and information. The effectiveness assessment was done on the basis of the NSDC beneficiary household survey and interview with the program implementing agencies. The Focus Group Discussion was also organized at the district level to supplement the data collected through questionnaire survey. The core and periphery approach was adopted while selecting

the Village Development Committees (VDCs). The household/persons of the community were identified by using the predetermined indicators and the ethnic/cultural groups identified by the Neglected, Suffered and Depressed Community Upliftment Development Board (NSDCUDB) as depressed. 3. COVERAGE For the purpose of primary data collection, five districts representing Mountain, Hill and Terai were selected viz. Ilam, Baglung (hill), Sindhupalchowk (mountain) and Rautahat and Kailali (Terai). The districts for sample survey were selected on two bases. Firstly, the districts having NSDCUD programs were selected. Secondly, Human Development Index (HDI) was also taken as into account. Altogether there were 42 districts in which NSDCUD programs were implemented. Two VDCs from each district were selected by adopting core and periphery approach. 4. · MAJOR FINDINGS Agriculture was found to be the main source of income of the majority of the NSDC households and per capita income of the NSDC households was found to be Rs. 248 per month, which is too low in comparison to the national estimate. Likewise, the literary rate of the NSDC was observed to be 39.8% (national average 53.7%), which in one way or other indicates the poor socio-economic condition of the NSDC. Majority (64.8%) of the NSDC households noted modest changes in the social and cultural sphere as a result of the programs. Reduction in caste-based discrimination and improvement in child marriage and polygamy are the major changes brought about by the programs. A fair contribution of the programs in the poverty alleviation has been observed. More than one-third (38.4%) of the NSDC households are of such opinion. However, 54.4% of the NSD households reported poor contribution of the NSDCUD programs in employment generation. Likewise, three out of five NSDC households rated fair contribution of the programs in the women development and empowerment. Less than fifty percent of the NSDC households remarked that NSDCUD Programs were as per need of the community whereas more than 90.1% of the program implementing agencies (PIAs) noted that their programs were as per community needs. A wide variation in the remarks made by the two stakeholders has been observed.

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Similarly, a wide variation perception of the community households and the PIAs has been found in terms of participation of the community people in the NSDCUD Programs. In the case of the PIAs, 70.0% of them rated participation of the community people as good whereas only 11.2% of the community households gave such rating. In the similar vein, more than fifty percent of the NSDC households identified the employment generating skill development training as the potential program for them. On the other, only one-third of the PIAs recognized the employment generating skill development training as the potential program. Even though training is provided through the programs, the trainees are not in a position to use their skills due to lack of financial. Contribution of the NSDCUD Programs in alleviating the poverty and improving the standard of living of the NSD community is found to be poor. Majority of the focus groups remarked that the NSDCUD programs were not as per need of the community and there was poor coordination among the implementing agencies. Due to the problem of identifying the real neglected, suffered and depressed community, most of the advantaged groups have accrued the benefits. Discriminative mentality of the PIAs and lack of cooperation from the high-class people resulted in the poor effectiveness of the program. Due to the lack of regular financial assistance and proper guidelines it is difficult to give continuity to the program. RECOMMENDATIONS

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There should be a greater cooperation, coordination and linkages between the NGOs, Community based Organizations (CBOs) and government agencies in the process of delivering services to the NSDC. Link between District Development Committees (DDCs) and field offices of NGOs should be maintained. This will help in launching joint programs by government and NGO at the community level. Priority should be given to ocal resource mobilization and initiation of income l generating schemes. Indigenous self-help groups operating in the community, especially by different ethnic groups should be encouraged so that they can make a substantial contribution to rural poverty alleviation programs.

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His Majesty's Government should create a national fund for NSDCUD Programs. Concessional loan should be provided to the NSDC for carrying out projects in areas like livestock, poultry, horticulture and cottage. Special emphasis should be give to education mainly to the female members of the NSDC. Development policies and programs aimed at supporting the NSDC should be backed up by the genuine political commitment. Proper guidelines, regular program monitoring and supervision mechanism should be developed and special focus should be given to participatory monitoring and evaluation. Capability building of the implementing agencies should be developed.

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