Project Description

Location and Duration
The project will be launched in all 25 districts of the Far-West and Western development regions comprised of 5 zones. For the inclusive and participatory grassroot interactions component of the project, at least one VDC from each district will be selected. The selection of areas and villages for specific activities will be carried out by the local P-in-Cs in consultation with other local stakeholders. The project will start on 15 March 2007 and will continue until 30 June 2008 (15½ months).

The basis for selection of the Far-West and Western development regions is that they revolve around the conflict. In fact, the decade plus violent conflict spread out from the hinterland of the Mid-Western Development Region in all directions. In consequence, most areas of the Far-West and Western regions have suffered from the conflict in terms of intimidations, torture, abductions and killings. Nevertheless, their tragedies were never given much attention in the press and public purview. The population size, literacy rates and homogeneity/heterogeneity in terms of ethnic/caste groups are other reasons for focusing on the Far-West and Western development regions for the implementation of the project. The literacy rate in the area is generally low - Darchula District of the Far-West has the lowest literacy rate in the country. However, Kaski District in the Western Development Region has the highest literacy rate in Nepal, which thus provides an interesting spread in access to written information among the targeted groups. Likewise, Bajhang, Kanchanpur, and Kailali districts of the Far-West Region are the most homogenous districts in Nepal, with 88.2, 78.0 and 70.8 percent homogeneity, whereas all other districts in the targeted regions are very heterogeneous in terms of ethnic/caste composition. By targeting such different areas, the project will be able to explore a wide array of issues related to marginalisation in Nepal.

In the areas targeted by the project, one of the main ethnic communities is the Tharu, which is the second largest Janajati group in Nepal and has a high concentration in Kailali District in the Far-West. The Muslim population, also recognised as a minority group, is concentrated in five districts, out of which one is Kapilbastu District in the Western Region. The Kamis, a Dalit group, is ranked eighth in terms of population size in the 2001 census, and Bajura District from the targeted Far-West Development Region, has the largest population size of Kamis compared to any other district in Nepal.

The project activities will be concentrated in the following districts:

Zones Districts No. of districts
Far-West Development Region
Mahakali Kanchanpur, Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Darchula 4
Seti Kailali, Achham, Doti, Bajhang, Bajura 5
Western Development Region
Dhaulagiri Mustang, Myagdi, Parbat, Baglung 4
Gandaki Manang, Lamjung, Gorkha, Syangja, Kaski, Tanahu 6
Lumbini Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Kapilbastu, Rupandehi, Palpa, Nawalparashi 6
Total no. of districts 25

Giving due consideration to under-development, remoteness and composition of the population, at least one VDC will be selected from each of the 25 districts in consultation with the local civil society leaders, leaders of marginalised communities, journalists, District Development Council (DDC) officials and other local authorities. The selection will also be based upon the impact of the conflict and the severity of political and social exclusion.

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