Peacebuilding Initiative in Nepal
Search for Common Ground conducted a survey to assess the baseline for an upcoming initiative in Nepal, ‘The Peacebuilding Initiative (TPI)’. The TPI program, which promotes consensus building among a variety of stakeholders, is comprised of two main components, dialogue with key stakeholders, youth and woman as well as a media program. The survey highlighted some positive findings, while recognizing further development is needed in the communities. General community violence has decreased. The survey respondents are, regardless, not aware or responsive to the peace agreement that ended a decade of civil war. Women and youth participation and acceptance in their society is still struggling, with areas of improvement in some community meetings and representation. The impact and response to the media programs has been the greatest, providing for a high level of trust in media professionals competence to disseminate awareness of issues. Quantitative data analysis has provided for an in-depth view on numerous issues and populations within Nepal.
Despite the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in 2006, marking the official end to a decade-long civil war, Nepal is still struggling to maintain a fragile peace and a fledgling democracy. Armed groups, disillusionment with the political process, lack of faith in elected officials, exclusion of women and youth in the democratic process, and local conflicts still plague Nepal’s democratic transition.
To help move the peace and democratization process forward, Search For Common Ground-Nepal (SFCG) was recently awarded funding by the Royal Danish Embassy to implement a comprehensive peacebuilding program. Entitled ‘The Peacebuilding Initiative (TPI)’, the program aims to promote consensus building among a variety of stakeholders through dialogue sessions, locally produced and aired radio programs, and youth mobilization and capacity building activities.
SFCG, in conjunction with a team of independent researchers, conducted a baseline assessment in September 2011 to collect indicators so that a post-project evaluation could measure actual results against the program’s objectives. The assessment was conducted in four districts and eight Village Development Committees (VDC’s) in the Terai region of Nepal. A total of 806 households were sampled though a simple random sampling procedure. Individual interviews were conducted as well. Results from the assessment indicate that a large proportion of rural Nepalis are still unaware of the CPA and its role in the peacebuilding process. Awareness is even less among youth, female and elderly respondents. Subsequently, a need exists implement a widespread awareness-raising communication campaign that targets these groups.