This gives me immense pleasure to write a few words on the occasion of ISET-Nepal successfully completing seventeen years of outstanding work in the area of research and policy advocacy in Nepal. In addition to research, ISET–Nepal has now advanced further in 2018 with a new avenue of implementing project: Disaster Risk Reduction with an aim to translate research into policy actions. The extension has provided new challenges as well as opportunities for the organization to closely work with Government’s policy level institutions including Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), and Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). Similarly, ISET-Nepal is also working with locally elected representatives of different wards of Metropolitan Office of Lalitpur and Kathmandu to build awareness and improve level of understanding of Disaster Risk Management in addition to providing support for building their capacities to manage and deal with disaster events.
This year, ISET-Nepal carried out Political Economic Analysis of Koshi River Basin and has initiated series of dialogues with local communities, government officials and mayors of the upstream and downstream of the Koshi River Basin and the stakeholders at Central level. This dialogue is expected to facilitate joint understanding among the local communities and the government to address the long due issues of compensation and maintain e-flow at the Koshi River Basin. Similarly, ISET-Nepal along with other partners carried out Political Economic Analysis of the twelve watersheds in the three major river basin at Far West Nepal: The Karnali, The West Rapti and the Mahakali River Basin. We also had the privilege of identifying champions in these areas who could help conserve freshwater biodiversity in the area.
This year ISET-Nepal successfully coordinated with 14 think tanks across South Asia and brought out a policy research book that provides glimpses of social science research in South Asian countries and the status and challenges of South Asian Think Tanks supported by Think Tank Initiative, IDRC. We are proud of this achievement.
It is not that we did not face challenges to bring positive milestones. In fact, the organization had to break lots of barriers to bring this result. The challenge continues. The eight years long support from Think Tank Initiative, IDRC came to an end. This has generated some challenges of sustainability to the organization, but I believe that this will create an opportunity for the organization to explore new types of funding with new donors and supporters. Nevertheless, we continued to provide support to Master’s level students to conduct thesis and Abiskar Fellows to carry out innovation. Similarly, we continued our journey to carryout graduate conference on Environment and Sustainable Development called Himalayan Knowledge Conclave and Conference in Public Policy and Governance in South Asia with Nepal Administrative Staff College and other partners.
Finally, I am confident that the current change in new leadership of ISET-Nepal will successfully deal with the challenges in terms of sustainability and knowledge generation in the days to come. We will continue our journey and keep producing impact in the field of knowledge management in the country.
Kamal R Pande