Nepalese job programme triples employment
A re-design of a public works programme for reducing poverty in Nepal has tripled the amount of employment it creates in four pilot centres.
Established by the Government of Nepal in 2006, the Karnali Empoyment Programme (KEP) was originally designed to provide 100 days of employment per year for impoverished individuals through public works initiatives such as building roads and canals. However, several assessments found that the programme has been underperforming, with people receiving just 13 days of employment per year, on average.
Lack of resources was claimed to be the main reason for this underperformance but the programme had also failed to adhere its original policy intent and operational guidelines, and, instead, relied on traditional customs and practices.
To address this problem, OPM revised the KEP model, built institutional capacity within the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), which is responsible for KEP, and supported the implementation of a pilot.
When the new approach was applied in four pilot districts in 2013, more than 600 poor households, selected through a community-based process, worked on average 50 days, received fortnightly wages, and supplementary payments in case of delivering the output expected. Beneficiaries were able to keep track of the number of days worked with their job cards, were insured and benefited from welfare facilities in site like toilets, health and child care. More than half of the beneficiaries were female, helping to build two roads and two irrigation canals.
In the coming years, OPM will support the roll out of the new KEP, focusing on improving the capacity of the government to deliver the programme. New processes such as electronic cash transfers through branchless banking and training vouchers as a graduation instrument will be also designed and piloted. In addition, OPM will help the government assess the role that the KEP and other public work programmes could play in the country’s national social protection strategy