Urbanization and the Transient Migrant Labourer

Abstract 2016
In Nepal, as in other developing countries, migration has been considered a powerful factor for social change. The construction industry and contemporary investments in infrastructure are potentially acting as powerful pull factors for internal labor migration, including for more specialized construction labor throughout the year –the share of the construction industry in non-agricultural wage employment in Nepal has grown from 30% during 1995/96 to 37% during 2010/11 This paper will present findings of research on the urbanization-migration nexus with the construction industry as a proxy for urbanization in Kathmandu, Nepal.  It examines how investments in urban construction and its concurrent demand for labour is giving rise to new and varied temporal forms of migration.The study is based on 83 in-depth interviews conducted with people working in the construction industry, mainly…
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The History of Janakpurdham: A Study of Asceticism and the Hindu Polity

Abstract 2016
The History of Janakpurdham: A Study of Asceticism and the Hindu Polity is a major contribution to the understanding of three important social persona in Hindu societies of South Asia: the ascetic, the Brahman and the king. Deviating from earlier discussions that focused on the binary opposition between the Brahman and the king, Burghart introduces a model of a trinity that included the ascetic. Besides being a rich ethnography of the Ramanandi order of ascetics, the book also provides a very detailed ethnohistory of Janakpurdham in the Nepal Tarai and its religious significance in what was then the Hindu kingdom of Nepal. Based on a rich and largely unpublished corpus of historical documents, it reconstructs the complex dealings and inter-relationships between the royal centre and the Ramanandi ascetics at the…
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Disaster Mental Health Intervention Research with Earthquake-affected Communities in Nepal: Enhancing well-being and Increasing Engagement in Disaster Preparedness

Abstract 2016
This manuscript describes results of a DFID and Wellcome Trust funded disaster mental health intervention in Bhaktapur district Nepal. The culturally-adapted intervention was tested in two earthquake affected communities (N = 240 persons), across three time points, using a matched cluster comparison design. Consistent with hypotheses, the intervention increased disaster preparedness, increased attributions to natural causes for the earthquake, reduced mental health symptoms (PTSD, depression), increased social cohesion, along with associated peer-based help-giving and help-seeking, and increased utilization of new forms of coping. Implications of the results are discussed, with emphasis on future research directions to determine the ‘active ingredients’ associated with treatment effects.  
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Urbanization and the Transient Migrant Laboure

Abstract 2016
In Nepal, as in other developing countries, migration has been considered a powerful factor for social change. The construction industry and contemporary investments in infrastructure are potentially acting as powerful pull factors for internal labor migration, including for more specialized construction labor throughout the year –the share of the construction industry in non-agricultural wage employment in Nepal has grown from 30% during 1995/96 to 37% during 2010/11 This paper will present findings of research on the urbanization-migration nexus with the construction industry as a proxy for urbanization in Kathmandu, Nepal.  It examines how investments in urban construction and its concurrent demand for labour is giving rise to new and varied temporal forms of migration.The study is based on 83 in-depth interviews conducted with people working in the construction industry, mainly…
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Evaluation of the Impact of Migration in Nepal

Abstract 2016
Nearly 16,000 Nepalis migrate to the Gulf and Southeast Asia every month seeking employment. Although there are no estimates but another large cohort also migrates to India in search of a livelihood. It is estimated that a full third (37%) of Nepalis in the age group 15-29 and a quarter (28%) aged 30-44 work outside the country (CBS 2011). Nearly half of all the country’s households have at least one member who is currently working abroad or was in the past (World Bank 2011). Remittances sent from abroad, which amounted to USD 5.8 billion in 2014, are believed to contribute nearly 30 percent of Nepal’s GDP (Nepal Economic Forum 2014). Labour migration thus has had a defining role in Nepal’s economy and social fabric. But the effect of this large-scale movement…
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Academic Journal Publishing in and about Nepal: Some Reflections

Abstract 2016
Academic journal publishing in and about Nepal was started more than 60 years ago. Dozens of journals with contents related to the broad social sciences have been started in the years since. While many of these have turned out to be ventures with short life spans, a few have earned a reputation for their endurance, regularity and quality. Given this history and the fact that journals play an important role in the lives of academics, there have been very few written or oral discussions related to the journal publishing scene in and about Nepal over the years.The panelists will reflect on the lives of these publications. The concerns they will try to address will include the current academic dynamics of journal publishing in and about Nepal and challenges that need…
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Foreign Aid and Institutional Arrangements in Implementing a Maternal and Child Health Project in Nepal

Abstract 2016
Since the early 50s, health service in Nepal has been heavily and consistently supported by foreign aid – either via supporting the state mechanism to provide services or foreign aid supporting the beneficiaries directly, outside the state system. However, increasingly in the past few decades a large portion of foreign aid in health sector is channeled through project assistances. Health services are contracted (and sub-contracted) out to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at national and local levels. This contracting out health service and interventions coincides with growing number of NGOs and private sector consulting firms working in health sector since the 1990s. Whether it is used to deliver services, generate evidence, provide technical assistance, and/or to strengthen the health system, a number of intermediary organizations and/or through consortium of organizations manage a…
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Post-disaster Agroecological Transition: How the 2015 Nepali Earthquakes Impact Agricultural Adoption in Mid-montane Communities

Abstract 2016
This paper examines post-disaster agroecological transition and change in mid-montane farming communities located near the epicenters of Nepal’s 2015 earthquakes. Decisions to adopt new agricultural technologies and crop patterns within these communities occur within a constellation of socioecological and economic factors. Using a suite of methods and tools including key informant and informal interviews, focus groups, participant observation, crop calendars and participatory budgeting, we observe that social and landscape effects from the 2015 earthquakes, including shifting labor opportunities and field degradation, catalyze transition to market-oriented crops. In our field sites within Dolakha district, economic and ecological co-benefits incentivize the adoption of cardamom, A momum subulatum, given post-disaster farming scenarios. We describe disaster-specific decision factors for farmers transitioning to cardamom, as opposed to or alongside other cash crops and explore how…
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Transitional Justice in Nepal: Perspectives of Nepalis Affected by Conflict as Children

Abstract 2016
It has been ten years since Nepal emerged from a decade-long internal armed conflict, during which at least 13,000 people were killed. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2006, measures under the framework of transitional justice (TJ) have been implemented to redress human rights violations. Processes of TJ, which consist of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, seek to facilitate justice and reconciliation typically during a political transition from an authoritarian regime towards a liberal democratic future (Hinton 2010:2). While Hinton (2010) argues that “local justice,” or the ways in which justice is perceived, experienced, produced, and conceptualized on the ground, must be taken seriously if TJ is to be successful, existing research has emphasized how the conceptualization of the “local” during processes of TJ often reflects elite…
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The Use of Social Sciences Methods in Mental Health Research and Intervention Design in Nepal

Abstract 2016
There has been limited use of sociological and anthropological methods for understanding public health issues in Nepal [1-3]. In the area of mental health, specifically, these methods may provide unique insights into the experiences, expressions and healing of mental illness in Nepal [1, 3]. With increasing biomedical psychosocial interventions in Nepal, it is crucial to employ social science approaches that inform the development of mental health services. In this panel, we emphasize the importance of social science methods in the field of mental health research and intervention. First, Angdembe discusses on the use of traditional qualitative social sciences method of focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs) to design a culturally adapted, community-based mental health intervention in Pyuthan. Second, Rai talks about the use of anthropological techniques of…
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