Social inclusion, livelihoods and local institutions

Common pool resources, marginalized groups, and local institutions

This study examines both the turbulent history of fishery mismanagement in Rupa Lake, Nepal and its reversal built around the participation, engagement and inclusiveness in the governance of its watershed. We find that Rupa Lake’s experience tells two stories. Reflecting Hardin’s dire forecast, the Rupa Lake watershed verged on collapse as population grew and seemingly selfish behavior intensified under an open-access regime. But the users also found a way to rebound and reverse their course as they adopted a bottom-up approach to fishery management and established an innovative community institution, the ‘Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative’, dedicated to the sustainable governance of the commons.


Chaudhary, P., N. B. Chhetri, B. Dorman, T. Gegg, R. B. Rana, M. Shrestha, K. Thapa, K. Lamsal and S. Thapa. 2015. Turning conflict into collaboration in managing commons: A case of Rupa Lake Watershed, Nepal. International Journal of the Commons 9(2): 744-771. DOI:

Social Exclusion and Vulnerability in Nepal

I conducted this study back in 1999-2000 with the support from the Robert McNamara Fellowship of the World Bank. The study was based on the extensive fieldwork conducted in 25 different villages in five different districts dispersed across Nepal. It explored the complex relationships between land stress, forest resource degradation, food deficit and vulnerability and also analyzed the coping and adaptation strategies of these groups to offset the adverse impact. In this study I first characterized the systemic nature of social exclusion and its empirical evidence in the context of land and natural resource management in Nepal. Secondly, I contextualized the notion of social exclusion to explain why the impact of land stress and forest resources degradation are experienced differently by social excluded groups, particularly why some groups manage to respond to land stress and forest degradation better than others.

Technical report

Shrestha, Milan. 2000. The Land-use Change, Livelihood and Social Exclusion Nexus in Nepal submitted to the Robert McNamara Fellowship Program of the World Bank, Washington DC

Report on Social Inclusion through Self-help Banking and Women's Empowerment

This was an evaluation report carried out on behalf of the Centre for Self-Help Development (CSD)--a leading micro-credit lending institution in Nepal. It highlights the perceptions of women—the members of Self-help Banking Program (SBP)—about their condition and position, and examines social dimensions of having access to and use of micro-credit. It also documents the changing perceptions of the family members and the community in improved economic roles of the members and their participation in the program. Using a combination of gender responsive participatory tools, gender analysis methods, and qualitative field survey techniques, this assessment reviewed the progress achieved by the program in addressing gender concerns in those program areas where the program has already crossed five years of operation.


Shrestha, Milan. 1998. Self-help Banking Program and Women’s Empowerment. A report submitted to the Centre for Self-help Development (CSD), Kathmandu, Nepal.