Session Chairs and Discussants

Session 1A: Conflict Resolution and Democratic Transitions

Chair: Christopher Candland, Wellesley College
Discussants:
Prakash Adhikari, University of New Mexico
Meeta S. Pradhan, University of Michigan
Pramod Kantha, Wright State University

Session 1B: Water, Energy, Environment and Sustainability

Chair: Keshav Bhattarai, University of Central Missouri
Discussants:
Padmendra Shrestha, East West Center/University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Hari Katuwal, University of New Mexico

Session 2A: Religion, Gender and Dalit Issues

Chair: Laxmi B. Acharya, Family Health International
Discussants:
Mahendra Lawoti, Western Michigan University
Charis Boke, USEF Fulbright Scholar

Session 2B: Forestry Issues

Chair: Pallab Mozumder, Florida International University
Discussants:
Biswo Poudel, University of California Berkeley
Alok Bohara, University of New Mexico

Session 3A: Health Issues

Chair: Feisal Khan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Discussants:
Laxmi Acharya, Family Health International
Tirshana Sharma, University of New Mexico

Session 3B: Public Institution Reforms

Chair: Pramod Kantha, Wright State University
Discussants:
Neel Kamal Chapagain, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Mahesh Baral, University of Trento

Session 4A: Trade, Income and Finance

Chair: Jeffrey Drope, Marquette University
Discussants:
Bishwa Koirala, University of New Mexico
Feisal Khan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Mukti Upadhyay, Eastern Illinois University
Satis Devkota, Wayne State University
Pallab Mozumder, Florida International University

Session 4B:

Chair: Joel Heinen, Florida International University
Discussants:
Ben Briese, Saint John's University
Uddhab Bhandary, University of Colorado at Boulder
Steven Archambault, University of New Mexico
Abstracts

Subscribe to RSS Feed

2008
Thursday, October 16th
12:00 AM

Abdicate or consolidate? Comparing the strategic decision making of the Nepali and Bhutanese monarchies

Prakash Adhikari, University of New Mexico
James D. Timberlake, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

This paper addresses a question of strategic decision making. Our method for answering these questions is a paired case study using a most-similar-systems design. Bhutan and Nepal are natural cases for comparison because they share many similar features. They are both landlocked, mountainous countries, heavily dependent on their economic relations with India. And until very recently, they were the two remaining monarchies in South Asia. While the Wangchuk dynasty seems to be making a smooth transition to modern times, the turn of the twenty first century marked the beginning of the end for the Shah dynasty in Nepal. What explains the divergent political trajectories of the past decade?

Can the experience of sewerage development from Orangi Pilot Project in Pakistan be transferred to squatter settlements in Kathmandu, Nepal?

Padmendra Shrestha, University of Hawai'I-Manoa

12:00 AM

The paper argues that the experience of sewerage development in OPP can be transferred to squatter communities in Kathmandu given that there is a serious commitment from both the local and national governments in terms of 1) support through the implementation of the project, 2) defining what the land tenure of the squatters would be, 3) providing safe drinking water to all households, 4) creating waste water treatment plants before river discharge and 5) properly planning squatter settlements.

Demand for Environmental Quality: Evidence on Drinking Water from Kathmandu, Nepal

Hari Katuwal, University of New Mexico
Alok Bohara, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

This paper examines the demand for environmental quality - clean drinking water in particular - in Kathmandu, Nepal. Water supply is inadequate, unreliable, low quality and not directly potable. Residents engage in several strategies to cope with unreliable and low quality water supplies. Some of the major strategies are: hauling, storing, boiling and filtering. A Report on the Water Survey of Kathmandu Valley 2005 suggested that over 45 per cent of households filter water to make it potable, while about 39 per cent of households boil water. Use of Uro Guard and the Solar Disinfection System (SODIS) are other purification methods. To date, there has been little empirical analysis of such purification behaviors. This paper investigates these purification behaviors and the factors influencing them. We consider different types of treatments as demand for environmental quality. Using the Water Survey of Kathmandu, we estimate the effect of education level of household head, exposure to the media, gender, caste, ethnicity and opinion of water quality on drinking water purification. Treatment costs are calculated from respondents’ answers on treatment types, market price and value of time. We also estimate expected willingness to pay for environmental quality from the average cost for different types of treatment. Moreover, the impact of education level of household head, exposure to media, gender, caste, and ethnicity on willingness to pay is also evaluated.

Determinants of familiarity of infant and maternal health care facilities among pregnant women and mothers in some selected rural areas of Nepal

Vijaya R. Sharma, University of Colorado at Boulder
Tirshana Sharma, University of Colorado at Denver

12:00 AM

It can be argued that the demand for services of a health care facility is a function of level of familiarity with the facility. In the proposed paper we intend to examine the determinants of level of familiarity of infant and maternal health care facilities among pregnant women and mothers in some selected rural areas of Nepal, especially the role of formal schooling and informal education in a society.

Estimation of maximum willingness to pay for improved quality of trekking in Manang, Nepal by international trekkers

Bishwa Koirala, University of New Mexico
Alok Bohara, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

This paper estimates the valuation of trekking in mountain landscape as a non-market good considering international trekking to Manang in Nepal. The paper looks at international trekkers’ maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for improved quality of trekking which include longer nature walk in and around conservation area, extended village tour for cultural understanding, improved quality of museum, and enhanced quality of evening live cultural show. The study employs open-ended questionnaire to estimate maximum WTP.

Full Proceedings

Vijaya R. Sharma, University of Colorado at Boulder
Joel Heinen, Florida International University
Gyan Pradhan, Westminster College

12:00 AM

Papers, abstracts and proceedings of the Third Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference, Thursday, October 16, 2008, Madison Concourse Hotel and Governors' Club, Preconference Venue of the 37th South Asian Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Heritage conservation in Nepal: Policies, stakeholders and challenges

Neel Kamal Chapagain, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

12:00 AM

The complications and “failure” of management of world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley was criticized by UNESCO, which had warned to take these sites off the World Heritage Sites list. Though the warning has been positively resolved now, the complication of heritage management still exists, not only in Kathmandu valley but in other places as well. Often the underlined conservation approach in these policies is contested by residents of heritage zones. One aspect of my ongoing research analyzes the consequences of influence of international conservation movements on the heritage conservation policy in Nepal.

Improving food security in Nepal: Analyzing the results of a World Food Program survey

Steven Archambault, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

The World Food Program carried out a national household food security survey in Nepal in 2005. This research analyzes the data collected in this survey to better understand the activities and characteristics of households that improve or diminish food security levels. An ordered logit econometric model was used to analyze the nearly 1800 data points collected in the survey. GIS maps were used to carry out a spatial analysis of food security and deforestation and various land use variables. The analysis particularly focuses on social capital, natural capital, human capital, and financial variables that influence food security.

Income Convergence among Districts of Nepal

Mukti Upadhyay, Eastern Illinois University
Satis Devkota, Wayne State University

12:00 AM

We study absolute and conditional convergence of real income per capita in Nepal using cross-section data. Lack of detailed data precludes estimations based on long time series for districts, development zones or topographical regions. A similar constraint exists in estimating the - convergence which indicates if the dispersion of incomes is narrowing over time. Yet data available from Nepal over the last decade do permit investigation of some convergence issues. We use the results of the National Living Standard Survey (NLSS) I and II (Central Bureau of Statistics) to examine if the initially poorer districts have displayed a tendency to catch up with the initially richer districts.

Monetary integration of Nepal with India: A road to faster growth?

Mukti Upadhyay, Eastern Illinois University
Kamal Upadhyaya, University of New Haven

12:00 AM

Our research examines if conditions necessary for an India-Nepal optimum currency area (OCA) currently exist. We do not address the more difficult questions of political feasibility of such a scheme for Nepal, a country in which the nature of a new political order is just being debated.

Monitoring the successes and failures of community forestry in Nepal using remote sensing and GIS technologies: 1976-2000

Keshav Bhattarai, University of Central Missouri

12:00 AM

This paper examines the forestry scenarios of Nepal from 1976 to 2000 using remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) technologies. It utilizes Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data of 1975-76, Thematic Mapper (TM) data of 1989-90, and Enhanced Thematic data of 1999-2000. It also uses 30 m digital elevation data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor. All these data sources are used to examine how successful community forestry is in three ecological regions: the Terai (30 m- 999.99 m), the mid-hills (1,000-3,999.99 m), and the mountains (>4,000 m). It examines the driving forces of deforestation such as roads, urbanization and distances from roads to forests and settlements at various elevations.

Natural disaster and sickness shocks: evidence of informal insurance

Pallab Mozumder, Florida Atlantic University

12:00 AM

Based on multiple rounds of household survey data from rural Bangladesh collected after the 1998 flooding, this paper investigates the factors that contribute to reducing sickness shocks after a massive natural disaster. Of particular interest, we take advantage of the well-known joint liability scheme of microfinance programs offered by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to investigate if such a scheme reduces sickness shocks after a major natural disaster.

Nepal’s democratic transition and the rule of law: Will the judiciary stay on probation?

Pramod K. Kantha, Wright State University

12:00 AM

My paper answers some questions by drawing on more than twenty interviews conducted during a two-week long field work in Kathmandu in December 2007 with the members of Nepal’s legal community (lawyers, judges, judicial officials, and politicians) on their perception of the past, present and future role of judiciary.

Political conflict and migration: How has violence and political instability affected migration patterns in Nepal?

Nathalie Williams, University of Michigan
Meeta S. Pradhan, University of Michigan

12:00 AM

This paper is a study of migration during a period of violent political conflict in Nepal. Past studies of conflict-induced migration have generally treated conflict as a homogenous event and focused largely on the violent aspects of conflict. In this study, we examine how specific political and violent events, as well as the general context of conflict, affect migration on a monthly basis.

Religious sites and practices as economic indicators: A consideration of the rural and urban Nepal

Charis Boke, USEF Fulbright Scholar

12:00 AM

This paper will address two major connected themes. The first looks at the effects that urbanization and urban sprawl have had on the religious landscape (both physical and metaphorical), and how urban socioeconomic conditions interact with religiosity to turn religious practice, at some points, into a leisure-time activity. The second theme explores the different approaches to religious site organization and worship practice from urban areas (Kathmandu, Pokhara) through ex-urban areas (Pharping, Nagarkot) to rural areas (Dolakha district, Mustang district, parts of Gorkha district) with an eye towards how socioeconomic factors, such as time spent engaging in secondary economic activities and related observed cash flow, may affect the sites, practices, and local attitudes.

Reproductive health services: An entry point to reach labor migrants and their wives for providing HIV and STI services in Nepal

Laxmi Bilas Acharya, Family Health International

12:00 AM

Main objective of this paper is to discuss and recommend program options to reach and provide HIV and STI services to labor type of migrants and their spouses.

Rural poverty analysis: A case study of Kaski District of Nepal

Uddhab Bhandary, University of Colorado at Boulder

12:00 AM

Available poverty measurement methods can be divided into three types: non-normative, semi-normative and normative. Non-normative methods use a fraction of per capita income for the poverty threshold. Some European countries use this technique. Semi-normative methods use social and economic aspects. The notion behind a semi-normative method is that increased income cannot ensure a better quality of life for people. The Physical Quality of Life Index and the Human Development Index are the examples of such methods. Normative methods apply a threshold that is derived on the basis of the notion of a minimum living standard that includes food, shelter and other household necessities. In this research a method has been devised which falls within the semi-normative type and is applied to the Kaski district of Nepal as a case study.

Socio-economic impacts of rural road development in South Asia

Ben Briese, Saint John's University

12:00 AM

Using a holistic approach, this paper examines societal changes in agriculture, migration, health, education, environment and culture, to assemble a comprehensive picture of change caused by road development projects in these affected rural societies. Preliminary findings show that as modern forms of transportation become more available and convenient, traditional forms of transportation inextricably linked to community culture and heritage, such as horses, are rapidly replaced.

The limits of success? AKRSP, microfinance and economic development in Pakistan’s northern areas

Feisal Khan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

12:00 AM

Given how few NGOs fall into the 'successful' category and how few have AKRSP's resources and institutional resources, AKRSP's relative failure to promote successful microenterprises in the NAs of Pakistan is a clear sign of the limits of microfinance success. While microfinance may well provide hope for poverty alleviation and improving social welfare indicators, it cannot provide all of the conditions necessary for sustainable economic development and long-term success for the poor.

Vote for change and effect of intimidation-fear: The Maoist electoral victory in the Constituent Assembly election

Mahendra Lawoti, Western Michigan University

12:00 AM

This paper argues that people’s aspirations for change, effect of Maoist intimidation and threats, and disconnect of the other political parties with the people contributed to Maoist win. The paper will also discuss other trends the election produced such as the emergence of identity parties, weakening of ‘democratic parties’ and growth of communist parties, domination of communist parties in the Constituent Assembly, and reward to movement parties and other outcomes. The analysis employs an innovative approach of comparing outlier results of the Constituent Assembly election with previous parliamentary election results and a case study of pre and post election violence in a district to establish the effect of intimidation, and it compares performance of established older parties in districts that were considered as strongholds but lost to Maoist and also compares performance of Maoists in urban areas where the election was relatively free and fair to verify the change hypothesis.

Why will investment in clean energy technology at the household level in Nepal offer co-benefits for global climate and local people’s health?

Amod K. Pokhrel, University of California-Berkeley
Biswo Poudel, University of California-Berkeley

12:00 AM

In its fourth assessment report (most recent), the world’s most authoritative voice on climate change, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change (IPPC), has loudly and clearly said that warming of the earth’s climate is “unequivocal,” and human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, is a major cause.‡ IPCC scientists now accept that if the trend of anthropogenic emission continues, earth's average temperature could rise 1.5 to 6 degrees Celsius or higher by 2100. There is already evidence of increases in average temperatures of air and oceans around the world. For example, years 1995-2006 have had 11 of 12 warmest years on record since 1850.