Session Chairs and Discussants

Session 1: Poverty Issues

Chair: Stephanie Smith, University of New Mexico, USA
Mukti Upadhyay, Eastern Illinois University, USA
Gyanesh Lama, Washington University, USA

Session 2A: Resources and Environment I

Chair: Neelmani Verma, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, India
Jogasankar Mahaprashasta, Christ College, India
Hari Katuwal, University of New Mexico, USA
Keshav Bhattarai, University of Central Missouri, USA

Session 2B: Political Issues I

Chair: Keith Leslie, Support to Participatory Constitution Building in Nepal Project, UNDP, Nepal
Shikha Basnet, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Binod Agrawal, TALEEM Research Foundation, India
Pramod Kantha, Wright State University, USA

Session 3A: Resources and Environment II

Chair: Keshav Bhattarai, University of Central Missouri, USA
Krishna Tiwari, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Biswo Poudel, University of California Berkeley, USA
Neelmani Verma, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, India

Session 3B: Development Issues I

Chair: Krupasindhu Pradhan, Udaya Nath Autonomous College of Science and Technology, India
Ravi Bhandari, St. Mary’s College of California, USA
Jared Phillips, University of Arkansas, USA
Amarjit S. Bhullar, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada

Session 4A: Political Issues II

Chair: Pramod Kantha, Wright State University, USA
Keith Leslie, Support to Participatory Constitution Building in Nepal Project, UNDP, Nepal
Abdu Muwonge, World Bank, USA

Session 4B: Agriculture, Industry, Health and Finance I

Chair: Abhaya K Nayak, National Institute of Science Education and Research, India
Anjan Pandey, American University, USA
Mukti Upadhyay, Eastern Illinois University, USA

Session 5A: Development Issues II

Chair: Ravi Bhandari, St. Mary’s College of California, USA
Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Punjabi University, India
Krishna Khanal, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Krishna Hachhethu, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Session 5B: Agriculture, Industry, Health and Finance II

Chair: Abdu Muwonge, World Bank, USA
Stephanie Smith, University of New Mexico, USA

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Thursday, October 14th
12:00 AM

An opportunity to improve service delivery through local governance in Nepal

Yam Sharma, Ministry of Local Government of Nepal
Abdu Muwonge, The World Bank

12:00 AM

This article explores the State of Nepal’s service delivery and decentralization efforts in the light of the current opportunity of constitution writing.

Conflict resolution and institutional arrangements for flood disaster management on Indo Nepal fringe: Focus on Kosi basin

N.M.P. Verma, Ambedkar University

12:00 AM

The purpose of this paper is to highlight riparian conflicts in Kosi basin of Indo-Nepal region. The paper focuses on characteristics of the basin, intensity of conflict, conflict minimization process, and areas of joint venture. It finds that institutional reform for minimum common governance (MCG) may yet lead to a sustainable solution. The paper proposes the modalities of MCG and its modus operandi and discusses plan appraisal, ex post evaluation, monitoring, and resource sharing. Planning by a single country may not solve this chronic problem.

Coping mechanism among tribes in India: A case study of Melghat

Nilratan Shende, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

12:00 AM

This research identifies a series of coping mechanism on which people of Melghat in the state of Maharashtra rely throughout the year. Variation in each of the coping mechanisms is analyzed in light of ownership of resources, access to natural resources, and gender discrimination. The paper takes a sociological approach to relate problems of food security to the prevailing structural social disparities and consequent discrimination.

Dam decommissioning with stochastic salvage value

Biswo Poudel, University of California-Berkeley

12:00 AM

Reservoirs are one of the most common forms of nonrenewable resources, yet their economic studies have been rare. Years after large dams were built en masse, engineering literatures began to realize that even when reservoirs were structurally sustainable, they would nevertheless become unsustainable for reasons such as sedimentation accumulation. The loss of storage due to sediment accumulation is nontrivial and alarming. Our goal in this paper is to formally represent the reservoir management problem, taking into account the stochastic nature of salvage value of the dam at the time of its decommissioning.

Developing soil erosion indices in Nepal using distributed modeling

Keshav Bhattarai, University of Central Missouri

12:00 AM

This research is an attempt to develop soil erosion index maps of Nepal by integrating biophysical and socioeconomic-demographic information. Areas exhibiting high erosion caused by biophysical and socioeconomic-demographic factors are identified for all the three ecological regions of Nepal – mountains, mid hills, and Tarai – covering 147,181 square kilometers. The terrain attributes derived from 30 x 30 m2, 60 x 60 m2 and 90 x 90 m2 grids resolutions are used to compare soil erodibility in different places. A soil erosion index map helps to differentiate productive areas from non-productive ones, and such a map becomes instrumental to examine food security.

Economic growth and human development in South Asia: Experiences of selected countries

Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Punjabi University
Amarjit S. Bhullar, University of Northern British Columbia

12:00 AM

The very quality and sustainability of growth, eventually, depends on the human development and vice-versa. There is, no doubt, that the causal relationship between growth and human development needs to be viewed in this spectrum. The daunting challenge of poverty and inequality and the human development may not be addressed only with growth, though growth is a pre-requisite to it. The two-pronged policy recommendation would then be to strengthen the redistributive mechanism and empower the people with quality education and health.

Economics of urban drainage system: A case study of Cuttack city, Orissa, India

Jogasankar Mahaprashasta, Christ College, Utkal University, India

12:00 AM

This research study explores the economic value of a well-functioning drainage system in an urban center of India. The urban drainage system regulates the environment and through it the health of the people. It promotes the urban economy.

Environmental attitude and water treatment behavior of residents of Kathmandu Valley

Hari Katuwal, University of New Mexico
Mona K. Qassim, University of New Mexico
Jose Pagan, University of New Mexico
Alok K. Bohara, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

This paper tries to assess a correlation between the ever increasing environmental awareness and attitude and its practical consequences in influencing the household behavior in dealing with the treatment of drinking water. The paper uses a two-equation system and the fullinformation maximum likelihood method to jointly estimate the water treatment decision equation and the environmental attitude equation. In addition, the paper looks at the role of media’s public health awareness campaign in changing the household behavior. Preliminary results indicate that the environmental attitude and the media both play an important role to affect the household's decision to treat drinking water.

Estimating equilibrium exchange rate in Nepal: A BEER approach

Anjan Panday, American University

12:00 AM

In this study, Nepal's real effective exchange rate and India-Nepal (INR/NPR) bilateral real exchange rate are considered in estimating a BEER based equilibrium exchange rate, in order to further study the possibility of exchange-rate misalignment. Estimation is carried out using Johansen (1988) cointegrated-VAR model.

Factors in health initiative success: Learning from Nepal’s newborn survival initiative

Stephanie Smith, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

What determines the success of health initiatives in acquiring sufficient levels of political priority to alleviate significant health problems in low-income countries? We investigate this question in the context of significantly increasing political priority for newborn survival in Nepal since the turn of the century. We use a process-tracing methodology to investigate the causes of this shift, drawing on twentynine interviews with individuals close to newborn health policymaking in Nepal and extensive document analysis.

Federalism Dialogues: Voices from Below in State Restructuring in Nepal

Keith D. Leslie, UNDP, Kathmandu, Nepal
Krishna Khanal, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Krishna Hachhethu, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

12:00 AM

The research seeks to assess whether this dialogue form of outreach and participation in the process of national constitution drafting provides an effective means of both democratic civic education, as well as conflict mitigation by creating a safe, respectful space for diverse community leaders to engage publicly and openly on critical and sensitive issues of state transformation during the process of drafting a new constitution.

Full Proceedings

Vijaya R. Sharma, University of Colorado at Boulder
Mukti P. Upadhyay, Eastern Illinois University
Jeffery Drope, Marquette University

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

Impact of industrial environment on socio-economic conditions of mine workers: A study of coal industries in Odisha

Abhaya K. Naik, NISER, Bhubaneswar, India
Krupasindhu Pradhan, UNCS&T, Cuttack, Utkal University, Odisha, India

12:00 AM

In the process of industrialization and output generation, working community play a vital role. The working environment and working conditions of worker is equally important to that of capital and organization to promote sustainable development. The socio-economic condition of coal mine workers in this study covers various dimensions of workers such as: working conditions, work environments, occupational hazards and industrial accidents and income generation etc.

India’s poverty eradication efforts: Some vital questions

Mohd. Saeed Khan, Aligarh Muslim University, India
Ghazala Aziz, Aligarh Muslim University, India

12:00 AM

Our paper is an attempt to revisit the phenomenon of poverty in India in a non-quantitative way, from its genesis to an evaluation of public policy response to mitigate poverty. Some of the analysis is based on either well-documented facts at the micro level for different States or on our own observations. Some of the data we wanted to use but did not might not be representative of the whole economy. But the questions raised in the paper, we believe, are still relevant.

Local people’s perception of climate change, its impact and adaptation practices in Himalaya to Terai regions of Nepal

Krishna R. Tiwari, Tribhuvan University
Keshab D. Awasthi, Tribhuvan University
Mohan K. Balla, Tribhuvan University
Bishal K. Sitaula, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

12:00 AM

Objectives of the Study 1. To evaluate long-term climate data (on precipitation and temperature) in order to determine variation in climate at different altitudinal regions of Nepal. 2. To understand farmers’ perception and experience of climate change. 3. To identify the impact and adaptive measures being taken to maintain farmers’ farming and livelihood in different regions (Himalaya to Terai region) of Nepal.

Looking for stability: Holistic policy analysis in light of rapid development among Kham Tibetan herding groups

J. Marc Foggin, Qinghai Normal University
Jared Phillips, University of Arkansas

12:00 AM

In efforts to improve people’s standard of living and to prevent serious ecological degradation, government has recently enacted at least 14 different policies that have had, and are likely to have, immense consequences for the Kham Tibetan people’s way of life. Unfortunately, there are often unforeseen, unintended consequences to such widespread and rapid restructuring of society. This paper examines these policies in a holistic fashion, each policy examined independently and in concert with each other; that is, in both a linear and a vertical manner, in order to show how researchers and policy-makers may gain a better grasp about how individual policies, often created in a vacuum, may affect the outcome(s) of other policies. More importantly, we aim to demonstrate how all of these policies, when considered together, may affect the Kham Tibetan pastoralist communities in which they are enacted — sometimes in a positive manner, sometimes in a negative manner.

Measurement and determinants of efficiency in crop production in Nepal

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

12:00 AM

Our study is an attempt to quantify efficiency of farmers and estimate the gap from its potential given the technology currently prevailing in Nepal. To estimate inefficiency in agriculture, we use a stochastic frontier production function. We also use OLS to compare the results for the Cobb-Douglas and translogarithmic functions to determine which of the two provides a better representation of the data. It is also interesting to examine what these functions yield for the levels of technical inefficiencies, returns to scale, and the elasticities of output with respect to different inputs.

Media contribution in transfer of power in Nepal

Binod C. Agrawal, TALEEM Research Foundation, India

12:00 AM

The aim of the paper is to find out the contribution made by FM radio in achieving transfer of power to people in Nepal from monarchy.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and economic development of Odisha

Krupasindhu Pradhan, Udaya Nath Autonomous College of Science and Technology
Santosh Kumar Munda, UTI Asset Management Company

12:00 AM

This paper examines the importance, contribution and development potential of micro, small and medium enterprises in the state of Odisha. Data are collected from primary and secondary sources. The paper focuses on two important sectors: handlooms and handicrafts in a wider perspective in comparison to the rest of MSME.

Postmodernism in development studies: The last bastion of the noble savage

Ravi Bhandari, Saint Mary's College of California

12:00 AM

This paper argues that the ideology of neoliberal globalization is the ideology of PM itself, despite its self-proclamations of being critical to the processes of continuing imperialism, expanding capitalism, and neocolonialism. This extended abstract only outlines the argument drawing on a review of current scholarship on Nepal in gender studies and social capital.

Poverty and indigenous peoples of Nepal

Gyanesh Lama, Washington University, USA
Martha Ozawa, Washington University, USA
Palsang Lama, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

12:00 AM

This study analyzes nationally representative sample of women (N =10793) to quantify the magnitude and predictors of poverty among indigenous peoples of Nepal. The study estimates the risk of poverty among the major ethnic groups in Nepal. Cross-sectional data from the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2006 (NDHS 2006) was used. Step-wise multivariate logistic regressions were conducted.

Swine flu: A preliminary study of the planning and policies of Nepal to deal with H1N1.

Rojee Rajbanshi, University of Findlay
William S. Carter, University of Findlay

12:00 AM

To predict the proper measures to be taken in harmonizing the global health with the emergence of the new influenza virus subtype capable of uncertain pandemic threat, WHO has developed guidelines regarding the preparedness and preventive measures and requires every country to follow the guidelines in formulating national pandemic and response plans plus implementing the measures effectively with regular monitoring. With the emergence of H1N1 infection worldwide, the Government of Nepal has considered the “National Avian Influenza and Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan” (NAIIPPRP), the plan developed in 2005 to deal with the Avian Influenza. The main objective of NAIIPPRP is to prepare the country for early recognition and containment of a possible outbreak of avian influenza (AI), to reduce the risk of human infection in the presence of animal disease and identifying and promptly treating human influenza cases where they occur.

The war disease: A spatial-temporal analysis

Shikha Basnet, University of Pittsburgh

12:00 AM

Social phenomena rarely occur in isolation, and civil wars are no exception. Given that past studies have viewed wars as one dimensional phenomena and studied the spillover of war across international boundaries only, this study is a first step towards building a conceptual framework to analyze violence upsurge in a more dynamic and disaggregated setting. Using data on the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, I propose a model to conceptualize violence as a spatial-temporal process and to estimate the parameters of interest via Maximum Likelihood technique.

Understanding Nepal’s Madhesi movement and its future trajectory

Pramod K. Kantha, Wright State University

12:00 AM

How definitive is the success of the Madhesi movement and how does one explain its course? What was the nature of the Madhesi uprising? Has there been a real shift in the attitude of Nepali elites toward the Madhesi issues? Are the Madhesi issues likely to be resolved peacefully? Many such questions about the Madhesi movement remain still unanswered. During my field study in Nepal in July-August 2010, I posed some of these questions to numerous Madhesi politicians, civil society leaders and ordinary citizens. My paper combines my field study observations with scholarly research to examine the dynamics of Madhesi movement.

Use of modern technology in rural development: A case study of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Odisha

Abhaya K. Naik, NISER, Bhubaneswar, India
Sukhamaya Swain, AXIS Bank Ltd., Bhubaneswar, India

12:00 AM

It has been observed that only rural development can take off India from a developing to developed state. For this purpose, the Government of India has been introducing various rural development schemes/plans during five yearly plan periods, since independence. An introduction of any plan/scheme is not the end; its successful implementation is the right approach to achieve the targeted goal. The introduction of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in the Tenth Plan, through a parliamentary act is one such big scheme which is operational till date in all part of India. Now, questions arise whether this very alluring scheme is being rightly implemented and whether the scheme requires a greater degree of monitoring for successful implementation. The present study is an attempt to find any lacunae in the implementation of the scheme at the grass root level such as a Block or Panchayat level and to suggest policy measures to enhance the quality of applicability of the scheme.