We are pleased to share with you International Alert’s briefing paper on Economic Recovery and Peacebuilding in Nepal. This paper is part of International Alert – Nepal’s working paper series on ‘Equitable economic recovery for peace’, which seeks to share research and stimulate debate on the key conditions, barriers and opportunities for peace through inclusive economic development in Nepal.
As elsewhere, the business community in post-peace agreement Nepal is being held back as the engine of growth and recovery by conflict and poverty. Much hinges on the businesses' ability and willingness to deliver on these expectations, not only in terms of stimulating growth, but also for promoting social equity and cohesion. For policy and programming to be effective, policymakers need to be mindful of and reflect on the micro- and macro-level realities of the business environment, including barriers to doing business, as well as how business impacts on the social, political and conflict environment.
This working paper presents key issues, findings and recommendations from a series of research efforts carried out in the course of 2008 in Kathmandu, as well as in Parsa and Morang, two districts in the eastern and central Terai region that sit on Nepal’s east-west industrial corridor. The research aimed to better understand the challenges around linking economic recovery to the wider peace process in Nepal, and sought to bring to light district- and Kathmandu-level perceptions of relevant stakeholders, especially among the business community.
Building on this research and in line with the evolving context, Alert’s work in 2009–2010 will focus on:
- Facilitating interactive exchange between donors and the private sector, aimed at identifying ways to work together for sustainable peace;
- Forging links between district chambers of commerce and local communities, aimed at broadening market opportunities for small entrepreneurs and encouraging conflict-sensitive business practices that deliver economic opportunities to the most marginalised; and
- Bringing a peacebuilding perspective to economic policy discourse through research that aims to deepen understanding of the economic dimensions of peacebuilding.
This work will be carried out in close partnership with business and private sector actors, as well as national and international partners from government and civil society.