A new normal: An outcome harvesting report on transforming harmful social norms and improving accountability in Nepal

Nepal is a nation of 110 ethnic groups and 55 languages. Its histories, cultures and traditions go back hundreds of years and feature many social norms, some of which were essential for human survival. However, as times changed, some of these norms became archaic.

Globalisation, the world wide web and accessible technologies created new realities for the Nepalese people. The Nepalese people are working towards a new normal that represents present-day values of this Himalayan nation, its constitution, its laws and regulations. It is working to transform the social norms that cause harm, especially to women, girls, and minorities and establish mutual social accountability.

Over a decade, International Alert had been using the outcome mapping and harvesting approach to: identify challenges; inform programmes on mitigating risk; document small to big changes; reflect on the significance of changes and the organisation’s contribution in realising them.

This approach was used in our project Strengthening Access to Holistic, Gender Responsive, and Accountable Justice in Nepal (SAHAJ) to: address social accountability and identify causes of gender-based violence; improve capacity and accountability of the security and justice system; and enhance access to security and justice services among at-risk women, girls and the marginalised in Nepal.

Periodic reviews of what worked or what did not and why provided opportunity for adaptation that made the project’s interventions more relevant, effective and efficient.

Likewise, a Community Score Card tool has been used to bring key stakeholders including local political, religious, cultural and social leaders, the Nepal police, local government members of the judicial committee and community people on a single platform, discuss and transform harmful social norms, build mutual accountability and enhance access to security and justice for women and girls.

Through this report, we are pleased to present outcomes mapped and stories harvested in 33 municipalities across the two provinces where SAHAJ was implemented: Province 2 and Lumbini province. We believe that these changes will help design future programmes that strengthen social stories and lessons accountability and enhance access to security and justice for women and girls in Nepal.

Read the report here