Message From The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

SEARCH-Nepal (SN), is treading on the penultimate years of its three decades of development and environment led activities in Nepal and the South Asian region. During these long years, (SN) is a living testimony to many changes and upheavels that has taken place in South Asia in  general and Nepal in particular.  A number of political changes have taken place in the country from being and absolute monarchy to a pluralistic democracy and currently a federal democratic republic. Nepal has witnessed many "teething problems" in attempting to attain a stable pluralistic democracy and the country is going through a prolonged uncertain and chaotic "transisitional phase".  Popularly dubbed a "post conflict" transitional country, she is still in the "doldrums" politically as well as economically. Swaying back and forth but unable to make any headway or progress, Nepal finds her self in a period of dull stagnation in terms of her political-economy!

The socio-cultural sector, on the other hand ,has been vibrant as ever. The rise of ethnic consciousness is remarkable together with consciousness of the rights of women, children, dalits, elderly and those under difficult circumstances or persons with disabilities. The awareness of one's rights comes with concomittant commitment towards one's duties and responsibilities as informed and responsible citizens. This particular element related to positive action emanating from duties and responsibilities is perhaps lagging behind currently. Hopefully, as we mature and move forward as an multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and diverse society such positive traits will grow with us and in our society as well.

SEARCH-Nepal has aided the process of building capacity for a strong civic society sector (CSO)  with responsible and positive action in Nepal. In the late 1970s and early years of 1980, there were very few NGOs and CBOs or social groups such as mothers' groups, cooperatives or User Groups from the natural resources sector. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of such groups. We, therefore, not only face  tough competetion but  also a high degree of chaos and confusion.There is  also a need to ensure good quality and relevant services including positive actions from these myriad citizen groups.

In terms of development, the last few decades have seen the country  move from a welfare based basic needs approach  to a human rights based approach. The Environment has seen drastic improvements based on community managed common property approach. Agriculture has managed reasonably well with increase in  production of major cereal crops, cash crops, fishries, horticulture and floriculture. Agrarian reforms and a package of  support to the farmers, however, leaves much room for improvements in the country. The sustainable livelihood approach, in the true sense of a package of measures and support to the farmers is also missing.

Learning  from the past experiences and witnessing the current trends and scenarios, (SN) is attempting to provide (KSA) knowledge, skills and right attitude for a mindset shift  that can lead to self-reliance, dignity and sustain development.  In order to accomplish this goal, (SN) has restructured its organizational operations into various divisions such as (a) programme; (b) field programme; (c) human resources development; (d) finance;  and (e) operations divisions.  These divisions, including the field centers such as the Community Creativity, Research, Training and Partnership Centers (CCCs),  in future must operate as "cost centers" - recovering much of its cost of operations.

This is a major challenge before the Board and the staff members of SEARCH-Nepal. Hopefully, the human resources and talents in the organization will be equal to the task and live up to its promise as a reselient institution which can manage change. This challenge entails, that (SN) function as a well managed NGDO based on "social enterpreneurial" culture and spirit.

Most of the "gearing-up" efforts for this "Changed Management" has been accomplished. These are the terms of reference (TOR) for the divisions and the staff members. Brochures and re-branding of logo, websites and electronic IEC materials, publications of various books and articles as well as external representations in Nepal and overseas have been accomplished. A development and environment Handbook for professionals, trainers and community leaders are currently being written based on (SN's) experience. A 30 minutes documentary based on field experience has been produced and is called "The Smiles From the Himalays: Living, Learning and Celebrating with the People". This documentary will showcase the long years of (SN'S) work in the Himalayas. This documentary is "aired" currently in major national Television Networks such as Sagarmatha etc. We will also screen this in the South Asian Film Festivals utilizing our friends in the media network in the coming days.

In this manner, (SN) wishes to provide an educative information to the development and environment community in Nepal on the success and challenges of working in remote Himalayan hamlets.

Deepak Dorje Tamang
10 July 2012, Kathmandu. Nepal.


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