Asia Foundation Releases Study on Housing Reconstruction Cash Grants in Post-Earthquake Nepal

Kathmandu, December 16, 2016 — The deadly earthquakes in April and May of 2015 in Nepal caused massive housing destruction with over half a million houses collapsed or badly damaged. In order to get people back into safer, permanent housing, the Government of Nepal and major donors developed the Nepal Rural Housing Reconstruction Program (RHRP), currently the core of the government’s support for earthquake victims. The Asia Foundation’s newly released report, produced with Democracy Resource Center Nepal (DRCN), examines the implementation process of the housing reconstruction program, as well as local awareness of the cash grants. The new report is part of a project aimed at providing insights into the effectiveness of aid delivery and its impact on recovery in the aftermath of Nepal’s 2015 earthquakes.

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Through the Nepal Rural Housing Reconstruction Program (RHRP), reconstruction cash grants, disbursed in three tranches, are provided to eligible beneficiaries to aid them in building earthquake-resistant houses. The new Nepal Government Distribution of Earthquake Reconstruction Cash Grants for Private Houses report outlines the policy background of the cash grant program, highlights the challenges that have emerged, and provides recommendations on how the program can be improved. The study specifically looks at: issues around local reception of the government’s damage assessments and changes to beneficiary lists; the process of signing beneficiary agreements for the purpose of distributing the reconstruction grant; and issues related to access to the grants.

The report details findings from qualitative field research conducted in two severely impacted districts, Gorkha and Dolakha, during July 2016 along with data from three rounds of qualitative and quantitative fieldwork, of which the latest was undertaken in September 2016.

The report forms part of a larger longitudinal and mixed methods study, the Independent Impacts and Recovery Monitoring (IRM) project, which the Foundation developed to track the effectiveness of aid delivery and its impact on recovery in the aftermath of the earthquakes. The IRM project provides regular and rigorous data on how people’s needs are evolving, the challenges they face, the coping strategies they use, and the extent to which aid is helping. Changes are tracked over time through multiple research rounds: the first was conducted in June 2015 and the second in February and March 2016. Full reports from the third round will be published in early 2017.

By sharing these reports with the broader community working on post-earthquake recovery, The Asia Foundation hopes to contribute to ensuring that the aid response to the earthquake is effective and accountable. The project is supported by the governments of the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The series of reports can be downloaded here.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: Nepal
Related programs: Conflict and Fragile Conditions
Related topics: Nepal Earthquake

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Amy Ovalle, Chief Communications Officer
amy.ovalle@asiafoundation.org
415-743-3340

Eelynn Sim, Associate Director
eelynn.sim@asiafoundation.org
415-743-3318

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