The Flow and Ebb of Canadian Development Efforts in Nepal

Photo by Mapem Lanigan

Speaker: Ivan Somlai, Director of ETHNOBUREAUCRATICA and an Associate at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria

Ivan Somlai discussed his extensive research on Canadian development efforts in Nepal on February 27th, 2017 as part of the Himalayan Program’s Winter 2017 Event Series. Somlai has spent a considerable amount of time in the region and has accumulated years of experience working with both non-government and government development organizations in the country.

In his talk, Somlai provided a brief introduction to the history of Canadian cooperation with Nepal. Somlai described some of the complex projects that were funded by CIDA in Nepal, for example the land resource mapping projects from 1978-1986, the Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGDCP), and various non-government and crown corporations.

Somlai also discussed his most recent research on forest fire management and development projects. He explained that growing environmental, politico-administrative, and socio-cultural complexities associated with suburbanization emphasizes the necessity of a dedicated unit within the government to deal with the growing hazard of forest fires.

The event was well-attended by members of the UBC and Nepali communities, and was followed by an open-ended discussion about the success of the aid projects that Somlai has worked on. Somlai noted that coordination and time were important factors to consider, “You need time in order for projects to be sustainable and successful.”

This event was sponsored by the Himalaya Program, the Centre for Indian and South Asian Research, and the Department of Asian Studies.

Photos by Mapem Lanigan


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