A joint meeting between ForestAction Nepal and Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) was organized on 11th September, 2022 on “Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Low-Carbon COVID-19 Recovery” funded by IDRC Canada. ForestAction Nepal is implementing- Women’s Economic Empowerment through Forest Solutions- WEE-FS in Sindhupalchok and Nawalparasi district and SIAS is implementing Co-production of Shock Resilient Business Ecosystems for Women Engaged Enterprises (CREW) in Ramechhap, Dolakha and Arghakhanchi districts. The meeting was organized to discuss the conceptual framing of women economic empowerment and share the projects achievements, issues and challenges in the action research.
The meeting was organized in two sessions, the first session was intended for sharing and discussion on the conceptual framework and project updates and second one on the opportunities, issues and challenges faced in project implementation. Dr. Bhim Adhikari shared the IDRC’s research priorities and the developmental challenges. He raised the issue of challenges of action research on influencing policy making at national and global level and expected two projects in the same country will bring synergy stimulating policy process.
Dr. Mani Ram Banjade, Principal Investigator- CREW project shared conceptual details of the women economic empowerment (WEE) framework. Five domains of WEE (economic, socio-cultural, environmental, technological and policy) and interlinkages between them important to build shock resilient women led enterprises. He further updated the project achievements and glimpses of base line survey analysis.
Ms. Kanchan Lama and Dr. Srijana Baral, discussed the conceptual framework adopted by WEE-FS project. Ms. Lama shared that in the WEE framework women’s societal relationship with her family is equally important as agency development and reducing the social biases and structural barriers in the empowerment process. Dr. Baral shared the project approaches and the updates made so far in the project outcome areas.
ForestAction Nepal’s consortium partner HIMAWANTI Nepal, AFFON and FenFIT presented their perspectives in issues and challenges faced in the project implementation. Similarly, SIAS partners (NIMS College, ARIA Solutions and Himalayan Bio Trade Limited -HBTL) reflected the same.
The discussions between the sessions were moderated by Dr. Naya Sharma Poudel and Dr. Dil Bahadur Khatri. The majority of the discussions focused on joint actions for WEE, cross learnings and policy gaps on developing low carbon economies. More such events are expected to be useful to both the projects and IDRC as a whole.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Adhikari shared that the projects are progressing well in line with IDRC’s strategic thinking and ideas. He appreciated the partnership approaches. He also suggested on developing scalable models for women empowerment through low carbon initiatives. He emphasized on knowledge generation and dissemination, as IDRC uses the academic outputs to map project’s impacts.