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Community Contribution

Promoting Sustainability & Self-Reliance: Use of Group Capacity Assessment Data in Nepal

S.Sharma, N.Ranaivoarivelo, K.Arnold, T.Dhungana

Sustainable Action for Resilience and Food Security (Sabal) is a five-year program in Nepal funded by USAID Food for Peace (FFP) in October 2014 and implemented by Save the Children and a consortium of partners. Sabal’s goal is to improve food security and resilience in targeted districts of Central and Eastern Midhills of Nepal. Its activities improve livelihoods, health and nutrition, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR/CCA).

During April-May 2015, Nepal suffered devastating earthquakes. In response, Sabal expanded program activities to five additional earthquake-affected districts. However, less than two years later, budget cuts forced Sabal to end implementation in these expansion areas and refocus on the six original districts. This challenge turned into an opportunity for Sabal to identify sustainability strategies to graduate Sabal community groups out of assistance and link them to local governments.

Sabal utilized the CLA approaches of "M&E for Learning," "Pause and Reflect," and "Adaptive Management" to identify sustainability strategies, assess the level of self-reliance among community groups, tailor interventions based on the data, and gain consensus and buy-in among internal staff, consortium partners, and the local government. As a result of CLA approaches, Sabal registered high-performing community groups with the government and linked these groups with local resources and leaders. At the same time, Sabal identified poor performing groups and built their capacity and self-reliance through targeted trainings and community capacity building. These efforts have resulted in improved local ownership of Sabal groups and will enhance the sustainability of Sabal's development outcomes.

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