Unfolding Futures

Unfolding Futures

Unfolding Futures is CFFN’s research conference series that focuses on contemporary issues of Nepal, such as education, rural development, food and agriculture, and in the past, development in a post-monarchy era. Through this conference, we bring together the scholarly works of researchers from Canada and around the world. Many of the papers presented at these conferences are published and available freely on this site. To view them, please click here.

Find Below the information on past conferences and the works presented at each.
| 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | Houston 2010 |

Houston Program: 2010 (Event Details | Speaker BiosInfo for ParticipantsVenue | Day 1 | Day 2-3 | Press ReleaseResolution (NP) | Photos)


Unfolding Futures 2009: A Look Into Research from the Lens of Development (Event Details | Speaker Bios


Unfolding Futures 2008: Building Nepal: Ground Up (Event Details | Speaker Bios)

  • Keynote Presentations
    • Global Warming and its Impact on Himalayan Ice, Snow, and Economy by Jack D Ives
    • Democratic Development in Nepal: Experiences from the Joint Project of Canadian and Nepal Bar Associations by Hon. Barry L Strayer
  • Political Restructuring: From the Land of Promises to the Promised Land
    • Federalism: Where is the Optimal Point of Distribution? by Pramod Dhakal
    • Planning and the Politics of Social Needs: Nascent Labour Market Issues by Basu Sharma
  • Economic Paradigm I: Economic Resources
    • Eight “Ja” for Economic Revolution in Nepal by Durga D. Poudel
    • Transforming Nepalese Agriculture: Limitations, Potentials and Priorities for Resources Allocation by Kalidas Subedi
    • Potential of Forest Resources in Economic Development of Nepal by Narayan Dhital
  • Economic Paradigm II: Budgetary Priority, Innovation, and Social Issues
    • International Discourse on National Innovation Systems: Implications for Innovation Policy in Nepalese Agriculture by Laxmi P Pant
    • Fixing the Past Mistake: What should be the Investment Priorities? by Ram Acharya
    • Health, Education and Wellness Gap in Nepal: Does Ethnicity Matter? by DP Rasali
  • Innovation, Youth, and Entrepreneurship
    • IT Globalization and Harnessing of Productive Potential of Nepali Youth Resources by Hari Paudel
    • Opportunities for Productivity Growth and Innovation in Nepal by Prashanta Dhakal


Unfolding Futures 2007: Nepalese Economy, Society, and Politics (Event | Speaker BioPress Release | Photos)

  • Click here to download proceedings document (.doc)
  • Keynote Presentation by Dr. Ronald L Watts
  • A study of the Evolution of Governance in Nepal by Pramod Dhakal
    • The research reported in this paper has found that Nepal had a rich history of knowledge, innovation, and prosperity until 18th century. Historic anecdotes tell that a proper system of governance must have four faculties: executive, legislative, judicial, and innovative, in intransitive power relations.
  • Ethnic Nationalism and the Future of Nepal by Basudeb Sharma
    • The key objective of this paper is to inform the decision makers on various models of federalism, and the importance of selecting a type of federal structure that keeps in view the ethnic, geographic and linguistic diversity of the country. Since the ultimate objective of any type of governance system and the resulting government should be to uplift lives and living conditions of citizens, the paper then outlines an economic policy framework necessary to achieve this objective.
  • A Model for Political Restructuring and Electoral System of Federal Nepal: Building on the Strength of Ethnic Diversities and Regional Complementarities by Ram C. Acharya
    • The paper develops a framework for a political restructuring of Federal Nepal and also a model of electoral system. It identifies the natural homelands of 11 ethnic, linguistic and caste (ELC) groups (called ELC focus regions) and argue that these regions must be an essential component of federation, but federation based on them is not desirable economically.
  • Political Transition in Nepal: Toward an Analytical Framework by Chaitanya Mishra
    • The conjecture made in the article is that the ensemble of historical shifts and contradictions at multiple levels of social organizations, for example, the levels of the individual, household, class, gender, caste, ethnic groups as well those at state and international levels, have led to a specific form of political transition in Nepal. The constitutive features of the transition in general and democratization in particular were erected upon five variables including (a) the weakening and demise of precapitalist, including feudal, political, economic and cultural forms at multiple levels of social organization, (b) the expansion and intensification of capitalism. The framework for explaining the historic development leading to the 2006 political transition in Nepal is developed on those five variables is presented in this paper.
  • Food Insecurity, Livelihood and Nepalese Agriculture: Challenges and Potentials by Kalidas Subedi and Bishnu K Dhital
    • This paper analyses and presents the overall biophysical and socio-economic conditions for Nepalese agricultural sector, food security situation and livelihood issues, environmental sustainability, and opportunities for improvement. Subsistence farming, fragmented and small sized farms, poor technical know-how of farmers, land degradation and water limitation are the key factors which led to low agricultural productivity in over 43 of Nepal’s 75 districts. Rapid urbanization and poor technological know-how of the majority of the farmers led to the environmental problems such as chemical contamination, soil, air and water pollutions and land degradation. We see tremendous potentials for the improvement of agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability through land consolidation, crop diversification, soil and water conservation practices, infrastructure development such as utilizing the country’s vast water resources for irrigation management, rural electrification and roads, and capacity building of farmers through training, education and pro-poor agricultural research and extension programs.
  • Decentralization of Energy Systems for Sustainable Economic Development in Nepal by Arjun B. Chhetri
    • Energy is a key determinant factor for economic development that supports basic needs including cooking, lighting, water pumping, health services and communication including industrial, commercial and transportation sector. Even though Nepal is endowed with huge energy resources especially hydropower, solar and wind, majority of people still have to rely on traditional energy sources such as biomass.Current analysis shows that conventional centrally managed systems will never be able to meet the energy requirements due to harsh geographical terrain, a decentralized energy model based on the future re-structuring of Nepal is discussed.
  • Community-Based Resource Management Paradigms in Perspective of the Inclusive Social, Economic and Political Movement in Nepal: Retrospect and Prospect by Krishnahari Gautam
    • Functioning of community-based resource management regimes are being assessed solely on the basis of production or depletion of particular products and/or services but ignoring their impacts on social, economical and political environs. This paper attempts in examining the contribution of community-based resource management regimes to the social, economical and political movement in a historical framework with reference mainly to the community-based forestry evolution in Nepal.
  • Farmer Cooperatives for Food Self-sufficiency, Agricultural Commercialization, and Socio-economic Development of Nepal by Durga D. Poudel
    • Agricultural policies and actions for raising farmers’ living standards, achieving food security, and enhancing the natural resource base are urgently needed. Farmers need to begin thinking as a group and take unified action in order to achieve these overarching developmental goals and to sustain their livelihood and agriculture. Farmer cooperatives which are formed by the farmers, governed by the farmers, and run by the farmers in a democratic fashion are an ideal mechanism to increase agricultural production and farm income, enhance agricultural sustainability and food self-sufficiency, while promoting Nepal’s socio-economic development. Through cooperatives, farmers are empowered and economic growth is stimulated.
  • Challenges in Closing Gaps of Health Inequities, Inequalities and Disparities in the New Era of Nepal by Drona P Rasali
    • The poorer and less disadvantaged communities in Nepal are not only sicker at the alarming rate, but also they are lesser recipients of the health care services from the publicly funded health facilities compared to richer and advantaged ones. The existing structure of the state’s public affairs including the health care is underpinned by the feudal elements inherited from the past, and is favorable to the “haves” against the “have-nots”. Without fundamental reforms in the way health care system is put in place for providing health care to the larger benefit of the masses, the health care will continue to be less accessible to the disadvantaged people, who are discriminated as poor, women, children, Dalits, rural and remote, Madheshi and Janajati ethnic groups. This paper attempts to discuss some thoughts on these issues in the context of restructuring the new era of Nepal, drawing from my personal experiences and internationally available data.
  • Inclusion Begins at Birth: A Model for Developing an Early Childhood Education Program for Rural Nepal by Michael J. Casey and Martina Casey
    • As elsewhere in the world, there is a continuing need in Nepal for a standardized form of pre-school day care so that working parents can have assurance that their children are in warm, caring, safe, affordable and readily available setting while they are away at work. Nepalese parents have needs which are no different from the needs of corresponding parents in western countries. A program of Early Child Care is available in Nepal but not widely, nor is the program sustainable particularly in rural areas, as parents are often overwhelmed with the task of organizing and maintaining a daycare facility. We propose a variation of an existing child care model in Nepal; one that is sustainable, provides guarantees for quality care, and is a proven method for preparing children for schooling. Emphasis is placed on a so-called child-centered play-based program which has proven to give positive results. The project would be coordinated with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, and NGOs such as Seto Gurans (“White Rhododendrons”) National Child Development Center, Women’s Foundation (WF) of Nepal and the Canadian Child Care Federation.
  • Citizen Participation in Local Government Management by Ishwor Dhungel
    • It is obvious that good participation of citizens will let new ideas emerge; including techniques, methods, and innovation in the local government settings so that quality services could be delivered. Participatory management will support local governance, through productive, impartial, sustainable and democratic development practices. Local governments in the developing world still have less autonomy compared to the developed world. It appears that more power lies with the federal and provincial government. With the lack of power decentralization and autonomy, local governments do not often develop citizen participation in the developing world. This is one of the barriers for local governments to serve their citizens better. The most crucial factor in establishing a sustainable citizen participation program is providing room for local people in management and decision making process of the local government initiatives.
  • Dalit Exclusion and their Assertion after the Janaandolan II by Uddhab Pd. Pyakurel
    • This paper deals how Dalits are trying their best to be assertive to get an equal share and participatory opportunities in the governance and polity after the Janaandolan II. The post-1990 and more especially the post-Janaandolan II democratic environment in Nepal has proved favorable to identity based peaceful political formations including those of Dalit, who argue that they have been historically discriminated both socio-economically and politically by the state. Their numerical strength, organic relations with grassroots communities, and an emerging discourse of exclusion/inclusion within Nepal are the resources to make the Dalit community more assertive.
  • Rainwater Harvesting: A Key to Drinking, Irrigation, Disaster Prevention and Poverty Alleviation in the Mountains of Nepal by Bhuwani Paudel
    • Despite having abundance of water resources, rainfalls, and precipitation, Nepal is in dire need of clean drinking water and irrigation for its people. In absence of new technology and in face of harsh geographical challenges, peoples in the mountains regions are living with their conventional practices, which have not undergone through improvements for ages. The quality of life of people can be dramatically improved if only of a fraction the average precipitation of 1400 mm per year can be brought to effective use. In this context, the role of appropriate techniques or technologies that use locally available impervious natural materials for sustainable use of rainwater is highlighted in this paper.
  • Nepal’s Economic Situation: A State of Perpetual Poverty, Stagnation, and Regional and Ethnic Disparities by Ram C. Acharya and Prem Sangraula
    • Besides comparing Nepal’s economic performance with its two neighbours, India and China, the paper examines regional and ethnic, language and caste (ELC) group disparities and also intra-region and intra-ELC group disparities in economic standing and educational attainment in Nepal. Results show that Nepal’s productivity is stagnated and the level of poverty is alarming. There are wide disparities in economic plight both by regions and by ELC groups. This sorry state of the economy indicates the failure of the past economic and social policies, warranting an immediate and new national strategy to address these problems with appropriate regional and group dimensions in it.
  • Inclusive Education: A Framework for the New Age of Communication by Pramod Dhakal
    • Ranked 140th out of 177 countries by UNDP in Human Development Index, Nepal suffers from chronic illiteracy and human poverty. However, attempts to bring its 28 million people out of this situation have produced dismal results and the Millennium Development Goal set by UNDP remains an illusive goal for Nepal. Breaking this cycle of stagnation is not going to be possible unless some non-conventional techniques are used to deliver education to the people living in the economically deprived regions of Nepal. One such non-conventional approach is to pool the resources of many communities into a common pool of knowledge-resources and using them collectively to deliver significantly improved-quality of education to the population. This approach warrants an application of the latest telecommunication and computing technology to make the pooling of knowledge-resource possible and a new approach to make these endeavors sustainable on their own.

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Publication of Sustainable Livelihood Systems in Nepal

CFFN is proud to announce that Sustainable Livelihood Systems in Nepal  has been published by IUCN Nepal.

Cover and Introduction | Authors’ Biographies | Purchase Book

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