Skip to: Site menu | Main content

ASHA: The Hope
A DFID funded community Support Program

About ASHA Program

Accessing Services for Households in Achham (ASHA) project was initially designed by CARE Nepal to strengthen the delivery of basic services and provide temporary employment opportunities for the people of Achham district. The Maoist attack on Mangalsen, the district headquarters in February 2002, changed the security situation in the district and adversely affected the implementation of the project. The ASHA project was subsequently moved from Achham to Bajura, Bajhang, Doti and Gorkha districts, in January 2003 to respond to the demands of the local communities for reconstruction and rehabilitation support. Between January 2003 and March 2004, ASHA covered 176 Village Development Committees (Bajura-27, Bajhang-41, Doti-46 and Gorkha-62), which is over 92 percent of the total VDCs in these districts. A one month no-cost extension (April 2004) was granted to the project to finalize an impact assessment and to design the extension phase of the project.

ASHA is spelled with the Community Support Program as DFID funded program contributing to poverty reduction in the remote areas of Nepal through the development, application and dissemination of effective strategies at the local and national level.

ASHA, or hope in Nepali, has been launching in nine remote conflict-affected districts to provide immediate relief for local communities, particularly the poor, women, Dalits and other excluded communities through temporary employment opportunities and enhancement in access to basic services in order to improve their living conditions.

We are addressing the basic needs of communities by increasing the availability of basic services such as drinking water and irrigation facilities, rehabilitation of schools and health posts and providing access to these services even in the most conflict affected areas.

By working directly with the local communities and with local institutions and giving them more control over the planning, implementation, monitoring and resources management this has led to increased ownership of the activities, particularly for users groups. This has strengthened communities and groups to better withstand problems and barriers related to the implementation of these activates.

Mobilization of local resources, both human and material, and use of local technology is effective in terms of allowing for greater mobility and access of staff from local institutions and user group members within the project area and for minimal dependence on external factors such as construction material and skilled labour force.
Improved awareness on social access: The provision of immediate benefits from the project activities such as temporary employment, brings relief to the community and especially the most marginalized households (those headed by women, the very poor and Dalits.) This is critical in the context where migration has been steadily increasing due to the security situation, leaving a vulnerable population in most of the project areas to fend for themselves under increasingly harsh economic conditions.

Focusing on reconstruction and rehabilitation of small-scale rural infrastructure activities that produce quick and tangible results, which are manageable and desired by the beneficiaries and have positive impact on marginalized households, our major activities and ongoing achievements include the elements given below.

Support is given for community drinking water and sanitation systems including construction/rehabilitation/protection of water systems and waterspouts and construction of household level latrines, as well as community based irrigation systems including construction/rehabilitation of irrigation systems and the construction of pond irrigation systems. Community schools are being rehabilitated or built with improved roofing, furniture, drinking water supplies and toilets, as are health facilities such as health posts and sub-health posts. With the support ASHA gives to the construction and maintenance of suspended bridges and footpaths, increased access takes place. In additional agricultural facilities are also being created including the construction of collection centres, cellar stores and rustic stores. ASHA also provides support to the skills enhancement to the marginalized such as women and Dalits. See Implementation framework of ASHA program.

[ Back to top ]

 © 2009 CARE Nepal - Asha Program. Concept by : Durga Nepal and Umesh Shrestha, Design by Viplab Shrestha.