A second in-country consultation meeting between Asian Development Bank (ADB), JICA, and the Embassy of Japan (EoJ) was held on 17 January. The purpose of the meeting was to review the progress of collaboration and explore further possibilities of collaborative areas. Altogether, there were 57 participant including five ADB HQs participants through video conference. The meeting had presentations and group discussion. Follow up activities are currently being conducted respectively and collaboratively by the staff of both organizations. The third meeting is aimed to be held after six months.
As a continued support to Nepal’s effort in the state building process, JICA conducted its third dialogue program on ‘Nepal State Building, Economic Growth, and Development Strategy’ on January 25 and 26 in Kathmandu. The main objective of the seminar was to provide thought provoking ideas to Nepali policy makers and government officials through knowledge enhancing presentations and discussions from Japanese and Nepali experts in the field of economic growth and development strategy. Key resource persons were Professor Shinji Asanuma, Dr. Hisanobu Shishido, Dr. Gayatri Acharya, Professor Hiroshi Matsuo and Mr. Yukiyoshi Ozaki. The program also provided a platform for open discussions and Q&A session amongst the participants.
Strengthening Community Mediation Capacity for Peaceful and Harmonious Society Project (COMCAP) successfully conducted its eight-day basic training course for mediators from Puranojangajholi VDC and Ratanchura VDC in Sindhuli District and Gauribas VDC and Mahottari VDC in Mahottari District in January and February 2011. Community mediators had been selected representing variety of social groups in all the wards and VDCs. The training was conducted in an inclusive manner considering various languages, education levels, gender, and other social elements. VDC assistants also participated in the training and the program was highly interactive.
The Stone foundation laying Program was organized in February 25, 2011, for the project for clean energy using solar photovoltaic system in Nepal. As a policy of the Japanese Government, JICA decided to promote clean energy including renewable energy to be promoted as a “co-benefit” cooperation case and utilize Japanese advanced technology including technology of the private sectors. This project promotes the mitigation of GHG emission, creates awareness of the PV system and mitigates the electricity cost of the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) facility or Kathmandu Valley Water Supply at Sundarighat in Kathmandu by providing PV system and related equipment on the site. The project also promotes interconnection of the power generation by “clean” renewable energy to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) grid. It also presents countermeasures against air pollution and climate change. The project was implemented in January 2011 and will be completed in February 2012.
The Support for Improvement of Primary School Management in Nepal (SISM) project completed its planned implementation period which was 26 February 2008 to 25 February 2011. In collaboration with JICA, the Government of Nepal (Ministry of Education and Department of Education), the project aimed to improve school-based management with community participation and government support in the target area. The project's goals were to develop the capacity of school management committees (SMCs) in planning/implementing school improvement plans (SIPs); strengthen the capacity of the village development committees (VDCs) and the district education offices (DEOs) to support the SMCs' efforts; and prepare suggestions and recommendations to improve the primary school management in Nepal. Further information provided in www.sism.org.np (available till February 2012)
JICA and the Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ) jointly organized a Brainstorming Workshop on Legal and judicial Reform Agenda for Development Strategy in Nepal on February 25. Taking on a different approach in comparison to previous such events, the main objective of this workshop was to discuss priority issues related to legal and judicial reform in line with national development strategy by means of brainstorming among participants who came from varied disciplines, playing different roles. Two papers were presented by Mr. Raju Man Singh Malla, Joint Secretary of MoLJ and Professor Hiroshi Matsuo, Keio University of Japan. The presentation was followed by an open discussion.
The JICA Volunteers’ PR campaign titled ‘AD Follow up Caravan’ was set forth by the volunteers from March 2 to March 7, 2011 celebrating the 40th anniversary of JICA Volunteers program in Nepal. Various programs were organized at each visiting sites including introduction of JICA Volunteers, environmental education, nutrition and health education, health checkup program, and introduction and demonstration of Japanese culture. This caravan was a good opportunity for both volunteers and Nepalis to facilitate exchange and cooperation.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) in association with JICA Nepal organized an official launch ceremony of the project for ‘Promoting Peace Building and Democratization through the Capacity Development of the Media Sector in Nepal’ or Media for Peace (MeP) project on April 20. The program also conducted a forum for media people. MeP was launched with the goal of establishing a model of accurate, impartial and fair media in the democratization process of Nepal through the reviison of media policy, acts, regulations and guidelines and also enhances the function of Radio Nepal as public broadcasting institution.
Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal, Minister for Physical Planning and Works Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and Japanese Ambassador Tatsuo Mizuno jointly inaugurated the widening and upgrading of the 9.1 km Tinkune-Suryabinayak section of the Arniko Highway. A special program was organized on May 3, 2011 in which the Chief Representative of JICA Nepal, Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki was also present. With the completion of the six-lane road project, vehicular movement has become smooth. The project started in November 2008.
Coffee is becoming one of the major commercial agricultural products of Nepal, which has great export potentials. Although the quantity aspects of its production have been well highlighted in Nepal, its quality is not sufficiently addressed. For this purpose, a coffee cupping contest and workshop was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) in coordination with JICA Nepal Office and Coffee Promotion Project (CoPP) /Helvetas from 2 to 3 June, 2011 in order to assess the qualities of coffee beans produced by Nepali farmers from different parts of Nepal and provide advice to improve them for better acceptance and higher prices in the market. The workshop organized was to make the participants understand various factors including quality and tastes, what affects them and also ways to understand their consumers’ particular tastes and types of coffee they prefer. The Coffee Contest Organizing committee comprised of Dr. Masahiro Kawamura, OVOP Expert, Dr. Hari Babu Tiwari of MoAC, Mr. Ganesh Shrestha of AEC, Mr. Prachanda Shrestha of CoPP/Helvetas, Dr. Dale Nafziger of Top of the Cofee and Mr. Fumihide ikeshima of Shanti Shanti. About 10 coffee producing farmers were nominated by 10 District Coffee Producers Associations and approved by CoPP. The winners of the coffee cupping contest were declared and certificates were distributed on the second day.
Strengthening the Monitoring and Evaluation System (SMES) project, a technical cooperation support of JICA Nepal to National Planning Commission Secretariat (NPCS) conducted third Monitoring and Evaluation Policy forum on December 8, 2009. The SMES Project conducts the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Policy Forum every year during its project period (2007-2009). Previous forums were conducted in December 2007 and February 2008. The participants included Chief guest, Hon. Vice Chairman of NPC, Dr. Yubraj Khatiwada; Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Noriaki Niwa; Chief Secretary, Mr. Madhav Prasad Ghimire; Japanese Minister Councilor to Nepal, Mr. Tadashi Fujiwara; and Mr. Yoseki Nagase, Senior Advisor of KRI International and Ex Vice President of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
The seminar was followed by a debriefing seminar on March 12, 2010 in Kathmandu to share the experiences and knowledge gained during the trip with other CA members and political leaders so that the outcomes of the seminar will have maximum results in the nation building process.
An observation trip was organized on 21 April 2010 to show the activities of Ms. Junko Sanda (JOCV) working for Rehabilitation Center/ National Disabled Fund as an Occupational Therapist (OT), and Dr. Mr. Norio Yasuda (SV) working for Soil Management Directorate as the soil management expert. The objective of the tour was to increase the understanding of JICA Volunteer Program among Ministries working together with JICA Nepal office and media as well as to inform them of the 40th Anniversary of JOCV dispatch in Nepal. This was the first program to mark the 40th Anniversary of JICA volunteers in Nepal.
On 3 September, JICA Nepal hosted a brief press meet to officially announce the 40th anniversary of JICA Volunteers Program in Nepal. The main purpose of the meet was to seek the support of media to bring crucial efforts of JICA Volunteers to the forefront. The participants included Government and private media representatives. The meet concluded with active interactions between media people and the representatives of JICA Nepal and JOCVs.
As part of the celebration to mark the 40th Anniversary of JICA Volunteer Program in Nepal, a PR Campaign was set forth by the volunteers titled ‘AD Caravan’. JICA dispatched several volunteer.
Groups to various places in Nepal, where JICA volunteers have worked in the past and currently working at present as well. The dispatch members of the AD Caravan are organizing different programs at each visiting site. For example, demonstration of educational activities and materials, introduction of Japanese culture, Karate and Judo performance, introduction of agricultural skills such as soil testing and farm products, introduction of Japanese cooperative movement, health care education, music, etc. The program started in 21 September and concluded in 5 December. The visiting districts were Dhading, Tanahu, Syangja, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, Mahendranagar, Ilam, Sunsari, Morang, Bhaktapur, Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Rasuwa.
On 25 November, JICA Nepal Office hosted a final grand ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of JICA Volunteers Program in Nepal. The Chief Guest Honorable Finance Minster Surendra Panday, His Excellency Tatsuo Mizuno, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, representative from JICA Headquarter, heads and representatives of donor agencies, Chairperson from ex-volunteers association, distinguished guests from the Government agencies, foreign and national media personnel, former JICA volunteers from the earlier batches dispatched to Nepal, senior and junior volunteers, and their counterparts graced the event with their presence. The event was a grand success and a fitting finale marking the 40th Anniversary. It included speeches, video letter from Mr. Akio Maeda, former volunteer from the first batch, activity presentation from the volunteers, a short drama, and the highlight of the evening-a special 40th anniversary theme song sung by all the participants. The counterparts of JOCV appealed to the concerned stakeholders for continued support of JOCV activities of JICA Volunteers to the forefront and getting the limelight and appreciation it truly deserves.