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Reducing Child Malnutrition through Social Protection :  Nepal :Go to Project Summary

Reducing Child Malnutrition through Social Protection :  Nepal

Timetable  |  Project Outcome  |  Implementation Progress  |  Status of Covenants

Grant Name Reducing Child Malnutrition through Social Protection
Country Nepal
Grant Number 9157
Project Number 43103- 01
Thematic Classification Social Development
Governance
Capacity Development
Sector/Subsector Health and Social Protection / Social Protection
Gender Mainstreaming Category Some gender benefits
Description The development objective of the project is to create capacity within the Government of Nepal to plan and execute social protection programs and projects for more inclusive and equitable social outcomes.
Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy ADB's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Nepal (2005 2009) rests on three pillars of which fostering inclusive social development is one. The three sub-sectors prioritized under this pillar are (i) education, (ii) water supply, sanitation and urban development, and (iii) social protection. While the strategy emphasizes on building social protection initiatives within the project design, it also identified the need to build capacity in social protection institutions in Nepal. The CPS is in line with ADB's Strategy 2020, which places emphasis on promoting greater access to opportunities by expanding human capacities through investments in education, health and basic social protections; as well as with the government's development strategy which has been increasingly expressing its deep commitment to social justice and equity and is striving to expand its safety net and social protection coverage. Nepal has had in place an old-age pension scheme and benefits to widows and the disabled since 1994. Since the current fiscal year, the government has expanded this coverage by lowering the age limit and expanding its cash-transfer scheme to certain caste/ethnic groups. The allowance has also been increased.

However, there are no child centered cash-transfer schemes at the moment despite strong evidence that child protection measures can have significant impacts on the health of children and their consequent contribution to society. Many studies on early child brain development, including a study done by ADB shows that child development is at the core of human development theory and that the most critical period of brain development is in the first three years of life, proper nutrition being a critical factor in healthy brain development. It is estimated that more than half of Nepal's under-five children are stunted for their age, and despite significant decrease in infant mortality rates, over 40,000 under-one children are still dying in Nepal every year. A study conducted in 1999 revealed that of the 95,000 under-five child deaths in Nepal every year, about 54% were attributed to moderate and severe malnutrition, with the "moderates" responsible for most of the deaths. It has been proven that mental stunting resulting from malnutrition is irreversible and the World Bank estimated in 2007 that malnutrition in children in Nepal causes a GDP loss of around 3% per year. Thus, studies have shown that the highest human capital rates of return can be achieved from social protection targeting pre-school children. Confounding to these problems is a recent food alert by the World Food Programme in Nepal, warning of an impending food shortage, particularly in the mid- and far-western hills of Nepal due to low winter precipitation. Undoubtedly, children would be impacted the most.

In 2008 UNICEF and WFP conducted an exploratory survey to see how child benefit cash transfers would be used by households. The study revealed that more than 40% of the money from cash transfers to mothers would be spent on supplementary food for children, around 30% on children's education and 11% or more on health care. Evidence from another ADB project also demonstrated that women who were provided cash transfers did have control over the money, and most of the allowance provided to cover "basic needs" was spent on food, house maintenance, medicine, education, clothing and household supplies, in that order of priority. Thus, the justification to provide a monthly cash allowance and its direct relevance to poverty reduction is more than evident for this project.
Project Outcome
Outcome Progress Toward Outcome
Enhanced execution of social protection programs
Implementation Progress
Outputs and Timeframe Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities and Issues)
Enhanced capacity of local bodies in the project districts to deliver the child grant
Enhanced capacity of the government to design efficient and evidence-based social protection programs
Enhanced networking between local bodies, health facilities, and communities in the project districts for improving child nutrition
Output: Enhanced capacity of local bodies in the project districts to deliver the child grant
- Social protection Officers (SPOs) mobilized at the districts since December 2012. However, currently, there is only one SPO remaining. The EA is in the process of filling the vacancies.
- In case of social protection volunteers (SPVs), although the contract was signed on 23 January 2014, failure of the recruited firm to perform well has led to the cancellation of the contract. The EA is in the process of formalizing the cancellation.
- Management Information Specialists (MIS) contract signed on 23 January 2014.

Output 2: Enhanced capacity of the government to design efficient and evidence-based social protection programs
- A 2-day orientation and sharing workshop was conducted for local development officers and SPOs from five project districts and governance officers from UNICEF's mid- and far- western regional office. A 7-day capacity building training on social protection is also undertaken.
- On finalization of National Social Protection Framework, the consulting firm has submitted the draft report. Comments on the draft report provided.
- Manual on cash transfer completed (child grant operations manual consolidated into one comprehensive social protection operations manual)

Output Enhanced networking between local bodies, health facilities, and communities in the project districts for improving child nutrition:
- 1,169 FCHVs and 436 health facility staff trained.
- Midline survey completed. Preliminary results are showing positive impacts of the child grant in the five project districts.
Geographical Location Karnali Zone (Mid-Western Development Region)
Safeguard Categories Safeguard Categories explained (Launches new browser window)
  Environment C
  Resettlement C
  Indigenous People B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects No adverse environmental impacts are anticipated as a result of project implementation.
Involuntary Resettlement The project will not cause any involuntary resettlement.
Indigenous People The project will pay special attention to ensuring that the delivery systems will reach the indigenous and excluded groups.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation and Consultation A fact finding mission was fielded intermittently from 21 October 2009 to 18 April 2010. The mission undertook a field visit to one of the Karnali districts (Dolpa) from 23 October 2009 to 5 November 2009 to assess the ground realities of implementing cash grants in the remote mountain districts of Nepal. A workshop was organized in Kathmandu on 11 December 2009 to debrief central government officials on the missions field visit and to brainstorm on the ideas that had been proposed by the DDC staff and local villagers in Dolpa. Consultations were also held with development partners.
Responsible ADB Officer Arun S. Rana
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Nepal Resident Mission
Timetable
Concept Clearance 12 Aug 2008
Fact-finding 24 Oct 2009 to 18 Apr 2010
Board Approval 28 Feb 2011
CLOSING
Grant No. Approval Signing Effectivity Original Revised Actual

Financing Plan Top Grant Utilization
  TOTAL ( Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 2.00
ADB 0.00
Counterpart 0.00
Cofinancing 2.00
Date ADB OTHERS Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards
25 Nov 2014 1.162 58%
Cumulative Disbursements
25 Nov 2014 1.254 63%
Top Status of Covenants
Category Sector Social Financial Economic Others Safe
Rating Satisfactory
2008 Asian Development Bank

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