The Study of the Factors Affecting Sustainability of Community Groups in a Remote District of Nepal
This research was carried out to study the factors affecting the sustainability of the community groups formed by two different community development projects in a remote district of Nepal. Three Village Development Committees (VDCs) from each project implementation area were chosen for the research. The information was collected from the group members and former members of the VDCs through a semi-structured questionnaire. Document review and observation in the community were also made for more information. Both internal (project process and groups' activities) and external factors (outside resources, networking, security situation) were considered to determine the factors of the sustainability of the groups. The research finds that almost all the community people were aware about project objectives, its target group and the project implementation process. Although the temporary provision of resources from the outside served to attract people for the infrastructure development during implementation of NRMP, the community people did gain some more long-lasting benefits. In RCDP working area, people were motivated for awareness raising, they developed self concept and skills, which led them to address their problems in a systematic way. Local resources had been identified and utilized effectively for infrastructure development. However these resources were not enough to solve all the problems. The majority of groups were not able to contact resource providers, thus some of the groups became inactive. In gender roles, there was positive impact. Women were empowered and men had positive attitude towards women. However, very few women were in group leadership positions. Groups established on the basis of specific needs were doing well. The security situation of Nepal had a very negative impact. Many groups stopped their activities due to security problems. Considering these factors, the project processes need to focus for significant improvement in strengthening women's roles in decision making and equal participation as men to solve problems through mobilization of local resources and accessing outside resources. Strengthening the networking process is also an important aspect by which the neighboring groups could unite with the aim solving common problems and accessing outside resources. An effective process to link the community groups with the resource providers helps to build confidence in the groups for accessing the resources.