Yasodha Shrestha

Inclusive Democracy Advisor, Danida Human Rights and Good Governance Programme

October 2010: I am currently working as Inclusive Democracy Advisor for Danida Human Rights and Good Governance Programme in Nepal (DanidaHUGOU). I have been working here since March 2009, after the Jana Awaaj project implemented by Canadian Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) ended, where I earlier worked as the Team Leader.

DanidaHUGOU is currently working with 13 National NGOs on a long term strategic partnership approach for a period of 5 years from 2009 to 2013. My position here involves supporting the dialogue between DanidaHUGOU and partners regarding Strategic Plans, including Institutional Development Plans and Budgets, and participating in efforts to ensure a broad funding base for the implementation of the Strategic Plans. I also prepare Memorandums of Understanding and Partnership Agreement; provide technical assistance to partners for their implementation of partnership activities within defined areas of work, and contribute to a joint framework for mainstreaming accountability, conflict transformation, gender and social inclusion, as well as democratic processes and respect for human rights in activities of partner organizations while collaborating with other advisors to develop and maintain a monitoring system that tracks performance.

Currently I am also a member of Action Asia network.

January 2008: I am currently working as Team Leader for a project called Jana Awaaj (meaning People’s voices) with the Center for International Studies and Cooperation.  It is a project funded by Canadian Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI). The aim of this project is to enhance the participation of women and socially excluded groups in the making of a new constitution.

My job is focused on implementing the project in 16 districts of the five development regions in Nepal.  We are carrying out massive education and awareness raising sessions on the CA process, enabling socially excluded groups to carry out discussions on CA related issues so that their voice can be heard at the policy level.  It is very challenging because the districts in Nepal are very diverse, not only ethnically but also culturally, socially and economically. I find my job very enriching because I share similar values with this organization, and I am very happy to be involved in a project directly affiliated with the political transformation process as a step towards peacebuilding.

I have also worked with Action Asia team to conduct a four-modular training on Building Peace and Trust in Nepal.  It also was a very enriching experience, and my article on restorative justice in the context of Nepal has been published in the Action Asia journal.  I am working with Emma Leslie who is Secretariat for the Action Asia team.

November 2006: I have been working with CARE Nepal for five months now. I am working on a survey of like minded organizations working around peace building and conflict sensitivity.

It was a historic moment for Nepal yesterday with the Maoist leader and the present Prime Minister signing the peace agreement and ending the war.  We had a holiday today to celebrate the signing of the peace agreement.  I hope things will be better for all Nepali people here onwards.

I am currently working as a Consultant for Education Sector Advisory Team (ESAT) a project funded by DANIDA. It is a full time job for six months duration. Some of my major responsibilities are to give technical advice on conflict transformation and peacebuilding, to carry out impact assessment of conflict and political instability in the education sector, and also to give advice for the capacity building of teachers in the same sector.

My job is very challenging because it is a nation-wide program to support the capacity building of teachers, and we work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports/Department of Education where every single project activity has to be approved by the Ministry.

Currently, I am working on a proposal to strengthen the capacity of the education sector with the involvement of International, Regional and National expertise.

ESAT does not itself have the flexibility to implement any programs. Every single activity has to be approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports itself, which I feel is very challenging.

Besides this job, I have also completed an assessment of the Community Mediation Project for The Asia Foundation and worked as a team member to complete a report on Gender, Ethnicity, Culture and Conflict for IIDS.

January 2005: I just joined CARE Nepal as Advisor for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding.  Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding is a new initiative for CARE Nepal and this position is new too, so I have a lot of scope to work hard and put all the theories on CTPB to practical use here.