Harmony, Security and Governance in the Plains

BaselineThis report is the result of primary research conducted by NEMAF in the month of September 2011. A household survey was developed by NEMAF and then carried out across the 11 districts of Madhesh/Terai region of Nepal.This report analyses the public perceptions towards social harmony, security and governance in the Madhesh/Terai region of Nepal. It presents the findings of the survey that tracks the public attitudes towards these sectors based on the information elicited by 653 respondents spread over these districts of Madhesh/Terai.

It finds that while harmony situation is improving gradually, local governance and deep rooted corruption appear to be the major challenge to be curbed in time and improved further. The study also finds that incidence and chances of conflict has been decreasing in Madhesh and most of the Madheshi people feel themselves safe and secure as compared with the period of Madheshi uprising and perceive crime and violence to be decreasing. Research also suggests that domestic violence has appeared as threat to social order, presence of open and porous border is adding insecurity in Madhesh, opacity in local budget distribution and lack of accountability is creating problems in development of Madhesh. Madheshi people mainly cited poverty and unemployment as major problem and were concerned much with corruption control. They mainly desired awareness programs and road construction.

The report was delayed for publications because of some technical problems. So, there may be slight fluctuations in the trends at current times. As it only covers 11 districts of Madhesh it cannot be easily generalized for whole Madhesh but certainly gives the scenario of harmony, security and governance and Madhesh being the findings of the report empirical.


Armed_Violence_in_the_TeraiThis report is the result of research conducted by the international non-governmental organisations (NGO) Saferworld and Small Arms Survey and the Kathmandu-based organisations Interdisciplinary Analysts (IDA) and the Nepal Madhesh Foundation (NEMAF).

This report seeks to explain these trends and give an impression of the state of security in the Terai during 2010. It finds that while violence continues to take place, several indicators and widespread popular perception suggest that the overall security situation is improving. Based upon the results of a household survey, focus group discussions and interviews conducted in 2010, most people feel that their community is safe, it is safer than the previous year and they are not concerned that someone in their household would become a victim of crime. Research also suggests that neither weapons ownership nor crime rates are as high as popularly perceived and, in fact, are surprisingly low.

However, the report also underscores that optimism must be tempered by caution. A lack of accurate and reliable data and monthly fluctuations in the number of violent incidents make it hard to assess whether security is definitively improving. The improvement in perceptions of security is also not uniform – women and those living in the border areas are far more likely to feel unsafe at home or in the community. Most importantly, research found that many of the factors that drive insecurity are also still in place and remain salient. So long as phenomena like the proliferation of armed groups, the politicisation of crime, the criminalisation of politics, socioeconomic exclusion, limited border controls and weak state security provision remain unaddressed, any improvement in security is conditional and prone to reversal. When viewed within the wider context of political uncertainty and events such as the deadline for a new constitution (28 May 2011) and the rehabilitation of former combatants, the ongoing salience of these and other factors helps to explain why this report found that optimism over improved security was accompanied by an unease that the situation may turn for the worse with relative speed.

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