Sujeev Shakya

Articles & Publications

Whose integrity is it anyway?

The government must lay to rest speculations that surround the introduction of the National Integrity Policy to limit INGOs.

Kathmandu is abuzz with discussions on the National Integrity Policy proposed by the government. Like any other government policy inherited through the autocratic monarchy, the documents have been kept secret and no provisions have been provided for public discourse. The Nepali government suffers from a ‘credibility drought’, a term translated directly from Nepali that means people do not trust the intentions of the government. Speculation is rife on whether this move is influenced by the control apparatus of Pakistan, where the army is involved in the control and banning of civil society organisations. Read more

Reimagining Development Assistance

Social media pages are full of pictures of different folks from the development community meeting the newly elected leaders in the 753 local governments of Nepal. On the one hand, it is good to see that there is so much interest in the formation of new government structures, but at the same time, maybe it is also time to step back and consider whether there are new, fresh ways for the development sector to participate. It is evident that the development assistance sector is a competitive one, with many players competing to engage. Read more

Replicating chaos

On a whirlwind road trip across many cities in Western Nepal, one can find a lot of similarities with the Capital. Although construction is booming, the roads are dug up without a timeframe for when it will be re-laid, and houses are built in an unplanned manner. It’s as if the road conditions are accepted as long as there is enough space for motorcycles to pass through, never mind ambulances or fire engines. Ugly hoarding boards jostle with each other; and, if there is anything that unites Nepal visually, it is the presence of massive boards advertising Alcoholic beverages everywhere. Read more

Make way! Whenever the status quo does not deliver, a new crop of leadership emerges that should assume the helm

Last week, a consultant on a mission came to see me. This was the first time I met him. He told me he was back in Nepal for the first time since his last visit more than ten years ago. He had a big question to ask—does anything change in Nepal? He shared with me how, during his last visit, he worked as a note-taker for a person in a more senior position, but now he is the key man. Yet in Nepal, he went on to say, those people he met who held leading positions the last time he was here held the same positions this time around too. Read more

What is in store? Societal changes are much needed, but whether or not they will occur after elections is doubtful

It is very interesting to watch campaigns for the upcoming elections. While driving through town on Saturday, I had to give way to a bunch of motorcycles with party flags. They had turned their headlights to high beam despite the fact that it was mid-day and were honking continuously as they whizzed past. They disrupted traffic and it seemed as though they were heading out for a ‘gang-fight’ instead of campaigning for their candidate. Read more

Unlocking potential – If we can create progressive changes in the Nepali working environment, we can take on the world

On a recent Qatar Airways flight from Washington Dulles to Doha, after completing the safety briefing, the Senior Cabin Attendant came over to speak to me and welcomed me on board. She was Nepali. We had a brief conversation and she told me she had been working with the airline for ten years. This was not the first time I had met a fellow Nepali in a similar position. And the reoccurrence of such events has set me to wondering why it is that we Nepalis perform so well in other countries, but not in our own. Read more

Festivalonomics: Reflecting on the interface between festivals and the economy

Nepal will slowly inch back to normal by the end of the week, after a month full of festivities. In an agrarian society, a month’s break and the accompanying celebrations after hard physical labour is perfect. But we need to start thinking about whether we can afford to take a month long break with the globalised economy in mind. The fact that people are fine with activities slowing down for a month shows how the economy is insular, reliant on domestic consumption, and has little to do with export or the outside world. Read more

Learning from Singapore – Change has to start within the Nepali people themselves before it can influence larger society

Just after the 1990 Jan Andolan, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai became the Prime Minister. I heard him at close quarters a few times, rattling on about how Nepal will be turned into another Singapore, known for its extreme cleanliness. As a young professional who worked at Soaltee Hotel back then, I used to wonder how a person who chews on paan so incessantly that his teeth are stained, and who perhaps has never attended an oral hygiene lesson, could possibly make the whole city clean. Read more