WI's Renewable Energy Project Support Office (REPSO) in Nepal has been involved in improving access to renewable energy, through public awareness raising and capacity building, for more than 14 years. In Nepal, REPSO has established a reputation for providing high quality business support services to entrepreneurs working in hydropower and other clean energy enterprises. In addition, it has been supporting the commercial generation of power from distributed energy systems such as small hydropower, solar photovoltaic, grid electrification and wind to increase the rural population's access to electricity (rural electrification), and had substantially promoted clean transportation, micro-finance, and decentralized energy through biogas.
Winrock has also contributed significantly to the following sectors :
Agriculture business development services
The market-led programs using a business development services (BDS) approach was implemented by Winrock International-Nepal to enable poor smallholders to escape poverty through commercial agricultural opportunities. Two projects namely Nepal Tree Crop Development Alliance (NTC-GDA) and Nepal Non-Timber Forest Products Project (NTFPP) have developed a business development services of tea and coffee, non-timber forest products such as species and high value crops.
Winrock International-Nepal's project Kathmandu Electric Vehicle Alliance (KEVA) worked with the Kathmandu Metro, Government of Nepal, donors, and other groups to expand electric-based mass transit and to promote the spread of electric vehicle operational systems and technologies in Nepal. KEVA initiated key activities under three broad components: (1) public policy and regulatory dialogue; (2) public awareness and advocacy; and (3) technology and business promotion. KEVA supported several recent pro-electric vehicle policies changes such as: (i) removal of registration restrictions; (ii) continuation of reduced import duties on components of Safa tempos; (iii) exemption of customs duties for the coming five years on the import of electric equipment and vehicles related to trolley buses; and (iv) reactivation of Kathmandu-Bhaktapur trolley line.
Winrock International-Nepal has been promoting rural electrification through cooperatives and users' groups as a way to reduce expenses and pilferage of electricity for Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), while at the same time speed up access to electricity for organized groups. Winrock had worked with hydropower developers and the financial sector to increase capacity for private sector investment in environmentally and socially sustainable hydropower generation. Winrock supported rural electrification cooperatives, private companies, and/or users groups to electrify rural areas so that the benefits of hydropower generation can be made available cost-effectively to rural populations, particularly in those districts where power is generated. This has resulted resulted in a more equitable sharing of benefits from hydropower development in the country.
Natural Resource Management
Winrock's Forestry and Natural Resource Management Program conducted systematic policy analysis to assist users, policy makers and donor communities arrive at sustainable management strategies of Nepal's natural resources. The Program addressed critical environmental challenges such as deforestation, community forestry failure, biodiversity and habitat loss. The Program also promoted capacity building amongst upland communities in Nepal by helping develop mechanisms of transfer payments for environmental services, and advocated governance guidance to Forestry and Water user groups to encourage identification of their needs and organization of their own advocacy campaigns.
Investing in Higher Learning
Winrock International's leadership development program works to create a cadre of experts capable of designing and guiding policy and program changes for the overall development of Nepali society by addressing issues ranging from capacity building activities to the issue of child labor. Winrock International-Nepal provided scholarship to 106 women from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) and the Institute of Forestry (IFO) for competent, economically disadvantaged women students of certificate and Bachelor degrees. The leadership program also provided research and travel grants to 86 master and PhD students on issues of social equality and environmental justice in the field of natural resource management.
Irrigation for agriculture
Winrock International's Nepal's Smallholder Irrigation Market Initiative (SIMI) project developed the supply chain for private sector provision of micro irrigation technologies. Through its value chain approach, Winrock strengthened input, output and service markets, and created linkages between these markets and smallholder producers. Winrock helped establish 91 marketing and planning committees and 76 collection centres designed to facilitate marketing at the local, regional, and international level (to India). In all, Winrock increased the incomes of 72,760 households by an average of $209 annually and helped generate over $30 million in high-value agriculture sales