Climate & Disaster

Project name: Water Induced Disasters Risk Management Planning in Nepal


Project Background: Climate change and water-induced disasters (WID) is increasingly becoming a chronic phenomeno that adversely impact the lives and the livelihood of many riverine communities in Nepal, a problem that is rooted in the natural, developmental, and social attributes. In all instances of such disasters, the section of the society that is oftentimes the most affected are the women, children, people with disability and the elderly. The vulnerability of this at-risk population is further exacerbated by the phenomenon of labor migration whereby the able-bodied men are leaving in droves and those left behind are compelled to adjust to the new complex social realities. This project attempts to address these concerns by;

i)               undertaking applied research on the drivers of WIDs to better understand the varied vulnerabilities;

ii)             examining linkages between WID, climate change, and variables that affect vulnerabilities such as

     gender and migration,

iii)            using the knowledge generated to inform WID- and climate change adaptation-related policies and


iv)            developing, prioritizing, and testing pilot interventions through a multi-stage participatory planning

      approach with local communities;

v)             collaborating with sub-national bodies to develop strategies to help scale up gender-transformative

adaptation plans to increase local communities’ resilience to climate change and water-induced hazards; and

vi) building capacity of local stakeholders, from communities, government agencies, and local academic institutions to mainstream gender in WID and climate change plans and policies.

The project aims to work at three scales, namely, watershed (spatio-temporal variation in hydro-climatic extremes), municipality (disaster risk profiling of the municipalities associated with the watershed), and community (assessing level of vulnerability of those left behind, and respond through suitably designed interventions). Through these initiatives the project expects to contribute towards enhancing the resilience of the local communities, especially that of women, children, people with disability and the elderly, against climate change and WID and in decreasing the number of casualties and loss of life and property.


Project Objectives:

 The overall goal of this action research were to enhance the resilience of local communities with special focus on those left behind, such as women, girls, Dalits, and elderly from disadvantaged and marginalized communities in order to improve their ability to cope with climate-related disasters

This project intended to achieve overall objective through the following specific objectives:

  • Increase understanding of key drivers of WID and its linkages with climate change in order to assess varied vulnerabilities of target populations and identify suitable pilot locations for the action research;
  • Improve preparedness and responses to WID through collaboration with national and sub-national bodies to develop WID plans and policies, and pilot WID and climate change adaptation initiatives;
  • Enhance the capacity of government officials (provincial and local) to enable them to scale up and mainstream disaster risk management and climate change adaptation plans into development strategies, planning and implementation; and
  • Increase awareness and capacity of local stakeholders, including academic institutions, to implement tools and strategies to increase communities’ climate and disaster resilience, and conduct research on WID- and climate change adaptation-related issues.



  • Conduct preliminary research to characterize key drivers of WID and linkages to climate change and variability
  • Develop the analytical framework and undertake field visit at key locations along the river basin
  • Synthesize field data, develop working paper, disseminate findings
  • Develop a profile of key locations of the river basin and review literature on vulnerability assessments
  • Design, deploy, and analyze field survey
  • Apply the vulnerability assessment framework to assess vulnerability in the study area and identify two sites for pilot activities
  • Conduct a workshop with DRR and GESI experts
  • Engage with local communities, using a multi-stage participatory planning approach, to develop, prioritize, and implement interventions
  • Collaborate with sub-national governments to develop plans and policies on WID
  • Collaboration and capacity development of government officials
  • Collaborate with community-based FM stations
  • Design and implement capacity building activities of local stakeholders
  • Collaborate with local high schools
  • Collaborate with academic institutions of higher education


 Journal articles

  • Koirala, S., Shakya, S., Shrestha, G., & Adhikari, M. (2021). Exploring Migration and Disaster Nexus. The South Asianist Journal8, 10-40. Retrieved from
  • Pandey, V.P., Shrestha, D. & Adhikari, M. (2021). Characterizing natural drivers of water-induced disasters in a rain-fed watershed: Hydro-climatic extremes in the Extended East Rapti Watershed, Nepal. Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 598, 126383, DOI:
  • Pandey, V.P., Shrestha, D., Adhikari, M. & Shakya, S. (2020). Streamflow Alterations, Attributions, and Implications in Extended East Rapti Watershed, Central-Southern Nepal. Sustainability, 12:3829; DOI:
  • Koirala, S., Shakya, S., Thapa, G. & Adhikari, M. Nepal’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management policies from an intersectional feminist perspective – Submitted to Asian Journal of Women’s Studies [Under review].
  • Shakya, S., Koirala, S. & Rana, S. Disaster experiences of those left-behind: Differentiated vulnerability and coping capacities. Journal of Global South Studies [Under review].
  • Acharya, S., Pathak, K. & Pandey, C.L. (2021). Does High-Value Agriculture Build Resilient Livelihood? Insights from the Study of Cardamom and Vegetable Farmers of Nepal. Journal of Forest and Livelihood 20 (1). Retrieved from https: //
  • Maskey, G. (2022). Water Scarcity and Excess: Water Insecurity in Cities of Nepal [under review]. Water Supply Journal.


Book chapter

  • Koirala, S., Shakya, S. & Timw, E. Towards a Transformative Climate Agenda: A Feminist Intersectional Analysis of Nepal’s Climate Change Policies. In Thakur, R. et al. (eds.) “Environment, Development and Culture in South and East Asia: Local, Regional and International Perspectives”. Springer Nature [Accepted for publication, under review].

Other publications


Blog posts

Training manual

  • Koirala, S. & Shakya, S. (2020). Disaster Risk Reduction and Management [Unpublished].

Policy brief

  • Koirala, S., Shakya, S., Shrestha, G. & Adhikari, M. Nepal’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management policies from an intersectional feminist perspective. Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (Under review).