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What drives policy change in Nepal? A comparative analysis

Research reports

Written by Tiina Pasanen

In the last 30 years, Nepal has undergone some important policy changes, such as the end of load-shedding, road expansion in Kathmandu and the introduction of a community forestry initiative. This study investigates factors driving policy change, building on 18 policy reform case studies in Nepal. Using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), the study aims to identify patterns across the case studies in a systematic and rigorous manner. It explores the conditions and combinations of factors associated with policy reforms that have been successfully implemented, and those that have not (yet) been successfully implemented.

Policy-making is a complex, multidimensional and highly contextual process. The successful implementation of a policy is never the result of a single factor. It stems from the interplay of several factors that can be decisive in one circumstance and irrelevant in another. And while certain basic conditions may be required for policy to be implemented, they may not be sufficient in and of themselves. QCA is an analytical approach to systematic cross-case comparison. It was chosen for this study to allow the research team to make sense of the complexity of policy-making, to understand the multiple pathways to policy change in Nepal.

Tiina Pasanen, Barbara Befani, Nirjan Rai, Saumitra Neupane, Harry Jones and Danielle Stein