DCA Nepal and LI-BIRD Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement

A strategic partnership agreement has been signed between DanChurchAid (DCA Nepal) and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD). The agreement was signed by Mr. David Smith, Country Director, DCA Nepal and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD on 25 July 2018 at the DCA Nepal office in Kathmandu.

Mr. Smith expressed happiness that firm actions are being taken to translate the DCA Country Programme Document 2017-21 into action. The strategic partnership agreement is in line with the localization strategy adopted by DCA Nepal. Proper implementation of the localization strategy could be a paradigm shift in partnership models leading to a greater emphasis on mutual respect, shared vision, and support for each other. Dr. Thapa thanked DCA Nepal for choosing LI-BIRD as a strategic partner of choice. He appreciated DCA Nepal’s strong commitment to the localization strategy.

Dr. Surendra Thapa, Head of Programmes, DCA Nepal explained that DCA Nepal signs two types of agreements with NGOs, namely Cooperation Agreement and Strategic Partnership Agreement. The former is project based whereas the latter is an organization level agreement. The hallmarks of strategic agreement include working together for organizational development, building external relationships, joint fund raising, testing and piloting new ideas/innovations, co-creation and sharing of knowledge, and joining hands for humanitarian support in times of crisis. 

Partnership with national and local NGOs is a principal mechanism for INGOs to deliver their programmes to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations in Nepal. DCA Nepal, LI-BIRD and several local partners have been tirelessly promoting sustainable agricultural development interventions for smallholder and marginalized farmers in far-western hills of Nepal since 2012. 

LI-BIRD’s role has been to provide technical assistance to three local partners, namely Equality Development Center (EDC) Nepal in Doti, Malika Development Organization (MDO) in Achham, and Social Service Centre (SOSEC) in Dailekh. We have provided expertise on scaling up of climate resilient agricultural technologies and practices, agricultural value chain and market promotion, gender-friendly tools, and research and extension of local crops. These technologies and practices have been bundled and promoted as a package programme.

“There is tremendous interest from rural municipalities – the new local government bodies – to employ the package programme for extension,” states Mr. Rajendra Khanal, Programme Officer of DCA Nepal. For instance, Bani Gadi Jaygadh rural municipality in Achham and Purbi Chauki rural municipality in Doti have both requested DCA Nepal to extend the package programme in their jurisdiction with willingness to commit resources.  

The strategic partnership agreement is quite unique for LI-BIRD, and this could serve as a prototype for future partnerships, with plenty of learning opportunities for both the organizations. Both parties agreed to sit together and identify priority interventions to operationalize the agreement.