Final Partnership Workshop in Denmark

Our 3rd and final international partnership workshop for this grant project was held in Denmark from May 24th-28th, 2019. This 5-day event included a writing workshop in Sandbjerg, Denmark with members of the team from institutions in Canada, Denmark and Nepal. This portion of the workshop included presentations by various team members and discussions surrounding the publication emerging from the fieldwork conducted over the past two years in Nepal. We will be sharing more information about these publications soon!

The workshop concluded with a public symposium in Copenhagen on May 28th. This public seminar presented findings from our research project investigating the socio-political effects of Nepal’s 2015 earthquakes in dialogue with scholars working on disasters in other areas of the world. For more details, please find the event announcement here.

Sister School Partnership between Bayview School (Vancouver, Canada) & Sundrawati School (Dolakha, Nepal)

As the 104 year-old Bayview Elementary school in Vancouver, Canada is set to be demolished and rebuilt after being deemed ‘high risk’ in the event of an earthquake, the school has just recently partnered with Sundrawati School in Dolakha, Nepal. The partnership led by Dr. Sara Shneiderman (Associate Professor of Anthropology and School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC), whose daughter attends Bayview Elementary, has created an important learning opportunity for students of both schools. A group of students from Bayview have become penpals with students at Sundrawati to learn about the devastating effects of Nepal’s 2015 earthquakes which damaged 7,500 schools throughout the country. The partnership has made students at Bayview more aware of the consequences of such natural disasters should an earthquake strike Vancouver as it did in Nepal.

To learn more about this partnership please click here to see a YouTube video.

CBC has also published a piece about the partnership on their website.

New bibliographic resource guide published

Please visit this new resource guide prepared for a research project at SOAS titled, ‘After the Earth’s Violent Sway: The Tangible and Intangible Legacies of a Natural Disaster’, in collaboration with Social Science Baha. This bibliography also draws from our own research guide in partnership with the UBC Library.

Nepal Earthquake 2015 and It’s Aftermath

This resource guide is an attempt to bring together the vast literature that the earthquake and the recovery and reconstruction phases have spawned. It includes journal articles, research papers and reports, books, government acts, rules, policies and guidelines, decisions of the NRA, interviews with NRA officials and political leaders, and useful links related to 2015 Earthquake and its aftermath.


New book publication: The Politics of Change: Reflections on Contemporary Nepal

Partnership member and Social Science Baha director Mr. Deepak Thapa has edited a new book entitled The Politics of Change: Reflections on Contemporary Nepal. Another member, Dr. Sara Shneiderman (University of British Columbia), has co-authored one of the chapters entitled “Identity, Society, and State: Citizenship and Inclusion in Nepal” along with Tribhuvan University faculty Dr. Janak Rai.

The full book and citation details are available for free download in English, and in Nepali.

The Politics of Change: Reflections on Contemporary Nepal
edited by Deepak Thapa
2019, pp. xviii+182
ISBN 978 9937 597 531

This companion volume to A Survey of the Nepali People in 2017 has been designed to provide insights into the general socio-political context in which the survey was conducted. The contributors provide perspectives on a range of topics to highlight issues pertinent to the changes Nepal has experienced in recent years, particularly since the adoption of the new constitution in 2015 and the 2017 elections. These include politics at the national and local levels; women in politics; identity and inclusion; the dynamics in borderland areas; and the challenges facing the Nepali economy. The six articles in this book are expected to make a significant contribution to the literature in the early years of federal Nepal.

— Politics in Federal Nepal by Dhruba Kumar
— State-Society Covenant at the Subnational Level by Krishna Khanal
— Women in Public Life in Nepal by Sanjaya Mahato, Bimala Rai Paudyal & Nandita Baruah
— Identity, Society, and State: Citizenship and Inclusion in Nepal by Janak Rai & Sara Shneiderman
— Marginal Gains: Borderland Dynamics in Post-War Nepal by Jonathan Goodhand & Oliver Walton
— Economic Transformation: What Is Holding Us Back? by Yurendra Basnett, Chandan Sapkota & Sameer Khatiwada

Op-ed: Reconstruction Conundrums

Click here to read the whole article. Published on February 19, 2019.

Four partnership members Bina Limbu, Jeevan Baniya, Manoj Suji, and Sara Shneiderman have published an op-ed in the Kathmandu Post entitled “Reconstruction Conundrums”. In this op-ed, the collaborative research partners point out the fallacy in the term ‘fake victims’ that has been defined and used by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and other organizations. The ethnographic research conducted by the partnership since March 2017 suggests a different picture.

Partners present at SOAS conference in London & Dr. Sara Shneiderman to give keynote address

Partnership members from our Canada and Nepal teams will be giving presentations during the SOAS (South Asia Institute) conference, “Epicentre to Aftermath: Political, Social and Cultural Impacts of Earthquakes in South Asia“, being held in London from January 11th-12th, 2019.

Team members, Jeevan Baniya (Social Science Baha), Omer Aijazi (University of Toronto, Canada), and Sara Shneiderman (University of British Columbia, Canada) will be giving presentations regarding post-earthquake humanitarian responses, ownership and kinship in relation to the ‘home’, socio-political impacts of reconstruction, and disasters as betrayal. For a detailed list, please see below.

The first day of the conference on January 11th will conclude with a keynote address given Dr. Sara Shneiderman (Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Asian Research at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs). Dr. Shneiderman’s presentation, “Restructuring Life: political, social, and material transformation in post-conflict, post-disaster Nepal“, will draw from 20 years of experience in the Dolakha district of Nepal to discuss transformation in the aftermath of natural disaster and political upheaval.

To find more information on the conference and keynote address, please visit the conference webpage here.

List of Paper Presentations:

Omer Aijazi (University of Toronto): Disasters as Betrayal: the life that Niaz evokes.

Jeevan Baniya (Social Science Baha): Socio-political impacts of reconstruction post-earthquake Nepal: A case study of Majhi community in Sindhupalchowk. 

Jeevan Baniya & Amrita Gurung: I/NGOs in humanitarian responses post-earthquake 2015: Empirical evidence from Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk and Southern Lalitpur.

Sara Shneiderman (University of British Columbia, Canada), Jeevan Baniya (Social Science Baha, Nepal), Bina Limbu (Social Science Baha, Nepal), Nabin Rawal (Tribhuvan University, Nepal), Prakash Chandra Subedi (Social Science Baha, Nepal), Manoj Suji (Social Science Baha, Nepal), Cameron Warner (Aarhus University, Denmark): Householder, Homeowner, or Landowner? Rethinking Ownership and Kinship through Nepal’s Reconstruction Process.




Nepal Workshop Report Published in HIMALAYA

The workshop report from the first partnership team workshop held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in September 2017 has now been published. The report presents an overview of the issues raised during the presentations by team members from Canada, Denmark, US, and Nepal.

A full version of the report can be found online at HIMALAYA Journal (open-access) here.

Dr. Shneiderman presents context, objectives, and significance of ELMNR partnership project

Principal Investigator and Wall Scholar Dr. Sara Shneiderman (UBC) recently presented on the background of Nepal’s 2015 post-earthquake reconstruction and this (ELMNR) multidisciplinary partnership’s context and objectives. She notes the impacts and significances of the wide-ranging research extends well beyond the borders of Nepal to have implications across the world, including countries like Canada.

The presentation was recorded as part of The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies’ Wall Scholar Speaker Series and is available to view online here.


Partnership to receive additional grant

The partnership team has recently been awarded a SSHRC Explore Grant – Faculty of Arts Research from the University of British Columbia.

The additional funds will be used to fund the project entitled ‘Nepal’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Outcomes: A Quantitative Survey’ in conjunction with the original SSHRC Partnership Development grant: ‘Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal’s Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction’.

Led by Dr. Ratna Shrestha (UBC Vancouver’s School of Economics), Dr. Jeevan Baniya (Social Science Baha), with support from Sampada KC (University of Warwick, Economics), this work will entail the hiring of additional researchers under the auspices of Social Science Baha to implement a quantitative survey during the second phase of fieldwork currently underway. The findings will be used in conjunction with the qualitative field methods to enhance understandings of Nepal’s ongoing reconstruction in earthquake-affected areas.

New publication by partnership members

Two of the SSHRC PDG partnership members, Philippe Le Billon (Co-PI) and Dinesh Paudel (Collaborator), have recently published an article titled ‘Geo-Logics of Power: Disaster Capitalism, Himalayan Materialities, and the Geopolitical Economy of Reconstruction in Post-Earthquake Nepal‘. The article proposes the concept of ‘geo-logics of power’ as a way to draw attention to the trans-Himalayan discourses, practices, and materialities shaping reconstruction in post-earthquake Nepal.


February 5, 2018