Plenary Session: Role of Nepali Diaspora for Development Policies

First NRN Global Knowledge Convention

Plenary 4: Role of Nepali Diaspora for Development Policies


Date: 13 October 2018

Time: TBC

Hall: TBC 


Diaspora’s participation in development process of their county of origin has gained prominence worldwide. Nepal can also benefit by establishing an efficient link with growing population of its diaspora and harnessing the diaspora expertise. In this regard, NRNA is considering a Policy Institute to channel diaspora expertise for improving the country’s long and short-term development policies. The session will focus on identifying Nepal’s needs and areas of collaboration. It will also explore viable means for maximizing diaspora contribution to Nepal’s development policies.


Focus: Existing development policies, Policy Gaps, NRN’s strength, Ways of utilizing  diaspora expertise.

Concept: Since the late 1990s, diaspora’s participation in development process of their home countries has gained increasing prominence. In keeping with the interest of national and international organizations which promote the involvement of diaspora in the development of their home countries, many studies have indicated diaspora organizations as new actors in the development process. Diaspora are perceived as a potential force to shape the development process of the home country.


The emigration of people with tertiary education is very high (at 24%) in low income countries. It is even higher in low income small countries, like Nepal. In view of this, it is necessary that diaspora organizations make efforts as to how the expertise of those educated migrants and their global connections can be asset and support to the development of their home country.


Some diaspora organizations are far ahead in tapping such asset, however Nepali diaspora organization, the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), has recently started playing some significant role. NRNA is mostly engaged in the protection of the interests of the diaspora community. It has also made some investment and engaged in some philanthropic activities in Nepal.


NRNA has grown as a large network, with its 72 country offices throughout the world representing around 6 million population. This provides a great potential to NRNA for mobilizing many diaspora from various countries of the world with varieties of knowledge and skills that can be transmitted to Nepal. Though the significant numbers of Nepali experts are making useful contributions in the global arena, there is not much result-oriented efforts made to utilize such strength for the development of the country, leaving few individual cases aside. Neither NRNA nor Government of Nepal made serious efforts. NRNA was even criticized for not being able to attract the Nepali diaspora experts and professionals in its core business.


Realizing this after 15 years of its establishment, NRNA has just established Nepal Policy Institute (NPI) early this year in 2018 with the objective of influencing the Government of Nepal (GoN) in the development and implementation of policies. As Nepal is now entering a new phase of political transformation with a federal system of governance, there is a great opportunity to support the government in formulating policies and institutions. NRNA can play an instrumental role in the process of transformation of country. Engaging diaspora professionals through NPI could be one effective way for the GoN to help transform the country. At the same time, establishment of NPI has opened the door for those Nepali diaspora members who are working in national and international organizations abroad and would like to assist the motherland with their expertise. Against this backdrop, NPI has been developing thematic research teams in social, economic, environmental sustainability, and technology domains to identify the policy gaps and suggest evidence-based policies suitable to the current scenario of the country.


In this context, this plenary session will discuss the kind of means and policies that create an enabling environment to maximize Nepali diaspora contributions to the developmental policies. It will highlight the potential strength of Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) and the ways to engage them in supporting policy formulation for the development of Nepal. Drawing on the lessons learned from other relevant diaspora and elsewhere, the session will provide insights on how Nepali diaspora can play an effective role for the development of country. GoN participation can help identify the country’s needs and the areas where policy and other support from the diaspora is required. The areas where NRN can potentially contribute at the policy level include (but not limited to) utilization of remittance, effective economic diplomacy (trade, investment and tourism), research-based education, agriculture-based economy, new pathways of sustainable development and knowledge transfer. Covering these areas, the session aims to validate NPI’s strategic plan, that is under discussion now, for the development of Nepal.


 Contact Information of the Plenary Coordinator:                                                            

Mr. Khagendra Dhakal, King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thailand (


Program Schedule

Plenary 4: Diaspora for Development Policies
13 October 2018, 16:00-18:10, Megha Hall
Chair: Dr Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, Moderator: Khagendra Dhakal
Role SpeakerTopicInstituteEmail
Khagendra Dhakal, MrIntroductionKing Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok
InvitedPuspa Raj Kadel, ProfGovernment's needs and expectation from Nepali diaspora for the development policies of Nepal  Vice Chair, National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal
InvitedBhim Udas, MrDiaspora’s strengths and possible means to harness them for the development of NepalFounding International Coordinator of NRNA
ContributedSharad Neupane, MrProposition of NRNA policy institute for the collaboration between diaspora and Government of Nepal Nepal Policy Institute,
ContributedKrishna Adhikari, DrUnderstanding the Nepali diaspora and connectivity for welfare both inside and outside NepalUniversity of Oxford,
ContributedYub Raj Pokharael, DrDiaspora entrepreneurs in India: How they can participate in Nepal’s development processSouth Asian University, New Delhi, India
Panel discussion and Q&ABhaban Bhatta, MrPresident, Non-Resident Nepali
Madan Kumar Dahal, Dr ProfFormer Head, Central Department of Economics Tribhuvan
Sharu Joshi Shrestha, MsFormer Strategic Partnership Specialist at UN
Guest SpeakerPradeep Kumar Gyawali, Hon.Minister of Foreign Affairs Nepal
SummaryBhekh Bahadur Thapa, DrFormer Foreign and Finance Minister of