Voluntary Development Aid To Village
ASK-Nepal serves as the program practitioner and facilitator. Our role is to establish the financial connection between Trianglen and the villages, provide guidance and training of how to democratically spend the funds, and conduct follow-up reporting.
The Development Aid program is a cash-transfer scheme made in cooperation with our partner organization Trianglen. Starting in 2010, villages in the ASK-Trianglen network have been given 5,000 Danish kroner (~84,000 NPR today) a year by Danish donors to spend on local development projects. Spending of the funds is left to the complete discretion of the village communities so long as the local committee meets the gender and caste representation requirements established by Trianglen.
It was originally designed as a democracy and social inclusion building program but has transformed over its lifespan. The program has since grown from 14 original villages to 41 in 2019. What began as a grant for small infrastructure and health projects has now largely developed into community-owned microfinance funds. Each village now operates its own lending fund by choosing potential borrowers, distributing and collecting loans, and managing accounting records.
The Development Aid program has provided over 12 million Nepali rupees in grants to rural farming communities in the last 10 years. 9 million of the grants has been spent to provide thousands of individual micro-loans of between 5,000 and 25,000 NPR, each giving the opportunity for a rural household to purchase livestock, farming equipment, or other income generating tools. The remaining grants have been used for building construction, student scholarships, skill training, irrigation and road repair, and a large variety of other projects. For a full description of the Development Aid program and the specific projects established through it, please visit the Trianglen program site.
ASK-Nepal’s goal with the Development Aid program was to build a lasting development scheme that brings rural communities together to make decisions and provides them with the finances needed to start using new income generating activities. Thanks to the program, the ASK-Trianglen villages are more democratic, equal, and financially independent. The microfinance scheme also ensures that the funds from the program will continue to have a positive impact in the future.