Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal

Material Information

Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal Independent impacts and recovery monitoring phase 4, quantitative survey, April 2017 (summary)
The Asia Foundation ( Author, Primary )
Place of Publication:
San Francisco, CA
The Asia Foundation
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
© 2017, The Asia Foundation


Subjects / Keywords:
एशिया -- नेपाल
Asie -- Népal
Educational impacts ( SWAY )
Education -- Impact ( LCSH )
शैक्षिक प्रभाव ( SWAY )
Displacement ( SWAY )
Refugees ( LCSH )
विस्थापन ( SWAY )
Reconstruction and development ( SWAY )
Nepal -- Economic development ( LCSH )
Nepal -- Repair and reconstruction ( LCSH )
पुन:निर्माण तथा विकास ( SWAY )
Subsidies and compensation ( SWAY )
Subsidies ( LCSH )
Wages ( LCSH )
अनुदान र क्षतिपूर्ति ( SWAY )
Grievances ( SWAY )
Grievance arbitration ( LCSH )
Grievance procedures ( LCSH )
गुनासोहरु ( SWAY )
Economic impacts ( SWAY )
Economic impact analysis ( LCSH )
आर्थिक प्रभाव ( SWAY )
Politics ( SWAY )
Politics and government ( LCSH )
राजनीति ( SWAY )
National Reconstruction Authority ( SWAY )
Nepal. Rāṣṭriya punanirmāṇa prādhikaraṇa
राष्ट्रिय पुननिर्माण प्राधिकरण ( SWAY )
Elections (local) ( SWAY )
Nepal -- Local elections (local) ( LCSH )
स्थानीय चुनावहरु ( SWAY )
Building codes ( SWAY )
Building laws ( LCSH )
भवन निर्माण सम्बन्धि कोड ( SWAY )
NGO Report ( SWAY )
Temporal Coverage:
20150431 - 20170401
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- Nepal
28 x 84


General Note:
Funded by GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund) through AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), Grant number AH/P003648/1, as "After the Earth's Violent Sway: the tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster", Dr. Michael Hutt, Principal Investigator.

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Full Text
Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal
Independent Impacts and Recovery Monitoring Phase 4
Quantitative Survey:
April 2017
F | lhis report provides findings from the fourth in a
I series of large-scale surveys, conducted in April
.X. 2017, two years on from the devastating earth-
quakes that hit Nepal. The report is part of the Inde-
pendent Impacts and Recovery Monitoring for Account-
ability in Post-Earthquake Nepal (IRM) project. Using
both quantitative surveying and in-depth qualitative
fieldwork, IRM involves revisiting areas and people at
roughly six month intervals to assess current conditions
and how they are changing. The fourth survey involved
face-to-face interviews with 4,854 household respond-
ents in 11 districts. Stratified random sampling ensures
that those interviewed are representative of the wider
population in affected areas. Throughout the report,
fourth round survey data (IRM-4) are compared with
data collected in June 2015 (IRM-1), February-March
2016 (IRM-2) and September 2016 (IRM-3) to allow
for an assessment of changes over time.
There has been limited progress since the earthquakes
in people moving from temporary shelters back into
their homes. Almost three-quarters of people in
earthquake-affected areas now live in their own homes
compared to 60% in the immediate aftermath of the
earthquakes. However, 62% of people in the severely
hit districts were still living in temporary shelters as
of April 2017. In Sindhupalchowk district, 84% of
people are still in shelters. Across all areas, almost
half of those whose house was completely destroyed
continue to live in temporary shelters. People in more
remote areas are far more likely to remain in shelters
than others. Those whose house was badly damaged or
destroyed in lesser affected districts have been much
more likely than those in severely hit districts to move
back home. Marginalized groups—those with a low
income, no education, the disabled, lower castes and
Janajatis and widows—are far more likely than others
to remain in temporary shelters.
There has been a decline in the number of people in
shelters that use tarpaulins or that are primarily built
from bamboo. A relatively higher share of people were
able to completely repair their shelters to be ready for
the winter in IRM-4 (14%) compared to IRM-3 (6%)
or IRM-2 (3%). But people in severely hit districts,
with a low income or from a low caste group, as well
as the disabled, were less likely to have their shelters
ready for the season.
Fifty-six percent of those whose house suffered
complete destruction or major damage reported that
they had done nothing to rebuild. Among those whose
house was completely destroyed or suffered major
damage, 62% in severely hit, 55% in crisis hit, 42% in
hit with heavy losses and 34% in hit districts have done
nothing to rebuild. People of low caste or low income
are less likely than others to have started rebuilding.
Those whose income has declined since the earthquake
are far less likely to have started rebuilding. Of those
who have started to rebuild, the largest share (21%)
began after the first monsoon before the first winter
after the earthquakes. Not having enough money is the
main reason (93%) for people not rebuilding, followed
by waiting for government grants.
Livelihoods, Food and Services
Over time, there has been a large drop in the num-
ber of people generating income through farming.
The proportion of people farming their own land
has dropped from 68% in IRM-1 to 53% in IRM-3
and IRM-4. Many more people are now generating
income through their own business or daily wage
work than in the past and remittances have become
more important. Most people continue to see im-
provements in their income sources but the propor-
tion seeing improvements in the past three months
has declined for most sources compared to IRM-3.
Daily wage work, business income and remittances
are the exceptions. By and large, incomes appear to
have recovered. Around one-third of people say their
current income is lower than before the earthquakes
but a significant proportion (27%) also say it has

Quantitative Survey
People in severely hit and crisis hit districts and people
remaining in temporary shelter are more likely to have
seen a decline in income compared to those in lower
impact districts. Income recovery in more remote
areas is lagging behind that in other regions. People
who sustained greater damage to their house are also
more likely to struggle with income recovery. Those
who were poorer before the earthquake, or who come
from less privileged social groups, are much less likely
to have seen their income recover than others.
Only 7% of the population in IRM-4 say that food is
one of their most important immediate needs, down
from 27% in IRM-1. Stated need for food is higher for
those of low caste, those who had a low pre-earthquake
income and people who live in more remote areas.
Food prices appear to have increased more drastically
in more remote areas and in higher impact districts: an
average of 69% people in the top two impact categories
say that food prices have become much higher
compared to 47% in the lower two impact categories.
There do not appear to be widespread decreases in
food consumption.
Reported access to clean drinking water has declined
in severely hit and crisis hit districts, especially in
Gorkha and Nuwakot. Satisfaction rates with public
services have declined in IRM-4 with the exception
of electricity for which more people are satisfied than
in the past. Highest levels of dissatisfaction are with
drinking water (23%) and roads (15%). Low caste
people are more likely to be dissatisfied with drinking
water than others.
Coping Strategies
Borrowing continues to increase in affected districts.
Borrowing has risen most sharply in more affected
districts. Fifty-five percent of people have borrowed
in the last eight months in the severely hit districts,
compared to 24% in the early months after the earth-
quakes. A larger proportion of people in more remote
areas are borrowing than elsewhere. As in previous
surveys, those who had a low income before the earth-
quake and individuals of low caste are also more likely
to borrow than others. Borrowing in IRM-4 has also
increased among people with disabilities. People who
sustained greater damage to their house are also more
likely to borrow, and they are more likely than others
to borrow for rebuilding purposes. People in more
remote areas are borrowing from informal sources,
such as moneylenders, friends, relatives, neighbors
and other individuals, which typically charge higher
interest rates. In contrast, people in less remote areas
are borrowing more from formal sources. A higher
share of people in higher impact districts and more
remote areas are regular borrowers. They are also
more likely to say they will borrow in the near future.
Those in more remote regions, and in more affected
areas, are at greater risk of falling into debt traps.
While only 4% of people said they sold assets in IRM-2,
and 3% in IRM-3, 6% now report having sold assets in
the last eight months. Sales of assets remain highest
in the severely hit districts. People who sold assets
in IRM-4 were most likely to have sold land (43%
of those who sold assets) or livestock (40%). Data
confirm the earlier finding that borrowing frequency
is associated with the likelihood of asset sales. Those
who have borrowed repeatedly since February-March
2016 (IRM-2) are more than twice as likely as those
who have not borrowed in any of the last three waves
of the survey to sell assets. A slightly higher proportion
of people living in shelters sold assets.
Remittances are becoming more important as a source
of income. Fifteen percent of people in affected areas
say remittances are one of their main income sources
in IRM-4, compared to 9% in IRM-1. However,
remittances still tend to be more important in less
affected districts and for those with a high income.
Overall, 65% of people say migration levels have
remained the same, 20% say they have increased, and
4% say levels have decreased since the earthquakes.
Plans for migration in the next year suggest the
earthquakes have an influence as a majority of those
who plan to do so are from severely hit districts.
Earthquake Aid
The share receiving aid has gone up by 25 percentage
points compared to IRM-3 with 40% saying they have
received aid since September 2016. This is largely
due to the distribution of the first tranche of the
government’s housing reconstruction grant. Recent
aid distribution has been concentrated in the districts
that were severely or crisis hit and in remote and
more remote areas. The poor are more likely to have
received aid than others. Similar shares of men and
women, and those with and without a disability, have
received aid. The government has been the foremost
aid provider since the earthquake, and is almost the
sole provider of material aid since winter 2016. Cash
has been the most common form of assistance.
Those who received cash assistance from the govern-
ment have received on average NPR 56,845 to date;
those who received it from non-governmental sources
have got NPR 13,082. Cash is cited as the most needed
aid followed by reconstruction materials. Mention of
cash as a need has been growing steadily: 38% said
it was a current need in IRM-1 while 64% said it will
be needed in the near future in IRM-4. Despite more
aid going to more affected districts and more remote
areas, and to the poor, needs continue to be greater in
these places and for these people.

Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal
Satisfaction with most aid providers plunged after
February 2016 and has stayed at similar levels since
then. People express the lowest levels of satisfaction
with local political parties, religious groups and private
businesses. Those in the severely hit districts have
been the most likely to think that aid distribution has
been fair in all four surveys and the share of people
believing so has remained stable. People with higher
incomes are less likely than those with lower incomes
to think that aid distribution has been fair. Most
people who think aid distribution has been unfair
believe that those belonging to lower castes are unable
to receive aid equally and according to their needs.
Lower caste people think they are more likely to be
treated unfairly by a wide margin: 64% compared to
39% of those of high castes and 36% of Janajatis.
More than 70% of people mentioned neighbors as
their prime source of aid information in both IRM-3
and IRM-4. People with higher incomes, and those
belonging to higher castes, are less likely than others to
say that neighbors are their top source of information
on aid. People think that communication with most
aid providers is either bad or okay; few say that
communication with aid providers is good.
National Reconstruction Authority
People in severely hit districts are far more likely than
those in crisis hit districts to report that a Central Bu-
reau of Statistics assessment team came to their home.
According to respondents, nearly all houses in severely
hit districts have been classified as fully damaged, and
hence are eligible for the RHRP grant, with far fewer
houses classified this way in other districts. Most people
are satisfied with how their house was classified. Those
in hit with heavy losses and hit districts are more likely
to be dissatisfied as are those in less remote areas, lower
castes and those with a medium or high pre-earthquake
income. People whose house was classified as partially
damaged are the most likely to not be satisfied.
The first tranche of the Rural Housing and Reconstruc-
tion Program (RHRP) grant was received by nearly
everyone who said they were declared eligible for it.
The lowest coverage levels were in Kathmandu (81%)
and Dhading (86%). The severely hit districts have the
highest share of people who say they were declared
ineligible who feel they should have been eligible (82%
of those declared ineligible). Over seven in 10 people
declared ineligible in Okhaldhunga say they should
have been eligible. Thirty-three percent of those
declared ineligible, who say they should have been
eligible, say their house was only partially damaged.
Only around four in 10 said they would use the grant
to build a house following NRA guidelines. Many
say they will use it to pay off loans or for livelihoods.
Knowledge of grant requirements does not affect
intended use of the money. Recipients of the first
tranche of the grant generally found the process to
be easy. People are generally confident of getting
the second tranche, irrespective of how they have
used, or will use, the first tranche. Receiving the first
tranche does not necessarily translate into people
starting rebuilding. Fifty-eight percent of those who
received the first tranche have done something to start
rebuilding compared to 68% of people who have not
received the grant. Only 39% of people are aware of
the retrofitting program.
Illness and Trauma
More people fell sick in the winter than in the monsoon
that preceded it. Nineteen percent had a sickness in
their family in the winter. Sickness in IRM-4 was
most common in Dhading and Gorkha (27% each),
Okhaldhunga (24%) and Sindhupalchowk (22%).
Recurrent colds (33%), fevers (33%) and prolonged
colds (21%) were the most common illnesses. Those
with lower incomes were more likely to have had
someone in their family fall ill. People in temporary
shelters, particularly cowsheds, were more likely to
have fallen ill. Housing preparedness for adverse
weather greatly affected whether people fell ill.
Incidences of illness were highest among those unable
to make any repairs to their shelters and those who
made repairs that were not sufficient.
The number of people reporting that a family member
is suffering psychological effects from the earthquakes
has decreased. Fifteen percent of households now
report enduring psychological effects. Women (16%)
are slightly more likely than men (13%) to report psy-
chological effects. Those whose house was completely
destroyed, who are not living in their own house or
who had a low pre-earthquake income are more likely
to reporting enduring psychological effects.
Politics and Local Elections
Dissatisfaction with the role of political parties in
assisting recovery remains high. Fifty-nine percent of
people in all affected districts expressed dissatisfaction
with local political parties’ assistance with disaster re-
lief since September 2016. Forty-five percent of people
are dissatisfied with the role of local administrations
in disaster relief since the last monsoon. People in
Sindhupalchowk and Kathmandu, in more remote
regions, and those with higher socio-economic status
are the most likely to be dissatisfied with both political
parties and local administrations. Those who feel the
VDC/municipality distributed aid fairly are almost
twice as likely as others to be satisfied with political

Quantitative Survey
parties. With local elections approaching, reports of
visits of elected officials increased compared to Sep-
tember 2016 but remain lower than in the immediate
aftermath of the earthquakes.
When asked about the most important factors when
choosing who to vote for in the upcoming local elec-
tions, 67% favored candidates/parties that they per-
ceived would support local development, 30% men-
tioned that they would choose a candidate/party that
their family has always voted for and 25% mentioned
that they would support a candidate/party in line with
the choice of their friends. Reconstruction and recov-
ery of earthquake-affected areas was the next most
cited factor (20%). People in more remote regions, of
low caste or with a low income were more likely to pri-
oritize earthquake reconstruction and recovery when
making their voting choice. Four in 10 people in the
earthquake-affected areas said that they thought the
upcoming elections would be free and fair, but three
in 10 were unsure. Forty-two percent of people said
that reconstruction would work the same way as before
after the elections, but people were more likely to be
optimistic (4% much better, 30% much better) than
pessimistic (1% somewhat worse, 1% much worse).
Security and Social Relations
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, a rel-
atively high proportion of people said they felt either
very or somewhat unsafe. However, in subsequent
rounds of the survey, a negligible share of people have
said they felt unsafe with the exception of Kathmandu
and Syangja (8% and 7%, respectively). Similar shares
of men and women and of different caste groups have
felt unsafe. Few report a violent incident in their com-
munity. Kathmandu residents are the most likely to
have seen a violent incident in their community since
the earthquakes.
Most people say that you need to be careful in dealing
with other people; few say most people can be trusted.
Cooperation in times of an emergency, however, is
very likely. More people in the severely hit and crisis
hit districts now think it is very likely that people will
reduce their use of or share resources if an emergency
occurred in their community. Of groups different from
themselves, people trust those from a different area
the least; levels of trust in those from a different caste
or a different religion are similar. People belonging to
lower castes are less likely to think that cooperation
in their community is possible. Over seven in 10 say
that relations with neighbors have remained the same
since the earthquakes.