Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal

Material Information

Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal Preliminary findings from IRM survey research conducted in April 2017
Interdisciplinary Analysts ( Author, Primary )
The Asia Foundation ( contributor )
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 )
NGO Report ( SWAY )
Temporal Coverage:
20150433 - 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.


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text
inter disciplinary Analysts
The Asia Foundation
Briefing Note
Shelter and Reconstruction in Post-Earthquake Nepal
Preliminary findings from IRM survey research conducted in April 2017
This note highlights early findings related to shelter and reconstruction from the fourth round
of quantitative survey research for The Asia Foundation's Independent Impacts and Recovery
Monitoring Project (IRM). The survey work was implemented by Interdisciplinary Analysts.
IRM is a mixed methods and longitudinal study tracking earthquake impacts and recovery over
a period of two years (June 2015-April 2017). Previous IRM qualitative and quantitative
reports and briefing notes can be found at
The IRM surveys generate data from a sample of 4,854 households across 11 earthquake-
affected districts. The first round of the survey was conducted in June 2015, the second in
February-March 2016, the third in September 2016, with the fourth round implemented in
April 2017. Data are weighted to ensure findings are representative. Where possible, the same
people are interviewed in each round.
Funds to support IRM are provided by the UK Department for International Development and
the Swiss Development Cooperation. The findings and analysis are those of The Asia
Foundation and Interdisciplinary Analysts, not of the funders.
Where people are living
Relatively few people have moved back
into their houses.
Two years on from Nepal's Great
Earthquakes, 23% percent of the population
in the surveyed districts are still living in self-
constructed temporary shelters. In the most
affected districts (those categorized as
severely hit in the government's Post-
Disaster Needs Assessment), 62% are still in
temporary shelters. The figure is highest in
Sindhulpalchowk district, where 84% remain
in shelters (Table 1). IRM qualitative
research found that many people in shelters
continue to struggle with shelters not suited
to hot or cold weather, too small for families
to live in, and people suffering from smoke
from cooking areas situated in the same a
people in shelters said they got sick dui
Table 1: Proportion living in temporary shelter
in April 2017 - by district (IRM-4 full dataset)
District Proportion in temporary shelter
Sindhulpalchowk 84%
Dhading 66%
Nuwakot 63%
Ramechhap 55%
Gorkha 44%
Okhaldhunga 22%
Bhaktapur 13%
Solukhumbu 5%
Kathmandu 3%
Syangja 2%
Lamjung 1%
where they sleep. Seventeen percent of
the winter due to problems with their

Figure 1: Proportion living in temporary shelter - over
time (IRM-2, IRM-3, IRM-4 panel dataset)
The limited rate of people returning
to their own houses can be seen
when looking at the panel data that
includes responses from individuals
who were interviewed in each survey
round. 1 In February 2016, nine
months after the earthquakes, 52% of
people were still living in temporary
shelters. By September, this figure
had declined to 45%. As of April 2017,
39% were still living in temporary
shelter, a 6-point decrease over the
past 8 months (Figure 1).
The marginalized are more likely to remain in shelters than others.
People in more remote areas are more likely to remain in shelters than others. In April 2017,
45% of those living in wards that are at least 6 hours from the district headquarters by the
fastest means of transport lived in shelters, compared to 37% of those who live 3-6 hours
away and just 6% within 3 hours of the district capital.
Those who were marginalized before the earthquakes are far more likely to remain in
temporary shelters than others. Those who had a low income, who are illiterate or who have
less education, and indigenous Janajati and so-called low caste people are far more likely to
remain in shelters than others (Table 2).
Table 2: Proportion in temporary shelter in April 2017 - by population groups (IRM-4)
Identity Group Proportion in shelter
Caste High caste 18%
Low caste 27%
Janajati 26%
Janajati (excluding Newar) 34%
Income level pre-earthquake NPR 10,000/month or less 44%
NPR 10,000 - NPR 19,999/month 20%
NPR 20,000 or more 10%
Education Illiterate 37%
Literate but no education 25%
Primary level 27%
Lower secondary level 18%
Secondary level 10%
SLC pass 9%
+2/intermediate pass 17%
Bachelor pass 16%
Master and above 4%
Marital status (women) Widow 27%
Not single woman 23%
Disability Disabled 38%
Not disabled 23%
1 Overall, 4,562 people were interviewed in the last three rounds of IRM.

These differences are a product of differing abilities to recover rather than differing initial
impacts from the earthquakes.
Looking only at those whose house was majorly damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes,
54% of those with a low pre-earthquake income remained in shelters in April 2017,
compared to 32% of medium income people and 21% of those with a high income. More
than half of disabled people whose house was substantially affected by the earthquake
continue to live in shelters compared to 37% of those without a disability.
Progress in rebuilding and the NRA reconstruction grant
Two years on from the earthquakes, most people have not started rebuilding. The
marginalized are much less likely to have started rebuilding.
Across all districts, 56% of those whose house was significantly damaged or destroyed report
that as of April 2017 they had not started to rebuild. The figure is highest for
Sindhulpalchowk and Dhading (69% each) and is over 50% in every district except for Gorkha
(48%) and Syangja, (33%). Solukhumbu stands out as an exception: despite the housing grant
not being disbursed at the time of the research, 91% of people whose house was damaged
have started rebuilding.
Sixty-one percent of low caste people whose house was majorly damaged or destroyed say
they have not started rebuilding, compared to 57% of Janajati and 52% of high caste people.
Those with a low pre-earthquake income are 4 percentage points less likely than those with
a high income to have started rebuilding and the difference is the same for widows
compared to other women. Those whose current monthly income had declined since the
earthquake are 14 percentage points more likely to say they have not started rebuilding
than those who say their income has improved.
People have not rebuilt because of a lack of money. The housing reconstruction grant has
had some impacts in helping people rebuild but these have been minor so far.
Those who have not started rebuilding overwhelmingly say a lack of funds is one of the
primary reasons (93%). The second most common reason (49%) was that people were
waiting for government reconstruction grants followed by the price of construction
materials being too high (32%).2
Receiving the first tranche of the housing reconstruction grant has a slight impact in shaping
whether people have started to rebuild. A majority of those whose house was damaged or
destroyed have done nothing to rebuild, regardless of whether they received the grant or
not. Fifty-eight percent of those who received the grant have done nothing compared to
66% of those who have not received the grant (Figure 2). Those who received the grant are
slightly more likely to have started to rebuild but are less likely to have fully rebuilt their
Most people believe the NPR 300,000 grant will cover less than half of the cost of
rebuilding their house.
On average, people believe rebuilding will cost NPR 1,310,854, similar to the NPR 1,396,030
people said it would cost in the IRM-3 survey. Forty-five percent of people who said they
have been declared eligible for the grant said it would cover less than 25% of their rebuilding
costs while another 35% said it would cover 25-50%. Only six percent said it would cover
75% or more of their costs.
2 People could give multiple responses.

Figure 2: Proportion who have started to rebuild - by whether received housing grant (IRM-4)
The largest share of people who have started to rebuild have done so in the past two
months. However, this does not appear tied to whether people received the housing grant
or not.
Those who have not received the first tranche of the NRA grant were more likely to have
started rebuilding in the first six months after the earthquakes, presumably because the
level of damage to their house was less making it easier to start to rebuild.* 3 There was an
increase in people who received the grant starting to rebuild after the first tranche was
provided: 53% of those who received the grant who had begun rebuilding started after May
2016.4 However, this is not substantially different than the figures for those who had not
received the grant, with 46% starting after that month (Table 3).
Table 3: When people started rebuilding, of those who have started rebuilding - by whether or not
have received first tranche of housing grant (IRM-4 full dataset)
Received NRA grant Did not receive NRA grant
After the earthquake, before the first monsoon (April-May 2015) 3% 14%
During the first monsoon after the earthquake (June- August 2015) 11% 21%
After the monsoon, before the first winter (September- November 2015) 15% 13%
During the first winter (December 2015-February 2016) 6% 3%
After the first winter, before the second monsoon (March- May 2016) 11% 4%
During the second monsoon (June-August 2016) 4% 2%
After the second monsoon, before the second winter (September-November 2016) 12% 7%
During the second winter (December 2016-February 2017) 12% 2%
After the second winter (March-April 2017) 25% 35%
33 The grant is disbursed in three tranches which total NPR 300,000, with the first tranche valued at
NPR 50,000.
4 The first tranche of the housing grant started in some districts in May 2016 and was almost fully
disbursed in most target districts by March 2017.

Due to other difficulties people face, a majority of people who received the first tranche of
the grant have not or do not plan to use it to build houses following the reconstruction
program's guidelines.
For beneficiaries to receive the second and third tranches of the grant, they have to show
progress in building and follow set guidelines that ensure their house is earthquake-
resistant. Thirty-seven percent of people say they will use the grant to build a structure that
follows the accepted building codes (Figure 3). However, this had decreased from the 44%
who said they would do so in September of last year. The proportion saying they will either
build not following the guidelines, or they do not know whether they will follow the
guidelines, has increased to 9%. Almost one-quarter say they will use the first tranche of the
grant to support their livelihoods rather than to rebuild and another 7% say they will use the
money to pay off loans.
Figure 3: Use of/planned use of first tranche of the reconstruction grant among those declared
eligible to receive it - over time (IRM-3, IRM-4 full dataset)
Decisions on how to use the first tranche of the grant are not substantially affected by
whether or not people have information on requirements that must be met to receive the
second tranche.
Forty-seven percent of people who have received the first tranche of the grant say they do
not know the requirements for receiving the second tranche. Women are less likely than
men to know the requirements (39% know compared to 54% of men) and only 32% of
widows know the conditions. So-called low caste people (40%) are less likely to know than
Janajatis (44%) and so-called high caste people (52%).
However, knowledge about the conditions that must be met for the second tranche to be
disbursed does not affect greatly how people choose to use the first tranche. Those who do
know the conditions are 11 percentage points more likely to say they will build a house
following the program's building codes than those who do not know the conditions (43%
versus 32%). However, 21% of those who know the rules still say they will use the first
tranche for livelihoods support, 6% to pay off loans, and 12% for other things.

Despite many not following the program rules, most
are confident that they will receive the second
Almost three-quarters of people who received the first
tranche of the grant say they are confident they will
receive the second tranche, despite 63% saying they
will or have used the first tranche for purposes that do
not fit with the program rules (Figure 3).
Indeed, levels of confidence are only slightly higher
amongst those following the housing reconstruction
program guidelines. Seventy-six percent of those who
have used or plan to use the first tranche for non-
housing related purposes are still confident they will
receive the second tranche (Figure 4). This may cause
problems if the rules are strictly applied when
disbursing the second tranche of the grant.
Figure 3: Confidence in getting second
tranche among those who received the first
tranche (IRM-4 full dataset)
Figure 4: Confidence in getting second tranche of the reconstruction grant among those who
receive the first tranche - by use of first tranche (IRM-4 full dataset)
â–  Very confident â–  Somewhat confident Not too confident
â–  Not at all confident â–  Don't know/refused
Figure 5: Technical assistance from government engineers - by
district impact (IRM-4 full dataset)
â–  Engineer came and helped
â–  Engineer came but did not help
â–  No engineer has come
â–  Don't know
Technical assistance
from engineers has been
Among those who have
started to rebuild a new
house, 59% said they got
help from a government
engineer, 37% said they
had not, and 5% said that
no engineer came to
their area. Overall,
people in more affected
districts are more likely
to have had an engineer
help them (Figure 5).

Knowledge of the government's retrofitting grant is much lower than that of the
reconstruction grant.
Awareness of the NPR 100,000 retrofitting grant is much lower than that of the NPR 300,000
reconstruction grant (only 39% of people were aware of the former compared to 79% of the
latter). In Ramechhap, Gorka, Syangja, Bhaktapur, and Okhaldhunga, awareness is
particularly low (Table 4). Those in less remote areas are slightly more likely to know about
the grant.
Table 4: Do you know about the retrofitting grant? (IRM-4 full dataset)
District Yes No/don't know
Dhading 49% 51%
Gorkha 18% 82%
Nuwakot5 24% 74%
Ramechhap 13% 87%
Sindhupalchowk 35% 65%
Bhaktapur 21% 79%
Kathmandu 49% 51%
Okhaldhunga 21% 79%
Lamjung 25% 75%
Solukhumbu 42% 58%
Syangja 18% 82%
District impact
Severely hit 29% 71%
Crisis hit 46% 54%
Hit with heavy losses 32% 68%
Hit 18% 82%
Less remote 43% 57%
More remote 32% 68%
Remote 38% 62%
As with the reconstruction grant, men (45%) and those belonging to so-called higher castes
(43%) were more likely than women (33%) and people of other groups (Janajatis 37%, so-
called low caste 43%) to know about the retrofitting grant
5 Two percent of people in Nuwakot refused to answer the question.