Can Evidence and Voice Influence Policy? A Critical Assessment of Nepal's Forestry Sector Strategy, 2014

Hemant R. Ojha, Dil B. Khatri*, Krishna K. Shrestha, Basundhara Bhattarai, Jagadish C. Baral, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, Keshab Goutam, Ramesh Sunam, Mani R. Banjade, Sudeep Jana, Bryan Bushley, Sindhu Prasad Dhungana, Dinesh Paudel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines Nepal's recently prepared Forestry Sector Strategy (FSS) (as of 2014) in terms of the use of scientific evidence and the quality of stakeholder participation. By reviewing the content and analyzing the context of its development during 2012–2014, we found that the transitional politics and overt influence of international development agencies dominated the process and content of the FSS. Although the FSS was developed through a significant stakeholder engagement, there was limited use of the available scientific evidence. The FSS was narrowly conceived as a deliverable of supporting aid programs, with limited demand for a politically meaningful policy processes. While civil society groups were consulted, they largely failed to present an independent voice due to their dependence on funding agencies. Our assessment calls for rethinking policy development in a way that facilitates assertive and independent participation by a range of actors and make better use of the available research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-373
Number of pages17
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 3
Externally publishedYes


  • community forestry
  • development
  • evidence-based policy
  • foreign aid
  • policy process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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