Nepal Development Marketplace launched

Kathmandu, March 1:

To encourage development activities, World Bank launched the second edition of Nepal Development Marketplace — an unconventional programme and forum for idea — today.

“Twenty five innovative ideas and inventive partnerships from across Nepal will be awarded cash grants of up to Rs 1.5 million each should they emerge as winners of the Nepal Development Marketplace-2008,” Susan G Goldmark, country director of the World Bank, launching the programme.

Nepal Development Marketplace will be an op-en, transparent competition to promote fresh thin-king and harvest the most innovative ideas about peace and development, expansion of livelihood opportunities and delivery of basic services to the poor.

“Some ideas will succeed, others may not. Successful or not, Nepal Development Marketplace will take a risk by trying a new idea,” Goldmark said, adding that it is open to anyone with a good innovative idea to share.

Proposals must be received by April 17, after which a review process involving a team of technical assessors will select approximately fifty finalists. “The finalists will be invited to participate at the national competition to be held in Kathmandu on June 15. An independent jury of eminent professionals will select the winners,” said Rajib Upadhya, senior external affairs specialist at the World Bank. To be eligible to compete, proposals must reflect the theme ‘Securing Peace through Development’ in health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture, irrigation and food security, infrastructure (roads and transportation), energy, small business and micro enterprise support, information and communication technologies and employment creation.

Earlier, Nepal Development Marketplace — held in 2005 — produced over one thousand eligible entries. Among the winners, Mahabir Pun — who later went on to win the prestigious Ramon Magasaysay Award — and Morang District Agriculture Office — whose promotion of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is now being emulated in various parts of the world — are some of the examples.

Nepal Development Marketplace 2008, locally branded as the ‘Lau Na Aba Ta Kehi Garau’ contest, is a collaborative effort sponsored by the World Bank and Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund and supported by the Society of Economic Journalists, Nepal.

It is modeled after Development Marketplace that World Bank Group sponsors globally, which has been described by the Harvard Business Review as ‘best practice’.