RAP I to RAP 3
by: RAP 3      on: 28th Feb, 2017

David Seddon was a member of the team that designed the original Rural Access Programme (RAP I) back in 1999 and then of the team that implemented the project from 2000 to 2005. He writes “I was very excited to be able, in February 2017, to visit the Far West (with a group from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) with whom I was working) and to drive north from Dadeldhura via Sahajpur (Kailali District) to Dipayal (Doti District) and beyond, up rugged RAP 3 roads that looked as though they were already bedding in well. I was particularly pleased to see, at one point, a road building group (RBG) consisting entirely of women, working on the side of the road, as we in the original RAP team had envisaged so long ago.

But we always thought that ‘roads alone are not enough’; and so RAP has, from the outset, included a complementary programme of social and economic development interventions and activities. Now, over the next few years (2017 to 2019), the new RAP3 CONNECT programme will be building on these achievements to link a new set of local producers to dealers and processors in the region, with a view to adding value and promoting market relations, creating a new generation of service providers and small businesses, and even contributing to the growth of exports. It even plans to create a ginger processing centre at Sahajpur, where we stopped on our return journey to investigate the local produce displayed on the road-side, apparently destined for export from the region".

NAST to be home to CONNECT's first Future Entrepreneurs' Club
by: RAP 3      on: 27th Feb, 2017

To promote youth entrepreneurship, CONNECT is partnering with colleges to establish satellite business incubation centres and Future Entrepreneurs’ Clubs (FECs).  The first FEC was established in partnership with the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Dhangadhi this week.

The clubs will serve as forums for peer to peer learning, mentoring and for students to hear success stories from the region and wider. 

64 NAST students have joined the FEC demonstrating huge enthusiasm for new learning and skill enhancing opportunities.  Their hunger to make connections and their high expectations of CONNECT supporting them to grow their knowledge base further inspires us in our enabling environment work. 

Meet our Yuva Vayus
by: RAP 3      on: 26th Feb, 2017

The CONNECT team have been in Achham, Dailkeh and Doti this week to meet some of our Yuva Vayus (a Nepali word that translates as Youth Wind in English).  

CONNECT Yuva Vayus are in-community volunteers.  They are all women hungry for change, ambitious for self, family and community and are currently actively engaged in the supply chains of CONNECT's partners.  Replacing traditional social mobilisers they have been selected by their communities to take on leadership roles mobilising, energising and shepherding the farmer clusters they belong to.  

This intervention is giving hundreds of women an opportunity to build their confidence and increase their voice and agency within the communities they live.

Procurement and contract management training for DDC/DTO staff
by: RAP 3      on: 21st Feb, 2017

DTA Morang in close coordination with DDC conducted a training on Procurement and Contract Management in Biratnagar on 10-12 February 2017 under the ASP-016/17 (073/74) to fulfil the information gaps in the ever changing scenario of public procurement rules and regulation targeted for Admin and Technical staff of DDC/DTO.

Altogether 32 staff of DDC/DTO/DTA/Contractors participated in the training. The trainers were invited from Public Procurement Monitoring Office, Kathmandu and Regional Roads Directorate, Damak and few sessions supplemented by Chief District Engineer Rewati Raman Parajuli and Local Development Officer Shobhakhar Regmi. Overall management of training sessions were led by DTL Harihar Bhandari with close support of GE Avishek Shrestha in preparing training report and OM Mohan Pariyar for logistics provision.

The training covered related topics of Procurement Concept and Principles, Acts and Regulations, Selection of Procurement Methods, Cost Estimation and approval, Bidding Document, Bid Evaluation, Core activities of Contract Management like Work Programme, Extension of Time, Variation, Payment Certificates, Fundamental Breach of Contract & its Termination, Liquidated Damages, Black Listing of firm, etc. Case Studies were also done based on those topics to visualize solution of similar nature problem in previous contracts.

As Procurement holds 15-20% of the GDP value and 60-70% of the annual expenditure from Public Entities participants remarked that the training might be very useful to perform contracts & procurement management task smoothly in their upcoming duties. They appreciated and thanked RAP3 for the training arrangement and emphasized on continuation of refresher at least once annually.

Orientation for SMGs in Jumla
by: RAP 3      on: 20th Feb, 2017

To improve the system of User's Committee system and the proper selection of group members following standard procedure, RAP3 has started SMG piloting in 4 maintenance districts (Jumla, Dailekh, Doti, & Achham) which has targeted the selection of poor people who can work and earn cash. In the process, DTA Jumla has selected 76 workers from three DRCN roads for the implementation of SMG works. DTA Jumla provided one day theoretical orientation to those SMG workers followed by a day of practical demonstration of works.

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CPD training
by: RAP 3      on: 17th Feb, 2017

In line with RAP3 CPD programme, RAP3 DTA Jhapa organized 3 days CPD training on Procurement (3A, 3B, 3C, 3E, 3F), Implementation (4A, 4B, 4G) and Quality control (4C, 4D, 4F) modules on 12th to 14th Februry 2017 for DDC/DTO engineers and sub-engineers. The LRN modules were delivered by DTL, Krishna Saran Dhungana and GE, Chetan Neupane to the participants. Out of 15 total participants, 11 were from DDC/DTO including and 4 from RAP 3. Participants also wrote the exam conducted at the end of the session. The modules can be found on

Financing agreed for 5 irrigation ponds in Malika, Dailekh
by: RAP 3      on: 16th Feb, 2017

CONNECT has pulled together multiple stakeholders as co-investors and signed MOUs with five seed producer groups in Mailka, Dailkeh for the construction of five irrigation ponds.   The ponds are expected to increase production and improve seed quality.  The local producer groups that will benefit from the irrigation infrastructure are in CONNECT MSME partner Hatemalo's downstream supply chain.  Together they have committed NPR 895,642 in cash and in kind to complete the construction.  Additional financial support has been leveraged from DADO (NPR 200,000), VDC (NPR 68,000) and a local cooperative (NPR 100,000).  CONNECT is investing NPR 1,065,000.  The ponds will store excess water when it is abundant so it can be distributed during drought.  Water stored in this way can be fed to the entire farm without pumps or electricity. 

Launching of “Statistics of Local Road Network 2016” by the Minister
by: RAP 3      on: 13th Feb, 2017

Honourable Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Mr Hit Raj Pande launched the book “Statistics of Local Road Network 2016” on 10 February 2017 prepared with the technical and financial assistance of Rural Access Programme Phase 3 in Kathmandu.  The statistical book consists of LRN inventory data documented in District Transport Master Plan and GIS based district maps of 75 districts. During the occasion Director General Mr. Ram Krishna Sapkota, DoLIDAR highlighted the features and the importance of the Statistical Book and thanked RAP3 for providing technical and financial assistance for preparation of the book. The Honourable Minister and the Secretary of MoFALD also thanked RAP3 for providing assistance and other GoN Staff for their effort to carry out the publication. The function organised at DoLIDAR office premises was participated by high dignitaries of MoFALD and DoLIDAR and representatives of development partners from donors, including RAP3.

RMG refresher training
by: RAP 3      on: 13th Feb, 2017

DTA Jhapa has completed one day RMG refresher training on 6th, 8th and 10th of February, 2017 in cluster-I (RMGs of 04DR001 - 6), cluster-III (RMGs of 04DR010 - 12, 13, 14, 16, 17) and cluster-II(RMGs of 04DR07 - 9, 11, 15) respectively. Graduate Engineer, Chetan Neupane and Sub-Asset Management Engineer, Dukhi Lal Chaudhary presented on road maintenance works, RMG working procedures, supervision and payment and 10 points RAP3 worker briefing card. Meanwhile, DTL Krishna Sharan Dhungana briefed the objectives of refresher with welcome speech in the beginning and answered on the raised issues. RMG members took the exam in the final session and the one securing first position was awarded through DTL.

Test flight at Sunatharali airport, Kotbada, Kalikot
by: RAP 3      on: 13th Feb, 2017

On 11th February, 2017, Tara airplane 9N-ABM twin otter landed at Sunatharali airport of Kotbada VDC,  Kalikot around 11:00 AM. The airport is ready after 31 years of construction by using locally available resources and through human efforts. Senior captain Santosh Shah did test trail where thousands of people heartily welcome all test trail team with putting tika and garland with presenting their local cultural and tradition of  Kalikot district. Sub-director of Civil Aviation Authority of  Nepal, Rajkumar Chettri said that within few weeks after inauguration of airport  local people can able to travel on nearby districts. Chief engineer of Sunatharali airport Ratna Bahadur Shrestha maintained that airport is one of the excellent airports as compare to other airports of  Karnali Zone with long runway span and enough width. The airport is within  4 hours of walking distance from district headquarter.