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Pact began working in Nepal in 1988 and has played a critical role in improving literacy, citizen engagement and the economic and social status of women and other marginalized groups in the country.
Nepal is the birthplace of Pact’s award-winning WORTH program, which brings women together in groups of 20 to 25 to learn how to save money and start small businesses. They use the savings to make loans to fellow members, and with credit and interest earnings, they grow their businesses and launch new ones. WORTH groups also receive literacy, numeracy and technical training, such as agricultural best practices. Since the program’s inception in 1999, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese women have taken part.
Members look on as an outgoing officer welcomes a new one at the start of a WORTH banking cycle.
Pact recently completed Sajhedari Bikaas, a flagship USAID integrated governance project, which empowered communities to achieve inclusive and effective local development. Nepali for “partnership for local development,” Sajhedari Bikaas began in six districts of Nepal’s mid and far western regions. After earthquakes devastated Nepal in 2015, Pact responded by expanding to six recovery districts in the central and western regions, helping communities to lead their own recovery efforts.
Pact's newest project in Nepal is the Social Accountability in the Health Sector, or SAHS, project, which is improving citizen engagement and accountability in the country's health sector. SAHS focuses on collaborating with civil society groups, national policy actors and government health institutions to understand challenges and and barriers.