Current Assignments

Nepal-National Multi-Tier Framework Energy Access Household Energy Survey

Year: Current-Ongoing 

Location: Nepal 

Client: The World Bank

The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) – World Bank, in consultation with multiple development partners has developed the Multi-tier Framework (MTF) for 15 countries including Nepal to monitor and evaluate energy by following a multidimensional approach. As a starting point, ESMAP-World Bank, in collaboration with SE4ALL, will carry out household surveys in these 15 countries to establish each country’s baseline towards measuring progress towards the universal energy access goals. Moreover, the survey in Nepal, will also focus on conducting Enterprise surveys to examine the impact of increased hours of electricity supply and reliability on manufacturing firms in terms of productivity, profitability, and competitiveness on the world market. Further, the final component of the MTF survey would be to conduct an assessment of the current technical, financial, and economical status of mini/micro-grid operation in Nepal. The MTF survey will be spread across around 6,300 households, 800 business establishment and 400-500 mini/micro grid operators across Nepal.

Stakeholder Perception Survey Nepal 2013

SEDF and the National Business Initiative Nepal conducted a survey of stakeholders regarding their attitudes towards private sector development in Nepal.  The study design, implementation and report development was carried out by Solutions Consultant. The results are expected to contribute to the development of policy strategies and the design of interventions for public-private dialogue, as well as the improvement of the investment climate and stakeholder relations with Nepalese businesses. The objectives of the survey are consistent with Nepal Government’s vision for private sector development.

The survey depicts stakeholders’ views on the role of the private sector in the country’s development and will provide information on attitudes, relations, and trustworthiness as regards private sector development and business reforms in Nepal.

stakeholder groups for the survey were: i) opinion makers and influencers in the general population; ii) labor representatives; and iii) representatives (owners/senior management) of private businesses across Nepal.  The survey was carried out between May 2012 and July 2012.

Key Findings

Perceptions of the current economic scenario

  • All three stakeholder groups (opinion makers, labor representatives, and businesses) broadly agreed on the important issues facing the economy; political instability, lack of electricity (power), corruption, and the lack of a productive workforce are considered the top business and economic concerns.
  • Similarly, political instability, lack of electricity, education, corruption, and employment are considered to be the main issues facing Nepal.
  • Around 60 percent of all three stakeholder groups perceived that business and the economy were going in the wrong direction, though around 40 percent felt that the economy was improving compared to five years ago.

Perceptions of the priority areas for reform, government, and regulations

  • All stakeholder groups felt that reforms in the areas of agriculture, education, corruption, and politics were most needed for Nepal.
  • A higher proportion (47 percent) of businesses considered the government an obstacle to doing businesses; there was a general consensus that the government should focus more on helping smaller businesses.
  • Stakeholders generally agreed that the government fosters corruption, does not provide a level playing field to large and small businesses, and does not protect investors’ interests. These were the major reasons for considering the government an obstacle to business.
  • The government was also considered a facilitator for businesses in many ways (including by making it easy to start up businesses), for example by providing easier access to credit and working towards lowering the prices of goods. However, there is room for improvement: less than 39 percent of businesses felt that the government helps businesses.
  • Though about half of businesses (51 percent) approved of the way in which the government and its agencies had handled the national economic crisis, opinions were spilt as to the favorability of economic policies towards businesses.
  • Improved business regulations, easier access to credit, and political stability created favorable perceptions towards economic policies and the business environment. Conversely, political instability, lack of electricity, and poor policies/regulations led to unfavorable perceptions.
  • Around 53 percent of businesses indicated that more business regulations may be needed to effectively regulate businesses. Around 26 percent of businesses indicated that the current business regulations are favorable to their own businesses, while 24 percent indicated that the current business regulations are unfavorable to them.
  • Among the reasons for favorable perceptions of business regulations were their role in allowing businesses to run properly (33 percent), checking prices (30 percent), and preventing illegal businesses from operating (24 percent). Conversely, business regulations were considered unfavorable for similar reasons: for being ineffective in controlling prices and preventing illegal businesses, as well as for increased taxes.

Business and labor reforms

  • Almost all agreed that business reforms are essential for Nepal and most agreed that business reforms benefit all Nepalis (not just businesses). Ensuring fair competition, an easier tax filing process, and the amendment of existing business regulations were considered priority business reforms.
  • However, the majority of stakeholders had heard little or nothing about business reforms. Around 62 percent of businesses (40 percent of large businesses), 51 percent of opinion makers, and 68 percent of labor representatives had heard little or nothing about business reforms. Of the stakeholders who had heard about business reforms, over two thirds perceived these reforms to be favorable for businesses.
  • Lack of access to loans or credit, infrastructure (power, water, information and communications technology, serviced land), political stability, and market conditions were considered to be the major obstacles to business. In particular, political instability and the lack of electricity – seen as major obstacles as well as priority concerns for stakeholders – should be addressed by the government. Additionally, internal issues like the lack of management, unproductive labor, and unmanaged supply chains are also considered obstacles to business.
  • A considerable proportion (34 percent) of businesses indicated that they had decided not to make investments because of regulatory issues in recent times. For most businesses, it was not the time and cost of regulatory compliance, but the lack of certainty involved as regards the time and cost of compliance.

Private sector

  • Stakeholders believed that the private sector contributes to development and provides employment opportunities, but only around 30 percent, including businesses themselves, agreed that the private sector is transparent, accountable, and honest.
  • An overwhelming majority of labor representatives (over 90 percent) indicated that fair wages and the welfare/security of workers are priority issues to be addressed by the private sector. Businesses and opinion makers considered the quality of products and services to be the top priority for the private sector (over 85 percent), followed by fair wages and the welfare of workers.
  • The enforcement of legal/regulatory standards, certifications, and awards for well-managed firms were seen as means to improve the reputation of the private sector.
  • Across 10 business sectors, the banking and financial sector, technology and communications, the media, and the health care industry were considered more responsible. Comparatively, the energy and retail/trade sectors were less trusted.

Information sources and knowledge about priority investment areas

  • Compared to other stakeholders, a smaller proportion of labor (around 50 percent) had heard of the government’s investments in hydro-power, though those who had were overwhelmingly positive. But it is to be noted that a significant proportion (around 25 percent) of respondents did not know of the benefits of hydro-power development in Nepal.
  • Similarly, many respondents – a higher proportion of the labor representatives – were unaware of the benefits of investing in agriculture (commercialization) and tourism.
  • Television and newspapers were the most trusted sources of information about business and the economy across all stakeholder groups. However, businesses noted the dearth of much-needed information on new technologies, market demand, business opportunities, risk management, business regulations, and economic policies.

Key Insights

  • It is important to note that labor representatives, businesses, and opinion makers mostly agree on the key issues facing Nepal. This suggests that all stakeholders can come together to tackle these issues.
  • There is a favorable perception of current economic policies, driven partly by knowledge of progress on key issues like political stability and business regulation. People believe business reforms are good, but most have heard little about them. The government should communicate its business reform initiatives more effectively.
  • The private sector is considered to be contributing to the development of the country, more specifically by creating employment opportunities. However, it was found to be lacking in terms of accountability, transparency, and honesty, and the retail/trade and energy sectors in particular suffered from a lack of trust.
  • Poor regulations, excess paperwork, a lack of transparency, and limited access to information are linked to the issues that hinder businesses. E-governance initiatives (online information systems, payment systems, access systems) could address these issues and facilitate business.
  • A significant proportion of people are not aware of or do not understand the importance of the government’s initiatives to develop investment in hydro-power, agriculture, and tourism. This has to be addressed if people are to understand why certain changes are necessary. Communicating the benefits of investment is key to securing the support of stakeholders.
  • Businesses identified an information gap in crucial areas for their development, including hydro-power, tourism and agricultural sectors. Better communication to all groups on the part of the government, as regards their priorities and activities, will help build awareness and support for initiatives that benefit Nepal.
  • TV and newspapers are trusted sources of information on business and the economy, while the Internet and radio are also important for opinion makers and businesses. This highlights the importance of working with the media to communicate about business reform issues with stakeholders.

January 2013

Full Report

Local Television and Radio – how engaged are we!!

Nepal Television news every night, Biswoghatana on Thursdays and a movie watched by the whole family at 2 pm on Saturdays in Nepal TV. This must have been the scenario of every household during the 90’s. Nepal Television started in 1985 was the first Nepali TV channel and remained so for a few years. Switch to three decades later and we have a number of Nepali channels on television today. So how often does one watch Nepali TV channels and how often do we listen to the radio?

According to the audience media survey, Nepali TV channels are quite popular among the urban 16+ audiences where around 67% watch them on a daily basis. News and comedy serials are the most popular genres in Nepali TV channels. Songs, call in entertainment programs and investigative shows are also quite popular. Among the programs itself, Kantipur TV news and Nepal TV news slots are popular while sitcoms such as Bhadragol, Meri Bassai and Tito Satya are also popular. Investigative journalism and talk shows such as “Khabar Bhitra ko Khabar” and “Sajha Sawal” are also popular. Call Kantipur also features among the top 10 popular views among the 16+ urban TV audiences.

Among the various channels, Nepal TV and Kantipur TV have high viewership followed by Avenues Television, Image Channel, Sagarmatha Television, TV Filmy and News 24. Nepali TV channels viewership peaks between ages 35-39 and declines with the younger audiences.

And what about the radio? Are we glued to the radio as much we are to the television? We all love a good song on the radio; whether it’s while driving alone in the car or sitting among other passengers in a bus or micro van. So how much does the urban Nepali population listen to the radio?

According to the survey, over half of the urban 16+ audiences rarely listen to the radio while 37% are daily listeners. Comparatively, urban audiences of the Central region and the Far-western region listen to the radio regularly than other urban clusters. Radio listenership peaks at those below the age of 24 and lessens below age 25 to 39.

Listeners on the radio mostly prefer listening to the news and songs. Lok (Folk) songs, social/political programs and song requesting programs are also quite popular. There are some mentions of Nepali drama shows like “Dear Kalyan” and “Saathi Sanga Manka Kura” also.

The most popular radio channels among 16 above age population are the regional/ local channels followed by Kantipur FM, Image FM, BBC World Network 103, Ujyaalo 90 Network and Radio Nepal with large audience base across the urban areas of Nepal.

In conclusion, we can say that amongst the urban 16+audiences, Nepali TV channel viewership is quite high compared to the radio listenership. News along with comedy serials in TV and songs in radio seems to be the genre of preference. Further while the full-time students are the ones who view Nepali TV channels the least on a day to day basis, they are amongst the active daily radio listeners. So…do we still watch Nepali TV channels with the same fervor that as a 10 year old child we experienced while watching the ending part of “Bishwoghatana” program? (The ending of Bishwoghatana was really exciting as they showed interesting things like cool inventions and so on) Probably not!  But do we still switch on Nepali TV channels to catch the occasional news and other shows, indeed we do.

The audience media survey was conducted among 16+ aged urban audiences to find out the popularity of Nepali TV Channels and radio stations. The survey was spread across 5 development regions in 28 cities within 35 urban locations selected through systematic random sampling.

January 2016

Nepal Urban Television Viewing Trends 2015-16

Summary of the overall television trends in Nepal indicates that males are more regular viewers for both Nepali and Foreign channels. Moreover, the urban audience prefers watching Nepali channels mainly for News programs (95%) and Foreign Channels for Entertainment(58.4%). Kantipur Television and Nepal Television are the most popular Nepali News channels whereas Colors and Zee TV are mostly preferred Foreign Entertainment channels.

Willingness to Pay (WtP) Survey for Better Quality Electricity Service

The study was funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (a US government agency that provides assistance to other countries’ development projects) in partnership with the Government of Nepal (OMCN), and is being carried out by CPCS/WSP, a Canadian company. The main purpose of this survey is to: (1) assess the potential economic benefit of the incremental value of  utilizing additional energy at a lower cost per unit of service in place of alternative energy sources; (2) Assess the willingness of households and businesses to pay more than they are currently paying for a supply of electrical energy with fewer scheduled and unscheduled outages and more stable voltage. The survey is designed in a suitable manner to calculate for each targeted group its WtP for improved quality of power supply with regards to availability; range of fluctuation of quality; predictability of power supply interruption. The survey is spread across 2300 households and 600 businesses across Nepal.