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Key Challenges of Security Provision in Rapidly Urbanising Contexts: Evidence from Kathmandu Valley and Terai Regions of Nepal

— theme: Youth Employment Policies and Programmes
— country: Asia, South Asia, Nepal
— type: Studies

This report explores evidence from Nepal to look at the key challenges for providing security in Nepal’s rapidly urbanising areas. Nepal presents an interesting case as the country is not only attempting to rebuild state capacity in the wake of a long civil war, but has also been experiencing a rapid rate of urbanisation, one of the highest in the region. This study is primarily based on recently compiled secondary data sources. These include data and evidence from a variety of sources, including from the Government of Nepal (concerned ministries); Nepal Police; World Bank; Demographic and Health Surveys, Nepal (DHS); United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS); UNICEF; as well as data and studies conducted by other research institutions and NGOs, including Interdisciplinary Analysts (IDA); Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC); Saferworld; Small Arms Survey; and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Jaideep Gupte and Subindra Bogati
Publishing Year

It concludes that (1) youth issues, (2) community-based partnerships, (3) urban planning and design, as well as (4) police capacity, resources and training issues, will need to be kept at the forefront of successful crime reduction strategies in urban Nepal. In particular:

 Being responsive to youth needs entails a multipronged strategy wherein vocational support programmes look to specifically target marginalised urban youth, including those who may have perpetrated violence. Vocational and other support programmes linked to juvenile detention to reach young offenders, particularly those who are at risk of repeat offending should be a key priority.

 Establishing effective partnerships for community-based interventions entails being inclusive of six constellations of actors: civil society peer groups, the police, prosecution, politicians, the prisons system, as well as the media. We suggest pathways along which these six may interact (e.g. through the ‘6-P Approach’).

 Affirming safety and security as an integral part of the urban development strategy, and creating consultation platforms that bring together urban planners, citizen’s groups (in particular those that represent youth and women’s voices), as well as the police.

 Strengthening police capacity in terms of personnel numbers, urban specific training and resources, as well as infrastructure. While urban police organisational structures have already been established, and are largely in line with regional standards, we identify a number of entry points for strengthening police capacity including better understanding of urban crime, better data collection and analysis, ex-post policing interventions, and ex-ante crime reduction strategies. Simultaneously, in the context of rapid urbanisation, we also identify a need to undertake regular neighbourhood level participatory multi-stakeholder assessments to get a clearer picture of urban vulnerabilities.

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