DVN has worked extensively in all five Development Regions and has successfully completed projects in more than three fourth districts of the country covering all administrative and ecological belts that is Mountain, hills, and terai. As of now, DVN has completed more than four dozen projects of different natures and sizes for different clients which are presented in the company profile. Out of them, about a dozen of projects include baseline studies. DVN provides specialized expertise in a wide range of disciplines as follows:
Agriculture and rural development have been the mainstay of DVN’s operations since its establishment in 1998. DVN’s experience reveals that there are many success stories of agriculture not only as an engine of growth early in the development process but also as a major force of poverty reduction. Our Agribusiness development experience includes production and marketing of High-Value Agriculture (HVA) and Non-Timber Forest Products, commercial dairy farming, promotion and diversification of a range of dairy and meat products and associated enterprises in the country. It is our realization that the sub-sector which so far operates mostly through informal channels holds significant potential for development utilizing the abundant resources and opportunities that are available within the country. DVN through its assessment of high value products in the country has identified niche areas both at local and export markets where local high-value agricultural products could significantly contribute to import substitution and boost export promotion, especially through the production of off-season vegetables in the Mid and Far western hills which have very large ready markets in the cities of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh of India.
As a company with skills in the various aspects of rural development, DVN has gained extensive experience in integrating disciplines for the purposes of rural and agricultural development planning. We have skills in working together with communities, NGOs, government departments at national, regional and district levels; and with various donor agencies in rural development planning. DVN’s fundamentally accords priority to rural development that requires to be mainstreamed with national development in the long term and for that rural development programs are visualized as the cornerstone of national development. It is our basic understanding that a large section of the rural population depending upon subsistence or less than subsistence agriculture needs gradual transformation towards commercial agriculture based on the local resources.
Value Chain Development
Although relatively new, value chain development is considered the pivot to drive agricultural commercialization in the Nepalese economy. DVN’s experience within countries clearly demonstrates that there are certain commodities and locations which show marvelous prospects to realize faster growth through the value chain development approach. The road infrastructures together with new technologies that have brought producers, markets and consumers closer have opened up avenues of new opportunities for interventions in the entire process of commercialized agriculture. Clearly, there are several areas from production to storage, transportation, processing and marketing of several high values agricultural products which would substantially generate employment, income and livelihood improvement of a large mass of the population, eventually adding value on the products at a different stage and also enhancing their competitiveness in the market.
In a study supported by SNV Nepal, DVN conducted detailed survey analysis of goat and High Value Crops (HVC): turmeric, ginger, off-season vegetable, apple, Timur, fruits and other NTFPs along the north-south road corridors in the Mid and Far Western Region in 2008 to 2013 which has specified high priority product sets in different altitude range. The study not only identified the potential products with value chain prospects but also made a critical analysis of different stakeholders involved at different levels of product handling from producers to consumers and also the use of technologies and further intervention measures. A similar Value Chain assessment of timber products in the five districts of Mid and Far west region has identified potential opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and future promotional measures to diversify and promote the use of various timber species from production to processing, product development, promotion and marketing that would not only help import substitute of furniture and timber products but also contribute to local employment and income of all stakeholders including a large number of skilled and unskilled workers deriving their livelihood from timber sub-sector.
Participatory Planning / Community Development
DVN advocates a participatory project planning approach, having developed an effective system to create sustainable project benefits. The company realizes the overriding importance of involving target beneficiaries and stakeholders in the process of project planning and implementation. The participation and a clear understanding of these interest groups are crucial to a project’s success. We are also committed to furthering the status of women and special interest groups such as ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, to ensure that they benefit fully from development projects. DVN has extensive experience in community development, sociology, socio-economic development, gender analysis, women in development, and ethnic minority development. Experience includes identifying income-generation activities and other poverty reduction initiatives, credit delivery and savings, the formation of village development groups, women’s groups, and social impact assessment.
Environmental Planning and Management
DVN fully appreciates the importance of environmental aspects of development. We have gained extensive experience in environmental and resource management and development, including biodiversity conservation, national park, and ecotourism planning and development, buffer zone development, ecology and wildlife protection, watershed planning and management, and wetlands conservation. DVN recognizes that it is important that environmental consequences are identified early in the development cycle and taken into account in project selection, siting, planning, and design. A full range of expertise is available to undertake initial environmental examination, environmental impact assessment and to detail project implementing arrangements that can prevent, minimize and mitigate adverse environmental impacts. We actively work with communities to formulate environmentally sound development plans.
Economic Planning and Management
DVN’s skills and expertise in economic planning and management to develop rural economies encompass the following areas: agricultural, livestock, natural resource and environmental economics and assessments, economic impact of development initiatives and strategies; increasing rural incomes; policy and sector reviews; and social impact and poverty analysis and includes institutional strengthening, preparation of development strategies.
Capacity Strengthening/Institutional Development
In designing and implementing effective institutional development projects, DVN promotes the participation of and consensus-building among, stakeholders as we believe the success of any development process is ultimately dependent on the people who will implement and sustain this process. This entails developing an in-depth understanding of the nature of local governance and the existing skills within the system, as well as identifying the gaps and areas of weakness which need to be rectified in order to enable the institutions to perform effectively. Once the requirements are properly identified, programs must be tailored to meet the very specific needs of the organization and the individuals within it.
Governance and privatization
Governance is central to the development process. DVN aims to add value to national poverty programs by developing capacities for good governance, targeting its assistance and building core competencies in public and private sector management, decentralization and support to local governance. DVN focuses on clearly defining public and private sector responsibilities, creating a policy environment conducive to private sector investment, and introducing appropriate management systems and skills development programs. In all DVN’s privatization and corporatization work, the aim is to improve the overall efficiency and function of the target organizations to enable them to operate more transparently and with greater accountability.
Monitoring and Evaluation
DVN has experience in project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for a wide range of sectors including rural development, agriculture, forestry, and the environment. We also have experience in strengthening M&E capability; the design and implementation of benefit monitoring and evaluation systems, management information systems, and financial accounting information systems; risk management; formulation of related improvement and strengthening strategies; and conduct of training on the operation, use, and maintenance of these systems.
TEVT / Tracer Study
DVN has experience in undertaking tracer study on technical skills development training services launched through the different partner T&Es by different agencies: USAID / Winrock International, EFS / Helvetas. Tracer studies are focused to understand the impact of the technical training programs on various socio-economic groups including poor and disadvantaged youth as the priority target groups.
Livelihood Recovery and Peace
The Chairperson of the Development Vision – Nepal (DVN), who is proposed as Team Leader for this baseline study has recently accomplished Mid-term Evaluation of Livelihood Recovery and Peace (LRP) Project implemented by UNDP. It covers three districts (Mahottari, Sarlahi, and Rautahat) among the 18 districts proposed for the current baseline study. It will be an added advantage for the DVN, as it holds experience about the social security situation of Terai districts in general and of the three LRP districts in particular.