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Suggestions of webinar important to document reconstruction learning, says CEO Gyewali

Kathmandu, November 28

A two-day webinar organized to discuss the achievements in post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction concluded today.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) Sushil Gyewali said the suggestions and comments collected during the webinar are of big help in finalizing the compendium being prepared by the NRA for the upcoming international conference.

The outcome has also become important in documenting the experiences and learning of the post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction, Gyewali said.  

The webinar - ‘NRA’s Achievements in Recovery and Reconstruction – Experience and Learning 2020’ – had begun yesterday to share and discuss the government’s recovery and reconstruction activities after the April 2015 earthquake.

Organized jointly by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), the webinar was held from November 27 to 28. The webinar was organized with the financial and technical assistance of the European Union.

The webinar has been organized to prepare the NRA’s organizational compendium for the upcoming international conference on the reconstruction and recovery scheduled to be held early next year. This is expected to help the NRA in finalizing the papers to be presented at the conference, as it seeks suggestions and comments from the concerned stakeholders.

The NRA is preparing compendium in seven thematic – private housing reconstruction, public building and infrastructure, cultural heritage, livelihood and economic development, rescue and relief and governance and institutional arrangement. Besides, the NRA is conducting a study on the economic and social impact of the reconstruction activities and suggestions and recommendations will be sought in this as well.

At today’s first session, NRA Executive Committee member Dr. Bishnu Bhandari presented a paper on the livelihood and economic development. At the session moderated by NRA Executive Committee member Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha and chaired by the NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali, Jasmine Rajbhandari of the World Bank and Vijay Singh of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) expressed their views on the government’s initiatives on improving the livelihood of the earthquake beneficiaries, thereby improving their economic situation.

In the second session, Chief Executive of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) Anil Pokharel presented a paper on how the national and international community came together for rescue and relief during and after the April 2015 earthquake. He also shed light on the formation of the NDRRMA as the main authority to tackle any disaster in the coming days.

In this session moderated by Dr. Shrestha and chaired by Gyewali, Ramraj Narasimhan of the UNDP and Bipul Neupane of the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) expressed their views and provided their inputs on Pokharel’s paper.

The third session of the day was on the governance and institutional arrangement in which Secretary of the NRA Ramkrishna Sapkota presented a working paper. Dr. Shrestha also moderated this session which was chaired by another Executive Member of the NRA Dhruba Prasad Sharma.

Dr. Marco Gemmer of the European Union and former Chief Secretary and former Nepalese ambassador to China Leela Mani Poudel expressed their views on how the good governance is crucial in dealing with any kind of disaster.

The fourth and last session of the day was organized to discuss the seventh thematic issue which is still being worked out. It was on the NRA conducting an impact study to find out the actual impact made by the work of the NRA during its tenure.

Economists Professor Dr. Govinda Nepal, Dr. Biswa Poudel and Rudra Suwal jointly presented a working paper on the subject during the session moderated again by Dr. Shrestha and chaired by CEO Gyewali.

Kamran Akbar of the World Bank, with support from Dr. Nigel Fisher, and economist Bishal Thapa commented on Dr. Nepal’s paper.   

Earlier yesterday, various experts had presented working papers on three thematic areas - private housing reconstruction, public building and infrastructure and rebuilding of cultural heritage.

Representatives and officials of various development partners, international experts, development practitioners, civil society and non-governmental organizations are participating in the webinar.

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