This is a companion paper to JSRP Research Paper 5 ‘Community Mediation and Social Harmony in Nepal’ examining The Asia Foundation's (TAF) Theory of Change relating to its community mediation programme and focusing particularly on the link between the programme and improved social harmony. Stein’s paper argued that there is evidence of improved social harmony at the individual level but that evidence is lacking for community level outcomes. Similarly, she claimed that there is evidence of the empowerment of individual mediators from marginalized groups but the broader impact of such empowerment on social harmony lacks robust evidence.
In this response the authors aim to clarify some of the issues and concerns raised in Stein’s paper. Starting with a brief historical background on traditional and alternate dispute resolution practices in Nepal, the paper introduces TAF’s approach to its community mediation programming in Nepal and examines TAF’s understanding and usage of the phrase ‘social harmony’.
Khanal, M.; Preeti Thapa. Community Mediation and Social Harmony in Nepal. Theories in Practice Series &#8211; Companion Paper. Justice and Security Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK (2014) 33 pp.