This report was requested by UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) to be performed by a Capstone team at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The report puts forth recommendations for UNICEF to better integrate and implement the humanitarian-development Nexus into its programming, by providing holistic and sector-specific findings. Through a series of interviews with UNICEF officers and executive and program officers from INGOs, local NGOs, donors, and academics, this report analyzed and synthesized areas that UNICEF Nepal programming can be strengthened to better align short- and long-term interventions in Nepal’s complex arena. In this way, the review not only evaluated UNICEF’s work with the Nepal government, but also external humanitarian and development partners, with regards to how the Nexus should be approached in Health, Nutrition, Education, WASH, Child Protection, and Social Protection. The project involved an in-depth literature review and 37 remote stakeholder interviews, as well as a quantitative interview analysis.  

Recommendations from this study reflected the importance of the relationship between UNICEF, the government, and other NGOs in strengthening the systems and local capacities for an integrated Nexus approach. UNICEF has made significant progress in enhancing coordination with external stakeholders towards Nexus objectives, and utilizing multi-sectoral programming to provide a holistic approach to particular challenges faced by Nepal. Areas that require additional attention to better link humanitarian and development programming include: closer inter-sectoral coordination with U.N. agencies, local and international NGOs and government entities; an iterative evaluation component that encourages reflections among stakeholders regarding Nexus programming; a reinforced multi-sectoral approach across all areas of UNICEF programming; greater engagement and collaboration (via program design and implementation) with local communities; and a more practical, standardized process of training UNICEF officers and external partners on operationalizing the Nexus.