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Dirgha J. Ghimire photo

Small Grant to Enhance Social Science Research Capacity in Nepal

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Dirgha J. Ghimire

This is a proposal for a small grant for research capacity building in Nepal. This project is a collaborative effort between the Population Studies Center (PSC) and Institute for Social and Environmental Research (ISER), Chitwan, Nepal. The goal of the project is to strengthen research capacity of the Institute for Social and Environment Research, PSC's long term collaborating institution in Nepal, through training and infrastructure development. The proposed project stems from our broader and continued interest in enhancing social science research capability in Nepal.
We propose the capacity building and infrastructure development activities to the PSC small grants program because these activities are in direct support of the high volume of PSC research and training activities going on at ISER. The volume of research activities has doubled from previous years and there are several new proposals currently being developed. With the substantial increase in both research and training volume at ISER, it is urgent that we prepare the human resources necessary to accomplish these research projects and training goals.
The training and infrastructure we propose here will play a critical role in enhancing the research capacity in Nepal. In order to provide the complex longitudinal data collection and analysis expertise necessary to complete these upcoming projects, we need to a) upgrade the data management and data analysis skills of those ISER staff who were already trained in survey methodology and b) train new staff and scientists in survey methodology to meet the increased demand. Therefore, we propose to bring two trainees to Ann Arbor this summer for ISR's Summer Institute programs. In addition to taking classes, both scholars will work with PSC researchers and staff on data management and data entry programs. To address the research infrastructure part of this project we propose improving access to PSC electronic resources, including the PSC library for ISER researchers in Nepal, access to FTP space and creating a separate server space for the Nepal research program and providing access to that server from Nepal. Building this infrastructure is important in order to: 1) maintain the confidentiality of our data; 2) facilitate communication between researchers in Ann Arbor and in Nepal; 3) promote data security; and 4) provide access to research literature that is not readily available in Nepal.
Ghimire and Axinn will lead this research capacity building project in close collaboration the research staff in Nepal. With this modest support, we will be investing resources in developing research capability that will ultimately improve the quality of our research and also strengthen and reinforce ties between the Population Studies Center and its collaborating institutions in Nepal. All of these things, we feel, will directly serve the PSC's goal of international population training and research.

Funding Period: 04/01/2009 to 06/30/2010

Country of Focus: Nepal

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