Karnali Employment Programme(KEP)

About us Karnali Employment Programme (KEP)

About KEP

The KEP offers employment to poor households in Karnali, allowing them to rely on a source of income during lean periods. This employment enhances the security, consumption and livelihoods of the poor, while it also fosters the local growth through the development of community assets. Due to the geographical remoteness and economic backwardness of Karnali region, many households face difficulties in sustaining their livelihood through traditional occupations, trade or employment throughout the year. Poverty and food insecurity are highly linked to lack of employment opportunities in this zone, so the Government of Nepal (GoN) made provisions for Karnali's regional development in the budget speech of FY 2063/64 (2006)(budget speech point nos. 84 to 90):

"Karnali Employment Programme [KEP] is introduced on a limited basis to provide relief to the families without employment in projects or development works or private sector employment or personal/family enterprise".

After years of implementation challenges and limited impact, the GoN is in the process of reforming the KEP based on a new vision for the programme. According to this new policy direction, the KEP aims to provide a Productive Safety Net (PSN) to poor Karnali households in order to help improve their ability to cope with seasonality and other socks, as well as increase their household livelihood security.In order to do this the KEP will become a PSN, which will support the most vulnerable of households in Karnali by offering them paid employment entitlements and additional support for livelihood enhancement.

Some key elements of the new KEP are:

  • Employment: Communities select the priority households which are offered an entitlement of a given number of days of work, to provide a significant level of livelihood support and to help them cope during the lean season.
  • Prioritization of the poor: The poorest households are prioritized by a combination of eligibility criteria and community targeting.
  • Assured wage and timely payment: The KEP pays an assured wage for days worked and delivers payment of subsistence wage component to participants within 15 days of the work.
  • Labour based: 70% of the total KEP budget is spent on labour inputs, of which 20% can be spent on skilled labour.
  • Gender and worker rights: Work is designed in a way that makes KEP participation equally accessible to women and men. KEP participants are protected as workers with basic welfare, health and safety provision at the worksite, medical care for occupational injuries and insurance to compensate for more serious work related injuries.
  • Investment in infrastructure assets: Effective combination of creation of local infrastructure assets which enhance economic opportunities and improve access and amenities with the social protection goal of the programme.