Who Participates? The “Penalty” of Caste and Ethnicity on Participation in Community Group Programs in Nepal

Meeta S. Pradhan, University of Michigan

This study examines the influence of ascribed social identity like caste and ethnicity, on participation in community group programs that aim to improve life conditions of people in poor communities. The framework of social exclusion is used to explain how historically held values, social norms and practices continue to influence life opportunities and create barriers. Analysis shows that one’s caste and ethnicity has a strong independent effect on an individuals’ participation in community group programs while controlling for educational attainment, wealth, media exposure, experiences with travel and labor force participation. This analysis provides much needed evidence of disparities in access to livelihood improvement programs at local levels in poor communities. This evidence points toward a need for a closer examination of the mechanisms that link social identity and participation in livelihoods programs inorder to build better accountability in implementation of policies and programs that focus on social inclusion and poverty alleviation.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 1