Rethinking Group-Based Development Approach in Nepal: Ways Forward
Author: Stuty Maskey Publication Type: Policy Discussion Paper 

Over the last few decades, the role of ‘group-formation’ for community development has drawn substantial interest from policy makers, academics and development practitioners. The paper aims to examine the growing popularity of these development groups especially in the context where ‘groups’ are now the common entry point in the programme designs of most development agencies, programme and projects in Nepal. The increasing popularity of this approach brings attention to some important questions. Is group formation a sin-qua-non for community development? Does group mobilization always work out as per expectation?
The purpose of this paper is not to provide a complete alternate option to the group approach but rather raise a note of caution on why excessive reliance on this strategy must be viewed cautiously. By highlighting some issues related to this approach, this paper aims to indicate that although groups formed for community-driven development have great potential, they should not be viewed as a panacea for developing communities’ rather just one component to tackle the dynamics of developmental challenges.