Cyber Security for All (CS4ALL)

Pokhara University is partner of an international consortium on Cyber Security for All (CS4ALL). CS4ALL is a European Commission Erasmus+ funded (2023-2026) Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) project. CS4ALL is an initiative 14 partner institutions from Asia and Europe and it is aimed to provide tools, knowledge and skills in cybersecurity to teachers, graduates and civil society in India, Nepal and Indonesia (see more). On behalf of PU, PURC coordinates the CS4ALL project. The consortium partners are given below.

  1. Coordinator: Lovely Professional University, India
  2. Beneficiary: Edulab Educational Exchange Private Limited, India
  3. Beneficiary: Lokmanya Tilak Jankalyan Shikshan Sanstha Nagpur, India
  4. Beneficiary: Gujarat University, India
  5. Beneficiary: Educational Excellence Corporation Limited – University of Nicosia, Cyprus
  6. Beneficiary; Universitat Politecnica De Valencia, Spain
  7. Beneficiary: Visoko Uciliste Algebra – English University College Algebra, Croatia
  8. Beneficiary: Pokhara University, Nepal
  9. Beneficiary: Dirghayu Nepal, Nepal
  10. Beneficiary: Actionaid Nepal, Nepal
  11. Beneficiary: Institut Pertanian Bogor – Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
  12. Beneficiary: Yayasan Pendidikan Jaya – Pendidikan Jaya Foundation, Indonesia
  13. Beneficiary: Far Western University, Nepal
  14. Beneficiary: Chikitsak Samuh Bombay, India

CS4ALL-PU Team Members

Associate Professor Dr. Namraj Dhami, Pokhara University Research Center
Associate Professor Dr. Madhusudhan Kayastha, School of Engineering
Associate Professor Buddhi Raj Joshi, School of Engineering
Associate Professor Dr. Deepanjal Shrestha, School of Business
Assistant Professor Dr. Udaya Raj Dhungana, School of Engineering
Assistant Professor Yagya Nath Rimal, School of Engineering
Associate Administrator Tej Narayan Parajuli, Central Office, Pokhara University
Assistant Administrator, Chanamati Tamang, Central Office, Pokhara University


UNDP Nepal remodeled the PRAYAS project launched in 2020 as SAMBODHAN in 2022 and expanded to Karnali province to provide emergency support the marginalized and excluded women. Both PRAYAS and SAMBODHAN projects were targeted to addressing socio-economic vulnerabilities through Temporary Basic Income in Nepal after the COVID-19. Under the SAMBODHAN project, PURC collaborated with UNDP Nepal for the impact assessment of the cash support provided to marginalized and excluded women in Sudurpaschim, Madhesh and Gandaki province of Nepal.

Executive Summary of the Project

Implementation of an unconditional cash transfer program is one of the effective strategies booming across the world bringing positive impacts on the livelihood, including education, health, and financial security of the poor and vulnerable people. The effort of UNDP Nepal’s PRAYASH project to address the Temporary Basic Income (TBI) threshold has opted to provide unconditional cash top-ups to support the most vulnerable women from marginalized and excluded communities in Nepal particularly to cope the socio-economic adversities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report reveals the impact of TBI-based unconditional cash top-ups on the socio-economic status and empowerment of marginalized and excluded women beneficiaries during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in three provinces in Nepal.

This study applied a mixed-methods design using both quantitative and qualitative study approaches. The study collected primary data through questionnaire survey, key informant interview (KII), and in-depth interview (IDI) of marginalized and excluded women beneficiaries who received unconditional cash support. After COVID-19 outbreak, UNDP Nepal supported a total of 2,432 marginalized and excluded women in three provinces particularly Madhesh (977), Sudurpaschim (955), and Gandaki (500) during 2020-2022. This study collected responses from a total of 531 participants (21.83% of the total beneficiary population) which were sampled proportionately in all three provinces, particularly Madhesh (166, 31%), Sudurpaschim (207, 39%), and Gandaki (158, 30%)for the data collection.

The socio-demographic information showed that, among 531 participants, 83.1% of women were married and living with their husbands. The educational background of the participants was quite poor as 66% of participants were illiterate. By religion, the participants from religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians were 16.9% and 18.4%, respectively, across three provinces. The Dalit participants comprised 67%, which contributes to the largest portion of the population among the participants. Most of the targeted participants fall below the poverty line comprised 48% where the incidence of poverty is 18.7% according to NPC (National Planning Commission; 2020)

The major source of livelihood was the daily labor wages in all the provinces (58.9%) followed by agriculture (14.5%) and remittance (13%). Strikingly, around 25% of participants reported that they have at least one disabled member in their family and a fourth (24.5%) of them were suffering from the poor health conditions including hypertension, diabetes, skin infections, and joint pain. Around two thirds (66%) of participants reported that the foundation of their house was made of mud and that with brick and stone was only 23.4%. Overall, 70.1% of participants had tin roof houses followed by thatched/leaf roofs (13%). The hand pump was the main source of water for the majority (62.8%) of participants. The large proportion (84.6%) of the participants were using firewood as the main source of cooking fuel. Regarding the means of modern communication services, the majority (63%) of the participants were using simple phones. Strikingly, around 14% of participants in Gandaki and Sudurpaschim had no toilet facilities and around one fifth (20%) of the participants were without housing and/or land within the country.

The unconditional cash top-ups showed a positive impact on the livelihood support of the participants. The PRAYASH project was primarily targeted to support the people facing multiple livelihood crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic and all the participants reported they were affected by COVID-19. On a positive note, around 96% of participants had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The large majority of the participants, 94%, 80.2%, and 82% from Madhesh, Sudurpaschim, and Gandaki province, respectively responded that they spent the money to fulfil their immediate survival needs. Whereas 82.5% of women of Madhesh spent on basic amenities, 86.1% of women from Gandaki province spent on petty investment and other needs, which is an affirmative step towards future income generation in all provinces.

The cash support had increased the sense of empowerment in the participants. The majority (60%) of the participants perceived and agreed that the cash support had a positive impact on their feeling about equality in the local community. Also, over a half (51%) of the participants agreed that cash support increased the feeling of respect and friendliness among the local people. Regarding the decision making to spend the cash, 83.6% of women responded the beneficiaries decided on their own to spend the received money. However, 10.4% of participants responded their husbands decided on spending the received money. By province, 86.1% of participants in Madhesh and Gandaki province and 79.7% in Sudurpaschim province decided by themselves regarding spending money. The responses showed that the unconditional cash support had positive impact on women in increasing the sense of empowerment and motivating toward self-decision on the household financial matters.

The choices and priorities of participants were varied and most participants (86.4%) in all the provinces responded that they would want future support to be in cash. In Madhesh, over half of the participants expected other support such as food, education, and animal farming. Among the participants of all the provinces, the food support was expected by 36.5% of participants which was 56.1%, 34.1%, 20.3% in Madhesh, Sudurpaschim, and Gandaki province, respectively. The humanitarian support in the form of cash top-ups was the preferred choice as the recipients felt a freedom on spending money to fulfill their immediate survival needs.

In summary, the unconditional cash support provided through the PRAYASH Project of UNDP Nepal covered the poor, vulnerable and marginalized women in three provinces who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study revealed positive impacts of the TBI-based cash support strategy and most of the participants spent the largest chunk of the cash on fulfilling their basic survival support, including buying food, clothes, and medicines. Most participants took their own decisions about spending the money and most of them reported a feeling of increase in dignity and self-respect in the community. Apart from fulfillment of their basic survival needs, many participants had invested a small amount of money on income generation activities, particularly animal (pig, goat, buffalo, rabbit) farming, poultry farming, sewing machine and cash crop plantation. Also, the beneficiaries had increased access to government social security schemes such as health insurance and now all are connected to the bank through the PRAYASH project.

The cash support had a positive impact on women’s empowerment in terms of financial security and social dignity. The remarkable improvements in multiple socio-economic indicators after an unconditional cash support to the marginalized, vulnerable, and poor women during and after the COVID-19 pandemic had rightly justified the success of the TBI-based cash top-up strategy in alleviating the emergency livelihood adversities. The unconditional cash support was an effective strategy to tackle the livelihood emergencies during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and shall be continued to respond other disasters to meeting the emergency and basic survival needs of the poor and vulnerable people including women. However, for a multiplicative impact, the humanitarian unconditional cash support strategies could be related to other social security and income generation programs.

Team members

Associate professor Dr. Namraj Dhami, Pokhara University Research Center
Assistant Professor Dr. Arjun Thapa, School of Development and Social Engineering
Assistant Professor Rojana Dhakal, School of Health and Allied Sciences
Assistant Professor Nand Ram Gahatraj, School of Health and Allied Sciences


The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns brought economic disruptions in all sectors and levels globally and in Nepal. Amidst severe health and economic crisis, UNDP Nepal launched a project PRAYAS in 2020 to support the marginalized and excluded women in Gandaki, Madhesh and Sudurpaschim province of Nepal. Pokhara University Research Center collaborated with UNDP Nepal for the assessment of socio-economic vulnerability of marginalized and excluded women in Waling, Putalibazar and Beni municipalities of Gandaki Province.

Executive Summary of the Project

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected women because most of them are engaged in low-paying, informal and insecure jobs (UNDP, 2020). There is a dire need to mitigate the worst socio-economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and/or near-poor households, most importantly, marginalized and excluded women (MEW) who do not have access to social security and livelihood support. This study aimed to identify marginalized and excluded women from the vulnerable and poor households expecting emergency humanitarian support in Beni, Putalibazar, and Waling Municipalities of Gandaki Province.

A cross-sectional study design with a mixed (qualitative-quantitative) approach was used in this study. The qualitative approach was adopted to identify the household with vulnerable women, whereas quantitative methods were used to assess the socio-economic status and level of vulnerability of marginalized and excluded women.

The study applied a selection criterion like ‘homeless’ household with a female member, thatch roof & mudstone wall house, no income from any source, a household with beggar/rag picker member, domestic worker, child-headed household, disabled, and chronically ill household head along with the households reported HIV infected females, LGBTIQ+ & trafficked women.

Key informant consultation with stakeholders and desktop review was applied to identify and prepare the potential list of marginalized and excluded women in three municipalities. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to identify the vulnerability and poverty status of 186, 293, and 281 women households of Beni Municipality, Putalibazar Municipality, and Waling Municipality respectively.

This study shows that the majority (50 to 59%) of women were under of reproductive age (16 to 49 years), and among the listed, Dalit caste was highest (46 to 62%) in all the municipalities. Nearly a third in Beni, a fifth in Putalibazar and a sixth in Waling were not dwelling in their own house. A majority (Beni: 66%, Putalibazar: 95%, Waling: 86%) of potential beneficiaries’ house roof was made of roofing sheets (Jasta Pata). Around 7% of potential beneficiaries were living under straw/thatch and mud roofs in Beni and Waling. The majority (78 to 84%) of potential beneficiaries’ house walls are made of mud/wood/rags bamboo materials. Similarly, the majority (82 to 92%) of potential beneficiaries use firewood as the main source of cooking fuel. Around 8 to 18% of potential beneficiaries still don’t have toilets and most of them have a non-flush toilet. The reported food insecurity was highest in Beni (34%) followed by Putalibazar (27%) and Waling (15%). Around 13% of children were found to be undernourished in all the municipalities. In overall most beneficiaries fall under the moderate vulnerability but severe vulnerability was highest in Beni Municipality.

This study concludes that the identified potential beneficiaries were disproportionally represented in all the wards of three municipalities and the most of them were in the reproductive age group and majority belong to the Dalit community. In total, more than half of the potential beneficiaries were dwelling in poor condition shelters with roofing sheets and wall material made of mud and wood, and most of them use firewood as the main cooking fuel. It indicates a miserable livelihood of the marginalized and excluded women in all three municipalities. Food insufficiency and child undernourishment was a critical survival threat to nearly one fourth of the MEW population. A direct cash support was expected by most of the potential beneficiaries in all three municipalities. Therefore, immediate and appropriate humanitarian support is required to be launched within the shortest possible time from the government (local, provincial, and federal), humanitarian agencies, and other stakeholders to save the lives the critically vulnerable people identified during this study.

Team Members

Associate Professor Dr. Namraj Dhami, Pokhara University Research Center
Assistant Professor Dr. Arjun Thapa, School of Development and Social Engineering
Associate Professor Dr. Niranjan Shrestha, School of Health and Allied Sciences
Assistant Professor Nand Ram Gahatraj, School of Health and Allied Sciences
Assistant Professor Anita Dahal, School of Development and Social Engineering