Self-reliant Development of the Poor by the Poor (SDPP) programme, Palpa district, 1991-2000

SDPP program popularly known as Swabalambhan was initiated in Palpa district in 1985 with a goal of empowerment among disadvantaged community through a process of social and economic transformation. The program consists of self-reliant activities such as social capital formation and institutionalization where various Income Generating Groups (IGGs) were formed to induce various social reform activities. The concept of self-reliant fund was successful in mitigating usury loan from the moneylenders. Group members had to contribute NPR 10/20 per month to the fund. Similarly, various awareness campaign were conducted which focused on bringing changes in the traditional attitude and evil practices. The project covered 5,343 households, which were organized into 205 IGGs that were federated under 26 cooperatives.
The objectives of the program were as follows;
• To support the objective of the state towards poverty alleviation by contributing directly to this task through appropriate intervention which will basically take the form of continuous interaction with the poorest of the poor communities,
• To demonstrate the effectiveness of a given mode of intervention called ‘Swabalamban’ that will motivate the poor households i) to have faith in themselves, ii) to understand their own socio-economic milieu, iii) to understand the values and norms of a democratic society iv) to have confidence in themselves and to command self-respect v) to better manage their resources and vi) to take advantage of technology and services that are easily available and that they easily understand,
• To run the program in replicable and self-sustainable manner and to gradually expand the coverage,
• To provide other donors and agencies, governmental and non-governmental, a possible approach to poverty alleviation, which they too may wish to implement in other districts of the country,
• To produce a cadre of development workers who are sensitized to the need for change within themselves so that they can relate better to the rural milieu and respond to the latent urges and potential of the poor without a large scale intervention of material inputs from outside which can bring corrupting influence into the area.

Donor: HELVETAS Nepal