Technical Assistance for Micro-Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA-TA)


October 2018 to September 2020

Geographic coverage:

Country-wide (753 local governments under Seven Provinces)

Focus area:

Poverty Reduction

Implementing Partner:

Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Government of Nepal


UNDP-TRAC, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Government of Nepal


Contact Email:


The MEDPA-TA project provides technical assistance to government implemented Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) program. After the twenty years (1998-2018) of successful implementation of Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) and its efforts to institutionalize micro enterprise development (MED) model into government systems and structures particularly during the fourth phase (2013-2018), the country was restructured in federal line with three levels of governments - Federal, Provincial and Local. In these contexts, and to continue the institutionalization of MED model into MEDPA, the government together with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and UNDP decided to put in place the MEDPA-TA project to provide technical assistance to all three levels of governments. MEDPA – TA has been supporting the Federal, Provincial and Local Governments to institutionalize MED and implement MEDPA successfully.


The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), Government of Nepal (GoN), UNDP and DFAT/Australian Government jointly agreed to support the Technical Assistance for Micro-Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA-TA) project from October 2018 after the successful exit of Micro-Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP) in July 2018. The MEDEP was successfully implemented from 1998 to 2018 with the financial support of Australian Government and other development partners. The entrepreneurship development initiative over these 20 years has evolved as MED Model suitable to contribute in positive socio-economical changes of target beneficiaries. The microenterprise development and supporting poor households to become micro entrepreneurs is now recognized as among the effective strategies for reducing poverty and generating employment in Nepal. Recognizing the effectiveness, the MoICS/GoN has internalized MED model into the government system as “Micro-Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA)” which has now been rolled out to all 753 local governments (LGs) under Seven Provinces. This was possible due to MEDEP’s two decades of involvement to develop and refine the MED model and roll it out nationwide. The GoN has substantially increased the MEDPA budget to 1.1 billion rupees from the last fiscal year.

MEDEP was instrumental in institutionalizing MED model into MEDPA by putting in place appropriate systems, structures and procedures. After the state restructuring in line with federalism, a new need for the capacity development and institutionalization into three levels of government – the federal, provincial and local, had emerged. Likewise, some difficulties were experienced in MEDPA implementation owing to state restructuring and subsequent changes in the government staff structures. Finally, the MOICS, DFAT and UNDP agreed to initiate the MEDPA – TA project from October 2018. The MEDPA-TA supports the institutionalization of MED Model or Entrepreneurship Development through at three levels of Government - the federal, provincial and local for poverty reduction and employment generation.

The major efforts towards the institutionalization of MED model through technical assistance are policy level inputs, putting in place the procurement system, coordination with different stakeholders and capacity development for MEDPA implementation.

Project Objectives

The primary objective is to support institutionalization of the MED model promoted by MEDEP through joint implementation of MEDPA by federal, provincial and local governments that continue contributing to poverty reduction and employment generation.

Expected Outputs (Results)

To achieve the objective of institutionalizing the microenterprise development model across the three tiers of government, the project will achieve the following two outputs:

Output 1: The local governments in seven provinces allocate their resources to MEDPA/MED type activities as well as help implementing MEDPA in their constituencies; and

Output 2: Institutionalize the microenterprise development model at federal, provincial and local governments to implement MEDPA.

For sustainable development of micro enterprises in Nepal, MEDPA-TA has facilitated the revision of MEDPA Operational Guidelines, incorporation of MED/MEDPA into 15th periodic plan, provided inputs to Local Government Governance Act and Industrial Enterprise Regulation/By-Laws. Substantial budget allocation for MEDPA is one of the major achievements of MED institutionalization at federal level. Similarly, incorporation of MED into provincial policy such as Provincial Enterprise Act, Provincial Periodic Plan, capacity development for MEDPA such as procurement system in place, budgeting, planning, monitoring and reporting of MEDPA are the important milestones toward the institutionalization of MED at provincial level. Further, facilitation support to develop Enterprise Development Strategic Plan (EDSP), capacity enhanced through the orientation, utilization of budget allocated for MEDPA and joint monitoring are some tangible achievement for institutionalization at local level. In addition, the MEDPA – TA team provided required assistance to Provincial governments to implement MEDPA at Local Governments through District Cottage and Small Industries Offices/Development Board Offices. The project also provided support to institutionalize the management information system – the GESI MIS at Provincial and Local levels for information collection and dissemination.