Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)
Over eighty percent of Nepal’s population live in rural areas. Inadequate income generating opportunities in these areas have been a major cause of widespread poverty and outflow of productive workforce abroad. With aims to cater the needs of socially excluded groups living below the poverty lines by promoting off-farm employment, the Government of Nepal (GoN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) started implementing Micro Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP) in 1998. Over the last 16 years, it has evolved as one of the most successful poverty reduction initiatives directly working with the poor and yielding unparalleled results on the ground. It has succeeded to establish a model as Micro Enterprise Development (MED) Model which is the base enterprise development programme in Nepal. It has helped the Government of Nepal (GoN) to build structures and environment for the sustainable micro enterprise development in Nepal. Eventually, GoN has internalized the programme into Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) since fiscal year 2009/2010. With the approval of MEDPA Five Year Strategic plan by the Government of Nepal in July 2013, both the Programmes are being implemented in unison. MEDEP has been expanded in the fourth phase (August 2013-July 2018) with an objective of the capacity building of the GoN agencies and private sector organizations for the sustainable micro enterprise development in Nepal and phase out in July 2018 after Internalization of the programme to government led MEDPA.
Phase 1: 1998 to 2003
Phase 1: 10 districts
Phase IV Key Team Members:
UNDP focal point
Dr. Lakshaman Pun
Chief Techincal Advisor
Dr. Ramji Prasad Neupane
National Programme Manager
MEDEP was jointly implemented by UNDP and Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Nepal Government funded by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). MEDEP created systems, structures and enabling environment for sustainable development of micro enterprise sector by:
MEDEP continually worked to support uplifting rural poor by motivating them to engage in enterprises. To do so, MEDEP:
MEDEP’s technical support led the government to replicate the MEDEP model as Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA). The government has been implementing MEDPA since 2010. Currently in 69 districts, the GoN aims to expand it to all 77 districts by new fiscal year 2018/19. The Cabinet endorsed MEDPA operational guidelines and overtaking MEDEP.
For sustainable development of micro enterprises in Nepal, MEDEP facilitated the approval of a number of national level policy and guidelines. In 2013, the government endorsed MEDPA Five Years Strategic Plan (2070/71 – 2074/75), MEDPA Operational Guidelines and MEDEP Phase IV (2013/14 – 2017/18) document. In 2010 the government endorsed Industrial Policy which identifies Micro Enterprise Development as one of the important pillars of country's economic development. The government has also finalized the Industrial Enterprise Bill which proposes various concessions to micro enterprise sector and tabled in the parliament.
MEDEP's importance to achieving the MDGs