There is allot of information out there concerning climate change. With so much to sift through one must determine what is credible. A source that we rely on quite heavily in the 250 class is IDS Nepal. The source is where we get many of our readings and the report often is the basis for the essays and blog entries that we write. At first glance the source has all the trappings of a legitimate document, with a nice cover page, complete with a logo. However just because a source looks official doesn’t mean it necessarily is.
The first step that I will take to access the credibility of the source is to look up the organizations that collaborated to construct the report. In the IDS report the Integrated Development Society Nepal, Global Climate Adaptation Partnership and Practical Action Consulting assembled the report. IDS Nepal is a non profit, non governmental agency. IDS Nepal reach NGO status in 2000 and it’s goal is to address the needs of the community at the grassroots level. Global Climate Adaptation Partnership is a company that specializes in climate change adaptation. The company is contracted to consult on various projects, they also run seminars on adaptation methods. Finally, Practical Action Consulting is yet another firm that actually has an office in Nepal. The company provides services to NGOs, focusing on climate change and disaster risk reduction. From what I can tell these organizations are all legitimate and doing the work they aim to be doing. I made this determination by looking through the websites of these organizations where I could see examples of projects they had worked on, the history of their organization and their funding.
Next I’m going to look into the funding of this report. The report was funded by Climate and Development Knowledge Network, UK Aid, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The Climate and Development Knowledge Network, or CDKN is funded by the The Netherlands and the UK. Seeing a trend in those interested in Nepal I’m led to wonder why these governments funded this report. Do the governments of the UK and the Netherlands have interests or investments in the region? A quick google search led me to a uk.gov website with a transcript of a speech made by the British Ambassador to Nepal, Mr Andy Sparkes CMG. The British government is the single largest donor country to Nepal according to the speech. The British Government also donated quite a bit of money towards the democratic elections in Nepal. The ambassador discussed how the British government hoped to improve relations, advance human rights and create more investment opportunities for British companies in Nepal. The investments that the British Government have made in Nepal have done quite a bit to advance human rights. However one must always question if there’s an underlying reason for all of this investment. The United Kingdom has a long history of involvement in the country through the East India Company. It is likely that they have retained some power in the region from this era of colonization. The Netherlands also has invested in Nepal and a great deal of work has been done with development. The Netherlands and Nepal do some trade, from the little research I have done their investment doesn’t seem malicious.
Finally the report was peer reviewed by CDKN. I take issue with this aspect of the report. A report can not be adequately peer reviewed by the same organization that funded it. However at the same time I recognize that there may be a deficit of climate scientists that are experienced in this area. The report would have more credibility were it reviewed by outside scientists.
“Netherlands Relations.” Nepal, Embassy of Nepal in Brussels, June 2016, www.nepalembassybrussels.be/index.php?page=text&id=36. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
“Practical Action Consulting Nepal.” Practical Action, practicalaction.org/consulting-nepal. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
Sparkes, Andrew James. “Two Hundred Years of Nepal-Britain Relations: A Way Forward.” Two Hundred Years of Nepal-Britain Relations: A Way Forward – GOV.UK, 25 Sept. 2013,www.gov.uk/government/speeches/two-hundred-years-of-nepal-britain-relations-a-way-forward. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
“Supporting climate compatible development.” Climate and Development Knowledge Network, UK Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, cdkn.org/?loclang=en_gb. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
“Welcome to IDS-Nepal Website.” Integrated Development Society (IDS) Nepal-IDS Nepal, www.idsnepal.org/. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.