Completed Research

Empowered Community and Local Ownership: The Hariyo Ban “Green Forest” Project 

University of Toronto

The intersectionality of several environmental and social factors make Nepal climate-change vulnerable, where marginalized populations are most at risk of negative outcomes. Funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Hariyo Ban program tackles gender equality and social inclusion issues through implementation of Community Learning and Action Centers (CLACs). As of 2021, more than 500 CLACs were established and supported over 13,000 members. This case study will explore the impact of Hariyo Ban’s CLACs on gender equality and climate change adaptation in Nepal.


The Reach Alliance was created in 2015 by the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, in partnership with Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth. Our global university network now includes: Ashesi University, the University of Cape Town, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Singapore Management University, University College London, University of Melbourne, University of Oxford, and University of Toronto.

We extend our gratitude to Moni Kim for her significant and consistent support throughout the project. Our gratitude and acknowledgment also go to Anna Yang and Mariame Ouedraogo, our fellow students and early contributors, whose assistance in the initial design and literature review of our study was invaluable. We deeply appreciate the collaboration with the Partnership of Sustainable Development Nepal, especially the exceptional leadership and support provided by Mr. Bishnu Bhatta during the recruitment and field research phases. Our research assistant, Watsal Bhandari, deserves special recognition for his dual role as a translator and cultural guide, offering us a deeper understanding of the Nepalese context.

Our sincere gratitude goes to all the study participants for their willingness to engage in this research. Your participation has been crucial, and we aim to reflect your perspectives accurately in our report.