Decent work for sustainable development in post-crisis Nepal: Social policy challenges and a way forward

Subas P. Dhakal, John Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although the Decent Work agenda has received significant attention in the context of sustainable development, the formulation and implementation of appropriate social policies in developing countries remain an underexplored subject. This article responds to this gap and traces country-specific Decent Work related policies and programs in Nepal—which is recovering from two major crises: a decade-long armed conflict that ended in 2006 as well as the 2015 earthquake. Drawing on Critical Policy Analysis framework, this article examines how key tenets of the International Labour Organisation's Decent Work platform, namely creation and provision of employment, social protection, social dialogue and rights at work have manifested in Nepal. The findings indicate that while attempts have been made to embrace the Decent Work agenda into social policies and programs, structural instability of political processes means that there is a lack of strategic directions to address a capacity deficit specific to the informal sector and outbound labour migrants. The article makes broader analytical contributions towards evaluating the implementation of social policies driven by the global priority in the context of developing nations with weak governance settings. In countries like Nepal, where the majority of workers are located within the informal sector and as such the administrative reach and effectiveness of Decent Work related social policies designed for the formal sector are limited.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • critical policy analysis
  • decent work
  • social policy
  • sustainable development


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