The Promoting Agriculture, Health and Alternative Livelihoods (PAHAL) program is a $37 million, five-year USAID initiative designed to achieve food security among vulnerable populations in the hill and mountain regions of Midwestern and Far West Nepal. Food insecurity in Nepal persists despite billions of dollars in international assistance to the country over the past 10 years. Accordingly, PAHAL takes a resilience approach to achieve and sustain food security, recognizing that limited development aid effectiveness is at least in part a result of the increasing risks and hazards that also undermine development gains.
In order to develop a resilience-specific program theory of change, the PAHAL team conducted a Strategic Resilience Assessment (STRESS) of target areas. In collaboration with a wide range of actors, STRESS analyzed the dynamic social, ecological and economic systems within which communities are embedded and how these conditions determine vulnerability to shocks and stresses and therefore, food security.