Niti provides funds through openly-solicited grants for surfacing and contesting ideas and for networking among policy actors. Niti also provides directed funds for critical policy research as well as for intellectual and methodological inputs to its grantees. In addition, Niti deploys deliberative forums, such as policy labs, to diagnose specific problems in policymaking and generate actionable policy and process alternatives.
Policy Labs: Policy Lab is a research method that we employ to understand the policy process in Nepal. They are a form of collaborative inquiry, rooted in the action research paradigm; they help create inter-subjective understanding, rather than objective knowledge. The Policy Lab focuses on a case study analyzed by policy actors who include:
- Non-state actors: civil society leaders and private sector representatives, both from small and large organizations
- Civil servants: senior bureaucrats from local (regional) and national government and from a variety of departments and policy fields
- Politicians: a well balanced group of politicians who were selected based on their ability to transcend partisan sentiments and are interested in reimagining the role of politics in the policymaking process
A literature review was carried out on various policy issues to develop case studies; these case studies were used for discussions and deliberations in the Policy Labs. The initial Policy Labs focused on the identification and diagnosis of particular mechanisms that influence representation, implementation and accountability and a deep and comparative insight in the way different actors access, analyze and discuss these mechanisms.
Niti is building an endowment to sustain its mission of funding policy alternatives.