My Learnings so far as a Daayitwa Public Policy Fellow

RUPESH THA, Daayitwa Fellow 2021

Applying for the fellowship was a journey of self-discovery that led me to deeply reflect on my personal experiences and scientific interests that guided me to pursue a career as a researcher. Daayitwa Nepal Public Policy Fellowship is a growing roster of merit-based professional fellowship opportunities that provide entry into a first job or career change, work experiences, and cultivate emerging leaders and change-makers, and social enterprises. Therefore, I was very concerned about my application. I was having a difficult time putting into words how my personal experiences relate to my academic path and research goals.

I knew that the Daayitwa Nepal Public Policy Fellowship program offers valuable inroads into the challenging environment of evidence-based policy research. This fellowship will not only help me grow in my career path or enter into a public institution, but it is also a huge platform to accumulate leadership qualities, learn from government officials, and experience personally how Nepal government public institutions work.

Our fellowship started on 07 June 2021 online ( via zoom) when Nepal was reeling from a deadly second wave of coronavirus. The orientation program helped us know all the fellows of this batch and the Daayitwa team. We all fellows were honored to introduce ourselves during the epic launch of the Daayitwa Nepal Public Policy Fellowship 2021 program where the Chief Guest was the Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, other special guests were the former secretary and current undersecretary from different ministries as well as renowned people from the private sector. Therefore, getting exposed publicly to so many renowned personalities made this fellowship more challenging but encouraged me to produce the effective research work that will be implemented by the stakeholder. 

As the fellowship started during the nationwide lockdown, we could start online and join different courses and training sessions. During this fellowship, we were able to gather new experiences of working from home. Another interesting thing was, I felt I am doing a global fellowship program as two fellow friends among the six research were joined from the USA. The responsibilities and research work associated with this fellowship program will help me develop and enhance the skills and expertise required to work at various places in the future. The Daayitwa Nepal Public Policy Fellowship will also help me get advanced work experience in a public institution and excel my expertise in dealing with government institutions and officials. 

The courses and training provided during the first month of fellowship have helped me learn and understand in-depth public policy, leadership, research skills, survey skills, and data analysis techniques, analytical skills, project management techniques, public speaking, and community organization.

The leadership course has enhanced my leadership qualities and problem-solving capacity. Dr. Pukar Malla, Founder of Daaywita and Executive Coach of Nepal Leadership Academy have helped me understand the definition of leadership in a new way and equipped me with new qualities to be a leader. A statistical and quantitative course helped me learn new statistical tools to analyze data during the research. Similarly, the analytical skills and project management course helped me plan my research and complete it on time. All these learnings so far have enhanced my thought process and understanding capabilities which have helped me become a more focused and determined individual. 

Fellowship is more than just research work. It is an experience that inspires and prepares new graduates to solve problems from outside of the universities and feel the real-time experience of working in a public institution and research, prepare and make policy recommendations that will bring change in the society. 

At the beginning of the fellowship, I found it hard to get an appointment with government officials but once I had a first ice-breaker communication with the undersecretary, things became different. This made me comfortable and confident for the next meeting. My mentor is supportive and flexible, his guidance helped me prepare a draft concept note of the research and inception report.

There is always one such impactful incident that happens in one’s life, whether large or small, that will make a lasting effect on shaping us as individuals. I will surely recall this fellowship experience as an important factor in shaping who I become in the future. Daayitwa public policy fellowship is a great opportunity for graduate students who wish to research were in a specific field. The fellowship will not only provide us with financial assistance but can also add credibility to our research project. 

For An Enterprising Nepal