Literacy for livelihoods: A case study of the impact of formal and informal literacy programs in Nangi Village, rural Nepal

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd

Second Advisor

Dr Peter Hancock


The aim of this thesis is to seek an understanding of the role the provision of education (formal, informal and non-formal literacy programs) has had in improving the livelihood strategies and outcomes of households and the community of Nangi village, central west Nepal. The importance of the research lies in the understanding of the influence of this Magar ethnic group’s community decision to mandate formal education for all primary-aged children. In addition, the understanding of the influence of the school-initiated projects to improve the livelihood options of the community and create sustainable community development is critical to our understanding of the true meaning of poverty for the Magar group of Nangi. These community initiatives are being attempted in an unstable political climate with minimal government funding.

The theoretical framework of the Livelihoods Analysis Framework specifically developed for this research is used to analyse the changes in Magar livelihoods due to gaining a formal education or accessing informal literacy programs. Complementing this framework and supplementing the analysis is the use of Buttimer’s concept ‘discretionary reach’ to understand the degree of influence of literacy, and the application of the Buttimer elements of sustainability to estimate the influence of the changes on people’s genre de vie through an ecological, social and economic perspective. Changes to the livelihood strategies of women and children, and the youth of the community is considered as well as the contribution of literacy to the influence of the emerging educated group in the community. In particular, the role of literacy in influencing the social vitality and economic growth of the community and ecological integrity of the environment is explored.

Conclusions will be made about the impact of literacy on people’s livelihood and the future directions of further school projects in order to meet local needs and achieve a more sustainable community in response to the stated needs of the different groups in the community. Listening to the ‘voices’ of the people of Nangi is a rich source of realtime information about what they believe could improve their livelihood.

LCSH Subject Headings

Edith Cowan University. Faculty of Computing, Health and Science -- Dissertations

Literacy programs -- Nepal -- Evaluation.;"Literacy -- Nepal

Magar (Nepalese people)


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