South asia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) is a new yet rapidly expanding research institute based in Kathmandu, Nepal. It aims to produce critical and pragmatic knowledge for social justice across South Asia and beyond, in areas such as public policy, development policy and practice, climate change politics, natural resource management, and local governance. SIAS has exciting opportunities and research facilities for students to learn about Nepal and South Asia.

More information and updates about SIAS and its activities are found in

Possible Volunteering Opportunities

Project Title: Climate Adaptive Water Management Plans for Cities in South Asia (CAMPS)

Climate Adaptive Water Management Plans for Cities in South Asia (CAMPS) investigates urban water insecurity under changing climate in small to medium sized cities in Nepal and north India, and demonstrates governance and city-scale planning strategies for adaptive and equitable management of urban water systems. The specific objectives of the project include: Analyze existing water management systems in four case study cities to identify water management problems and adaptation issues and opportunities in relation to (a) existing and predicted impact of climate change on water cycles, (b) city-level planning and governance context, and (c) socio-economic trends of urbanization in the region, and c) day-to-day water use practices; Explore, develop and pilot CAEWMPS focusing on priority critical water zones of the four cities adopting collaborative, participatory action and learning approach; Investigate city-scale planning and institutional change pathways for mainstreaming CAEWMPS, with particular reference to economic incentives, transformative knowledge partnerships through collaborative research, onsite trainings and workshops, and institutional innovations; Analyze policy and regulatory barriers to CAEWMPS in the context of Nepal and the two States in India, and demonstrate actionable policy improvement pathways for up-scaling CAEWMPS through active and collaborative engagement of different stakeholders including local government; Develop and disseminate scientific outputs in aspects of a) governance of critical urban water zones, b) reframing institutions for urban water system adaptation, c) effective planning pathways for urban water adaptation, c) gender sensitive urban water management, d) policy directions for effective and inclusive urban water systems adaptation, e) economic analysis of climate adaptive water management options, and f) analysis of everyday practice of urban water use.

Focus of the research is on meeting adaptation deficits at the small to medium-sized cities where demographic pressure and environmental stresses are particularly acute. The research results are expected to help decision makers understand the consequences of climate change on water resources, agriculture, and economic activity, and, take actions to improve the ability of communities, governments, and the private sector by adapting to the uncertainty, rapidly evolving risks, and environmental threats related to our changing climate. The overall objective of the project is to generate lasting local water solutions, bringing choice and change to those who need it most in the developing world by investing in knowledge and innovation, supporting the leaders of the future, and by being a partner of choice for the public and private sectors for the impacts of large scale.

Preferred Skills:

Open to third and fourth year students.

For students who are interested in areas such as development, environment, area studies, or social sciences and technical studies in Nepal and South Asia in general. Must have strong research skills.

Approximate cost

You should expect to spend about £1250 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. There are no programme fees payable to Camvol.

In addition to these local costs, volunteers will need to book return flights to Nepal (typically about £650 if booked early), and apply for a gratis visa, as required by the government of Nepal.

Vaccination and other medical costs have NOT been included in estimated costs, and applicants should take this into account while planning their budgets. If you intend to travel for recreation and tourism, these costs will be additional, so please budget accordingly.

Financial support is available, including Camvol-CMEDT Commonwealth Travelling Scholarships; support from Colleges; and from the University. If selected, the Camvol Director can advise about funding opportunities.