Nepal faces an acute leadership crisis. Frustrated with high poverty and inequality, local communities nationwide are losing hope and becoming more dependent on external support. The authorities in the public, private and social sectors, on the other hand, have largely failed to collaborate in creating a suitable environment and citizen capacity for addressing these flaring issues. Most unfortunately, the colossal innovation potential of youth, who comprise half the nation, remains largely untapped. In fact, 1500 youth leave Nepal each day for foreign opportunities, despite 5 of them dying each day due to harsh working conditions abroad.

Nepal Leadership Academy (NLA) is a signature component of Daayitwa Abhiyaan, which envisions a resilient and thriving Nepal where all citizens embrace their responsibilities to collectively transform societal challenges into innovative opportunities. Towards this vision, NLA builds leadership capacity in young change-agents – who are guided by the shared values of collaborating, innovating, and serving and the shared principles of community, justice and sustainability – to architect effective policy, business and civic solutions that tackle the most grueling adaptive challenges in Nepal. NLA conducts research, develops curriculum and provides in-practice leadership coaching to policy, social and business innovators in Nepal.


In 2013-2014, former Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Center Public Leadership, Dr. Pukar Malla, collaborated with Professors Marshall Ganz and Ronald Heifetz at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to create a leadership framework built on Nepal’s socio-cultural and political history, and current needs. The framework called, LEAD, was build with emphasizes on four core components – Listening to oneself, Empathizing with others, Analyzing adaptive issues and Doing collective action.
In the last 2 years, NLA has provided a variety of short (half day to 2 days) and long courses (8 weeks) on leadership practices such as adaptive leadership, community organizing, governance innovation and public narrative to more than 200 participants. Course participants have included Daayitwa Public Service Fellows, entrepreneurs, senior government officers, NGO coordinators, Harvard students, World Economic Forum Global Shapers, bureaucrats, leaders of political parties, young CEOs and executive directors of private companies, banks and NGOs.

About Daayitwa

Daayitwa (translated as ‘self-responsibility’ in English) envisions a thriving Nepal where all citizens embrace their responsibilities to collectively transform societal challenges into innovative opportunities.  Towards this vision, Daayitwa is building a movement of young leaders who are guided by shared values of collaborating, innovating, and serving to create solutions to tackle systemic issues in Nepal.  More specifically, Daayitwa has three goals:

  1. Promote inclusive and enterprise driven growth

  2. Strengthen governance of public service delivery

  3. Foster resilience in local communities