Social Science Baha is an independent, non-profit organisation established in January 2002 with the objective of promoting and enhancing the study of and research in the social sciences in Nepal. The first activity undertaken by Social Science Baha (SSB) was to set up a social science library, the only one of its kind in the country so far. SSB soon diversified its activities to pursue other means of helping the growth of the social sciences such as running the four-month-long Immersion Course on Contemporary Social Issues. By the time of its formal registration in January 2007, SSB’s activities included lectures, discussions, workshops and conferences as well as publishing books and other research papers. Soon afterwards, SSB also began undertaking research, both as a collaborating partner with academic/research institutions and on contract.
Social Science Baha Library
Since its very inception, one of the major priorities of SSB has been the development of a well-stocked and efficiently managed social science library. As the only one in the country, the SSB Library has a collection of over 35,000 publications, including books, reports, documents, journals, maps, CDs, etc. The SSB Library collection has been put together through purchases and donations from individuals and institutions from Nepal and abroad. The SSB Library also provides access to a variety of online journals through platforms such as JSTOR, Project Muse, Oxford Journals Collection, Annual Reviews, University of Chicago Press, and HINARI.
Lectures, Conferences, and Workshops
The Baha organises lectures, discussions, conferences, and workshops on various issues relevant to Nepal.
The lectures hosted by the Baha fall into two categories: i) The Mahesh Chandra Regmi Lecture, one of the major events in the Baha’s annual calendar, with the invited speakers being academic luminaries with a long-standing contribution in their own field; and ii) the Baha Lecture Series, which is held more frequently and features Nepali and foreign scholars speaking on the subject of their choosing. In 2019, SSB has inaugurated a third category of lectures, the Nanda R. and Pamela L. Shrestha Lecture Series: Honouring Nepal Scholars.
The Baha also hosts conferences, workshops and discussions, inviting a range of scholars to deliberate on different subjects. Among these, the Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya hosted by SSB in collaboration with a number of other organisations since 2012 has by now become an integral part of the academic exchange in Nepal’s social science field and beyond.
SSB also published books, reports, papers and policy briefs on different aspects of the social sciences and related fields. Some of these publications are for sale but most are available for free downloads.
SSB has been involved in research since 2007. These research projects are of two types: collaborative research with academic/research institutions; and contract research for groups based in Nepal or abroad. Many of these projects are of a topical nature and seek to link academia with popular discourse.
SSB also has a separate unit to conduct research of issues of labour and migration. Set up in 2011, the main objectives of the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility (CESLAM) are to contribute to broader theories and understandings on labour and mobility by cultivating new insights through interdisciplinary research; conduct reliable, policy-relevant research on critical issues affecting working people and develop policy alternatives; improve understanding about the impact of labour and migration; and serve as a forum to foster academic, policy and public debates on labour and mobility.
In addition to conducting research, Baha has also been involved in providing advisory and policy support to a host of government agencies, civil society organisations and donor institutions