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Naina Shakya

Partnership and Private Sector Specialist, Strategic Cooperation

My role at ICIMOD

ICIMOD by its very nature is a partnership institute as we implement all our activities through our partners. As the Partnership and Private Sector Specialist within our Strategic Cooperation Unit, I implement our partnering approach, engage the private sector as partners, and support institutional efforts in strengthening strategic cooperation between ICIMOD and our regional member countries. In this current context of emerging transformational partnerships, I am particularly enthusiastic about exploring meaningful partnerships with the private sector, engaging with climate financing institutions involved in low carbon climate-resilient development of the HKH and exploring linkages with philanthropists for resource mobilisation.

Naina Shakya

Q:

How do you protect the pulse of the planet?

A:

The private sector brings innovations and investments and thus, their participation and contribution to protect the pulse is vital. I help facilitate that through fostering closer collaboration with the private sector to increase development impact and up-scale potentials and longer-term sustainability of our activities. Connecting businesses to our work to add value to our impact is critical for sustainable mountain development and building bridges with business are important for ICIMOD. The private sector needs us too as we provide the scientific evidence that impacts their business operations on which basis they can determine their roles in climate action and the opportunities that lie ahead. Joining hands with the private sector at all levels to support our mission is an endeavour we seriously pursue.

Q:

What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?

A:

Aristotle’s prudent words, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit,” became meaningful to me after I joined ICIMOD. Since I wear different hats when playing different roles, I have been able to cultivate key skill sets and I’ve come to enjoy this part the most in my work life at ICIMOD.

I also cherish the opportunities I’ve had to contribute to the development and strengthening of multi-stakeholder partnerships having actively participated in organising annual RMC-ICIMOD Partners’ Day events; RMC consultations for the development of the 4th Mid-Term Action Plan and HKH Call to Actions in all the RMCs. Such rich regional experiences and valuable exposure have provided me with significant learning. Currently, I am taking the lead at the institute in the development of the National Private Sector Strategy for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) with UNDP and UNCDF and this is a great opportunity for ICIMOD to be identifying productive sectors and the relevant climate solutions. Responding to these types of unique projects and emerging trends is challenging and yet professionally rewarding and are my favourite part of the work I do at ICIMOD.

Q:

What are you passionate about?

A:

I am passionate about impactful, sustainable and successful partnerships. This includes understanding the human dynamics in partnerships; working together across organisations, sectors and geographical boundaries; building capacities especially of the youth on the partnering approach; public speaking and strengthening self-confidence are equally rewarding for me at a personal level.

Q:

My qualifications

A:

For the past 18 years, the focus of my career has been in partnerships including the development, management and maintenance of bilateral and multi-stakeholder partnerships among government agencies, academic/research institutions, development organisations, civil societies and private sectors in Asia and the Pacific and beyond.

My core strength is in promoting professionalism and integrity in brokering multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development. I’ve had opportunities to learn about the deeper meaning of partnerships, and why and how some partnerships work while others do not and I’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide range of partners and in the process, formally built my skills and capacity related to partnerships. Trying to make a difference and facing the challenges brought forth while attempting to make partnerships more effective and efficient are the key reasons I have been attracted to this field of work. As a certified Accredited Partnership Broker (awarded by the Partnership Brokers Association), I find joy in building on positive experiences and emerging partnerships. I make a genuine effort to practice reflection which is an essential element in the work of a partnership broker.

I hold dual Master’s degrees, one in business administration with a specialisation in marketing from Kathmandu University and another in sociology from the University of the Philippines. I have developed broad and relevant international experience in partnerships; strengthening regional cooperation; and in establishing and managing collaborative relationships and networks with government agencies, international development agencies, academic and research institutions, INGOs, NGOs, and the private sector. Earlier, I had worked for various projects with USAID, United Mission to Nepal, Asian Development Bank and Focus on the Global South. I started my partnership brokering journey in 2003 at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok as the Coordinator of Partner Relations and Development. Currently, I also lead the User Engagement component of our SERVIR-HKH initiative.