Martin Chautari began as an informal discussion group in Kathmandu in 1991, allowing development professionals, social activists and academics to meet every two weeks to share insights and experiences related to Nepali development and society. The founders of this discussion group included the Nepali power engineer Bikas Pandey, the Norwegian engineer Odd Hoftun and the Norwegian academic Martin Hoftun. In 1995, the name ‘Martin Chautari’ was adopted in memory of Martin Hoftun, who was tragically killed in an airplane accident in 1992. After being managed by the Centre for Social Research and Development for six years, in 2002 Chautari became registered as a separate non-government organization (NGO) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Its offices are currently located in Thapathali, Kathmandu. Since its inception, Chautari’s core objective has been to enhance the quality of public dialogue in Nepal, particularly in matters pertaining to development, democracy, civil liberties and social justice. Even as other activities – research, research training, publications and a library open to the public – have been taken up, Chautari’s discussion series continue to be its most-known work. Premised on the democratic potential and practice of having face-to-face interactions, MC currently organizes two scheduled discussions and seminars a week with speakers and topics drawn from a wide social spectrum. Chautari's discussion and seminar series is the oldest, continuously running such series related to Nepal organized by any institution anywhere in the world.

Books published by Martin Chautari