Rangelands represent one of the most important natural resources in mountainous regions of northern Nepal. However, a poor understanding of the social dimensions of rangeland use has limited their proper management and sustainable development, which represent major challenges for Nepal's resource managers. Institutional development is thought to be a viable solution to this problem and may ultimately lead to improved rangeland management in Nepal. Based on this hypothesis, a study was conduced in the Rasuwa district of northern Nepal to examine the effectiveness of institutional development at the local and national levels in mitigating the problems facing sustainable rangeland management by using an institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework. The information and data were mainly collected from different stakeholders, farmers, professionals and practitioners using a toolkit of participatory rural appraisal (PRA), workshops and literature review. It can be concluded from this case study that a number of institutional development efforts are needed to promote sustainable rangeland management in this region. First, local herders represent a repository of rich indigenous knowledge essential to sustaining sound rangeland management practices; hence, indigenous practices need to be integrated into modern technologies. Second, public services and technical support are currently unavailable or inaccessible to local herders; hence, research, development and extension interventions need to be initiated for marginalized pastoral communities. Third, rangeland institutions are incomplete and ill-organized, so institutional development of various organizations is necessary for promoting sustainable rangeland management. Fourth, the policies and governance necessary for promoting rangeland management are not well-designed; hence, governance reform and policy development need to be formulated through internal and external agencies and organizations.