VIET NAMCountry results brief Enabling poor rural people to overcome povertyRural poverty and food security situation BASIC COUNTRY DATAaThe rapid economic growth that Viet Nam enjoyed in the last two decades has GDP per capita US$674 (2009)slowed down in recent years as a result of the world economic recession, inflation GDP growth 6.0% (2008) 8.0% (2007)of food and oil prices, and a number of natural disasters.1 Agriculture contribution 21.0% (2009) Most Vietnamese people live in rural areas and derive their livelihoods from to GDPagriculture, which remains the main source of occupation and an important source Rural population 72.0% (2009) Population engaged 50.0% (2010) bof job creation. Poverty is predominantly rural: 73 per cent of the population in in agriculturerural areas make up 94 per cent of all poor people. The poorest regions are the Percentage of population living in povertynorthern midlands and mountainous area (where the poverty rate is 25.1 per cent) (2008) cand the central highland and the central coast regions. Poverty also has an ethnicdimension: although ethnic minorities account for less than 13 per cent of the 14.5%population, they account for nearly half of the poor.2 Food security remains a concern as many rural households are net food buyers.3In 2007, 6.7 per cent of Vietnamese families lacked food. The figure increases to8.7 per cent for households in rural areas.4 a World Development Indicators data, unless specified otherwise.Overview of the IFAD-Viet Nam Partnership b Country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP)In 2007, IFAD and the Government of Viet Nam developed a country strategic Mid-term Review (MTR), 2010. c General Statistics Office (2008).opportunities programme (COSOP). The COSOP targets the upland areas andfocuses on creating links between remote production areas and markets andensuring the participation of poor rural people. Interventions are tailored to reach PARTNERSHIP WITH IFADethnic minority groups and women. First loan (year) 1993 The COSOP’s four interlinked strategic objectives are: Total number of 11 programmes • rural poor households in upland areas access markets through increased and projects private-sector partnerships; Total number 613 000 households of beneficiaries • poor and vulnerable households take advantage of profitable business opportunities; Total investment (US$349.0 million) • poor upland communities secure access to and derive sustained benefits IFAD financing from productive natural assets; and US$257.6 million • poor rural people contribute to pro-poor, market-driven agricultural policy processes at subnational levels. Cofinancing mobilized US$91.4 millionIn pursuing these objectives, IFAD works in partnership with a variety ofstakeholders: central and provincial government, line ministries, national banks,farmers’ associations, national research institutions and civil society organizations.IFAD is also a member of relevant coordination groups, including the One UnitedNations Initiative in Viet Nam, and cooperates with a wide range of bilateral andmultilateral partners.Country programme results and impactIFAD’s country programme supports operations in 11 poor provinces of Viet Nam.From 2002 to 2010 in Tuyen Quang province, the country programme supportedpoverty reduction and economic growth through the promotion of participatory,decentralized community development, and targeted poor upland ethnic minoritygroups and women. The country programme worked in 823 Tuyen Quang villages,1 IFAD, Viet Nam Country Profile, 2010.2 Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP), Mid-term Review (MTR), 2010.3 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Food Security Portal.4 Southeast Asian Council for Food Security & Fair Trade.
and reached over 75,700 beneficiaries, of whom unique geography and climate. The programme’s goal is49,000 were women and 55,000 were from ethnic to improve the productivity, income levels and foodminority groups.5 Achievements include: security of poor households, especially of ethnic • the majority of beneficiary households improved minorities and women. their food security, thanks to an increase in average In Ha Giang province, the programme has reached food availability of 72 kilograms per capita in 2009; about 50,000 households (186,000 individuals) and has • 1,000 saving and credit groups (SCGs) were formed, achieved the following results: with over 17,000 members, of whom 75 per cent • 352 Village Management Groups (VMGs) were from ethnic minority groups and 76 per cent comprising almost 5,000 members have been were women; the SCGs increased their access to established to plan, implement and monitor microcredit for taking up small-scale farm activities;6 development activities ensuring the participation of • 65,000 families received capacity-building services in poor ethnic minority households and women; upland farming provided by the over 2,600 farmers’ • 72 provincial, 132 district and 1,400 commune staff field schools training sessions and over have benefited from project training in better 360 demonstrations; approximately management of decentralization, participatory 40,000 households reported a productivity increase planning, and management and implementation of 14-20 per cent thanks to the demonstrations of village infrastructure schemes; and field schools;7 • 267 savings groups (4,900 members) have • 5,700 school children received partial funding for been created; their education, among whom 51 per cent were • 240 operation and maintenance groups have been girls; and formed to ensure sustainability of small-scale • 824 village animal health workers were trained, infrastructure, and 1,500 people have been resulting in a reduction in livestock diseases and trained; and improved diversification of farmers’ income.8 • 206 kilometres of roads have been constructed.10Around 1,500 village infrastructures (such as irrigation In Quang Binh province, the programme has promotedchannels and village roads) were constructed with income generation activities in value chains, andsupport from the village infrastructure development infrastructure development (small irrigation schemes,funds supported by the country programme. Of the total village roads and markets places). By the end of 2009number of beneficiary households: approximately 45,900 households had received • 85-90 per cent had road access to markets; programme-funded services, and the programme had • 60 per cent had access to stable irrigation water; achieved the following: • 87 per cent had access to clean domestic water; and • 137 infrastructure projects were carried out, of which • 90 per cent had access to electricity. 71 were road construction or rehabilitation projects and 23 were irrigation infrastructure projects; othersThese infrastructures have contributed to improving farm include schools and kindergartens, bridges, markets,and non-farm production, and village operation and commune buildings, and supply of water andmaintenance groups have been formed for each electricity; andinfrastructure scheme.9 • 2,172 people were trained in infrastructure maintenance.Programme and project examplesThere are six on-going IFAD-funded programmes and These infrastructure investments have resulted in a highprojects in Viet Nam. The Decentralized Programme level of social benefit to beneficiaries by improving theirfor Rural Poverty Reduction (DPRPR) began in 2005. access to services. Improved irrigation infrastructureIt focuses on two of the poorest communities in the projects have also had a positive economic impact bycountry, Ha Giang and Quang Binh, each with a reducing fluctuations in expected yield.115 Rural Income Diversification Programme (RIDP), Project Completion Report (PCR) and Validation, 2010.6 RIDP, PCR and Validation, 2010.7 RIDP, PCR Validation, 2010.8 RIDP, PCR, 2010.9 RIDP, PCR Validation, 2010.10 Decentralized Programme for Rural Poverty Reduction (DPRPR), Ha Giang province, Supervision Report 2010.11 DPRPR, Quang Binh province, Supervision Report 2010.
From the field The objective of the Programme for Improving Nguyen Thi Nham was born and raised up in Dong village ofMarket Participation of the Poor (IMPP) in Ha Tinh and Cam Thanh commune. She is the Chairperson of Cam Thanh Small Industry and Trade Services Cooperative. She hopedTra Vinh provinces is to raise the incomes of poor rural that in her position she would contribute to the developmentpeople in 50 communes in Ha Tinh province and of her local area. And that is precisely what she did. Nham30 communes in Tra Vinh province by improving their explored different options and advised women members toaccess to labour, finance, commodities and service engage in secondary employment to earn extra income.markets. IIMP began in 2007. In 2007, the Cooperative had access to support from the In Tra Vinh province, the project has reached about IFAD-supported programme on Improving Market44,000 people.12 All targeted communes have developed Participation for the Poor of Ha Tinh province (IMPP Hatheir Commune Market Opportunity Planning (CMOP), Tinh). The programme provided partial funding for traineeswhich includes at least three pro-poor, priority local value participating in vocational training courses and supportedchains and two cross-cutting issues. Around 270 village the Cooperative to find a market for their products. Thanksawareness seminars on market-based approaches have to the intervention, the Cooperative’s products now have a strong reputation in the province and have reached marketsbeen conducted and 377 common interest groups (CIGs) in other provinces. Nham works with IMPP also to conductrelated to the value chains have been established, with technical training courses and to help women gain moreabout 10,300 household members. One third of the experience in agricultural production, which has resulted inCIGs’ household members are poor, and the CIGs employment creation for over 300 women. In 2011, thefacilitate their engagement in these value chains: the Cooperative received the programme’s support in the formgroups can buy inputs collectively at a better price and of equipment, such as desks and chairs for the meeting hall,can sell their produce to traders and markets in bulk, loudspeakers, a computer and a fax machine, with a totalenabling them to negotiate higher prices. Moreover, by value of more than VND 50 million (US$ 2,396). Thisbeing part of the CIGs, the poor household members equipment will help the Cooperative to grow. “I am veryhave an opportunity to work with better-off farmers, grateful to the programme. Thanks to its support, we, thewho have more experience in production practices and women in the Cooperative, have what we have now,” Nhammarket linkages.13 said. With her contributions to the development of her homeland, Nham is honoured as an exemplary woman of In Ha Tinh province, around 76,000 people have Cam Thanh commune for her efforts in poverty reduction.received project services14 in 50 communes. At mid-term,IMPP had supported the establishment of 123 CIGs (over4,600 members) related to the main value chains; of • 5,100 beneficiaries have accessed the programme’sthese, 60 per cent are women and 56 per cent of market information, business registration andhouseholds are poor. Ten cooperative groups (CGs) with business advisory services;452 member households and two cooperatives with • 190 government officials and staff have been trained155 members have been formed; two thirds of the in agricultural extension and technology;members are poor. The CGs and cooperatives also • 510 male and 165 female government officials andfacilitate farmers’ linkages to the value chains and their staff have been trained in community-basedengagement with better-off farmers. Moreover, after management;receiving IMPP-promoted vocational and enterprise • over 360 people have been trained in business andtraining, around 1,400 people have found stable jobs entrepreneurship, of whom 165 were women;for at least six months.15 • about 450 staff of service providers have been trained The Developing Business with the Rural Poor in value chain development and market orientation,Programme (DBRP) began in 2008. The programme’s of whom over 120 were women;goal is to help develop market and business • 550 men and women have been trained in financialopportunities for poor rural people in Ben Tre and services; andCao Bang provinces. In its first year, DBRP reached • 1,300 women have been trained in communityabout 45,000 beneficiaries in Ben Tre and around management topics.1621,000 beneficiaries in Cao Bang provinces. In Ben Treprovince, DBRP has achieved the following results: In Cao Bang province progress has been slower.12 Results and Impact Management System (RIMS), Tra Vinh province, 2010.13 Improving Market Participation of the Poor (IMPP), Mid-term Review (MTR) Report, March 2010.14 RIMS, Ha Tinh province 2010.15 IMPP MTR Report, March 2010.16 RIMS, Ben Tre province, 2010.
Nevertheless, some results can already be identified: • 270 marketing groups have been formed or strengthened; • 280 beneficiaries have been trained in business and entrepreneurship; • over 1,100 men and 1,200 women have been trained in crop production practices and technologies; • 4,500 women have been trained in livestock production practices and technologies; • over 1,200 people have been trained in financial services; and • over 800 men and 700 women have been trained in community management topics.17 Innovation and scaling up The main innovation promoted by the Viet Nam country programme has been the decentralization and participatory planning and implementation of IFAD-funded programmes and projects at commune and village levels. This approach was first piloted by the Rural Income Diversification Project in Tuyen Quang province, closed in 2009, which tested it on 15 communes. It was then successfully replicated. For example, the communes where DPRPR was implemented became ‘programme owners’, responsible for production support and civil works activities. Moreover, the introduction of participatory planning as a tool for preparing village development plans enhanced the participation of poor people and their organizations in decision- making processes. Increased participation has translated into increased capacity and strengthening of community-based organizations. The success of this approach has contributed to the Government’s decentralization of management of infrastructure schemes in all the communes covered by its National Programme for Communes Facing Extreme Hardship in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas (2006-2010),18 which seeks to promote informed community participation and engagement in the Government’s targeted public investment programmes. Other innovations introduced by the country programme include using market-based planning tools such as the value chain methodology, promoting the participation of better-off farmers and enterprises alongside the target group in planning and implementing programme activities, and promoting market linkages in cooperation with the private sector and contract farming. Key lessons and way forward The focus of the Viet Nam country programme is currently on supporting the implementation of its many programmes and projects, the latest of which wasIFAD is an international financial institution approved in February 2011. Two key lessons have emerged:and a specialized United Nations agencydedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger • The role of participation: The more that poor rural people and theirin rural areas of developing countries. organizations engage in community activities and processes, the more they areInternational Fund for able to do so effectively; andAgricultural Development • The decentralization process: Decentralization and participatory planningVia Paolo di Dono, 4400142 Rome, Italy activities need to be synchronized, as they are mutually supportive and cannotTel: +39 06 54591 succeed if implemented separately.Fax: +39 06 5043463E-mail: email@example.com Further lessons will be derived in 2011 through a country programme evaluation. Following the evaluation, a new COSOP will be developed in 2012 to cover 2013-2018.ContactAtsuko TodaCountry Programme ManagerVia Paolo di Dono, 4400142 Rome, ItalyTel: +39 06 54592638Fax: +39 06 firstname.lastname@example.org 17 RIMS, Cao Bang province, 2010.June 2011 18 RIDP, PCR Validation, 2010.