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Local development programme (LDP)


LuxDev's Regional office
Asia Office

Socio-economic development
2023 - 2027

Implementation period
January 2023 - December 2027
Total duration
60 months

Total budget
33,930,000 EUR
Contribution breakdown
  • Luxembourg Government
    27,000,000 EUR
  • SDC
    6,930,000 EUR

Project sheets

The expected outcome of the LAO/338 Local development programme (LDP) is “the well-being of Lao people is improved, leaving no one behind”. This reflects the priorities of the Lao government’s 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025 as well as the goals of the Lao-Luxembourg Indicative Cooperation Programme V (ICP V) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) Cooperation Programme for the Mekong Region (2022-2025), who are jointly funding the programme.

The Local development programme will build on the strong working relationships that have been established under its predecessor LAO/030 with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, particularly the Department of Planning, and its line agencies within the four target provinces. It will continue to foster participatory planning and channel programme resources into realising priorities at the district and village level. Its focus on capacity development at national but primarily at sub-national levels will assist central, provincial, district and village authorities to improve public services for the benefit of local communities. By improving capacity at all levels and engaging in policy dialogue, LDP intends to mitigate some of the threats facing rural communities in Lao PDR, which include land tenure insecurity, deforestation and low education outcomes. 

The total budget is 33 930 000 EUR over the five-year period 2023-2027. While strengthening the capacity of relevant central agencies, LDP will focus on the poorest villages and districts in the provinces of Bokeo, Vientiane, Bolikhamxay and Khammouane, and will expand operations to cover approximately 20 districts and 315 villages.

To meet the outcome mentioned above, LDP used a Theory of Change process to identify three intermediate changes with priority areas of intervention as follows:

  • social-economic opportunities for sustainable livelihood are created for Lao people, leaving no one behind will focus on creating productive farming opportunities (whether commercial or subsistence) for men and women. This intermediate changes also encompasses interventions in nutrition and health, land tenure security and climate change adaptation, inclusive finance, cooperation with the private sector to improve market access and capacity development support for enhanced farming/business skills. Partnerships will be maintained with two Luxembourg based non-governmental organizations, being ADA (specialising in inclusive finance) and Caritas (specialising in community development) as well as locally based non-profit associations;
  • Lao people have access to improved and more resilient public services including infrastructure provided by district authorities will introduce a District Annual Financing Window, through which target districts (with provincial support and under provincial supervision) will receive a secure budget envelope based on a number of criteria including population size to implement prioritised actions in the key areas of education, water, sanitation and hygiene and feeder roads in line with district development plans;
  • Lao people have access to improved and more resilient village-level services will continue to support the participatory Village Development Planning process established under LAO/030 for identifying and prioritising village needs. This village plans will be supported with a Village Development Fund to meet community priorities in infrastructure rehabilitation/maintenance, credit and capacity development among others.

Actions to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of LDP include:

  • ensuring alignment with current and upcoming national strategies;
  • using existing government guidelines and systems for procurement and monitoring;
  • promoting local ownership through the activity prioritisation process at district and village level;
  • collaborating with other donors to avoid duplication;
  • adopting a flexible approach to budgeting to reward well performing villages and districts; and
  • establishing robust monitoring and evaluation systems that allow for feedback and learning.

Latest news

  • LAOS - Beekeeping study tour in Xiengkhouang Province A continued journey to empower beekeepers from Bokeo

    Published on 2 April 2024    By Anaïs LOGIER   EN

    A recent study tour organised by the Skills for Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry (STAF) Programme, together with the Local Development Programme, to Xiengkhouang Province opened up opportunities for enhancing beekeeping practices in partner villages in Bokeo Province. Study tour participants, including beekeepers, trainers from two beekeeping training centres, representatives of Provincial and District Agriculture and Forestry Offices, and representatives of the Ministry of Education and Sports’ Department of Non-Formal Education, embarked on an enriching journey to promote knowledge exchange and skills development.

    From 2017 to 2019, there was a notable surge in honey production and sales in Bokeo Province. To bolster this thriving livelihood activity, the Local Development Programme in its previous phase, supported skills development and equipment for existing and new beekeepers in the province, thereby enhancing their beekeeping practices[1]. The STAF Programme is now working with the Local Development Programme to ensure that local beekeepers have access to the necessary resources and expertise to help overcome market fluctuations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and forge a resilient path forward for local honey production.

    Traveling via Vientiane Capital, participants from Bokeo Province flew to Xiengkhouang Province. This was particularly exciting for some beekeepers who had never left their province or been on a plane before. Upon arrival in Phonsavan, the group had a brief opportunity to delve into the cultural heritage of the province by visiting the renowned UNESCO world heritage Plain of Jars a spectacular and mysterious site with some 460 jars of unknown origin, carved in stone, which probably served as funerary urns thousands of years ago.

    The following two days were dedicated to experience sharing and valuable learning opportunities on beekeeping practices. Participants visited beekeepers in Phosy Village, Phek District, where they learned about new techniques applied by local beekeepers, observed the use of different materials and equipment and engaged in insightful discussions about honey production and the challenges it faces, including climate change. Villagers from Phosy Village also showcased beekeeping-derived products such as candles, soaps and lipsticks, and organised a small tasting of local honey. All participants then enjoyed a delicious traditional lunch prepared by the villagers before heading to Phon Village, where further honey-making practices were explored, fostering a deeper understanding of the intricacies involved.

    The following morning, the group visited a beekeeping processing centre in Peak District, providing them with a great opportunity to gain deeper insights into honey processing and marketing practices.

    A highlight of the trip was the visit to Phonxay Village, where beekeepers demonstrated their use of horizontal log hives and highlighted their benefits. This interactive session facilitated, once again, constructive discussions and knowledge-sharing among participants from Bokeo and from Xiengkhouang.

    The study tour provided an ideal platform for listening sessions, interactive demonstrations, and in-depth discussions on various facets of beekeeping, including processing techniques, necessary equipment and effective marketing strategies. One of the key takeaways was the emphasis on both technical skills and the recognition of the social and economic development potential of beekeeping initiatives at the village, district, and provincial levels.

    Participant feedback underlines the study tour’s resounding success, with many eager to apply newly learned techniques and strategies in their own communities.

    Mr. Somdy Sayyatour, from Phienghut Village, Pha Odom District, Bokeo Province, lauded the study tour for its exposure to innovative practices and expressed eagerness to share his learnings with fellow farmers. “I’m so pleased I got the chance to be a part of this trip” he explained. “In my village, we’ve been practicing beekeeping for a short time and we use local traditional methods. Thanks to this tour, I’ve learnt new ones such as the use of wax to catch bees in the hives. I look forward to sharing the knowledge I gained with the other beekeepers in my village.” This trip was a great opportunity for Mr. Somdy to improve his beekeeping skills, while exploring another region of Lao PDR. He concluded, “it was nice to meet new people from other provinces and share local experiences. Overall, I had a lot of fun”.

    Ms. Phetsamone Manivong also shared her satisfaction regarding the study tour, which marked her first field trip in her new position as technical staff of the Livestock Section at the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office, Bokeo. She was very impressed with the local knowledge and skills demonstrated by the beekeepers in Xiengkhouang. “I can clearly see a difference between farmers in both provinces. Here, they are much more creative and advanced in terms of techniques. In Bokeo, we have much less means and resources”. Ms. Phetsamone commended the initiative for its tangible impact and pledged continued support for implementing new techniques in Bokeo Province.

    One week after the beekeeping study tour, the STAF and Local Development Programmes supported the Bokeo Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office to organise a workshop to review lessons learned and develop training plans for beekeepers for the upcoming year. These plans address both technical and marketing skills needs of Bokeo beekeepers. It is expected that these efforts will help revive honey production business in Bokeo Province post-COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Skills for Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry Programme is co-financed by the Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Switzerland and the European Union, and implemented by the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.

    The Local Development Programme is co-financed by the Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.

  • LAOS - Cooperating for the provision of Non-Formal Vocational Skills Development in Agriculture and Forestry

    Published on 20 December 2023    By Anaïs LOGIER   EN

    On 13 and 14 December 2023, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) Department of Non-Formal Education (DNFE), together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Department of Agricultural Extension and Cooperatives (DAEC), supported by Skills for Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry (STAF) Programme (LAO/336), held a workshop to identify opportunities for inter-departmental cooperation for the provision of non-formal and informal agriculture and forestry vocational skills development (VSD). 

    The workshop was chaired by Mr Nouphanh Outsa, Director-General, MoES Department of Technical and Vocational Education, and co-chaired by Mr Sengaloun Boutsady, Deputy Director-General, MoES DNFE and Dr Phanxay Ingxay, Deputy Director-General, MAF DAEC. Workshop participants included representatives of provincial non-formal education centres, as well as provincial agriculture and forestry offices.

    The workshop had two objectives: 

    • to introduce the agriculture and forestry components of the STAF Programme to public non-formal and informal VSD providers in Lao PDR;
    • and to establish a foundation for cooperation in non-formal and informal VSD delivery.

    Following presentations of the STAF Programme (and the Local Development Programme (LAO/338) with which the STAF Programme collaborates), a discussion panel comprising Mr Nouphanh Outsa, Mr Sengaloun Boutsady, Dr Phanxay Ingxay, and Mr Phetsamon Thanasack, Deputy Director-General, MAF Department of Organisation and Personnel, delved into the specific roles, responsibilities, and challenges encountered by different departments and ministries in delivering non-formal and informal VSD in agriculture and forestry. The afternoon session saw participants divided into three groups to discuss their 2024 activity plans for non-formal and informal agriculture and forestry VSD.

    On the second day, participants were grouped by provinces (Bokeo, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Khammouane and Bolikhamxay) to discuss and encourage potential synergies among stakeholders within each province to execute activity plans.

    During the workshop, a noticeable convergence emerged in the 2024 workplans of the DNFE and DAEC (and their provincial representatives) further underlining the importance of coordination mechanisms and ongoing dialogue to prevent duplication of effort and optimisation of benefits for people in rural communities. With a shared commitment to coordination and dialogue, the MoES and the MAF are confident that joint efforts will be undertaken, maximising the impact of non-formal and informal VSD in the agriculture and forestry sectors in Lao PDR. 

    The LAO/336 - Skills for Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry Programme is co-financed by Laos, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Switzerland and the European Union, and implemented by the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.

  • LAOS - Governments of Lao PDR, Luxembourg and Switzerland to launch new phase of Local Development Programme

    Published on 10 October 2023    By Nicolas TASCH   FR EN

    Representing the Governments of Lao PDR, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Luxembourg Embassy in Laos and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation respectively convened the Programme Steering Committee Meeting to officially close the “Local Development Programme for Bokeo, Bolikhamxay, Khammouane and Vientiane province” (LAO/030) and launch a new phase.

    The new LAO/338 programme is co-funded by the Governments of Lao PDR, Luxembourg and Switzerland with a generous grant of EUR 33 million, and implemented by LuxDev and the ministry of Planning and Investment. It aims to foster inclusive development in 226 target villages across 17 districts from 2023 to 2027.

    From left to right: Thomas LAMMAR, Chargé d'Affaires, Luxembourg Embassy; Phonevanh OUTHAVONG, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment; Jean-Gabriel DUSS, Regional Director of Cooperation, SDC

    The Programme Steering Committee Meeting was chaired by the Vice-Minister of Planning and Investment, Mrs. Phonevanh OUTHAVONG, and co-chaired by the Chargé d’Affaires of the Luxembourg Embassy to Lao PDR, Mr. Thomas LAMMAR, and SDC Regional Director of Cooperation, Mr. Jean-Gabriel DUSS. More than 70 representatives from central, provincial and district government officials, as well as development partner organisations also participated in the meeting.

    The Programme Steering Committee Meeting reviewed the successful predecessor of LAO/338, LAO/030, which was implemented between 2016 and 2022 with a total funding of EUR 32.4 million and benefiting approximatively 150.000 people. The final evaluation concluded that, despite challenges encountered during the implementation period, particularly the spread of COVID-19, the project has been very successful. Key achievements included 3.588 community projects implemented through village development funds, the establishment of 46 community-owned credit schemes that enabled job creation and increased production capacity, construction and renovation of 396 schools, water supply systems and other local infrastructure, as well as training and awareness campaigns in 90 villages and capacity building for central and provincial-level government officials.

    The programme focus

    The new five-year programme, from 2023 to 2027, focuses on three main areas of support:

    1. the creation of socio-economic opportunities for sustainable livelihood;
    2. access to improved and more resilient public services; and
    3. access to improved and more resilient village-level services.

    Its objective is to further enhance the livelihoods of people in rural communities by strengthening their capacity to manage natural resources, enhance agricultural productivity, and develop income-generating activities. The Local Development Programme is expected to benefit over 172.000 people through village development funds and over 750.000 people through local infrastructure investments.