VIETNAM - Wise use of water and agriculture, assessment and resultsRetrospective of Intervention – How did we do?
According to the final evaluation team, the Wise use of water and agriculture project in Cao Bang province ,VIE/036, Viet Nam, has been successful in improving the livelihoods of rural people in three of the province’s districts. Over 57 000 people living in Cao Bang, Viet Nam’s northern mountains region that had the highest rate of poverty in the country, have benefited from the project.
Initially designed as irrigation improvement project, VIE/036 quickly evolved to widen its scope. Rehabilitation of the irrigation schemes has assisted farmers in better responding to climate change, but also it has allowed them to grow more profitable crops during the dry season and allowed to introduce a market-led agriculture featuring speciality Cao Bang crops.
Irrigation - Na Bo - Na Dong SISS - Duc Long commune © LuxDev
Community-based planning (involving both women and men, ethnic majorities and minorities) in the prioritising, planning and construction work, has been significant in the success of the small-scale infrastructure in the commune villages. The undeniable achievement of the project are small-scale roads that provide better access for community members to schools and health services and to agricultural traders and markets.
Road construction works © LuxDev
According to the head of the evaluation mission,
increased social and economic benefits that accrue to the rural communities from the construction of small-scale roads and upgrading irrigation schemes are an important lesson for other rural development projects in Viet Nam.
These have contributed to significant benefits for commune members and the reduction of poverty rates in the communes assisted by the project VIE/036.
VIE/036 has also demonstrated that rural development projects can be innovative and embrace higher level provincial stakeholders. Development of the Linking-the-Leaders initiative, with project’s support, has provided the Provincial People’s Committee with real time feedback on matters of concern to members of the provincial community and a platform for members of community to engage with the Cao Bang provincial leadership about issues that affect them directly.
Among the lessons learned, perhaps the most important one is that the project design should not be too fixed and ensure there is some flexibility to respond emerging opportunities and to better achieve the project’s objectives. VIE/036 is a perfect example of the benefits that the modifiable approach can bring.
Cao Bang crops © LuxDev
Furthermore, it has been noted that for a better objectives’ achievement, provincial sector strategies need to be directly integrated into departmental and divisional annual workplans, with defined outputs, and accountability for delivery.
Moreover, the activities on departmental and provincial level that are aimed to improve the competitiveness index have proved to be effective for poverty reduction in both rural and urban communities.
Finally, a field for improvement is definitely the emphasis upon a “market-led” approach and the level of engagement with the agribusiness sector members: both need to be on a very high standard in order for agriculture restructuring programme to be fully successful.
The Wise Use of Water and Agriculture project in Cao Bang province, VIE/036, was co-financed by the Government of Vietnam and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by Cao Bang Provincial People’s Committee (PPC) / Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.↑ To the top