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Participatory Poverty Monitoring in Rural Communities in Vietnam : Synthesis report

Participatory Poverty Monitoring in Rural Communities in Vietnam : Synthesis report

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Published by Oxfam
Viet Nam has been rapidly changing over the last 25 years. Once one of the world's poorest nations, Viet Nam has seen tremendous achievements in economic growth and poverty reduction in recent years. The percentage of the population living in poverty in 1993 was nearly 60 percent; that had been reduced to 16 percent in 2006, according to the Viet Nam Development Report 2008. Vietnam recently acceded officially to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which presents both opportunities and challenges to the country. The impacts of this accession on Vietnam's poverty track record over the next few years is of crucial importance and this joint study between Oxfam GB, Oxfam Hong Kong and ActionAid Vietnam, intends to capture that through periodic assessments of the changes happening in the country, particularly as it applies to vulnerable groups. The goals of the monitoring exercise are to provide significant qualitative information on poverty and development to be used in conjunction with statistical and survey data collected from other sources, establish an 'early warning' network to identify any negative impacts, especially on poor and vulnerable people, in the wake of accession to the WTO and to improve local capacity and enhance people's participation in monitoring, with an eye to making poverty alleviation more effective and equitable. In accessing important trends in poverty reduction, this report focuses on four major aspects of the problem: the growing gap between rich and poor, the vulnerability of poor households to shocks and risks; the challenge of gender equality and the barriers to participation and empowerment of poor people to take larger roles in deciding their own lives. The study relies on primary data gathered from nine provinces that joined the monitoring network and one typical commune in each province was selected for the fieldwork, with the exception of Ninh Thuan province where two communes were selected. In each commune two villages were chosen. The survey found striking differences in poverty rates and incomes between different groups living in the same commune. Although different ethnic groups experience features common to the area such as climate, topography or availability of water, incomes and poverty rates turned out to be markedly different.
Viet Nam has been rapidly changing over the last 25 years. Once one of the world's poorest nations, Viet Nam has seen tremendous achievements in economic growth and poverty reduction in recent years. The percentage of the population living in poverty in 1993 was nearly 60 percent; that had been reduced to 16 percent in 2006, according to the Viet Nam Development Report 2008. Vietnam recently acceded officially to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which presents both opportunities and challenges to the country. The impacts of this accession on Vietnam's poverty track record over the next few years is of crucial importance and this joint study between Oxfam GB, Oxfam Hong Kong and ActionAid Vietnam, intends to capture that through periodic assessments of the changes happening in the country, particularly as it applies to vulnerable groups. The goals of the monitoring exercise are to provide significant qualitative information on poverty and development to be used in conjunction with statistical and survey data collected from other sources, establish an 'early warning' network to identify any negative impacts, especially on poor and vulnerable people, in the wake of accession to the WTO and to improve local capacity and enhance people's participation in monitoring, with an eye to making poverty alleviation more effective and equitable. In accessing important trends in poverty reduction, this report focuses on four major aspects of the problem: the growing gap between rich and poor, the vulnerability of poor households to shocks and risks; the challenge of gender equality and the barriers to participation and empowerment of poor people to take larger roles in deciding their own lives. The study relies on primary data gathered from nine provinces that joined the monitoring network and one typical commune in each province was selected for the fieldwork, with the exception of Ninh Thuan province where two communes were selected. In each commune two villages were chosen. The survey found striking differences in poverty rates and incomes between different groups living in the same commune. Although different ethnic groups experience features common to the area such as climate, topography or availability of water, incomes and poverty rates turned out to be markedly different.

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Published by: Oxfam on Apr 12, 2011
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02/08/2013

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Gender has become a central category of analysis in poverty reduction efforts to ensure that
policies and practices have equally beneficial effects on women and men. The United Nations
Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing 1995) adopted an extensive platform on women
and development, calling for a new paradigm that integrates gender equality and justice into
development efforts. Many of the links between gender and development are tied to production,
social reproduction, and consumption patterns, which in turn are linked to access and control of
resources.

Examples include the fact that poor women in developing countries often bear the heaviest
burden of environmental degradation. These women typically lack access to essential resources but
at the same time they are responsible for food, fuel, and safe water supply. Environmental loss and
degradation increases women's workloads in obtaining these essential resources and decreases the
time they can spend on education and income generating activities. Increased pressure is placed
on families. Property rights over key resources, such as women's access, control and management
of land, are also crucial drivers of sustainable development. When women do not have access to
land they are deprived of an important source of capital to secure loans and credit.

Within the monitored sites, divisions of labour and decision-making between men and women
still tend to follow traditions and customs, although there are signs of change. State policies are
increasingly requiring attention to gender equity, such as in access to schooling or health care.
Women are also becoming increasingly involved with community affairs through participation in
meetings and projects. These are all likely to have positive impacts on poverty reduction efforts,
as the empowerment of women has been shown to leaded to higher incomes in households.

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