Sreng Sopheap

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Gender and Development Studies

Examination Committee:

Dr. Bernadette P. Resurreccion (Chairperson) Dr. Philippe Doneys (Member) Dr. Paul Janecek (Member)

Nationality: Previous Degree:

Cambodian Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Management, University of Cambodia, Cambodia Government of Japan

Scholarship Donor:

Asian Institute of Technology School of Environment, Resources and Development Thailand May 2010


Acknowledgement I would like to extend my greatest gratitude to Dr. Bernadette P. Resurreccion for her excellent supervision and comments on my thesis proposal, thesis writing and structure as well as her great support as an academic advisor. My course works, thesis proposal interests, fieldwork, progress review and writing up the finding/revision would not have been successful without her encouragement, guidance and advises. I have owed a great debt to her both in academic and career. I am very grateful to Dr. Philippe Doneys who initially decided to make two calls from AIT to discuss about possible research proposal which in eventually lead me to receive a full scholarship. His constructive comments on my ICTs and livelihoods contributed greatly to a deeper of my understanding and in making the thesis more interlinked. His inputs during the course works, fieldworks and progress defence have been tremendously added into my thesis. I must also acknowledge and sincerely appreciation extends to Dr. Paul Janecek who has supported and agreed to join as my thesis examination committee member even within a short notice. His overall comments and inputs further on the ICTs aspects open up my wider attention on the ICTs and its roles in regarding to ICTs and early warning as well as public awareness. My special and deepest inspiration has been derived from my dear beloved wife; Phok Sokuntheary, who continues to empower and makes me believe that I can lead my way to AIT and build up the future even though my past life had been so devastating. My acknowledgement extends to my parents and parents in law who have always been there for me when I needed support during my field works and thesis revisions. My sincere thanks extend to Ms. Agnes T. Pardilla for her great administrative support of my GDS studies, my Project Manager Ms. Kathlyn Kissy H. Sumaylo with International Organization for Migration who contributed on the thesis topic and her kind permission for me to take leave for the final defense. Friends, senior GDS students, classmates’ motivation and their friendliness have always made my GDS course works, AIT life and thesis writing an unforgettable experience. I am grateful for AIT and Korean Scholarship for enabling me to continue Master’s Degree, fulfilling my dreams and ease the burden of the financial matter. Last but not least, I owe great debt to the research respondents; female and male Laotian and Tompoun communities, village chiefs, commune councils, my field assistants (Vat Soveng and his wife) and related provincial line agencies, 3SPN, Ockenden-Cambodia and Cambodian Mekong River Committees who have shared great amount of time and inputs from their busy schedules. This research is dedicated to all of them who inspired me to move forwards during the flood, difficult road where the research team fell off the motor bikes, crashed into the water while crossing the bridge and river; yet these are not comparable to what the challenges respondents have faced as research team explored deeper. Without of all participations, the research would not have been possible.


Abstract The research investigated how floods have an impact on rural livelihoods of Tompoun and Laotian communities along the Sesan River and the uses of communication strategies for early warning of flooding, during flood interventions and post flood recoveries. Two forms of communication strategies are discussed; ICTs-based and non-ICTs based. The research further found access to ICTs in early flood warning is not just male cantered but authoritative in nature. The overall constraints leading to little use of ICTs are not social factors alone but the combination of infrastructure, economic constraints, rural energy consumptions, and the meanings behind having such ICTs. Yet, it cannot be denied that ICTs did play a critical role in enhancing flood preparedness. This is especially true when ICTs was combined with non-ICT tools/actors. The research argued that the access to and control of ICTs/non-ICTs has reinforced the male breadwinner model. This study also found ICTs used after flood has facilitated the livelihood recoveries and post flood facilitation. The research emphasized that further ICTs policies and gender approaches related to flood management should be enhanced. The research calls for not ignoring the use of ICTs because the alternative may further marginalize the facilitation of public awareness using ICTs for preparedness, evacuation and flood recovery


Table of Contents Chapter Title Title Page Acknowledgements Abstract Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures List of Maps List of Box 1 Introduction 1.1 Background 1.2 Statement of the Problem 1.3 Research Questions 1.4 Research Objectives 1.5 Rationale 1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study Literature Review 2.1 Gender and ICTs 2.2 ICTs in Rural Livelihoods and Vulnerability Context 2.3 ICTs for Vulnerability Mitigations 2.4 ICTs for Disaster Management 2.5 Gender, Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources 2.6 Gender and Environment Changes 2.7 ICTs in Ratanakiri and ICT Index (IDI) 2.8 Conceptual Framework Methodology 3.1 Type of Research and Research Design 3.2 Selection of Study Areas 3.3 Data Sources and Data Collection 3.4 Data Analysis and Techniques Study Contexts and Profile 4.1 Ratanakiri Province: A Profile 4.2 Respondent Profiles: Gender and Ethnicity 4.3 Cambodian ICTs Policy 4.4 Developing or Damming ICTs and their Uses in Early Flood Warning Communication Strategies: Gender and Ethnic Dimensions 5.1 Communication Strategies for Early Flood Warning Using ICTs 5.2 Communication Strategies for Early Flood Warning Not Using ICTs 5.3 Early Flood Warning Communication Transmission Page i ii iii iv vi vii viii viii 1 1 3 4 4 4 5 7 7 9 11 12 13 16 19 21 23 23 24 25 29 31 31 34 40 41





43 43 49 52


5.4 5.5 6

Access to ICTs and Flood Information Chapter Summary

55 57

The Impacts of Floods on Livelihoods and Recovery: Communication Strategies and their Gender and Ethnic Dimensions 6.1 Communication Strategies and the Uses of ICTs during Flood: Gender and Ethnic Group 6.2 Communication Strategies for Livelihoods Recovery after Flood: Gender and Ethnic Group 6.3 Chapter Summary Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 7.1 Summary of Major Findings 7.2 Conclusion 7.3 Recommendations References Appendixes

59 59 71 77 79 79 80 81 83 93



Lists of Tables Table 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Title ICT Development Index (IDI) ICTs in Ratanakiri Sampling Size Key Informants Focus Group Discussion and Number of Participants by Gender Respondents for Semi-structured Interviews Provincial-Wide Population Area Based Ethnic Distribution Distribution of Population and Ethnic Groups in Veun Sai District Distribution of Respondents by Gender and Ethnic Groups Distribution of Respondents by Age Respondents by Marital Status and Household Members Level of Education by Gender and Ethnic Group The General Uses of ICTs among Laotian Women and Men (%) The General Uses of ICTs among Tompoun Women and Men (%) The Uses of ICTs by Tompoun Village Officials Prior to a Flood Event The Uses of ICTs by Tompoun Commune Councils Prior to a Flood Event The Uses of ICTs by Laotian Commune Councils Prior to a Flood Event The Uses of ICTs for Flood Early Warning by Gender and Ethnic Group Senders and Receivers of Early Warning by Gender and Ethnic Group The Uses of ICTs by Tompoun Village Officials During Ketsana Flood The Uses of ICTs by Laotian Commune Councils During Ketsana Flood The Uses of ICTs During Ketsana Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group Communication Strategies Used to Enable Coping Strategies The Uses of ICTs among Villages’ Officials after Flood The Uses of ICTs after Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group Page 19 20 25 27 28 28 31 33 34 35 35 36 38 39 44 45 46 48 54 60 61 62 70 72 73


Lists of Figures Figure Title 2.1 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Conceptual Framework Sequential Exploratory Strategy Research Design Frameworks Sources of Livelihood by Gender and Ethnic Group ICTs Ownership by Gender and Ethnic Group Sources of Early Warning Information in Laotian Group by Gender Sources of Early Warning Information in Tompoun Group by Gender Early Warning Communications Flowing Sources of Livelihoods Prior Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group Impacts of Ketsana Flood on Livelihoods on Tompoun Villages by Gender Impacts of Ketsana Flood on Livelihoods on Laotian Villages by Gender Coping Strategies by Tompoun in the Context of Flooding: by Gender Coping Strategies by Laotian in the Context of Flooding: by Gender Respondent’s Contacts after Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group Page 22 23 30 37 37 50 51 52 64 65 66 67 69 75


Lists of Maps Map 3 1/3.2

Title Research Map Areas List of Box

Page 25

Box 4.1

Title Relevant Cambodia ICTs Policy

Page 40


Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Background Ratanakiri province is located to the Northeast of Cambodia with approximately 588Km from the Capital City Phnom Penh. It is a home of many communities of 9 different ethnic minorities consists of 80 per cent of the total population of 149.997 people, with distinct culture, tradition and languages (Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation, 2006; General Population Census, 2008). It is the remotest and isolated area with majority of the population does not have proper access to institutional support services, poor access to local transportation and information system as well as other development initiatives (Hamade, 2003). Their solely livelihoods rely on the traditional subsistence farming of swidden cultivation and on natural resources such as gathering non-timber forest products, fishing, hunting and practicing their animism ritual beliefs (NGO Forum, 2006; Kelkar, Yunxian, Sugiarti, Meijers, 1997). Besides, Ratanakiri is the most fertile land of red volcanic soils with great biodiversity of natural resources including mines and gold, which attract quite intensive investments from the outsiders (Suzuki, 2005). The province has been recently considered as one of the focuses for national economic development with great emphasis on timber production, agriculture development and tourism (ADB, 2001; World Bank, 2003). To get this forward, the plan for infrastructure development has been established to improve road and highway from Phnom Penh to Ratanakiri and from Vietnam passing through Ratanakiri to Steung Treng province and Laos. The economic development of Cambodia for Ratanakiri has quickly opened up the way for investments to the province for industrial plantation and immigration from lowland areas caused very serious issue facing the local communities of Ratanakiri with rapid of land losses and natural resources that they normally collect to support their living (ADB, 2001). Lowland Khmers and Khmer from other provinces, many of them came for gold mining and rubber plantation activities, saw economic development as opportunities and encouraged by the government to migrate to isolated areas or less populated such as Ratanakiri province (General Population Census, 2008). The Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation (2006) in its Indigenous People and Human Rights report that the migrants who came to Ratanakiri exploring big amount of land, which traditionally used by the ethnic communities, now given away by the government as concessions to individuals and commercial companies for exploitation. These exploitation and conversion of resources lead to environmental degradation and the denial of access by local communities to their resources that they have been reliance on centuries. During last decade, Ratanakiri has been so much affected by deforestation, illegal logging, land transformation and concession which threatens the people way of living as well as their only source of survival, which is forest and land, are at risk (Fox, McMahon, Poffenberger, Vogler, 2008). In additional, influential factors such as good soil quality for agriculture, infrastructure improvement and government economic development policy has encouraged influx of in-migration and establishment of small and large scale industrial plantation searching for better soil quality farming, investment, forest clearing and land encroachment (ADB, 2001; Bunthavin, 2000). From above factors, forests are being illegal logged or cleared and traditional lands for the subsistence farming are getting smaller and 1

with prevalence of illegal land selling even has continued to threaten the local livelihoods as they are lesser and even further away from their settlements(John and Irwin, 2005). Besides, such rapidly changes in environmental settings, flood has been frequently identified as a major hazard (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2009) that could pose a major exposure to vulnerabilities (Abramovitz et aj, 2002) if the communities are badly affected by such external shocks (Chiwaka and Yates, 2004). Flood is caused by Se San river flows from Vietnam across Veun Sai District, Ratanakiri Province merging with Srep Pok to connect to Sekong in Steung Treng province before meeting the Mekong. This flood is considered seasonal flooding and heavy rain falls as Ratanakiri is very much mountainous and forested area and with the claims of climate change (Sinat, 2009; Department of Water and Meteorology, 2009). However, it has been argued that the flood has also been identified not just because seasonal flood and mountainous areas where many small streams injected into the river, but it has been a major cause of water dam in Yali Fall, Vietnam (Baird, 2002; Baird and Mean, 2005; Mekong Watch, 2007; Sangha and Bunnarith, 2006; Strangio, 2009). This Se San river flood has severely affected communities living along the river such many as more than 18,000 people whose dependent on this resource as their mainly survival combine with other traditional farming (Sithirith, 2000). From the inception of this dam construction in 1993 in Vietnam, there have been irregular tragedies in the downstream such as flood, lost of properties and animals in the fluctuating water as it is no longer run its current speed in the way that it used to be (Baird, 2002). As result, various biodiversity that used to sustain people’s living along the river is discovered to be more severe and posed serious health problems from the poor water quality (Ibid; Mekong Watch, 2007). Likewise, livelihood insecurity and food shortage has been a major cause of natural resources degradation in Cambodia (Scheuer, 2008) especially for whose survival are natural resources and agricultures dependent. Facing such livelihood situations in the time of flood and other natural resource related risks do not affect men and women equally, nor are impacts and vulnerabilities of such shocks undifferentiated (Denton, 2002). These sorts of natural and man-made factors are severely and can be negatively changing the way women and men have traditionally practiced and require some knowledge of certain measures to mitigate the impacts on their livelihoods as well as to address gender relations (Hyndman, 2008; Akerkar, 2007). A recent Digital Review of Asia Pacific (2007-2008) has outlined concern that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) had not been used with full potential and capacity to mitigate risks from natural hazards and emergency relief. The report continues to confirm that various hazards in the Asia Pacific such as flood, earthquake and fire threats, ICTs were rarely employed as mitigation or even considered as tool. The 1995 Mekong Agreement and Procedural Rules signed by Mekong River Commission country members to fully abide by the procedures 4.5 that any “notification of proposed use shall be transmitted to the Mekong River Commission Joint Committees in a timely manner prior to implementation” (The Mekong Agreement, 1995). However, with poor and inadequate warning and notification system established, together with lacking of commitment, often such risk communication warning do not reach the villagers on time or too late (Sangha and Bunnarith, 2006; Department of Meteorology, 2009). Therefore, the below statement of problems will lead us to the kind of studies that research intends to be conducted.


1.2 Statement of the Problem Livelihoods have generally been considered ways people make living such as source of living and income (Ellis, 2000). ICTs is a means to access information vital for livelihoods and responses to stresses. Access to ICTs, like all other forms and means of production is also mediated by gender and ethnicity. This research therefore will examine how people use ICTs to mitigate flood vulnerability and the ways that this usage is mediated by gender and ethnicity. With so rapid development and in the globalised world, particularly in rural communities, are constantly facing major obstacles in how to access and control over ICTs in order to meet their current changes. And such changes and obstacles is one of the striving forces in this research builds on. It would be also a risky assumption to fall into the trap of either an eco-feminism that women are spiritually attached to the environment, the protectorate for their natural resources or Women in Development approach (WID) that tends to assume women as homogenous groups (Leach, 2007; Elmhirst and Resurreccion, 2008). Plus, attentions must be also cautioned carefully on the Women, Environment and Development (WED) perspective which operates based on the assigned gender division of labor on women in reproductive spheres performing all firewood collections, wild food picking and water fetching; that such damages in environment or environmental threats such as flood would be justifiable that women would be the most severe affected (ibid). It is important to be aware of such approaches as vulnerability is a socially context specific taking into account of class, ethnicities, social backgrounds and gender (Akerkar, 2007; Hyndman, 2008; Denton, 2002). The questions we address is how the flood has impact on men’s and women’s livelihoods, socio-economic well-being and gender relations as well as what existing mechanism systems are in place to ensure that certain adaptations and mitigations will be properly planned to address such concerns in a responsive manner. Different livelihood strategies that women and men employ under that certain conditions may explain how they cope with such hazard and influencing factors that either support or impede women’s and men’s livelihoods and socio-economic well-being. In such women’s and men’s access and control over resources and ICTs are needed to explore. It is not to deny that how powerful the uses of ICTs and its excellent tool to promote economic development and gender equality (Best and Maier, 2007; DAW, 2005, McNamara, 2008). Even some contributions concluded that employing ICTs in local language would be more effective in risk and hazard mitigation (Digital Review of Asia Pacific, 2008; FAO, 2001; McNamara, 2008; Batchelor Scott, 2001). Yet, all sorts of ICTs successes in the third world do not fit all but raised concerns that it may contribute to reproduce gender inequalities. The conflicting of these notions makes it as an urgent issue as it would be a successful tool if the application of these ICTs use are properly adaptable. Therefore, the below research questions together with its objectives are developed to look at how ICTs play a role in mitigating the flood vulnerabilities and its flood analysis impacts on gender and rural livelihoods.


1.3 Research Questions 1- How has vulnerability to flooding impact on men and women of Laotian and Tompoun groups as well as their socio-economic wellbeing and their respective livelihoods? 2- How is flood-related information transmitted from relevant institutions to/and among Laotian and Tompoun communities? 3- What are roles and forms of ICTs used in flood vulnerability mitigation and who have access and control of these ICTs? 1.4 Research Objectives 1- To examine how has vulnerability to flooding impact on women and men of Laotian and Tompoun as well as socio-economic wellbeing and their respective livelihoods. 2- To explain how the collection of information and mitigation systems from relevant institutions to/and among the Laotian and Tompoun communities in the context of flood. 3- To describe the roles of ICTs in mitigating flood vulnerability and explore what are factors facilitate or impede men and women of Laotian and Tompoun in employing the use of ICTs. 1.5 Rationale Environmental and natural resources are vital to human beings and particularly for those indigenous people who are directly benefited from these natural resources as their ways of livelihoods. As majority of the population depends on such resources; and in such flooding situation may compel women and men and also boys and girls to modify their livelihood strategies in order to meet their basic needs (World Bank 2005). Paying serious attentions on gender and ethnicity issues and vulnerability mitigation systems in these shocks and livelihoods impacts, it is required to understand the local people’s perspectives that would lead to clearer establishment and proper tools to assist and mitigate such vulnerabilities (Denton, 2002). In assessing how the mitigation and relevant strategies can be developed, it is important to also realize what and how the information mechanism and tools have the communities of both men and women and authorities used in responses or mitigate of such flood before/during/after such threats occur. Without any clear understanding of existing strategies can allow policies and developments to be adopted that will undermine existing survival mechanisms (Davies and Bennett 2007). Numerous studies have been conducted on natural resources degradation and land rights in Ratanakiri such as (NGO Forum on Cambodia, 2006; McAndrew and Oeur, 2004; Gooch, 2007; Fox, McMahon, Poffenberger, Vogler, 2008; Brown, Poffenberger, Stephens, Ironside, 2006; Bottomley, 2002; Billon, 2000; Baird, 2002; Baird and Mean, 2005; Bann, 2003; Asian Development Bank, 2001). Yet little is known in this province about different communication mechanism among different ethnicities, gender, mitigating hazard vulnerabilities and its impacts on livelihoods. Government extension programs and multi-governmental funding projects together with other non-profit organizations registered working in Ratanakiri in the field of livelihoods,


health, natural resources, legal, advocacy, education, capacity building, and agricultures but few have implicitly incorporated gender aspects into their strategic planning and programs. A current research entitled “Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia ”, which flood was one of the component of vulnerability assessment, ranks Ratanakiri province as the second most vulnerable of climate change in Cambodia, sixth in the Southeast Asia (Yusuf and Francisco, 2009). Yet, gender adaptation and ethnicities’ mitigation were not taking into analysis. Likewise, communication tools in assessing vulnerability was only understood “as the number of fixed phone lines per person” (ibid p. 17), whereas almost all of the population in Ratanakiri do not use fix phone, rather they use mobile, televisions and other communication tools. If development is about enlarging people’s choices, capabilities and human freedom rather than income, as Amartya Sen envisaged; improving standard living, increasing access productive assets and resources and reducing their risks associating to their development (Denton, 2002), then it is good to think of who are these people to be benefited from development? Who are the most vulnerable in term of hazards or flood? How policy makers and planners can help improve the community mitigation and adaptation capacities? This study helps provide advice to commune councilors, policy makers and NGOs planners to take into consideration in their programs on the different needs of men and women, boys and girls and ethnicities in face of threats such as flood that affect their livelihoods and the same time transform the gender relations. Also it will help determine what mode of communications work best or locally appropriate in mitigating of such hazard. 1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study The research aims to study the ICTs role in mitigating flood vulnerability impacts on gender and livelihoods. Vulnerability is a term used by Chiwaka and Yates (2004) to “describe exposure to hazards and shocks. People are more vulnerable if they are more likely to be badly affected by events outside their control (Chiwaka and Yates, 2004. p6)”. Similarly, Wisner et al. (2004) defines vulnerability “as characteristics of a person or group and their situation that influence their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a hazard, though vulnerability is not determined by natural forces (Wisner et al, 2004, p.11 )”. Rather, level of vulnerability is largely determined by social structures, generational, geographic, economic and political processes that influence how hazards affect people in varying ways (Chiwaka and Yates, 2004; Wisner et al, 2004)”. Referring to possible determinant of vulnerability, the research works with men and women of Laotian and Tompoun ethnic communities, isolated from the mainstream of other social networks. The province is inhabited by nine different ethnicities and therefore the two villages in two different communities may not be applicable to the rest of the others as they may have different mechanism to mitigating flood vulnerability and livelihoods strategies as well as their distinct culture and traditions. The researched’ views may only express to the situation of these communities along the Se San River, affected by flooding. From generational point of view, the respondent’s participation effort will try to seek involvement with different ages and gender of populations; however, given language barriers and limited to exposure of outsiders, the youngest and oldest community members maybe accidentally not so active involve in the research. The research is aware of


geographically and economically of the population is very poor and therefore in term of assessing ICTs in mitigating flood vulnerability is quite a challenges. ICTs in this case may cover “sets of technologies that include both new and not so new equipment for human and digital communication such as satellite, telephone/mobile phones, radio broadcasting, computers, internet and email, speech recognition technologies, delivery mechanism e.g. public access, rural information centers and telecenters, including farmer listening groups (Hafkin and Odame, 2002, p.1-2)”. Though, this research is unable to cover all range of these ICT components, only some of them will be assessed. This does not mean that ICTs are not relevant to the poorest rural communities, as even the poorest in rural also need information and communication and if adapted appropriately can even help improve livelihoods and income opportunities (infoDev, 2003; McNamara, 2008). Given such curiosity and politically sensitive when it comes to flood (argument is still either by upstream dam operation or changes in climate) as issues are trans-boundary between Vietnam and Cambodia, some access to information, logistic support and financial matter maybe beyond research’s jurisdiction in exploring in this area of knowledge and population. As study by Akerkar (2007) on the impact of Tsunami post-disaster warned that vulnerabilities are not just influenced by local context “but institutional relationships with national and global powers” such as in the era of globalization and transboundary(Akerkar, 2007, p.363) as mentioned with upstream flood or migration. As the study conducts during the rainy season where different agriculture products and livelihood options are available within the forest, in between spaces and swidden farms, key informants and data gathering may bias against dry seasons in regard to impact of floods and livelihoods. The research may also dismiss the flooding during the dry season caused by the dam. As far as language, culture and tradition differences and barriers between the researched and researcher(s), various qualitative data maybe lost during interpretations and observations which prevent researcher(s) to complete the objective study effectively.


Chapter 2 Literature Review This literature reviews some aspects of gender issues, particularly gender and ICTs, ICTs in vulnerability mitigations and gender and rural livelihoods. The section ends by a presentation of the conceptual framework in which research rely on. 2.1 Gender and ICTs Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is a term which rarely defined in many relevant literatures and sometime misleading (Fors and Moreno, 2002). In a particular term, it can be defined by Heeks (1999) in Fors and Moreno (2002) as “electronic means of capturing, processing, storing and communication information” (p.199). ICTs can be a great tool to help women achieve political and social status, increase voice and empowerment, especially if ICTs were adapted appropriately can help improve livelihoods and income opportunities of poor rural communities (infoDev, 2003; McNamara, 2008; UN, 2004). Great challenges for women on ICT education remain a major barrier for them to entry to such accessible to ICTs. Such diverse drivers may contribute to women’s inability to access to ICTs which in return lead to increase in widening digital divide and impede women to fully enjoy the benefit from ICTs in their socio-economic as well as improving their life status (Umrani and Ghandially, 2003). In such situation, Umran and Ghandially (2003) raised that, the less chances of women access to new technologies, the fewer opportunities for self organizing and building voices. This in return called for providing assessable conditions that women would acquire new technological skills that they can use to meet with new remerging issues, gain more self-independent from male dominance/family members, improve decision making via informed choices and enhance their positions in society (ibid). They continue to urge that providing women with ICTs training skills would enable them to participate more successfully and would even involve actively in development, especially in a timely era of information age. Mitter (1999) argued that for women to be able to catch up with more new technologies and better paid work environment, opportunities for them to receive training, education and relevant facilities are needed to assist them in this fast changing situation. Though “twopronged strategy” offered by Mitter (1999, p.11) that are the keys in which accessing to such opportunities of education shall be relied. The first is to work towards some policies reform and public advocates that ensure provision of public support such as education, maternity leave and child care subsidies so that women can pursue a better career. The second is to realize that improving job opportunities alone does not sustainably mean job with equity and equality for women. Therefore, some shaping and transforming within the family, social institutions and power that discriminates against women or under privilege groups to educational and opportunities must be dealt accordingly. Likewise, technology has been viewed as masculine is an issue (Oldenziel, 2004), yet many poor women as much as “two-third of the world” are having limited language capacity, skill and so not likely to be able to communicate in English and together with cultural constraints is another (Umran and Ghandially, 2003, p.360; Dlodlo, 2009). Munevar M. and Arrieta (2002) suggested that social structure of institutions such as


family, churches, school, politics an even sciences have been patriarchy rooted; strongly sediment which continuously to ensure “unequal participations of women” in various spheres (p.47). Such frequently practices by those institutions have been so much unquestioned or been so “naturalized” as source of power to legitimately claim unequal gender positions (ibid) Yet, Huyer (2005) revealed that developing a local content that meets the need women’s concern and language ability, community-based knowledge and cultural specific would help women reach more women attainable to ICTs. As much as concern, using technology means financial cost must be put into consideration that many women in poor developing countries do not have much control over cash income or even decision to influence the consumption of technologies (Pattanaik, 2005). However, in the study of Best and Maier (2007) in rural India regarding women use ICT services discovered that concern about the cost was not a major indicator of accessing to ICT services by many rich women but was remained as big constraint for poorer populations. What have been the useful recommendations on these ICTs accessible to women is that lower cost would allow women for more frequency of usages, ICTs should be locally designed and managed with culturally defined and women’s friendly tools that reflect the needs of women such as skill development related improvement women’s lives (Best and Maier, 2007). More important is to make ICTs more fun, more diverse and implement where women and men locate so that self inclusion to ICTs can be enhanced (Faulkner and Lie, 2007). Lee (2004) warned that with the rapid growth, adoption and its successes in the third world are likely to depend on in which contexts they have been created and raised concerns that it may contribute to reproduce or deepen gender biases and gender inequalities. For ICTs development and its benefits to the whole population, it must require thoroughly understanding of women’s needs and the rest of the population socio-economic environments (Faulkner and Lie, 2007). In such environments, particularly in the developing countries, women are in an inferior position to men, taking all triple responsibilities and having had not chances to go out without an accompanying. Therefore, less access to ICT tools in the way that is not mainly due to limited infrastructure/facilities but poverty, social support, illiteracy, opportunities and culture barriers to adopt them (Momo, 2000; Umrani and Ghandially, 2004). Lee (2004) argued that even with various opportunities brought by ICTs in the developing countries which intend to bring women chances to access to jobs and positive impacts are only taking place in theory; while in practice, she argued that “the global market is enmeshed with gender ideologies” (p.218) in which culture and social barriers prevent women than men from being equal participants in society and further push them back into their private sphere. Such unequal share among the developed and underdeveloped countries with regard to technologies create other two divisions as what Umrani and Ghandially (2004, p.360) term as “information rich” and “information poor” that intersect across “ race, ethnicity, class, age, religion and gender” in which women in poor and rural regions are the most further away to bridge the digital gap. In this sense, it should not dismiss the fact that ICTs in rural contexts are as much as possible as in urban. This illustration will be discussed in the below sub-section.


2.2 ICTs in Rural Livelihoods and Vulnerability Context ICTs may also consist of different tools and facilities that help improve exchanges of information and management between individuals to communities, government and intergovernment (DAW, 2005). What is important about ICTs is not technology in itself but its diverse functions and the enhanced ability to help transmit information across the distance, create new opportunities in business, education, health and in especially in rural areas where agricultural productivity can be improved through direct access to agricultural experts (Siriginidi, 2009; Siriginidi, 2002). If ICTs needs are properly addressed, they are an excellent tool to promote women empowerment, economic development and gender equality (Best and Maier, 2007; DAW, 2005; Umrani and Ghandially, 2004). Yet gender awareness in designing and implementing ICTs are needed to ensure that introducing of ICT tools will both benefit women and men equally (Best and Maier, 2007) Though, we have seen so far ICTs can play a great role; particularly in the context of livelihoods and empowerment. Yet, the tool of ICTs in women empowerment is in questioned. A study by Stewart (2004) on ICTs in family farm land in Southern Queensland Australia challenges that despite women have had great access to ICTs, her much work did not get any appreciation or any changes in gender division of labor. And that raises concern to the notions and promises by ICTs to empowerment, particularly in rural family contexts (Stewart, 2004). In connecting between ICTs to livelihood, it is necessary to link with livelihood framework and its relationship using ICTs. The framework is widely used in Ellis (1999) and Carney (1995) in which the inter-relationships are embedded with information communication dynamics. Information and communication as means to smoother and facilitate different livelihoods strategies (McNamara, 2008). Batchelor and Scott (2001) and McNamara (2008) illustrated how these ICTs can be actually applied with the Ellis (1999) livelihood frameworks. The linkage in Natural Capital with ICTs is that it could assist various ways to help resources mapping, facilitating to access of natural resource management agencies in either seeking benefits in term of registering land title and assisting in conflict resolution (Batchelor and Scott, 2001). For example, the information usages can be transferred to appropriate line agencies, local authorities and the communities may share the strategies and identify a local solution to a certain problem. In this context, where women access to land is limited due to lacking of literacy, legal understanding and social constrains, ICTs such as audio, radio or cassette players are used in local language to communicate across the communities to simplify on local legal pluralism and create awareness through video role play or on a transmitted local radio (Palombi, 2008). As result, knowledge gap in legislation awareness and women’s rights to land were slowly made. In the Social Capital, ICTs strengthen family relationship, counseling/consultation as well as keeping the link with other institutions. Besides, once local communication systems developed and network of communication improved, it could build its social network across the communities, national and even regional. As Chapman, Slaymaker and Young (2003) note that reduction in expenses on travelling for communication services, which is replaced by local communication network, lead to family saving on travelling and both increasing local employment opportunities and away from home. Another study by Grewal (2003) on how Indian immigrants in the US used radio, internet and television to enhance family recreation within the members but also to attentively equip well about the host communities cultures.


In addition, Human Capital including education and health enhancement, ICTs play a great role in building skills through online education and e-health (Economic and Social Research Foundation/ESRF, 2008). ICTs such as internet; for instance has been used extensively in the field of health and telemedicine, compare to conventional source of information such as textbooks are also static with obsolete information in many developing countries (Fors and Moreno, 2002). This limited access to reliable information on health is particularly true so in rural areas, yet internet can bridge such gap between a referral website database in health related issues to young users and couples to get reliable information on HIV/AIDs, reproductive health, contraceptives, sexuality and abortion in a local language (Health and Love, 2009). What is special about this online health and sexuality education allow all users, for instance in Cambodia, to ask direct questions about health and sexuality with few days responses from combination of professional staff (ibid). Another example is HealthNet, which is a computer network that use various ICT tools such as telephone and internet to provide concrete health advices and exchanges of communication among health staff, medical doctors, health care workers and communities of around 150 countries worldwide (HealthNet, 2009). Furthermore, using ICTs as education tools transferring from text contents into various digital formats (for example VCDs, CDs, radio, images) to rural areas help improve human general knowledge and while reduces costs associate to such access elsewhere (Chapman, Slaymaker and Young, 2003). Though, its effectiveness is solely rely on the adoption into the local appropriateness, eg culture, traditions, languages etc. with local needs-based (ibid) In Physical and Financial Capital, ICTs itself promote the better access to ICTs for the rural poor such as women use Grameen Phone in Bangladesh to manage business communication service via mobile phone; other experiences such tele-working, online customer sexual services workers and call center in India and Malaysia (Mitter, 2004; Ng and Mitter, 2005, Veena, 2007; Godara, 2007). In Va’s research (2009) on the uses of mobile phones in rural Cambodia, Kompong Thom province, between traders and farmers have revealed that these mobile phones were found to be a very valuable asset for both social and economic status. In social benefit, rural people used mobile phones in keeping contacts with family members who are living in other provinces and cities, which help maintain a very good social capital even thought the members are far away from the village. Besides such contribution to social networks, business information on agricultural products such as prices and market was proven very useful by the means of mobile phone. However, the research indicated of stress of mobile phones associated financial aspect matter in ability to save costs as the calling rate remains high and that makes another challenge to such services available to the poor within its appropriateness in term of contents and the service fee (Va, 2009; Wishart,2006). Likewise, current research by Gunasekera (2008) on Sri Lanka confirmed that with the introduction of toll-free telephone service since 2006, many farmers could now get in contact from agricultural experts directly to obtain agriculture support and explain problems face at the field. Since greater interaction between agriculture experts and farmers are directly exchanged has lead to an initiation of television program based on different inquiries receive over the toll-free telephone service users (Gunasekera, 2008). At the same time, radio is another form of ICTs which has been frequently used in a rural context to disseminate information on various purposes, either specific questions on crops


and livestock market pricing or to indigenous language preservation purposes (Kunthear, 2009; Gunasekera; 2008). With rapid growing of mobile uses in developing countries, there is also a greater demand to expand its capacity to use in micro finance and banking industry. For example, two mobile phone operators in the Philippines provide wider services where more than 3.5 million people transfer their remittance domestically and internationally using mobile phones (Wishart, 2006). Such two ways of communication do not just serve for business, socialization, and networking but also play a role in mitigating disease outbreak, which enable affected communities to receive emergency relief on time, without applying the use of ICTs component, such immediate response might have been late (FAO, 2001). 2.3 ICTs for Vulnerability Mitigations Chambers defines vulnerability with two components; (a) “exposure to shocks, stress and risk as external component and (b) the lack of means to cope without damaging loss as internal part” (Chambers, 1995a, p.175). Vulnerability in this case can be very much influenced by degree of adaptation and resilience people have over the trend and shocks. The adaptation can described as “how a particular system, for natural and human, evolve over time when faced with environmental changes” (Abramovitz et al, 2002, p.10). M.L. Parry et al. (2007) define resilience as the “capacity for self-organization, and the capacity to adapt to changes” (2007.p.880). In this regards, according to Ellis (1999), livelihood differs in different context of either affected by trends or shocks that may result in particular livelihood strategies. Among many other trends, “migration, technological changes and national economic trends” may also compel certain livelihood strategies. For example, with the economic development policy in Ratanakiri province promoting tourism, agriculture investment, hydro dam constructions and many other land concessions have forced many ethnic minority families to leave their traditional resources which were traditionally used (Brown, Poffenberger, Stephens, Ironside, 2006). With great interest in this isolated province in term of economic and agriculture benefit, in-flux of migration phenomenon results in competing shortages of natural resources with the communities which had been there for years and that these local people must modify or adapt their new ways of living (Fox, McMahon, Poffenberger, Vogler, 2008). Shocks are events such as “drought, flood, diseases, pests and civil war that pose severe bad affects on livelihoods and human assets (Ellis, 1999.p.30). Various studies on damages of flood on human asset, livelihoods, livestock, properties and other capital assets were enormous lost (Baird, 2002; Baird and Mean, 2005; Sangha and Bunnarith, 2006). Though Wisner et at. (2004) argue that not all shocks will have negative consequences, some shocks may lead to changes in rights to access certain resources /that previously owned could no longer access but others would now have greater rights after such shocks. Within these two events of combination of trends and shocks, there must be a need that livelihoods in such contexts are addressed properly by vulnerability mitigation and preparedness with the knowledge of the local perspectives (Wisner et at, 2004; Davies and Bennett, 2007). Batchelor and Scott (2001) and McNamara (2008) elaborated the relationship between the uses of ICTs in vulnerability context that ICTs could be a new tool early warning system and climate predictions. However, in some bad weather conditions may disturb the radio


broadcast and media dissemination, yet increasing rate of flooding may lead to a need in realizing how ICTs are important in relief emergency support and effectiveness of request for help (Batchelor and Scott, 2001). Therefore, livelihood can only be sustainable when people have the ability and capabilities to recover, cope with trends and shocks “while not undermining the natural resource base” (Chambers and Conway, 1992). And that must also make sure the communications put into well-placed between the people and policy makers so that desired livelihood outcomes can be achieved (Chapman, Slaymaker and Young, 2003). Otsyina and Rosenberg (1998) revealed that in rural development programs such as poverty reduction schemes, effective development communication is a key but must be enhanced in a way that is not going to cause further problems or marginalize women to fully participate in development initiations. 2.4 ICTs for Disaster Management Disaster management or disaster risk management is not about on managing disasters together with their impacts alone, but concentrating more for ways to mitigate, prepare and reduce the level of threats and losses. As outline by Sriramesh et al (2008) disaster management may cover some preparedness and planning that combine with some training on emergencies, early warning, evacuations and public awareness alongside in the use of ICTs such as television, radios, mobile phones and other internet tools as well as community media. Internet tool is another very relevant example on how it has been used in disaster preparedness such is an AlertNet; a network based websites with purposes to inform those working in the relief efforts and general public about crises and facilitate emergencies news. Such news provides reliable information as outlined in the north-eastern Indian state where flood caused many people homeless but with the good risk warning message and coordination schemes together with their weekly e-mail digest about the humanitarian efforts have kept the stakeholders informed and even lives down (Gidley, 2005; in Sriramesh et al, 2008). Yet, Mathew (2005) also illustrated how the community centre with local cost internet, easily adaptable content and training facilities would help online discussion and promote internet radios that the at risk communities can access and pass related to disasters and information needed, but possible to do so is only when the local information need is addressed in the local language The Digital Review of Asia Pacific (2008-2009) also illustrates how the lack or no early prior the Kobe earthquake January 1995 caused 5,000 casualties and the high death rate in the Tsunami was contributed from the absent of timely and effective warning. Therefore, forecasting crises would be a very key important element of risk communication. What contribution by Mathew (2005) that how “computer hardware, information software and telecommunications” would help map out the disaster prone- areas and make it more accessible to clearly determine such at risk-prone communities including the analyzing of capacity, vulnerabilities and their coping systems. Further example, sophisticated technologies such as Geographic Information System (GIS) would also draw out related the earth’s surface images, capture, check, categorize, develop with computerize database that will “help with situational analysis, risk assessment, spatial modeling, disaster mapping, and simulation, all of which are required for the effective implementation of a response action system” (ibid.p.54).


As disaster tool place or ended does not make the disaster an ended impacts. The cost of materials, human and livestock are both emotional and economical lost. Affected communities need immediate support such as food, medical, shelter, cloth as well as other emergency reliefs. All these assistance are definitely in need of coordination and communication. As pointed by Sriramesh, et al (2008) showed ICTs (telephone, radios, internet and TV) can be a very important elements in connecting to different stakeholders such as NGOs, relief agencies and government to manage effectively the collection and distribution of resources needed for recovery. These combinations of ICTs as pointed by Ochi et al. (1999) on their studies of flood in Cambodia during 1997 that ICTs required not have to be advanced in order to make such different in emergency efforts. Example in the during the flood in Cambodia in 1997 The health ministry of Cambodia request an urgent support from the World Health Organization to help the flooded communities who were being at risk of very dangerous snakes bites that had been brought into village areas as the water level flows. Such basic as Internet email as a simple tool is sufficient enough to allow WHO to connect to different agencies across the globe where help was sought. As the WHO office in Cambodia sent requests to all related line agencies and email lists as well as its headquarter, eventually such information made available sharing help facilitated quicker purchasing and transporting of the required snake antiserum that was then airlifted to Cambodia, saved hundred lives(Ochi et al, 1999). In recent Typhoon which hit badly on the Philippines as well as an earthquake in the Haiti; Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), which specializes in emergency telecommunications jointly installed and provide communication support to those NGOs and the affected populations to make calls (both local and international calls) and connect their friends and family at the outside world. Thanks to such quick support and the role of communication, TSF allowed hundreds of women and men to make calls to their family members in abroad and inform of the current condition as well as seek for financial support (TSF, 2010). Without such roles of ICTs, communication would have been cut, public awareness would be lost and emergency supports would not be on time where hundreds of lives are awaiting. 2.5 Gender, Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources The concept of livelihood has been widely written and been growing attention among scholars (see Ellis 2000; Scoones, 1998; Elliott 2006; Perz, 2005) especially in rural development and academic development programs. Livelihood as pointed out by Ellis (2000) in a simple and straightforward means “to make a living”. Similarly, livelihood also proposed by Carney (1998) “comprise the capabilities, assets and activities required for means of a living” (Chambers, 1995a; also quoted in Ellis, 2000; Acharya, 2003). Within this definition, it offers a clearer link to gender as an issue in sustaining survival as how gender perception is defined. It also determines certain access and control over resources to making sure that the livelihood is not degrading (Chambers, 1995b). This is particularly in the a context where women are subordinate to men, during economic crisis or in time of livelihood insecurity that privileges for her to make sustainable livelihood strategies for herself are not given or might be channelled to men (Elliott 2006; Karl, 1995; Elson, 1998).) Livelihood strategies are various ways that mobilize resources for the means of survival and the mobilization of this livelihood is very much dependent on different combination of


both agriculture/ “natural resources based activities” and non-agriculture/non natural “resources based activities” (Perz, 2005; Ellis, 2000, p.30). Such mobilization may also be for either response to shocks or for opportunities rather than a ‘manifestation of poverty’ (Kabeer and Anh 2002.p116, Razavi, 2003). To meet their needs, livelihood strategies may include home-based business, wage labor, self-help group formation and resources they seek to mobilize include equipment, finance and credit, seeds and fertilizer; human capital or social claims (ibid) In Ellis’ (2000) framework for livelihood analysis proposes five categories of assets in facilitating as means accessed, controlled and claimed by women and men for their livelihood strategies. Those assets consist of (a) natural capital includes land and water that people generate as their survival. (b) Physical capital can be classified as building, road, infrastructures, irrigations, technologies and machines. (c) Human capital such as education, skills and health that women and men possess; (d) Financial capital refers to saving, credits and borrowing schemes can be used to support the household. Finally, (e) social capital that is considered as social claims or networks of community members or kinship that household can depend on each other, while Moser defines this social capital as ‘reciprocity within the communities and between households based on trust deriving from social ties’ (Moser, 1998). What Ellis proposes these five assets make as a connection in gender and sustaining livelihood is that the accessible to these assets in order to enhance the livings are predetermined by social institutions, which may include norms, tradition, market, customary laws and classes (Seguino, 2007). As gender is embedded and intersected across these institutions and this social embeddedness determines women and men to have different assets, access and control (Sachs, 1996). Limited access to information and education due to discriminatory, child preferences and benefits given to men that biasness to control productive resources, to accesses to education, and decision-making tend to occur through the mediation of men (Razavi and Pearson, 2004). In this sense, such mediation options may improve household livelihood security while at the same time reproducing/strengthening feminine customary roles (Seguino, 2007). Scoones (1998, p.9) provides three different set of livelihood strategies that include ‘agricultural intensification, livelihood diversification and migration’. This in a simpler agricultural livelihood may consists of livestock rearing, aquaculture, forestry collection; diversified livelihood cover off-farm income earning activities away from farming such as seeking wage labor for seasonally or in combination of both on-farms and off-farms. Haan and Zoomers (2005) argue that livelihood dose not stand-alone; it engenders process of inclusion and exclusion and these two are very much in conflicting. Livelihood thus is not a single unit but multiples and diversified which can either occur in different places. In addition, the issue of livelihood is mediated by access and control over resources and the opportunities to make choice towards livelihood. The issues of access and control are therefore very much influenced by larger social structures, norms, institutions and power relations that determine who are to get what and who are to access what resources, at the same time, also these social structures are being reproduced and reshaped by livelihood (Haan and Zoomers, 2005). In cases that even women have rights to own her properties such as land, their rights to land and other non-timber forest products cannot be inferred that they have complete capacity to actively participate in the decision making, given the mount of male crowded in policy level (Lin, 2006).


Various scholars have conducted gender related rural livelihood studies (see Kabeer and Anh, 2002, Perz, 2005; Elliott, 2006; Ellis, 2000, Sugiarti, 1995; Chambers, 1995b; Resurreccion and Elmhirst,2008)but with rapid changes in rural areas raise questions of how to formulate and define what is rural. Demarcation boundaries or separation between which site belongs to rural and which site belongs to urban is even a problematic for scholars and policymakers (Sachs, 1996; Elliott, 2006). Sachs (1996) also emphasizes that there have been dichotomous between rural and urban such as tradition and modern, organic and chemical and disregard site-specific differences that lead generalization of rural as one category of homogenous related with agriculture, farming and unchanging. In contrast, Elliott (2006) examines the rural and urban relation as part of rural livelihood enhancement that generally rural people are closely linked to urban centres as market for their agriculture products, exchanges of commercial/consumer goods while the urban interacts with the rural people as source of incomes and political power. The source of livelihood in rural area can be significantly agriculture dependent at household level. However, evidence with recent “de-agrarianisation” of rural sector in many developing countries, especially in many Southeast Asian, farmers who also engage in industrial works, seasonal migration or daily travelling to take up wage employment while at the same time still practicing their agriculture (ibid). Ellis (1999) also offers empirical evidence from various countries suggests that rural households do not just have a single livelihood as agriculture but also indeed engage in multiple activities. He provides a comprehensive example such as in sub-Saharan Africa where it is approximately between 30–50 per cent of rural population depend on non-farm income sources; 80–90 per cent in southern Africa while in South Asia with roughly 60 per cent of rural household income is from non-farm sources. This proportion also varies widely between landless households and those with access to land for farming (Ellis, 1999; Denton, 2002). But also its biasness in relation to women’s access to land and training has been unequally given by various studies that women agriculturists would produce the same yields or even greater than men if they had access the same amount of fertility land, fertilizer and training as men (Momsen, 2004) In defining women’s work in natural resources management, Krishna (2004) discovers a very strong stance that women’s works have been undercounted since their productions of goods and services for household consumption, home-based work and other domestic tasks have been traditionally sex-aggregated as women’s works. Krishna also goes further demonstrating in distinction that ‘multiple environmental tasks like grazing cattle, making cattle-dung cakes and collecting firewood, fodder and water tend to be considered domestic chores, not work’ (p.23). However, ploughing for rice transplanting is considered as men’s work as women’s capacity is not suitable for such work. It is though women can also do ploughing but social norms such as belief that men alone should plough and those who menstruate pollute the earth (ibid). As this belief is much rooted in social norms and traditions that are context specific make irrelevant for Cambodia Northeast region and North of Vietnam, Giao Lac village along the Red River, find contradiction that women also plough rice fields even her husband are around or during the absent of their males (Van, 2008). In the context of fishery, freshwater fishing is one of the largest sources of livelihood in Cambodia that contribute to about 75 per cent of protein consumed (Norng, 2003) and ranks ‘fourth in term of tonnage’ in the world (World Bank, 2006, p 80). Freshwater River such as the Tonle Sap Great Lake in Cambodia is the biggest lake in Southeast Asia and


the riches source of livelihood with lives of nearly 3 million people whose daily survival dependent on (Resurreccion, 2008). Fisheries also provide safety net for rural poor whose in event of shocks but also very important in sustaining livelihood in terms of income, nutrition, food security and household reservoir (World Bank, 2006; McKenney and Tola, 2002). In addition, women also contribute greatly to family income, besides selling their fish at the market, but also participate in the fishing activities as men’s fishery is not sufficient to sustain the family, so women could be forced to go along with their husband for fishing (Xiaogang, 2000). Gender issues in fishery has been sometimes neglected as Mekong River Commission (2006) findings that gender stereotypes as women are less capable in fishing and previous research in the fisheries sector focused on fisheries and aquaculture received little attention from researchers. Different types of tasks perform for fishing activities generate different kinds of skill and knowledge such as men may know how to catch the best fish while women know the price these fish value. A research conducted by Resurreccion (2008) on community fisheries management in the Tonle Sap Great Lake that women contribute a major role in fishery activities include processing fish, preparing fish product and organizing fishing tools. Since fishing is considered as a male task and therefore women are more depending on agriculture and cash crop, instead women may also do fishing but at homes with traditional fishing lines. In her studies of establishment of community fishery (CF), major conflicts of interests of those women whose livelihood are agriculture based versus those whose fisheries dependent and with strong social networks. Drawing part from her research findings suggest that conflict between those women are not involved in CF will not be able to collect the firewood nearby the flooded areas and therefore have to walk further away or purchase substitute wood. Unlike, other household members who are closely link with CF members could collect firewood from forest nearby even with strict regulations (ibid). This has reconfirmed that the aforementioned on access and control to/over resources are really determined by social networks, which are in fact a social construction as much as gender (Moser, 1993, Ellis, 2000). Similarly, von Benda-Beckmann et al. (1997) in the case of women’s rights to the land natural resource and water provides a very relevant example that women and men may be entitled to family land, but women are given with less amount than men. In such many cases, women’s access to land in many developing countries is through marriage (Elliott, 2006), thought women at different caste may have the rights to water but the lowest caste ones as example by von Benda-Beckmann et al. (1997) will not be allowed using the water that a higher caste is using. 2.6 Gender and Environment Changes Cambodian rural livelihood are so much dependent on various collections of forest such as firewood collecting, hunting, fishing, fruit picking and other non-timber forest products, as well as the environmental supplements that allow them to practice their traditional way of living. However, these combinations of livelihood are continuously shrinking due server environmental changes (Bradley and Pichponreay, 2006). Environmental changes as define by Buckles and Rusnak (1999:4) “may involve land and water degradation, over exploitation of wildlife and aquatic resources, extensive of land


clearing or drainage, or climate change”. And this change has been argument of one of major issues as the causes of human population growth (Braidotti, Chrkiewicz, Hausler and Wieringa, 1994). Sachs (1996) provides a broader link that environment changes as also in shifting demographics, intensification of agriculture and global economy including structural adjustment programs have dramatically altered rural people’s daily lives and questions policymakers and researchers to consider this change. The changes or depletion in environment, aquatic as well as forest resources may add additional burden severely on women’s shoulder, especially with defined gender division of labor and time poverty that she has to extend longer to collect firewood, fetch water and gather other wild fruits and vegetable (ibid). Men may suffer from limited access to animal hunting as well longer time in searching for wildlife. Without sufficient firewood for cooking, warming, gathering vegetables, and wild meat for household consumptions, household nutrition may be negatively affected (World Bank, 2002). With limited in swidden farming areas, changes from swidden farming to paddy field also affect women’ role heavily, especially in adding on the long list of gender division of labor agriculture on women while men are enjoying more leisure time as less task of clearing the forest for slash and burn (Kelkar., Yunxian, Sugiarti, Meijers, 1997) Denton (2002) revealed that poverty may lead to exclusion, marginalization and constraint people living, that both poor women and men of unable to make choice that might improve their socio-economic conditions. As result, it failed to contribute to natural resource use sustainability. Denton’s criticism is that women have not had opportunity or had been absent from environmental resource management policy, but also cautioned that bringing women’s participation in the policy level will not really ensure that the issues face by women at the ground can be addressed. Nevertheless, what poverty alleviation programs by rich country must do is to make sure that women and the poor will have better access to reproductive resources, control over and access to fertile land, adequate information, good irrigation strategies, and access to clean water (ibid). Denton also demonstrates of how majority of women population in developing countries living under the poverty and warn that in certain changes, hazards or climate changes that incorporate adaptation and mitigation programs should not further deprive their livelihood. Hence, she continues to argue that the programs of environment and climate change that are intended to reduce poverty and mitigation must ensure that poor women and men have access and control of productive assets such as land, information, related skills, good irrigation and availability of clean water. She emphasized that environmental management and its impact is highly gendered; therefore mitigation and conservation should also take into account gendered division of labor in order to achieve greater equity. In short, if environmental policy is about ensuring a sustainable future by combining development and environmental issues, it must take into account the interests of all stakeholders in a way that does not disadvantage women and the poor, otherwise would further put them into a very vulnerable livelihood position (ibid). Such vulnerability context in which livelihood must cope with, Davies and Bennett (2007) research on a pastoralists society region that have survived for centuries in their rangeland environments through the development of complex livelihood strategies even with a few alternative, yet they have been able to support the household during crises. Therefore improved development assistance and enhanced targeting of the truly vulnerable within any societies demands an acceptance that poverty is neither uniform nor universal.


Similarly, the issues of livelihood and adaptation to drivers of changes for people living in marginalized population must be explored. Kollmair (2008) claims that as poor people have mostly depended on agriculture based and with diversified livelihoods are probably well prepared to adapt to rapidly changing in surrounding environments but they are also likely to burden on shortages of natural resources. This limited of resources will result in an increasing exposed to threats and therefore these changes are inevitably affect women and men; however, major contributions of women are rarely noticed. With such of acknowledgement leads to unequal access and control over resources, assets, public services, legal protection and other social development initiatives. Bogahawatte (2003) brings set of attention on conversion of forest to agricultural uses and industrial plantation, clearing of forest for major infrastructures and other developments like ‘reservoirs, hydro power, roads, urbanization and mining’ causes a major harm lead to deforestation. Sick (2002) proposes that the ability to respond and adapt to environmental threats and social change is among the keys to the sustainability. Like other agriculturalist countries in South East Asia, Cambodia is agriculturist with the largest contribution to GDP and employment but poor and rural families are in great hazards and environmental risk in adapting and challenging with shocks and crisis such as flood; limited yields with lacking of irrigation and fertilizer; health problem and land grabbing (World Bank, 2006). However, in many subsistence farmers and households where natural resource is available, the prevalent that collecting natural resources and non-timber forest products remain as one of the main safety net for poorer households (Resurreccion, 2008). A recent conference report on “International Development Studies Conference on Mainstreaming Human Security: The Asian Contribution” held at Chulalongkorn University with experience panel discussion from Cambodia that floods in Cambodia are sometime considered good things to help re-generate land fertility and supply various agriculture options but “their irregularity leads to changing rural livelihoods systems” (Yen, 2008).A study conducted by Baird (2002) and Baird and Mean (2005) on downstream dam-flooded in the northeast Cambodia also found that changes in hydrology have caused riverbank erosion in both wet and increasingly in dry season. This erosion and fluctuation of water levels also have contributed to the decline of habitat and has badly changed the water quality flow down to the Mekong River, severely affecting ‘fisheries, reptile, amphibian and shore bird populations, as well as vegetation’ and other farmers (Baird, 2002). In the cases of dam-flooded affected populations, villagers are hesitating to live in the village and even have tried to move or abandon the houses and farms along the river to look for a highlander area (Sangha and Bunnarith, 2006). More than 30 deaths drown caused by the Yali Fall Dam (Baird, 2002; Baird and Mean, 2005; Strangio, 2009) but those dam-affected communities have never received any compensation for the impacts that they have suffered from Yali Falls Dam. Thus, the communities have requested for damaged compensation from dam builders in Vietnam, stakeholders and even the governments have denied for the negative impacts that have occurred along the Sesan River (Sangha and Bunnarith, 2006). It is not to say that both governments are lacking responsibilities over the affected areas but because there are different governance systems that exist in both countries, Vietnam and Cambodia. Gooch (2007) proposes that in resolving water governance systems successfully, it needs to consider both natural resources and social impacts. This is the case


that in Vietnam where the water management is followed by the socialist governance with very centralised power, unlike Cambodian government much weaker but NGOs and International Organization have played a great role in this facilitating and advocating for the rights and livelihoods of those affected (Gooch, 2007). The changes in environment may also have an impact greater extent on fishing as water levels rise make fishing very challenging for men (Parikh and Denton, 2002). This is especially for population living along water sources like the Tonle Sap Great Lake in Cambodia where fishing in the river considered men’s job (Resurreccion, 2008), such environmental changes may also put women in greater difficulties especially in farming in paddy field and cash crop activities in Asia and Africa which usually dominant by women(Parikh and Denton, 2002). Facing in dire circumstance in both shortages of harvests and food, rural households must diversify their livelihood options to other incomegenerating activities that the majority is seasonally and poorly rewarded (World Bank 2005). This can also lead to an out-migration where women go to work in the city and in certain circumstances men go for off-farm and non-farm works leaving women additional burden taking care of home, children and performing previous tasks done by the husband with less time for the demanding responsibilities (CDRI, 2007) 2.7 ICTs in Ratanakiri and ICTs Index (IDI) Among these ICT tools; mobile phones, televisions and radio have the most weighted, while internet remained slightly low (Unger and Robinson, 2008). Currently of ICTs tools such as all these are quite rapidly growing, even with television set and mobile recharges to car battery is frequently found in rural setting (NiDA, 2009). Recent publication International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 2009) revealed that Cambodia remain the bottom of neighbouring countries. The rank of IDI is 121 in 2007 comparing to 126 in 2002. Table 2.1 shows the ICT Development Index (IDI) and their ranks of some of the Asian countries confirmed that Cambodia is even fall behind Myanmar, Lao P.D.R and Vietnam. Table 2.1: ICT Development Index (IDI) Country Rank 2007 Thailand 63 Viet Nam 92 Lao P.D.R. 117 Myanmar 119 Cambodia 121 Source: ITU, 2009 IDI 2007 3.44 2.61 1.60 1.57 1.53 Rank 2002 70 107 125 104 126 IDI 2002 2.17 1.59 1.08 1.64 1.07

Even as an isolated and remotest province of Cambodia, Ratanakiri province with an estimated of at least as many as 10 mobile lines with 4 (see table 2.2) operators functioning in the area including Mobitel (Royal Group) 012, 092, 017 - Hello (Telekom Malaysia) 015, 016, 081 - M-Fone (Camshin) 011, 099, 085 - MetFone (Viettel) – 097. Though fix/land line phones and fax machines are available but only within the government officials, non-governmental organizations and hotels that connected to landline. Whereas fax machines and internet do not exist in the district, but Satellite TV like DTV is quite widely used among families and Chinese households. Even Cambodia among the first countries that has the most mobile subscribers more than fixed-telephone, but those who 19

used mobile phone is only about 8 per cent or 1.5 million/13.5 million of the population (ITU, 2007) Table 2.2: ICTs in Ratanakiri Type of ICTs tools Mobile phones: 012, 092, 017, 015, 016, 081, 011, 099, 085, 097 Fix-land phones: 075 Radio: FM 89.5 Fax: 075 Coverage Areas/ Accessible All districts and almost more than half of communes Only in town Almost all part of the province Service Providers Mobitel (Royal Group); Hello (Telekom Malaysia); M-Fone (Camshin); MetFone (Viettel). Camintel Department of Information and Telecommunications Camintel National Television in Phnom Penh TrueMove

Only in town Most district but only available at Television: TVK night In town, 24/7 week Satellite TV In town and some via mobile Online; Camintel, Internet Shops phones Sources: Phnom Penh Post, 2009; Ministry of Information, 2009; Unger and Robinson 2008

Radio is among one of the most mass media and increasing popular in Cambodia, like in many parts of rural areas, radio is the main sources of information. Particularly, Cambodian has two major national radios and of at least 14 other radio stations operating in the country (Unger, and Robinson, 2008). Among the total population, at least 11% of owns radios functioning even there are no electricity, by the means of battery operated (ibid). Cambodia has two national radio stations and 14 local radio stations. Besides, local radio has recently kicked off on air since 2007 on local radio FM 89.5 funded by Asian Development Bank and UNESCO to broadcast in local languages in Ratanakiri province, and has expanded the training courses slowly, which up to now 22 ethnic minorities have been received training to develop and broadcast in their local languages. According to Uy Sothy quoted in the Phnom Penh Post (16 June 2009), that this radio program can help inform the minorities on various issues such as HIV/AIDs, human trafficking and other matters as these minorities do not read Khmer. Furthermore, television plays one of the entertainment tools even in such electricity is an issue as only 8 of 1000 Cambodian people own television. According to the World Bank (2007), about 3 per cent of the entire rural Cambodians use power generator set while about 6 percent right connected electricity, some 55 per cent of the 95 rural households use automobile batteries for lighting, radio and TV set viewing and other occasional. In addition, televisions have been also very popular among households both for entertainment and news. For example, a local national television lives broadcasts at every night with news and some other programs by TVK with capacity of 150W for almost half of the entire province (Ministry of Information, 2009). Moreover, a private satellite television runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, covers all sorts of channels including (even English language channels such as HBO, Star Movies, BBC, World Wresting, CNN, National Geographic Channel) and various other Khmer channels such as Daily News, Khmer Boxing, Khmer folk songs, Khmer Comedy Entertainment etc… broadcasting from Phnom Penh. This 20

private satellite would charge approximately USD 8 per month or clients may rent a compact disc features either movies, shows, games, cartoon, Karaoke music or have a sit in a café where plenty of channels are available. Modern technologies such as satellite televisions have come together but differently with the introduction of Internet into this untouched area since its first invention in 2003. With the initiative of American Assistance to Cambodia along with Shin Satellite Corp (for satellite hub and internet connection), Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia and other companies launched the first ever telemedicine and wireless communication within selected communities and schools from Ratanakiri to Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in the U.S. (American Assistance for Cambodia/Japan Relief for Cambodia, 2003). Since such awareness of internet that time, currently Ratanakiri have five internet cafés (including within the post office) with around 20 computers, two Internet Service Providers (ISP); namely Online and Camintel. 2.8 Conceptual Framework The framework considers gender, social and political institutions and government policies as the major key issues in influencing trends, shocks, livelihood strategies, adaptation and mitigation. Together they also mediate the possibility of implementing ICTs as a mitigation system for flood vulnerability and men’s and women’s livelihood outcomes. Besides; gender, social and other institutions, ICTs present one of the main core analyses of how women and men obtain information in order to access and control of their resources /assets and use this either as flood mitigation or for their livelihoods. For example, accessing to ICTs contribute to a possible of enhancing human capital that would help in decision making to plan for a certain livelihood options either through network of kinship, capacity building and other institutional supports (Chapman, Slaymaker, and Young, 2003). Gender and social institutions as socially and culturally constructed given that is what society and perception that has assigned such as roles, norms and behavior to be appropriate between women and men and how people are perceived and expected to think or act as women and men (Cornwall, 2007; Gove and Watt, 2004). In addition, gender as a social structure as which include social roles, community socialization and other practices are embedded in the power of institutions, resources and knowledge that reflect the power distribution in society to define who is to access to what and who has control over what resources (Connell, 2002;Kurian, 2000). In this case, the degree exposure to vulnerability and opportunities are likely to be influenced by the gender and social aspects within a given community. The different gender issues related to livelihoods such as the access and control of resources may prohibit or enhance women and men’s livelihood outcomes. Together with various concepts of livelihood, ICTs as well as gendered access and control that women and men take were predominately depend on their available resources, gender, ICTs, trends, shocks that they claim. This claim is socially constructed that unequally benefit women, comparing to men as how society sees what fit women and men. Moreover, many scholars and researchers have contributed to how greatly impacts of environmental changes related issues affect both women and men. These effects are alone not technically, locally but socially and globally (Akerkar, 2007). And that is where government policies really play a crucial role in downstream flooding, men’s and women’s livelihoods.


Nevertheless, livelihoods and vulnerability are not to be homogenous as the effects of these on women and women are also uniquely different from other mainstream society especially in coping with the flood vulnerability and factors that facilitate or impede them for their livelihoods. Yet, in the context of ICTs, there should be explored in assessing how far the ICTs have or will play a role in this flood vulnerability mitigation as well as the use of ICTs in this isolated rural area. All these details are illustrated in the below research conceptual framework Figure 2.1.

Institutions: Social and gendered rules, norms and ethnicity Government Policies

Flooding and Vulnerability

ICTs for mitigations (gendered access and control)

Livelihoods Strategies

- Impacts of flood on men’s and CHAPTER III women livelihoods - ICTs Mitigation METHODOLOGY Figure 2.1: Conceptual Framework


Chapter 3 Methodology

This chapter discusses different methods and methodologies of carrying the research. The methodology discussions include type of research and research design follow by discussing on the criteria and selection of the study area. On the third part will be covering data sources and data collection concluding by demonstrating data analysis and techniques employed. 3.1. Type of Research and Research Design The research employs both qualitative and quantitative approaches in order to seek thorough understanding of the subject areas and build to create knowledge based on the researchee’s ideas (Blaikie, 2000). Research on ICTs linkages to flood mitigation, livelihoods, resources and gender is very little known in Ratanakiri province and the people as well as its social relationships. The livelihood strategies, livelihood outcomes, vulnerability and adaptation have been rarely explained. Therefore, this an exploratory research is suitable to get to know as much as possible of what has been happening and why irregularities occur with regards to the reaction and responses to the environmental change, flood, livelihood options and the linkage of ICTs to capital assets/resources (ibid). The research field work will be conducting from August to October 2009 in Veun Sai District, Veun Sai Commune, Veun Sai Village, Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia. The research is using a mix-method approach by conducting the qualitative study first and following by quantitative in order to establish a clear picture/pattern in regard to study site environment/context such as gender, livelihoods, floods and its outcomes. This mainly refers as Sequential Exploratory Strategy (Blaikie, 2000) shows in figure 3.1 below. Qualitative
Qualitative Data Collection Qualitative Data Analysis Quantitative Data Collection

Quantitative Data Analysis Interpretation Of Entire Analysis

Source: Blaikie, 2000 Figure 3.1: Sequential Exploratory Strategy Before conducting the research, some preliminary visits to the villages and relevant key informants such as local authorities and NGOs who are working in the areas will be spent as part of restoring relationship between the researched and the researcher(s) and to get to feel more about the villages. Using initial visits to restore and build relationship with villagers allow research to gather some most related data which can be used to further in discussion with other key informants. From the preliminary visits and to the next visit, various qualitative discussions such as focus group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews and field observations will be employed. Based on qualitative discussions above, the last phase which is survey will be conducted on relatively to form some pictures in term of the population background and the access to natural resources, amount of assets, ICTs, livelihoods options, existing mitigating systems 23

response to shocks and threats, gender division of labor, perceptions about the flood and its impacts. 3.2. Selection of Study Areas Ratanakiri Province is selected for the study area due to researcher’s native-born experiences and working in rural livelihoods, natural resources management and capacity building programs for few years with different ethnic minority communities. Precisely also Ratanakiri province is ranked the 6th vulnerable of climate change (flood was one of the assessment indicator) in Southeast Asia and 2nd in the whole county of Cambodia (Yusuf & Francisco, 2009, p.27-30) but gender and information mechanism were not taken into consideration. With a great growing development and consumption of ICTs; both urban and more rural; however with government’s limited capacity and non state actors in hazards vulnerability mitigation through the use of ICTs, therefore Ratanakiri is selected for the study site. Veun Sai District as purposively selected; populated by different ethnic minorities of the province including Laos, Chinese, Praov, Tompoun and Kavet along Se San river where flush and unpredicted flood occurs frequently from both the Yali Dam upper stream in Vietnam but also from the in the irregularity changes in climate (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2009). The study will be conducting particularly in two villages of two communes of Veun Sai District; (a) Veun Sai village (mainly Laotian ethnicity) is populated of approximately 92 families and (b) Kachoun Leu village (Tompoun ethnicity) with its estimated population of around 105 families (Ockenden Cambodia, 2008). Among other variables, the chosen for these two villages is due to its ethnicity differences and livelihood background. The Laotian are more stable in term of their livelihood secured as they have more diverse options from not just agriculture dependent but such as trading with other ethnicity and tourism service opportunities. Additionally, they are also wellequipped with small market accessibility and Khmer language speaking which enables them to have more accessible to various different infrastructures and institutional supports. This can be inferred that the Laotian have quite greater choices in accessing to and controlling of capital assets and the ICTs components. Unlike the Tompoun, their way of living has still been a traditionally-based agriculture with limited diversification option offfarm or non-farm activities The links with ethnicity to gender is in the sense that access to ICTs and livelihoods are also co-determined by ethnicity; and gender is very much as mentioned earlier a socially embedded. As Mortberg (2000) argued that equal access are explicitly inter-related with various variables such as gender, class even regions. Faulkner and Lie (2007) suggested that “gender cuts across other dynamics… including income, occupations, ages, gender factor such ethnicities are also intervening” (p.158, emphasis added). In choosing ethnicities with gender bring the challenge to the WID approach that women are homogenous ignoring classes, age and ethnicity (Momsen, 2004). Rather including the “ethnicity” explains among other components of gender relations of what the feminist political ecology (Rocheleau et al, 1996; Momsen, 2004; Leach, 2007) argued that accessing and controlling of resources is largely shaped/reshaped by gender, classes, kin groups, races and particularly ethnicity(also Moser, 1993). More than that, vulnerability as according to Chiwaka and Yates (2004) and Wisner et al, (2004) is significantly coinfluenced by social structures that influence how hazards (eg. flood) affects men and


women in varying ways. Therefore incorporate differences in ethnicity in the study will even enhance the richness of the research in both comparatively on gendered livelihoods, vulnerability and ICTs. See below are maps of the research sit sites. Veun Sai District, Veun Sai Commune, Veun Sai Village

Veun Sai District, Kachoun Commune, Kachoun Leu Village

Source: Village Village-Education, 2009

Map 3 1/3.2: Research Maps

3 .2.1 Research Sample Size: Sampling Procedure

Due to some constrains in conducting the research, 40 per cent of the households sample is generated to represent the population for the surveys. Details of sampling as listed below. Table 3.1: Sampling Size
Village Vern Sai Kachoun Leu Total Total household Size 92 105 197 Percentage 40 40 80 Total Sample Size 36 42 78

3.3. Data Sources and Data Collection The data use will be both secondary and primary collected from the field in between early September to end November 2009. Though, the research will employ heavily on primary qualitative data and secondary data as supplement to construct some quantitative data ative gathering method. Different methods used here will be detailed below: 3.3.1. Primary Data The primary data which will be collected during the field research from preliminary visit, field observation, household survey, semi structured interviews, key informants interview semi-structured and focus group discussions. Using real name of the subject studies will b requested for be permission (if allowed) prior writing up the research. All these data collection methods will


be divided into different phases as listed below. Please see appendix 2 for possible timetable of each phase. Phase One: First week with preliminary visit: The visit here intends to get more familiarity into the natural setting of the study areas. This includes building and restoring relationship with village heads, women and men village members, elderly respected figures and introduce researcher(s) to the villages so that social acceptance is established prior the actual research. This also give researcher(s) some senses of feeling and some observations can be drawn out based on the situational observations that can be further used into the household survey and discussions. In this stage, some visits to potential NGOs and authority will be also built but no any formal questions or interviews are taking place. Second week with field observation: As researcher(s) is aware that natural setting of the women and men being studied is crucial in analyzing and understanding daily routine, social practices, gender relations, capital assets accessibility and ICTs ownership/consumption, and natural resources rural livelihoods. Such complexities, observations and direct participation maybe one of the best for such research (Patton, 2002). During this observation, hidden small note taking will be used to record some very interesting and relevant information which can be useful for the data analysis and writing up the report. In this observation, the researcher(s) will ask the village head to roam around with some villagers, kids, elderly parents, women and men for informal chatting. This observation is solely relied on some previous researcher(s)’s existing relationship and preliminary visit. At every end of the day of the field observation, note taken during the visit will be transformed into sentences and recorded for future use. Phase Two: Third week with key informant interviews: The key informants are those men and women who have relevant experiences in the field village as leaders and those who are implementing some development programs on various issues such as natural resources management, livelihoods, agricultures and advocacy. At the village level, key informants are those who have been living in the village and who are aware of all changes taking places in the villages. These key informants are likely elderly respected women and men, commune chief, village head, single headed men/women household and couples. The information may be required from the key informant cover changes of flood, ICTs functions, mitigation and information mechanism, available of assets and entitlement, general adapting and responding to hazard like floods, food insecurity, household work and other works as part of their livelihoods. A Laotian and Tompoun translator with some given gender aware that will be needed. Together at the provincial level, key informants will be conducted with Department of Fishery and Agriculture (DoFA), Provincial Committee for Disaster Management (PCDM), Department of Information and Communication (DoIC), Department of Meteorology and Water Management (DoMWM) and NGOs working on natural resources management and livelihoods to get specific information about their interventions about mitigation, ICTs tools in flood risk/mitigation information mechanism and how these have been used, food insecurity and adaptation that would have been in place. At the national level key informant is Mekong River Commission (MRC)-Cambodia National Committee, based in Phnom Penh, to seek further details of the role of MRC in flood warning and mitigation in Ratanakiri, flow of the information mechanism, their ICTs capacity and its 26

specific related ICTs activities in Ratanakiri province. Below are details of the key informant specification and interviewees. Table 3.2: Key Informants No 1 2 3 4 5 6 Key Informants Elderly key person Village head/Village Deputy Chief Commune Councillors Provincial Committee for Disaster Management (PCDM) Relevant NGOs Department of Fishery and Agriculture; Department of Information Mekong River Commission-Cambodia Location Village Village Village Provincial Provincial Provincial Male 4 2 1 N/A 3 2 Female 4 2 1 N/A 3 2 Total 8 4 2 1 6 4

7 Total


N/A 13

N/A 13

1 26

Fourth week with focus group discussion (FGD): Based on some data gathering on previous steps as background information, the FGD is to get a very clear picture of the study site, confirm on some data collected and reconfirm on new ideas emerge on the discussion and from the key informants’ interviews. The FGD will be also used as to further find out more of the affected persons up on agreed by the FGD participants. After having referral from the FGDs, those whose names that would be recommended by the FGDs will be later approached to have an in depth interview (see the semi-structured interview). In addition, these FGD participants come from women and men headed household and represent from other household members which are based on age, ethnicity and social status distributions. The FGDs will take place in two settings with four group discussions; each group will be consisted of four participants. Two FGDs will be for women and other two FGDs for men who come from each ethnicity/village. These four FGDs will be conducted separately among men, women and villages to track and study the same or similar topics during the research. The separation to ensure that women are able to speak without male dominance and can freely express their way of strategizing for their livelihoods and responses to various changes taking place around the village. This also leads to discovering different access and control of capital assets, history of ICTs usage and its effects and points that may indicate level vulnerability or differences between time of prior to flood, during and after flood which would not have been gathered in the front of men. The group discussions for men are used for the purpose understanding the history of flooding in their villages, their nature or types of responses to the flood events, livelihood obligatory as male and changed or changing livelihood strategies in view of floods. Furthermore, gender issues in access and control over resources as well changes in the gender division of Labor, mitigation and adaptation strategies. See appendix 4 for FGDs. What more importantly is that the FGDs will explore the ICTs ownership/consumption and how these were used prior, during and after severe flooding events, the services provided from government agencies, NGOs and Mekong River Commission National Committees related to prior flooding, during and after these flooding event. See appex 4 for the FGDs.


Table 3.3: Focus Group Discussion and Number of Participants by Gender

No. No. of FGDs Laotian FGDs Tounpoun FGDs 1 Total 4 4
Phase Three:

2 2

2 2

Participants in each FGD female male 4 4 4 4

Fifth week with semi-structured interview: Twenty participants with equally gender and ethnicities distributions. These are to be selected in which identification of the interviewees will be referred by the agreed participants during the FGDs and key informants as well as from the identification of survey. This relies on that if who was/were the most affected in term of previous flood, the FGDs and key informants performed earlier would be able to tell exactly which households or families or groups suffered the most. Table 3.4: Respondents for Semi-structured Interviews Ethnic Groups Laotian Tompoun Total Female 5 5 10 Male 5 5 10 Total 10 10 20

During this semi-structured interview, the interview guidance list discusses at different time history of men and women on how changes in regards to flood vulnerability, mitigation and ICTs development have been taking place or ICTs used in different flooding events and what are the impacts have ICTs achieved in mitigating floods vulnerability. The interviews will focus on specific and the most severe flooding episodes guided by secondary data gathered earlier. Respondents will be asked about their social and economic conditions prior to these episodes and after in order to assess the nature and types of vulnerability they have. In additions, questions on how specific ICT devices were used prior, during and after these flooding events would also be discussed with respondents. Other more on what changes they have made or impacts on their lives in view of the flooding events – labor, livelihoods, assets –and how ICTs have functioned in enabling or constraining these changes and plans. The interview guide is also prepared specifically to look at men’s and women’s livelihoods, living conditions, resources/assets, ICTs, trends and shocks have been changed. Together this will allow better understanding on the way different conditions that women and men responded to changes regarding to livelihoods insecurity or opportunities which may possibly discover their gender division of Labor, degree of access and control assets, different usages of ICTs and threat or opportunities over the years. The research is aware that gender issues can really affect the interaction and therefore carefully face to face segregate interview between men, women and social status in gender lens manner with respondents and native translator who have been given some instruction and explained of the gender issues to ensure that information gathering is valid and respondent answering without worry. See appendix 5 for this semi-structured interview list.


Fifth week with household survey: Using some observations and other tools from qualitative data collections, the study employs this village-wide random sampling survey as a part of the primary data collection is to get household basic information such as household size, household natural resources entitlement and availabilities, flood vulnerability/damages, ICTs ownership, ICTs used in previous flooding event and basic livelihood options. Besides, this survey (quantitative) data and results are actually used to assist the “interpretation of the qualitative finding” (Blaikie, 2000, p215). This survey will be employed two research assistants in their own languages to interact with the people being surveyed. Quickly after the survey completes, a rapid checking through all the survey forms to identify some of the other most affected families or members of the villagers. Then close follow up to seek further understanding on the vulnerabilities and uses of ICTs in that flooding period in which the participants have suffered. This identifying of most affected persons in the household survey will also be used for research to continue to another phase (sixth week) where another semi-structured interview to be conducted. This would help enrich the findings on the experiences, impacts, vulnerabilities, ICTs used in each flooding event and livelihoods of affected members (males, females, elderly, ethnicities, family and social status) prior, during and after floods. As much is aware in term of participatory group discussions or participatory approaches in gender related studies as mentioned above methods, “officializing strategies” where one group or particular person tries to represent the interests of the whole communities or groups (Mosse, 1994: 509; Resurreccion, Pantana and Real, 2004) will be very carefully cross-checked/triangulated with different stakeholders. 3.3.2. Secondary Data Before the going to the field research, previous secondary data from various sources on natural resources management, ICTs mitigation and ICTs availabilities, gender and livelihoods based on contextual factor and relevant to the research variables such as previous published in international journals, donor agencies, NGOs reports publication and AIT master and doctoral previous dissertations. During the field work, more secondary data will be needed to gather such as statistics from DoFA, PCDM, current NGO publication and these will be used to analyze at the last stage of the entire interpretation of the finding. 3.4. Data Analysis and Techniques Data is analyzed based on Sequential Exploratory Strategy (Blaikie, 2000) where some basic qualitative data are first gathered, analyzed into thematic concepts and issues. During the field work, some draft writing will also be used to keep all the fresh and useful information easy for further analyzing or using as case study. After the carefully conducted qualitative data collection, quantitative data are clustered and analyzed into Ms. Excel 2007. Combination of qualitative and quantitative data gathering and some analyzing have been done, the entire interpretation of the research with triangulation of data and finding will be presented and checked with the respondents and stakeholders. Revisit the research site will be required to ensure that all information finding reflecting their realities. Therefore, changes on the process of writing are likely to occur until the completion of the research. The complete research design framework is given in figure 3.2 below:


Preliminary Literature Survey Thesis Topic Research problems and site selection Literature Review
Adjusted Research Objectives and Questions Data Collection and

Research Strategies

Data Sources Primary Data
Preliminary Observation Semi-structure Interview Field Observation Household Survey Key Informant FGDs

Secondary Data
Journal Publications Donor Agency reports NGOs reports Department of Environment and Forestry - Commune councils - PCDM

Quantitative Data Gathering and Analyzing Triangulation Entire of analyzing and Interpretation of Data Research Findings

Qualitative Data Gathering and Analyzing

Figure 3.2: Research Design Frameworks


Chapter 4 Study Context and Profile This chapter describes basic features of the study areas, particularly in terms of geography, demography, socio-economic conditions, and gender perspective analysis in flooding. 4.1.1 Ratanakiri Province: A Profile Ratanakiri is the remotest province of Cambodia, located in the Northeast of Cambodia, bordering with Lao P.D.R to the north and Vietnam to the east. It also borders Mondulkiri province to the south and Steung Treng province to the west. The province is a plateau mountainous area with dense forests and rich in natural resources. With a total land size of 11,052 square kilometers utilized for small, medium and large farms and divided into nine districts, with 49 communes and 240 villages (Ratanakiri Provincial Development Plan for 1999-2000). Banlung is the town in Ratanakiri in which the majority of the populations have come from other provinces of Cambodia and includes Vietnamese residents. There are two rivers which provide daily fresh river fish, Srepork River in Lumphat district and Sesan River in Veun Sai. These two rivers have been an important source of livelihoods for more than 20,000 mainly indigenous and ethnic minority people living along the rivers. 4.1.2 Demography The province, except for Banlung town, is populated by different indigenous groups and ethnic minorities. The ethnic minority groups (indigenous) are Tompoun, Kreung, Kachok, Kavet, Jarai, Praov, Phnong, Kouy, Stieng, Loun and Laotian. Table 4.1 shows their numbers and ethnicity based on location. Table 4.1: Provincial-Wide Population Area Based Ethnic Distribution Ethnic Groups River Areas Mountain/Forest Male Female Khmer Low Very Low 17,361 18,099 Laotian High N/A 5,316 5,649 Tompoun Low High 15,621 15,949 Kreung N/A High 9,837 10,663 Jarai Average Average 10,626 10,979 Kaveth High Low 1,180 2,095 Praov Average Low 3,941 3,994 Kachok Low N/A 1,877 1,714 Loun Low N/A 148 217 Vietnamese N/A N/A 196 82 Source: Provincial Department of Planning (2008); Field Survey, (2009). Total 35,460 10,965 31,570 20,500 21,605 3,275 7,935 3,591 365 278

Except for the Laotians who generally reside along Sesan and Srepok Rivers similar to the Khmer, the rest of the ethnic groups prefer to settle in the jungle, hills, along streams and on the mountain. Among all of them the Khmer is the largest group, the Tompoun are the second biggest population, while Laotians and those who considered themselves as Laotian are fifth in terms of their population size. 31

4.1.3 Socio-Economic Conditions According the Provincial Administration Report (2008), at least 95 per cent of the total populations are dependent on agriculture. However, Banlung town is a center of business, tourism and other services. In addition, Banlung market is a very interesting typical small market selling a range of consumer products mainly imported from Vietnam and Thailand. This makes Ratanakiri among the most expensive provinces to live in Cambodia. A few locally produced consumer goods can be found in the market between 6 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.; generally produced by minority groups as Tompoun and Kreung who leave their villages as early as 4 a.m on foot in order to sell their vegetables to other Khmer intermediaries or individual households. 4.1.4 ICTs Businesses Besides such consumer goods, some electronic devices are widely used in the town as its coverage networks spread to all of the nine districts. At least twenty mobile phone shops occupy every corner of the town’s streets. At these shops mobile phone users can top up their pre-paid credits for as little as one US dollar. A wide range of mobile phone designs and models give great access to the mobile phone users as at least an individual of one mobile phone has dual simcards. The enormous growth of new businesses in terms of the market sales has lead to various options and competitors of mobile phone network providers and there are now at least four mobile network operators in a province with a population of less than 150,000 people, of whom about 85 per cent do not write and speak Khmer properly. It, thus, challenges the notion of illiteracy as an obstacle to the access to ICT tools. Surprisingly, renting out video disks or Karaoke compact disks is very common in the town. Anyone can just pay 500 Riels1 (Thai Baht 4) for an exchange of a video disk to be returned a few days later. Another option is that, clients can buy pirated movies or Karaoke compact disks for only 1,500 Riels. Or have a monthly satellite channel at home for a connection fee of 30,000 Riels a month. This can provide a wide range of entertainment such as movies, karaoke, comedy, music and news. Internet is found to be not often used among the Khmer, expatriates and NGO staff are the main users of email. However, internet is available at a few shops for the fee of 4,000 Riels for an hour or for free wireless at some restaurants. 4.1.5 Veun Sai District Veun Sai district is located approximately forty kilometers to the north of Banlung town, along the Sesan River. The district shares boundaries with Taveng and O’Chum Districts as well as with Steung Treng Province. There are nine communes cover a total 187,932.1 hectares of land (Ratanakiri Provincial Department of Planning, 2007). Within these nine communes there a total of thirty-four villages with 2,997 families. Laotians live in almost every commune of the district while Tompoun mainly live in Kachoun and Kaoh Pang. Table 4.2 below shows the population distribution among each of the communes together with the segregation by gender and ethnic groups.


Riel is the Cambodian Currency. At time of research, USD1 equals to 4,100 Riels.


Table 4.2: Distribution of Population and Ethnic Groups in Veun Sai District Commune Ban Pong Hat Pak Kachoun Kaoh Pang Kaoh Peak Kok Lak Pa Kalan Phnum Kok Veun Sai Ethnic Groups Laotian Laotian Tompoun Tompoun Laotian and Tompoun Praov and Kaveth Laotian Laotian, Tompoun and Praov Laotian, Kaveth and Chinese Family 275 216 405 166 565 363 233 252 522 2,997 Female 632 729 928 336 1,357 784 695 620 1,570 7,651 Male 695 605 872 358 1,242 767 564 573 1,500 7,176

Total: Source: District Statistics, 2007 4.1.6 Administrative Profile

As a function of decentralization, each district has its own governing body consisting of a district governor (A-Phiebak Srok), deputy district governors (A-Phiebak Srok Rong), commune councilors (Krom Preksa Khom/Sangkat) including the commune chiefs (Mhe Khom) and deputy commune chiefs (Chom Tob). All of these people are appointed by the political parties; except the commune councilors who are elected by a commune general election. These commune councilors are the highest authority in each commune and have the most direct contact with the local villagers who are represented by a village chief who will report to the commune council meeting on a monthly basis. The village chief is assisted by two deputy village chiefs (Anok Phum) and all are appointed by the commune councils. Unlike other parts of the country, field work revealed that the Veun Sai district government body is dominated by Cambodian Laotian males, who consider themselves as Laotian ethnic members from the ruling political party, Cambodian People’s Party. 4.1.7 Livelihoods Subsistence agriculture is the main form of livelihood in combination with household fishing, the collection of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and other multiple options. Veun Sai’s livelihoods face greatest risks from both seasonal flooding and flash floods as a result of dams on the upper reaches of the stream in Vietnam. Unlike other ethnic groups or districts where mountain fields predominate (referred to as Chamkar, usually a slash and burn field), Veun Sai is very much a mixture of paddy fields and Chamkar cultivation. With these combinations of two different farming systems, only paddy field-based households tend to encounter more chances of being flooded and hence a risk of insufficient rice over the following year. In contrast, those with Chamkar are reported to have more slightly secure and yield more reserve food. However, insect infestation is commonly and increasingly found in chamkar cultivation in recent years (Sumaylo, 2009). Apart from rice cultivations in which research finds male is highly considered as the one who in charged, mainly due to their lesser reproductive tasks, their ability to work with heavy loads and the male breadwinner model has been much accepted. Yet fishing is found


to be quite similarly to the other parts of the country on Tonle Sap Great Lake (Resurreccion, 2008), where women particularly also associated with fish productions and go fishing on a smaller scale such as with the traditional fishing lines at the river backyard. The income from fishing has in fact contributed to the household reserves and earned a supplement for the basic household needs such as buying salt, cooking oil, food ingredients and as an exchange for some vegetables at the early morning market. The small early market starts from around 6 a.m. to around 8 a.m. with about forty to fifty sellers. Observation tells that ninety-nine per cent of the sellers are Laotians women with their crops, vegetables, fish, local livestock and wild meats and other NTFPs that have proved to be an additional income generation for the household. It could also be a platform where Laotian women meet with other ethnic women such as Tompoun, Kaveth, Chinese and Khmer. 4.2 Respondent Profiles: Gender and Ethnicity Gender, ethnicity, the access to ICTs and livelihoods have been argued as very much socially embedded. As Faulkner and Lie (2007) emphasized “gender cuts across other dynamics such as income distribution, occupations, ages, gender and ethnicities are also intervening” (p.158). Taking into account gender and ethnicity, the research team comprised of males and females, tried to reach respondents of equal numbers of participation. However, due to some males being unavailable as they were out in the fields and with the encouragement of women to speak about their livelihoods, related issues and the impacts of flooding, women were more available and actively interested in participating with the research survey. This challenges the ideas that female respondents are inactive, lack understanding of topics concerning livelihoods and are too shy to get involved as identified by Vorn Vichheka (2009) on her recent research in Ratanakiri Province. Table 4.3 below illustrates the proportion of Tompoun and Laotian males and females who agreed to participate in the survey discussions. Table 4.3: Distribution of Respondents by Gender and Ethnic Groups Laotian Number Percentage Female 17 51.51 Male 16 48.49 Total 33 100% Source: Field survey, 2009 Gender 4.2.1 Age and Ethnicity As much as ethnicity and gender, age plays a crucial role in understanding different dimension of the social population, impacts, and vulnerability. Table 4.4 below shows different age distributions among each ethnicity. It implies that most of the respondents in the Laotian community range in age from thirty years old to above fifty years old, while a smaller portion of the same age are found among the Tompoun ethnic group. Tompoun Number Percentage 20 62.5 12 37.5 32 100% Total Respondents 37 28 65


Table 4.4: Distribution of Respondents by Age Laotian Number Percentage 18-29 6 18.18 30-39 10 30.30 40-49 8 24.25 50 above 9 27.27 Total 33 100% Source: Field Survey, 2009 Age (year) 4.2.2 Marriage and Household Members A part of a very strong social structure, it is important to understand how economic and social impacts can be varied by looking at how family structures have been built. As with other Cambodian families, most of the Laotian and Tompoun minorities live in extended families. Each married couple and their children with an average of six in Tompoun and five in Laotian families live together with other siblings and parents, sharing -consumption and productions of their rice and other sources of income. In this regards, the research respondents were mostly married men and women, with three widows and only a very few were married respondents. Interestingly, among the single respondents, one who is female by birth has never wanted to get married and has continuously declined to be called by a female title such as aunty (Oum Srey). In contrast, this respondent prefers to be called by a male title such as Oum Pros (in Khmer uncle). Table 4.5 below demonstrates the difference between the Laotian and Tompoun marital status. Table 4.5: Respondents by Marital Status and Household Members Marital Status Laotian Number Percentage Tompoun Percentage 90.32 0.0 9.68 100% Tompoun Number Percentage 10 31.25 12 37.5 6 18.75 4 12.5 32 100% Total Respondents 16 22 14 13 65

Married 28 84.85 Single 4 12.15 Widow 1 3 Total 33 100% Source: Field Survey, 2009 4.2.3 Education and Occupation

Children (mean) 5 N/A 1

Number 30 0 2 32

Children (mean) 6 N/A 3

Current education statistics show that Veun Sai district has one of the highest rates of illiteracy among the indigenous population, especially among the adults even though there are great opportunities to integrate indigenous languages (bilingual education) into the national education policy as part of the attempt to achieve education for all (CARE, 2008 ). Several factors can be explained such as lack of schools, teachers, geographic distance from home, poor health conditions, heavy workload and the expenses for education (National Institute of Statistics, 2009). Table 4.6 below shows different educational levels for Tompoun and Laotian respondents. Nearly fifty per cent of the males and seventy per cent of female respondents from each ethnic group have reported that they did not know how to write and read Khmer.


Table 4.6: Level of Education by Gender and Ethnic Group Level of Education Male Illiterate 43.8% Primary 18.6% Secondary 18.8% Technical 18.8% Skills Total 100% Source: Field survey, 2009 Laotian Female 70.6% 11.8% 17.6% 0.0% 100% Male 41.7% 50.0% 8.3% 0.0% 100% Tompoun Female 70.0% 25.0% 5.0% 0.0% 100%

This seems to confirm the recent statistic by CARE that most of the respondents reported having never been to school or they were illiterate. In the same table, it found that Laotian and Tompoun illiteracy rate are roughly similar but Laotian secondary education level and technical skills are better than the Tompoun. Though, both Tompoun men and women have never obtained technical skills, while at least 18.8 per cent of the respondents in the Laotian group reported to have obtained such skills. In both ethnic groups, similar pattern of education is found that women have higher rate of illiteracy than men. 4.2.4 Main Sources of Livelihood Livelihoods are ways to make a living and their various integrated strategies ensure the means of survival and opportunity to earn income. The combination of livelihood options and the mobilization of these are dependent on different variables; either agriculture based or non-agriculture (Perz, 2005; Ellis, 2000). Likewise, the livelihoods in Veun Sai are natural resources based such as with agriculture, the collection of non-timber forest products, and livestock raising. Figure 4.1 below demonstrates that in both ethnic groups women are more active than men in the various livelihood activities. In all of the mentioned livelihood options, the research finds that fishing, wage labor, and working as a government officials are dominated by males; while the rest of the activities to generate a livelihood are occupied by women. These include collecting non-timber forests products (NTFPs), raising livestock and farming, engaging in small businesses and planting cash crops. It is therefore of no doubt that women suffer greatly from the burden of work due to the effects of flooding. Interestingly, Laotian women do not participate in wage labor and do not hold positions in government departments such as on commune councils. Unlike in Tompoun group such dissimilarity has revealed that women engaged in wage labor in free time from agriculture or in the event of food insecurity. Borrowing is limited as the source of livelihoods in Tompoun community. And in Laotian ethnic group, such norms do not exist among the respondents.


Tompoun sources of livelhood in % 100 80 60 40 20 0 Farming Fishing NTFPs Gov't Staff Laborer Livestock Business Cash Crops Borrowing M F 100 80 60 40 20 0

Laotian sources of livelihood in %

M F Cash Crops Gov't Staff Borrowing Male Female Mobile P. Radio TV Farming Laborer Fishing NTFPs Livestock Business

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 4.1: Sources of Livelihood by Gender and Ethnic Group 4.2.5 ICTs Ownership and Its Uses It has been widely accepted that technology with proper use will improve women’s economic and political empowerment. On the other hand, the literature on the subject has revealed that technologies are seen as masculine in their origin. Furthermore, constraints in the social and economic realms, as well as in infrastructures, and the widespread presence of poverty among women with low skills continues to pose a challenge in bridging the gender digital gap (Dlodlo, 2009). Figure 4.2 below shows the unequal distribution o ICTs of ownerships.
ICTs Ownership in Laotian %
80 60 40 20 0 Mobile P. Radio TVs Male Female 80 60 40 20 0

ICTs ownership in Tompoun %

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 4.2: ICTs Ownership by Gender and Ethnic Group Even with the rapid development of ICTs, it is not clear whether it will accommodate the needs of women or if it will contribute to the perpetuation of gender imbalances (Lee, 2004). The same figure demonstrates that ICTs distributions still remains largel in the largely hand of males, although, Laotian and Tompoun ICTs ownership patterns are slightly different. In Laotian communities where most of the interaction and socializations are diverse, for women up to about 10 per cent own TVs, over 45 per cent radios an up to and about 55 per cent own mobile phones. Similarly, in the Tompoun communities the research finds a very percentage of women up to about 5 per cent own TVs. Only between 30 to 40 per cent of Tompoun women own radios and mobile phones. ICTs ownership is largely male dominated.


The uses of ICTs among the respondents of both ethnic groups shows that the priority use of mobile phones for Laotian women and men are mainly in the case of urgent situations. The use of radio is more for listening to music, entertainment and access to general news. TVs are owned by only a small percentage and are used as a communication tool via broadcasting from Banlung town. Table 4.7 shows that 17.5 per cent of women and 25 per cent of men use mobile phones for urgent matters (such as requesting for help, seeking medical doctor advise) and 11.8 percent of what has been identified as used for flooding information. Table 4.7: The General Uses of ICTs among Laotian Women and Men (%) Laotian Women Types of Uses Mobile Radio Urgent 17.5 NA Contacts 5.9 NA Business 11.8 5.9 Work 5.9 NA Flood Info 11.8 5.9 Entertainment NA 52.9 News NA 41.2 Source: Field Survey, 2009 Laotian Men Mobile Radio 25 NA 68 NA 25 NA 31.1 NA 25 37.5 NA 50 NA 43.8


TV NA NA NA NA 11.8 11.8 31.8

The urgent uses of ICTs frequently mean calls to relatives and doctors when they are ill or about to deliver a baby. The same table also reveals that 68 per cent of Laotian men used their mobile phones to keep in contact with their friends and relatives, both in town and in the village. However, only 5.9 per cent of women use their mobile phones to keep in contact with friends and relatives. It is also noteworthy that 25 per cent of Laotian men used their mobile phones for business which is more than double the amount for Laotian women; Laotian men also used their mobile phones for work (31.1 per cent) and flood information (25 per cent) which is more than did women. None of the respondents has used their mobile phone for news or entertainment purposes. The survey found that 52.9 per cent of Tompoun women used their radio mainly for entertainment, while 5.9 per cent used it for flood information However, 50 per cent of men used the radio for entertainment and 37.5 per cent for flood information. To listen to the news, 43.8 per cent of their males used the radio compared to 41.2 per cent for women who used it for the same purpose. For the use of TV as communication channel, Laotian men used it very little and most of the TVs were connected to CD player to view movie and Karaoke. Yet, with only 5.9 to 11.8 of female to male who would use TV in the form of communication channel, still mostly focusing on the entertainment via DTV satellite. Entertainment including music, Thai movies and Karaoke, and are mostly viewed at evening meal times. In the Tompoun community, the uses of ICTs such as mobile phones, TVs and radios were found to be similar in the contexts of its uses to the Laotians. Table 4.8 describes how the Tompoun women and men use each ICTs tool. The use of mobile phones among women is largely to keep in contact with other women users. However, 33.3 per cent of males used their mobile phones to access entertainment such as song requests and to listen to music. Only 10 per cent of women and 16.7 of male respondents reported having used their mobile phones for business purposes such as ordering materials to be sent from Banlung 38

town. Though, Tompoun women and men use their mobile equally (25/25) to access information about flooding such as the upstream water level or receive calls from relatives concerning the possibility of flooding. Using mobile phones for news has not been reported but radios broadcast series of entertainment show more frequent use. Table 4.8: The General Uses of ICTs among Tompoun Women and Men (%) Tompoun Women Types of Uses Mobile Radio Urgent 10 NA Contacts 45 NA Business 15 NA Work 10 NA Flood Info 25 15 Entertainment NA 20 News NA 25 Source: Field Survey, 2009 Tompoun Men Mobile Radio 8.3 NA 25 NA 16.7 NA 16.7 NA 25 16.7 33.3 16.7 NA 25

TV NA NA NA NA 5 33.3 10


Radio is popular for entertainment purposes. This use of radio for entertainment purposes is found to be more popular among Tompoun women with 20 per cent of them reporting such usage. While men users of radio for entertainment is only 16.7 per cent. The use of TV among men to see general news and news about flood information is of no interest, but at least 10 percent of women spend time to watch TV news as well as information about flooding. The access to entertainment among Tompoun male is mostly via the use of mobile phones with up to 33.3 per cent. As not many women used mobile phones for their entertainment, the only option is radio where they can just turn on and listen to whatever is on the air. Therefore, the use of radio is mostly referred as for entertainment purposes where music and song requests are being played more often than accessing flooding information. 4.2.6 Water Usages The availability of water or conversely the lack of it is an issue for people living on the banks of the river. All of the respondents reported using the river as the source of water for consumption, cleaning, washing and gardening. With recent upstream developments at Yali Falls in Vietnam; Tompoun and Laotian male and female respondents revealed concerns over the irregularity of flooding, leading to river bank erosion, less fish migration, loss of aquatic resources, degraded home gardens and wild vegetables along the river. Increased level of contamination in the water is causing widespread skin diseases, diarrhea and frequent coughing among the surveyed villages with children as the most reported cases. Also in every flooding episode either by rainfalls or dams, it caused flooded to open water-wells in Laotian communities but the river water source and rain fails are considered the extra options. With very strong assigned gendered roles, women’s tasks remain a heavy burden in ensuring household operations including collecting water, cooking, taking of care children, and fetching firewood. The field observations found that even as young as eight years old girls have already begun to practice their assigned role related tasks such water collecting and assisting mother cooking, while boys of the same age or more enjoy their leisure time and TV shows. 39

4.2.7 Energy Consumption Veun Sai district as well as the rest of the province, except Banlung town, does not have electricity supplies. People have access to electricity from either their own generator or batteries. Field observations show that car batteries (batteries which are big and normally used for cars) are mainly used to run a few household lamps, video television, Karaoke, movies and to recharge mobile phones; while the motorbike battery is used for torch light for night fishing and walking. It is therefore very common to find that every household has the two forms of batteries, which have to be recharged every day or two in one of five rotating recharger shops in the district center at a cost of 2,000 Riels to 4,000 Riels. For those who do not have mobile phone rechargers adapted to car batteries at their home, they can recharge their phones at a café when buying a coffee or a breakfast and watching a movie. This practice has proven to be a popular method of keeping mobile batteries recharged and a good business for the cafés that have small generators to run their movie programs, and sell iced-coffee and breakfasts. 4.3 Cambodian ICTs Policy There has been a remarkable growth in ICTs development and consumption in recent years. Radio, internet and a huge number of mobile phones are in the market and an increasing number of newly operating television sets connected with car batteries can found in remote villages of Cambodia (NiDa, 2009). With recognition of ICTs to meet human development and poverty reduction, the Royal Government of Cambodia endorses certain ICTs policies to meet such development, see below in Box 4.1. Box 4.1: Relevant Cambodia ICTs Policy
1. Policy On Leadership and National Commitment - Use ICTs to increase the quality of peoples' lives and fight poverty, disease and illiteracy. - Allocate budget and human resources for the ICTs sector on a sustained basis. - Build and support special initiatives to encourage public-private-civil in ICTs 2. Policy On Legal and regulatory frameworks - Ensure the continuous and active engagement of the development of ICTs - Promote the use of ICTs in both public and private sectors - National Information Communications Technology Development Authority (NiDA) as a promoter and regulator of ICTs services in the country will be re-enforced. - Promote deregulation of the telecom and other relevant ICTs sectors. - Supports the use of broadband technologies for the provision of more value-added. 3. Policy On Human Capacity - Support the use of ICTs for formal and non-formal education, skills development to all ages and social groups - Promote radio and television as teaching and learning tools for all citizens. - Introduce standard ICTs curriculum such as a regular computer syllabus in the educational system - Encourage the use of ICTs in support of women empowerment, de-mining campaigns and HIV/AIDS - Support and promote programs such as SchoolNet, ICTs Resource Center and public ICTs Kiosks under relevant ministries.


4. Policy On Content - Actively promote the development of relevant Cambodian content on all ICTs systems. - Supports e-Government system and will commit to run all the provinces. - Encourage communication between government agencies and government officers to be conducted via e-mail and electronic memo systems etc. - Develop, support and adopt a standard UNICODE based Khmer characters system 5. Policy On Infrastructure - Will install and upgrade reliable and appropriate ICTs infrastructures throughout the country. - Will support and encourage all universities and government agencies to establish computer networks and install other ICTs systems. - Ensure that all ICTs infrastructures and systems are utilized to their maximum capacities 6. Policy On Enterprises - Will give favorable condition for ICTs enterprise development via special tax incentives. - Support, promote e-Commerce facilities and provide special support to small and medium enterprises to adopt and use e-Commerce systems. - Government will encourage financial institutions such as banks to devise lending mechanisms to promote loans for small entrepreneurs in the ICTs sector. Source: Adapted from NiDA (2009)

From an analysis of ICTs policy, it is clear that ICTs have not been considered for use in the mitigation of hazards such as flood and drought, or other threats that have an impact on the effectiveness of communications. The attention of government policies prioritizes physical assets, financial and human capital while ignoring the natural resources component and social aspects such as improving communications which may enhance climatic predictions related to droughts or floods. Government policy places particular importance on government administrative via e-governance, nationwide electronic communications, education and enterprise development. 4.4 Developing or Damming Developing or damming has been a debate involving the Cambodian government, and local and international related water governance institutions. Their positions on how the dam construction depends on how its aims are viewed. Development or sustainable development has been term cutting cross various issues. The Brundtland Report/Our Common Future (1987) define sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need” (Brundtland Repot, p43; cited in Elliot, 2006.p8). Different communities have different needs and these differences should be translated into actions to fulfill a development agenda. A dam to generate 720MW at Yali Falls in Vietnam on the Sesan River has frequently been reported as the source of damage to downstream communities in terms of livelihood, social, economic and environmental impacts (3SPN, 2009). Even though dam development contributes benefits to countries, still the World Commission on Dams (WCD) suggested that there is a need to work in partnership with all stakeholders to balance the needs and its impacts. In addition, it argues for finding a common ground that takes into account the considerations of all agents of social, environmental and economic points of view (National Hydropower Association,


2000). This study seeks to understand how the development of the dam is viewed in the context of flooding along the Sesan River within gender and ethnic explanations. This study shows that up to nearly 70 per cent men who participated in the survey expressed that they are highly dissatisfied with the current dam operation citing several concerns with regards to the current threat of flooding of their natural resources and to their livelihood. While of the rest, over 10 per cent of respondents confirmed that there is moderate dissatisfaction about the dam. All these Tompoun male respondents repeatedly complained that some flooding is the cause of the dam and this dam has been damaging their crops and put their livelihood in danger. In contrast, Tompoun women showed different ideas about their concerns when discussing about the dam. About 50 per cent of the total female respondents replied with very strong dissatisfaction and 40 per cent moderate dissatisfaction about the flooding. Initially, these women have not thought of saying that the flooding was disturbing them. Only after being involved in the surveys did they begin to give their comments on the dam. Yet, about 10 per cent of them remained quiet. This reflected the prevailing ideas about how women should express themselves on such sensitive issues especially in public. In the Laotian communities, few similarities among women and men were identified. Roughly about 80 per cent of Laotian males condemned the dam and its impact on their livelihoods and their way of life. However, there are up to about 30 per cent of Laotian females with particular comments on the dam by saying that the dam has been built without consulting the downstream population. There have been several interviews about the environmental impact of the dam and assessment by relevant institutions but nothing has changed or no compensation has been made. Thus the issues of developing energy where nations and the rich are to benefit must not overlook the vulnerable populations who bear the burden of the impacts of such development. Women are not just especially vulnerable because they are involved in almost every part of their daily lives to help the family running but because they are at great risk due to societal cultural norms, appropriate roles as women and mothers and in the fact have been naturalized to ignore their own risks in flooding and associated outcomes. Only the needs of those to be affected are addressed, replaced and compensated; then this development paradigm may be proceed.


Chapter 5 ICTs and Their Uses in Early Flood Warning Communication Strategies: Gender and Ethnic Dimensions This chapter discusses how communication strategies, transmissions and tools are used to provide early warning to communities facing possible flooding. Both ICTs and non-ICTs strategies are illustrated from gender and ethnic dimensions by comparing the effects of these communication strategies on two ethnic groups of women and men. 5.1 Communication Strategies for Early Flood Warning Using ICTs The number of ICTs has been growing in urban areas and especially in rural areas where electricity is far less available. An indicator of the presence of ICTs in rural areas such as Veun Sai District is widely available. ICTs, it is believed, has been playing a role in providing early warning which can help timely community preparedness against flooding. Are these ICTs applicable to the Tompoun and Laotian communities? How far can these ICTs contribute to provide early warning? Here the research shows how the communities and related stakeholders at the field level have been using ICTs tools as communication strategies to provide early warning of imminent disasters. In the Kachon village (Tompoun ethnicity), all the village chiefs are males. The first is the major village chief (VC) who is responsible for the village management and reporting to the commune councilors. The other two are the village assistant chiefs (Anok Phum) who can act as representatives in case the major chief is absent. They also assist the village chief in planning, organizing meetings and helping with village development plans. Each of these Tompoun village chiefs has ICTs and uses them differently. The major village chief (VC) uses his mobile phone and radios for a variety of purposes. The prime reason to 2 bear the cost of the mobile phone is to keep in contact with the commune councils for development work such as arranging meetings of the villagers with the commune members to discuss about commune development plans, setting up meeting among commune councils and NGO development workers, and some other urgent matters. It is not a requirement that he buys a mobile phone in order to work as the village chief, but he finds the device is useful for his work, for family emergencies and community work such as when in a few cases he received useful information which he could share among the villagers. While showing his mobile phone during the interview his radio was turned on to listen to music and news broadcast from Banlung town. In an interview with the village chief he demonstrated the use of the mobile phone as follows: I find the mobile phone is very handy and useful for my work…I sometimes received calls from my commune chief and the water monitoring personnel, then we set up the meeting for our possible of flood preparedness. Without

Commune councils (CCs) is a legal entity with first election was held in 2002 (5 years mandate) as part of the government policy on decentralization and deconcentration. The CCs shall have 5-11 members (with a presiding councillor or commune chief) depending on the population and its territories sub-divided into villages. The villages are governed by village chief (to be assisted by two village assistants) who will meet the commune councils on a monthly basis. Under the Ministry of Interior, there are Provincial Governors who is overseeing the whole province. And the province is further sub-divided into district shall be governed by District Governors. Under the each district, the commune is further lead by commune councils, with a presiding chief/councillor. The Provincial Governors and District Governors are appointed, while the CCs are elected using system of proportional representation.


the mobile phone, it would be very hard to prepare and receive the notice about the flood. (From a Tompoun village chief). The two Tompoun village assistants (VA) do not have mobile phones or TVs. They only have a radio which sometimes works and sometimes does not. For these village assistants, radio is the only source of information on what’s happening in the province. Though there is an acceptance that most of the radio program air advertisements and songs with a few news bulletins about important events including forecasts of possible bad weather and typhoons. Table 5.1 draws out the key difference in the use of ICTs of these village administrative officials prior to floods, as well as the challenges they face for the use of ICTs. Table 5.1: The Uses of ICTs by Tompoun Village Officials Prior to a Flood3 Event ICTs Village Chief Used Mobile Phone ICTs Use Prior to Flooding - Keeping contact with commune councils (CCs) - General news - Music and ads Limitations of ICTs - Receive early warning from - Expensive and commune councils (CCs) needs recharging - Update CCs about flood - No reimbursement situation - Listen to news sometimes - Weak network has information about flood reception warning or typhoon - No clear programs schedule Communication Strategies


ICT Village Assistants Used Radio - General news Source: Field Interviews, 2009

- General news about flood warning and information

- Not clear and not regular

The use of ICTs revealed that not all of ICTs available have been fully used for giving warning of flooding and only radio and mobile phone are mostly used as the key to access to the early warning. It is important also to note that there are weaknesses in some of the ICTs such as poor network coverage, expenses and unclear program schedules which contribute to the incomplete functioning of ICTs. The village chiefs’ awareness of using ICTs to understand the flooding information is limited and so ICTs is mainly used for communications with the commune chief to gather people for meetings and receive some key information on how to prepare for the possibility of flooding. The communication strategies, it seems, are not directed towards early warning and so radios are used to listen to news and entertainment. However, having access to them allows them a chance to receive critical news about weather and typhoons that might strike. Key informant interview with the Tompoun village chief shows how the mobile phone is really useful for keeping the district and provincial officials informed about the severity of the flooding in the village. Few times the mobile phone network was not weak, and other
The flood took place on the 29th September 2009 to 4th October 2009. In Cambodia, this flood is widely referred as Ketsana flood that caused from Ketsana Typhoon. For the sake of writing, the flood or during flood here would refer to the Ketsana flood as mentioned in the above time frame. Up to the time of writing, the estimate damaged assessment by National Committee for Disaster Management is USD 130 million.


means such as TV or radio were not made possible to keep superiors informed of the situation. This implies that mobile phones, even if little used, are a good means to provide information about possible flooding which can be transmitted and feedback. The village chief in this respect said: Prior to flood, I received calls from commune chief to organize an urgent meeting with the villagers and inform about the coming flood. (From a Tompoun village chief). Commune councils (CCs) are the highest administration bodies within a commune. Their roles are to work directly with the VCs and VAs in order to ensure the well-being of the villagers. Almost all of the CCs office in Veun Sai are not entitled by the government to have access to ICTs or to own them but they has received a fixed wireless phone from a private company as a gift. Table 5.2 gives a complete picture of the ICTs tools these Tompoun commune councilors have and use for providing information about flooding, their communication strategies, and the constraints faced when using these tools. Table 5.2: The Uses of ICTs by Tompoun Commune Councils Prior to a Flood Event ICTs Use Prior to Communication Strategies Flooding Mobile - Working and Emergency - Use mobile to receive and Phone - Calling to/receiving from ask superior about possible NGOs and Gov’t of flooding. Radio - General news - Sometime, news’s embedded with typhoons warning. Source: Field Interview, 2009 ICTs Limitation of ICTs - Spent lots of money and no reimbursements - No enough times

Table 5.2 demonstrates that Tompoun commune chiefs mostly use mobile phones for early warning and radio for general news which can also contain news about imminent flooding. The commune chief acknowledged that a mobile phone is needed for emergencies such as information about flooding, and connecting with important NGOs and the district governor; the access to information about flooding has been limited and sporadic. Furthermore, there is still a need for the rapid transmission of information which can then be passed on faster to other users of the information. This was a striking communication strategy used by the commune chief who used ICTs to send and receive flood information, especially in the recent Ketsana flood where he used the mobile phone to provide early warning which speeded up reaction times. He reported follows: I also used to receive call from Vietnam (I speak Vietnamese) that they will open their dam, so I informed the village chiefs and related agencies. Without this mobile phone, I think such information will be very much later to reach to me. (From Tompoun a commune chief). The communication strategy used by the commune chief allowed the spread of early warnings such as from the upstream dam opening. And that later on such information was distributed during the commune meeting with other commune councils and village chiefs.


Small group discussions with the deputy commune chiefs on what matters they have been using mobile phones and radio prior to flooding revealed that they were connected to information about flooding through the commune chief who received information about the flooding by telephone before passing it on to other people. Besides being passive receivers of information from the commune council chief regarding flooding, the deputy commune chief also has good contacts with friends and relatives in town and that network keeps him informed about what has happened and emergency situations; such as sickness. In Laotian communities, the village administrative role is the same as for the Tompoun since these are the roles set out by the commune councils. All of the administrative officers are males. The Laotian VC and VAs do not have any mobile phones, TV or even a radio. Such a lack of the means of communications is not because the infrastructure itself is unavailable but the VC and VAs give priority to food and daily survival more than the ICTs. But to some extend; access to TV, radios and mobile phone can be accessed from nearby village members where a few minutes’ calls can be made to the commune councils on either day-to-day commune work or emergency situations. This study shows that even if the VC and VAs do not have their own ICTs, they do have some awareness of how mobile phones can be useful in emergency situations, providing information about flooding, and acquiring and transmitting information to CCs. Among the Laotian community, the relevant ICTs are mobile phones which are used to provide early warning about flooding. The commune council members in this village are not required to have mobile phones but since mobile phones and other related technology is popular, the commune council chief and other members have managed to buy ICTs including mobile phones. The way CCs use ICTs mostly follows the same trend as that which is common in the Tompoun ethnic group. The uses include working within/beyond the commune administration boundaries, receiving enquiries from NGOs and related stakeholder such as this researcher, contacting friends and sometimes to communicating to Banlung town on emergency issues such as flooding and typhoon information. Table 5.3 gives a classification of the mobile phone uses by the Laotian commune councils at the time of a previous flood. Table 5.3: The Uses of ICTs by Laotian Commune Councils Prior to a Flood Event ICT Mobile Phone Use Prior to Flooding - Typhoon News - Commune work - Contact friends - Received enquiry Communication Strategies Limitation of ICT - No credit to call - Sometimes coverage not available

- First give telephone numbers to friends and related government departments staff then wait for the call. As soon as received the call, early notice is transmitted to CC members. Source: Field Interview, 2009

The TVs and radios are found to be quite similar in term of ways of using them. But prior to flooding, the TVs are never used for viewing news broadcast from Banlung as most of the time it is unavailable or not clear. Rather, a TV is mostly owned for viewing compact disk entertainments. Mobile phones are the most widely used tool to obtain early warning


information and to connect with other administrative official in town about the possibility of flooding. Below is how the Laotian commune chief explained his mobile phone usage: And most of all, my mobile phone helps me a lot to report my work to Banlung town and the district. Also I receive hot news and appointments with other development workers on various issues surrounding my commune. (From a Laotian commune chief). Development workers as cited by the Laotian Commune Chief are those combinations of community groups comprised of grassroots local groups which were established/assisted by local NGOs and government agencies working in the areas. Among the community based organization’s (CBO) volunteers, there are water monitoring personnel who are the very active group that use mobile phones to send verbal messages in the event of emergencies and communicate data about water to the Department of Water Resources and Meteorology in Banlung and Phnom Penh. During the rainy season between June to September, the representatives will check water levels and send the data to the Department of Water Resources and Meteorology in Banlung and Phnom Penh. In some other cases, the representatives will receive calls from Banlung town or Phnom Penh about critical weather conditions such as heavy storms, possible flooding and an alert to the community that the situation along the river is at risk. Upon receipt, the transmission will be shared with the village chief so that community awareness can be raised by house to house visits from the chief and other CBO volunteers. The uses of ICTs in early warning activities by both ethnic groups imply that ICTs such as mobile phones and radios are well used for early warning of flooding and related matters. The mobile phone is used to call or receive calls from respective commune councils, friends and relatives, while the radio is being broadcast from Banlung station. Table 5.4 shows that the use of mobile phones as a communication tool for disaster preparedness such as flood information is 25 per cent for Laotian men compared with 11.8 per cent for Laotian women respondents. It is important to note that the uses of mobile phones for keeping contacts among the Laotians are 5.9 per cent for women, while such uses are up to 68 per cent for men. Keeping in contact is cited as part of daily communications with friends and families. This contact-keeping also hides a small percentage of calls that indirectly lead to early flood warning where Laotian people who have friends in town receive messages and alerts about impending bad weather and suggested warning prior to a flood. One male Laotian, in a focus group discussion, revealed that the use of mobile phones at least has allowed them to get some notice from friends in town as well as the commune chief related to flooding. The focus group discussion described the communications as follows: I called my friends if they know about dam gate opening or typhoons. In few cases, my friends told that flood is likely to take place if heavy rains keep going. My contacts with friends are important to know more about the flood information. (From a Laotian man in a focus group discussion).


Table 5.4: The Uses of ICTs for Flood Early Warning by Gender and Ethnic Group Uses of ICT by Laotian (%) Mobile Phones Women Men 5.9 68 11.8 25 NA NA 25 25 NA Radio Women Men NA NA 5.9 37.5 41.2 43.8 NA 15 25 NA 16.7 25 TV Women Men NA NA NA 18.8 NA 31.8 NA 5 10 NA NA NA

Contacts Flood Information News Uses of ICT by Tompoun (%) Contacts 45 Flood Information 25 News NA Source: Field Survey, 2009

Laotian woman used their radios for flood information among about 5.9 per cent of the informants and men among 37.5 per cent of the informants. As usual, the radio broadcast from Banlung had unclear program schedules but they transmit some good information relating to flooding or storms. The radio was also used among men for up to 43.8 per cent of informants for the news compared to 41.2 per cent of women for the same purpose. The figure also shows that women tend to concentrate on using conventional ICTs such as radio where Laotian women could only rarely access news and flood information. Laotian woman described below their preferences and strategies for using radios and why they did not use mobile phone more frequently: My family has a very old mobile phone, but it belongs to my husband and it is always with him. Also, I do not know whom to call even if I had that mobile. I rather use this radio where I can connect with antenna up to the house roof, where I can hear some news and typhoons warning. (Ly Somphai, a Laotian woman key informant). In the Tompoun community, the uses of ICTs such as mobile phones, TVs and radios were found to be similar in the contents of its uses, but Tompoun women’s uses of ICTs are more widespread than those of the Laotian women. Table 5.4 describes how each mobile phone and radio have been used by Tompoun women and men equally (25/25) for accessing flood information of the upstream water level or to receive calls from relatives with regards to the possibility of flooding and related news. The use of mobile phones as the communication tool for information about flooding is mostly in terms of receiving and calling for information in case of uncertain weather conditions. A Tompoun male respondent who used a mobile phone to get flood information explained what he did: I made call to commune chief if there is any preventive measures as rumors about the possible of dam opening and in the rainy season may lead to flood. He told that just be calm and if there is a warning on the flood, the village chief would inform accordingly. And one heavy storm day (not flooded yet), I called again to the commune chief, he said that the Ketsana typhoon is coming and the village chief is now on house visits to inform the villagers. (From a Tompoun man respondent). The strategies of be alert all the times during the rainy season by means of mobile phones play a role in connecting the commune chief to acquiring possible flood notices. Such


notion of ICTs for early warning to the communities would not have been possible without the social networks that the community has used for their traditional means of communications. This is particularly reflected on the house to house visits by the village chief to inform about the impending flood after he had received the early warning. Among Tompoun women, communication strategies with the use of ICTs were also as helpful as their male counterparts. However, sometimes, this is particularly often cited when it comes to balancing of the household works and the attention to use of ICTs. How Tompoun woman used their radios for early warning of flooding as well as mobile phones is described below: While I was doing my household chore, I put my radio on. During sometimes, I heard about the talks on the changes of weather which may lead to storms in the areas along Se San River. Then I called to my husband and he informed that I must bring children up, prepared food and catch our chickens. (Tong Vanh, from a Tompoun woman respondent) The communication strategies among women and men of Laotian and Tompoun communities showed how ICTs are used in different situations either directly from the ICTs tool or indirectly from the supports of kin relations, commune councils, friends or husband. These social networks/supports as non-ICTs help the community to have better access to flood warning as shown by the communities studied. This non-ICTs related communications which is the additional support in addition to the ICTs in communication is discussed in the following sub-section. 5.2 Communication Strategies for Early Flood Warning Not Using ICTs The preceding concerns for ICTs should not lead to downplaying the fact that existing communication networks have been in place for many years. The following attempts to show the differences of non-ICTs used in early warning, about flooding particularly in the Laotian and the Tompoun ethnic groups. Key discussions, key informants and observations offer insights in understanding the uses of non-technological communications such as the reliance on information communicationbased transmissions in which traditional knowledge and support of village networks are seen as key in early warning. Previous discussions on the uses of ICTs used for early warning have been complemented with uses of existing information community based transferring (as non-ICTs) which rely on the community networks, friends, village administrative and relatives in accessing information related to early warnings. This does not deny the successes of the ICTs facilitation in the early information transferring in contexts prior to the flood; yet the non-ICTs communication strategies were also practiced and it is worth discussing them. Communication strategies such as using the community governance structure and village administration with regards to emergencies and information distribution are widely used as part of the early warning system. The symbol of village chief as a trusted authority contributes to the reliability of information. In the Tompoun ethnic group, a case was found where household members did not take seriously into account about the information related to flooding such as a rumor passing from one person to another. Here is how the Tompoun focus group discussion member among the focus group discussion described the situation:


I heard that there will be flooding from the villagers and I did not believe that there will be a flood. I thought if there will be a flood, it would not that serious. But this flood was so big. So, I and my family did not prepare anything. If it was confirmed by the village chief, I would consider it as important information. (From a Tompoun man in a focus group discussion). Therefore, the irregularity of the water level rising and the inconsistency of the information creates another false perspective of being non reliable sources, unless the information is being coordinated by the village chief as explained via the Tompoun male focus group discussion. The role of the village chief in passing on the information via community mobilization is as the chief actor of non-ICTs communication sources because he gathers and informs every accessible house within the village. There is a long tradition of social cohesion in which community members rely on how individuals help each other in the time of needs and provide needed informational social supports. For example in the Tompoun and Laotian communities where even access to the ICTs is good enough to communicate early flood warning, yet without strong information community-based networks the early warning would not have reached the intended communities. Figure 5.1 demonstrates that only 18 per cent of Laotian males accessed early information from the relatives, 25 per cent developed their information network to access early warning via village chiefs and only 6.3 per cent from the observation of the rising water level.
Laotian % (male)
Laotian % (female)





Relatives Village Chief/CC

VillageChief/CCs Own Observation of River Water Levels Own Observation of River Water Levels



Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 5.1: Sources of Early Warning Information in Laotian Group by Gender As Figure 5.1 suggests, Laotian females relied more than Laotian males for early communication warning on traditional knowledge such as observing the water level and social networks among village key officials. Relatives were found to be the highest sources of transfer of information. Below, a Laotian male demonstrates the non-ICTs communication by which he received information about flooding. I returned from checking my rat trap in the forest, the village chief came to my house and told me to be careful of the possible storms and heavy rains; which may lead to the flooding. (Sok Vang, from a Laotian man respondent). Among the Tompoun community (Figure 5.2) similar communication strategies were also used. The research found that Tompoun males and females accessed critical early warnings


from community networks of relatives and key village administrators. The focus group discussion revealed that observing the water level is one of the most frequently considered forms of early flood warning. Here is how they described it: Sometimes we were picking up some wild vegetables along the river, we see the water is rising as we noticed that there was not flooded on the type of vegetables when we came, but on the way back, this vegetables are now flooded. When we went back home, our neighbor told us to watch out about that night rain which may lead to heavy storms and flood. And the flowing night, the water level became very high and it flooded our ground floor. (From a Tompoun female focus group discussion). Figure 5.2 shows 55 per cent of Tompoun women and 66.7 per cent of Tompoun men used the key village administrative official to receive early flood warning. It is only about 8.3 per cent of Tompoun men and 15 per cent of Tompoun women who use relatives for warning of flooding. Furthermore, the reliance on the key administrative official such as the village chief and the use of social relations with relatives is important in bringing the warning information.
Tompoun % (male) Tompoun % (female)


8.3 Relatives
Village Chief/CCs

10 15


Village Chief/CCs


Own Observation of River Water Levels


Own Observation of River Water Levels

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 5.2: Sources of Early Warning Information in Tompoun Group by Gender Here is how a Tompoun female received the early warning from the village chief: The chief came to my house and shouted from the outside fence that the flood may come tonight as he just finished the meeting with the commune councils. He told me to watch out the chickens and pigs as well as children. (Sou Phan, a Tompoun female respondent). Even the village chief has spent more of his time to send the early warning via house to house visits, rather than the use of his mobile phone to transmit the information to his villagers; it is not to dismiss some factors which may prevent his use of ICTs, in which the house of house to visit is replaced. Such factors as previously outlined include the energy preferences to recharge, credit maintenance, local content, network coverage and gender relations in which women’s control of ICTs are limited. But the community-based transmission as a locally adaptable for the early warning would not have been effective as if it comes without the initial support of the ICTs tools that key village administrative and


commune councils received prior to flood. In this sense, the community-based transmissions complement the access and uses of ICTs for early warning. 5.3 Early Flood Warning Communication Transmission With the recent commitment of the government to utilize ICTs in various sectors to develop the country ranging from education, enterprises, technology, infrastructure, egovernment and ICT content policies; yet the government have not paid much attention in the use of ICTs for disaster mitigation. Ratanakiri province has not even been included in the National Disaster Risk Reduction Plan. Plus, the Provincial Committee for Disaster Management (PCDM), the provincial body most related to disaster management and the disaster risk reduction is rather weak. This also contributed from lack of understanding and mainstreaming the disaster plans into the policy has lead to a long and delay early warning to the intended communities. The process of information transfer is outlined in Figure 5.3 where the national level sends information all the way to the village levels, through different tools and communication strategies related to the flood information. DHRW, Flood Forecast Office

Line Agencies


Provincial/ DoWAM


PCDM/ Governor District Governors Commune Councilors
Village Chief/Deputy

Local Media

Local NGOs

Village chief visit house to house and some time a big loudspeaker is used.

Community Based Organizational Volunteers

Source: Fieldwork interview, 2009 Figure 5.3: Flood Early Warning Communications Flow

The normal early warning transmission comes in two forms; flood warning and flood advisory. Both of them are transmitted to different levels of administration (central to


provincial, district, commune and village) via various options including internet media sites and government websites, fax machines, telephones, public and state television and even by messenger. The flood warning is issued when the situation is critical such as where there is a prediction of flooding being likely to take place with 24 hours. A flood advisory recommends actions intended to alert the public about the coming flood situation. It is issued for two reasons; as the hydrological condition is getting worse or improving. The information is flown via the Department of Hydrological and River Works (DHRW) who passes on information via facsimile and internet to related Line Agencies, Media, the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology (DoWAM) and NCDM. To process such sending of information, the commonly used tools are fax, messenger and telephones which are used to transfer the information all the way to the target provinces and districts. At same point, the media publishes the information for the public and concerned parties at the national and local levels. Within the local level, the information processes from the media to the village and commune chief has been irregular or has broken down. At the provincial town, critical information and early warning of a flood is first transmitted via telephone as the quickest mode, and then sent through facsimile from the NCDM and DoWAM to the PCDM who is chaired by the governor. Together with the PCDM and governor’s office, the information is processed to the district governors, commune chiefs and village chief through meetings and mobile phone call notices. Figure 5.3 also illustrates that the main source of flood and weather information; both for advisory and warning purposes from the national level is the DHRW Office. The Cambodian Mekong River Committees (CMRC) is not involved in any flood warnings that directly reach Ratanakiri province, though it has its own weather and flood forecasts published on the internet and some exchanges with partner agencies through the uses of email. When the flood information is spread to the communities, the village chiefs and the community based organizational volunteers are the most immediate contacts that help spread the information. The village chief receives the critical information from either the village meeting with the commune chief or through some mobile phone notices; the village chief immediately visits households to households and personally informs each of them of the impending flood. In some cases, the communities also receive early warning information via their community networks, relatives and friends. This means that ICTs use by community members may not be as effective as when combined with the use of information community-based transmission in providing early warning of flooding. But without the support of ICTs like mobile, the visits to the household, passing word of mouth to inform about the warning may not take place. Throughout the research, it was observed that communication and access to information for either receiving or sending information with regards to flooding is gendered. In the Laotian and Tompoun community, accessing to information is dominated by males among commune council chief and village chief, while this is found to be gender neutral when transferring the early warning from village head to his village members. In the Laotian ethnic group, the male commune administrative chief received the flood information via a mobile phone call from the male district governor. The village chief later


on distributed or passed the flooding warning to his village members by visiting house to house. In the distribution stages from the village chief, there is no discrimination between male or female. From observation and the focus group discussion among Laotian females, it is confirmed that access to information by the village administration has always been gender neutral, without limiting anyone to whom the information must be transferred. Here is how it was described in the key focus group discussion: Prior of the recent Ketsana flood, the village chief went to my house and told me of the possible heavy storm which may lead to flooding in tonight. He later moved on to my neighbor and told the same thing to the male next door…. In this case, I believe that the village chief just told anyone he me. (From a Laotian women in a focus group discussion). As the communication flow from the district governor to commune councils and the village chief who are all males, this male dominance is not that the communication is male biased but that males dominate these important positions so the communication is transferred via a male network. In this sense, the issues of gendered technologies are not considered as so but the consumption and ownerships are gendered by those who have the authorities to use them. In the Tompoun community, there are different ways of communicating early warnings. One is in a similar way to the Laotian community where information is transferred from a male district governor to the male commune council chief who forwards the information to the village head via a mobile phone and meetings. The village head later visited the village members’ houses and informed them of the potential storm and flooding. The entire process of transmission and communication has been identified as male ownership and male dominated. Examining each of the communication lines shows the strong male lead including; the district governor, the commune chief, the village head and the water monitoring group members. Table 5.5 illustrates the two ways early warning communications (send and receive) among Laotian and Tompoun communities with gender segregation. Table 5.5: Senders and Receivers of Early Warning by Gender and Ethnic Group Modes of Sender (s) Receiver (s) Communication Mobile Phone District Governor (male) Commune Chief (male) Laotian Oral Meeting Commune Chief (male) Village Chief (male) House to house notice Village chief (male) Village members Mobile Phone District governor (male) Commune Chief (male) Tompoun Mobile Phone Commune Chief (male) Village Chief (male) House to house notice Village Chief (male) Village members Source: Field Observation and Key Informant Interview (2009) On the issue of how ethnic group influences the communication transmission, this has little effect on the type of information received. This is not meant to dismiss that there are ethnic issues concerning either Tompoun or Laotian, but in most case the closer the contact to the key commune/village administrators, the better and the quicker is access to the information. The important issues raised were not about who sent or received the information but the Ethnic Group


fastest possible way for it to reach the local communities. The Tompoun village head expressed that it is necessary to send the information about flood warning to everyone in the village, rather than to a particular villager. Here is how the Tompoun village chief put it: The flooding information I got from the commune council chief, I had the responsibility to pass this information to the villagers. I went to the villagers’ house and told anyone who was there. If I met the kids, I tell the kids. And if I met the husband, I inform the husband. This is how we send our communication on flooding to the people. (From a Tompoun village chief). This analysis shows the top two levels (governor to commune chief and commune chief to village chief) of each community communication access is owned and managed by males, while women in both ethnic groups have limited access to early flood warning. Such access to ICT and information will be discussed in section 5.4 which follows. 5.4 Access to ICTs and Flood-related Information The access and control of ICTs and information cut across different issues; gender, economic preference, social practices and authorities. The “have and have not” together with constraints facing women and men in accessing ICTs tools and information is worth exploring. Both communities, Tompoun and Laotian, have access to three of the most useful tools in information communication: mobile phones, television and radio but are not using them to their full potential or if they have them cannot provide maintenances. It is also important to note that most of the mobiles phones that both communities own usually do not have prepaid credits on hand. The ability to maintain the phone is limited both financially and through the prepaid card top up availability. As described by a member of the Laotian female focus group discussion: We have mobile phones but most of the time they have not credits to make call. If you cannot make calls, there is no used. And if I want to have more calls of expiration, I must buy more amount of prepaid card. (From Laotian woman in a focus group discussion). In the above case, prepaid cards must usually be bought from Banlung town or having to spend US5.50 dollars for the prepaid card of US 5.00 dollars. The costs of ICTs for the Laotian females are huge so that they cannot afford to buy them. Many Laotian females, give preferences to the household well-being and the need for the husband to access ICTs rather than themselves. That is the prioritization of money to be used for household needs rather than the ICTs operation. Below is how a Laotian woman expressed her financial preferences: It is impossible for me to think of buying a mobile and filling it with credits. First is the food. I am so poor and therefore I could not afford to buy TV or even mobile. (Soy Chantha, from a Laotian woman respondent). In the case of Laotian households, for several days Laotian men users left their mobile phones switched off at their home while plowing and transplanting their rice in the fields.


In the event of early warning such information could not be received on time. This creates a likelihood of being without any notices even thought the access to ICTs was not a problem, but the problem is the activation of the mobile phone, the expenses to be covered, and the prioritization between money for food and money for ICTs maintenances. Most of the villagers in Tompoun have more than one field; paddy field and swidden field (chamkar). In the Laotian village, most of the villagers have one paddy field but are more diversified in terms of livelihoods. In the rainy season, when growing rice, most of the household members in the two villages spend some of their times/nights at the fields or move to the field for weeks as the fields are located quite a walking distance away from their homes. Discussion during the research found that at least 70 per cent of the respondents would spend a week or two per month at their fields, especially in the rainy season from July to September to look after the rice fields. For example in the Tompoun village, Tompoun women told how their time and consideration were put into the rice field, to produce rice and food to eat rather than to recharging the mobile phone or purchasing the credits to call. Furthermore, saving the battery life for the night light was better than putting the radio on. It is important also that even though modern ICTs are available, without paying consideration on to its activation plus the need to prioritize between food and other necessities make the ICTs become less usable. Barriers to the use of ICTs because of economic concerns, energy preferences of night time versus day time use, ICTs operation, and being isolated in the fields do not put an end to the claims for legitimate constraints to the consumption of ICTs. The existing claims related to the relevance of education as an issue in using technology finds unrelated. As noted in the background to this research literacy is very low among the respondents, but Laotian and Tompoun women noted that this was not a major contribution towards the use of ICTs. The FGDs of Tompoun women and men place the use or lack of use of ICTs to poverty and sources of livelihoods; not the level of education obtained. Here is how they put it: To use the mobile phone is easy; you just press the numbers you want to call. Then press this sign (the sign to make call). If I had the stable income, I would have no doubt to buy it even I have not complete 3rd grade. (From a Tompoun woman in a focus group discussion, also confirmed by Tompoun male in a focus discussion). The same claim on the issues concerning education and the access and use of ICTs find that even for Laotian women and men with low levels of education, it is not a valid assumption about the limits to the use of ICTs. Concerns about the access to ICTs and their full use are related to the existing infrastructure and the meaning of the use of such ICTs. For example, the FGDs with the Laotians indicate that they do not see a real need to have ICTs: I think radio, TV and mobile are very important but I think I do not really need to have them. For example, I don’t need mobile as I have no one to make call to or receive call from. There are no problems even if I never go to school as operating those devices would not require attending schools. (From a Laotian woman in a focus group discussion).


As raised by participants in different focus group discussion, accessing and using ICTs are not the concerns. The emphasis is on economics and the importance of ICTs for the uses of the informants. On access to the different forms of ICTs, a key informant from the Department of Information reported that the infrastructure is still limited as is the network coverage to ensure the full potential of radio and TV programs. The department of information is making continuous efforts in increasing its network coverage to various communities of the province. Though, the access of mobile now is almost available everywhere. But there must be a little lower cost. And the radio and TV broadcast need better technological tools. (From the Deputy Department Chief, Department of Information) Challenges concerning infrastructure remain a big task to bridge the digital gap, especially when it comes to the uses of ICTs and connectivity. Such concerns were raised by Veun Sai district governor that: In some areas, there is network coverage of mobile phones. And people only go there when they want to make call. The rest they turned off to save battery energy and in time of emergency notice, we cannot reach them. (From Veun Sai District Governor). It is true to say that weak access to ICTs is a big gap to bridge in the context of rural settings. This great missing gap as shown in the research is derived from economic concerns, infrastructure, energy preference and the needs attached to have each ICTs tool. Education is still very low but is not cited by respondents of both ethnic groups a major constraint impeding the uses of ICTs; more importantly are the means to own them. 5.5 Summary The communication strategies used for early warning have two forms: ICTs- based and non-ICTs based. Mobile phones and radios are used to acquire information as well as transmit messages on flooding. The access to ICTs for flood early warning is found to be male and hierarchy dominated in both the Laotian and Tompoun ethnic group. This has reflected that even though women of both ethnic groups have access to ICTs (to a certain extent equally or more in its access) but such access does not guarantee full ownership of using for early flood warning as those messages of the warning via ICTs is all controlled by males. As much as ICTs and their key users are male in nature, the access of and control of ICTs remain gendered even those women occupied in the uses of ICTs which is irrelevant to those key users of Tompoun and Laotian authorities that transmitted the early flood warning. In contrast, females of the Tompoun and Laotian ethnic group relied more on the non-ICTs actors in receiving early warnings than their males. The issues of ethnicity have also contributed to the uses of ICTs in early flood warning that the Tompoun as an indigenous4 whose networks and kin relations are closer to key authorities than Laotian at the province level (not at the district level). Together of being Tompoun in a geographical and infrastructure conducive have influenced the access to, control of ICTs and their early flood warning.
Tompoun is an indigenous group of Cambodia whose linkages is mostly related to key powerful authorities in the province and Tompon indigenous group represent the largest among all of the groups.


The research also found that most of village authorities of Tompoun and Laotian (except Laotian village chief and assistants) use ICTs to receive early warning about flooding from commune chiefs, line agencies, updates from commune members about the flood situation and to listen to news forecasts on flooding or typhoons. Despite limited ICTs being used for the flood information, their critical role in reducing the impacts of flooding on local communities by raising awareness of the coming floods and typhoons cannot be denied. Such as is the importance of ICTs for early warnings to help mitigate disaster impacts, there should not downplay the importance of non-ICTs tools; such as the use of community local networks, information and community-based transmissions and the traditional knowledge concentrating on the observing of water levels as an early warning. To downplay such non-ICT communication would further marginalise the communities whose access to ICTs is limited. The insufficient access to ICTs derives from various factors such as preferences of household well-being over the use of ICTs, energy for night time lighting over for ICT recharging and the basic needs and means to access ICTs. The combination of these constraints do not fall into the assumption that low literacy influence access to ICTs among males and females of both ethnic groups, as has been demonstrated literacy was not mentioned among the concerns related to using ICTs. Given such constraints, the lack and the absence of ICTs tools among respondents of both ethnic groups would not put an end of the early warning to be transmitted but applying both ICTs and non-ICTs means are needed for effective early warning. These linkages together would be initiated as locally adaptable for early warning if it comes with the initial support of the ICTs tools. And that would reflect on the information needs by villagers, key village administrators and commune councils. In this sense, the community-based transmissions complement the access and uses of ICTs for early warning. And that cannot be stand alone without the ICTs functioning.


Chapter 6 The Impacts of Floods on Livelihoods and Recovery: Communication Strategies and their Gender and Ethnic Dimensions This chapter discusses the different communication strategies which were used during and after Ketsana flooding event5 from gender and ethnicity dimensions. The chapter describes how the ICTs and non-ICTs communications were used as the communication strategy during the flood, the flood’s impact on livelihood and how the ICTs were used to sustain people and helped them recover from the flood. 6.1 Communication Strategies and the Uses of ICTs During Flooding: Gender and Ethnic Dimensions The interview with a key informant the Tompoun village chief explained how the mobile phones are really useful during flooding, such as took place on 29th September 2009 to 4th October 2009, in keeping the district and provincial officials informed of rising water levels and evacuation activities. Though sometime the network was not available, there were no other means of either TV or radio that would keep the situation up to date for the superiors. This suggests that a component of ICTs like mobile phone is a tool where current flooding information can be transmitted and feedback obtained. As one Tompounn chief of a village related: During the flood (29th Sept 2009 to 4th Oct 2009), I reported of what is happening to my neighbors and villagers to the commune chief. With the assistance of mobile phone, I was able to describe exactly of the situation of flood. Plus, I also sent information about the water level situation and requested help in term of rice and other necessity things from related agencies. (From Tompoun village chief.) Table 6.1 shows the complete range of ICTs tools used by key administrative members during the flood and how each communication strategy was initiated. As matters of ICTs concerns, barriers are listed for each ICTs tool. The same table also shows that the Tompoun commune chief and village chief have equipped themselves with ICTs such as mobile phones and radios. For the village chief who kept the commune councils and related departments informed on the water level situation and the people being assisted, the availability of a mobile phone together with the radio helped him updating information such as upstream serious flooding causing death of humans and cattle, and warning of infections from water borne diseases. The village chief also appreciated how ICTs helped him when he compared with his experiences during the previous flood in 2005 when he was unable to pass information to his the superior or receive an immediate response. The Tompoun commune chief also actively used ICTs during the flooding in which he used a mobile phone to help send the flooding situation including water level and severity of the flood situation to the relevant institutions such as NGOs and government line departments. The greatest facilitation of the mobile phone was to ensure that the flow of
The flood took place on the 29th September 2009 to 4th October 2009. In Cambodia, this flood is widely referred as Ketsana flood that caused from Ketsana Typhoon. For the sake of writing, the flood or during flood here would refer to the Ketsana flood as mentioned in the above time frame. Up to the time of writing, the estimate damaged assessment by National Committee for Disaster Management is USD 130 million.


communication between the village officials, the commune chief and the higher superiors in Banlung are fully maintained so that they are aware of the flooding situation and proper relief delivered. The commune chief describes how ICTs are especially needed for the coordination of responses to flooding: Mobile phone is a need for the flood preparedness and information transmission to the key relevant line agencies in order to inform them of the situation and submit oral reports of the flood situation. While the radio is later on to supply me additional information of what is the overall flooding around the areas; include upstream and downstream flood. (From Tompoun commune chief). Table 6.1: The Uses of ICTs by Tompoun Village Officials During Ketsana Flood ICTs Commune Used During flood Communication Strategies Limitations of Council Used ICTs Mobile Phones - Calling superiors - Both after receiving - High costs - Calling village information from village with no officials chief and own observation, reimbursement - Answering calls to the information then passed superiors & NGOs to higher authorities by mobile phone. Radios - Flooding situations - Turn on to listen to the - Not clear overall flooding situation and coverage also use it as the feedback response. ICTs Village Assistant Used Mobile Phones - For report & - Call to CCs in critical - Expensive and Emergency situation must recharge Radios - General news - Listen to radio as the - Low network - Flood news information receiving in order to learn of different responses and impacts by flood in around the areas ICT Village Assistant Used Radios - Flood news - Use radio at night time. - Not clear and not stable transmission Source: Field Interview, 2009 During the flooding, the TV became almost useless due to the unavailability of time, insufficient coverage and no interests in listening and watching TV programs from either broadcasting or home movie viewing. However, mobile phones were used all the times to keep the information about the flood and flood related work up to date. This is particularly true during the flood when the Tompoun commune chief was able to communicate and relay the flood information, water level, and village conditions to his superiors and concerned NGOs.


In the Laotian community, ICTs ownership among the key village and commune authorities is limited and so, consequently are its uses. ICTs usage is also related to network coverage, which is limited, as well as the financial burden for village administrative of buying the mobile phone or other ICTs equipments. When taken together these considerations make this village administration hesitates to buy ICTs in any form. Therefore, it was only the commune council that used the mobile phone as a tool during the flood to communicate to the district governors and relevant key authorities. As Table 6.2 indicates, the use of mobile phones during flooding was mainly for connecting with key superior officials and supplying information to concerned parties. Table 6.2: The Uses of ICTs by Laotian Commune Councils During Ketsana Flood ICT Commune Used During flood Council Used Mobile Phone - Maintain contacts to superiors - Answer call to concern parties Source: Field Interview, 2009 Communication Limitation of ICT Strategies - The use of mobile for - Lack of credit to call immediate requests or - Sometimes coverage notices and receive not available information.

Among Laotian commune chiefs, the use of mobile phone has been very useful even during the flooding that allowed the commune councils to maintain contacts with superiors, kept the information updated and answered calls from concerned parties about the flood and their vulnerability to the villagers. The debate can be that the mobile phone is mostly useful for two ways communications which brings both sender and receiver to a meeting point, while the radios and TV are only one way communication and with the barriers of limited coverage radio or TV are not seen to be as useful during flooding. In this case, the mobile phone was used effectively during the flooding event to keep the villagers more informed, bring better information on the water level and severity upstream that can be used to raise awareness in the communities. As stated by the Laotian commune council chief, the use of mobile phones during the flood was of great assistance in ensuring the coordination and immediate responses to flooding. He described this below: Now it is very good that there is mobile phone to send message and communicate on urgent matter such as flood. Without it, it is really hard to tell the district governor of what is happening. Mobile is really helping a lot the flood coordination/evacuation. (Khean Lin, from the Laotian commune chief). Exploring the uses of ICTs during flood among the Tompoun and Laotian was something that was beyond respondents’ thinking. Though, it was important to really examine how their uses of ICTs during flooding event and their contribution to the early flood warning. Table 6.3 shows the uses of ICTs among Tompoun and Laotian communities during flooding.


Table 6.3: The Uses of ICTs During Ketsana Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group Uses of ICTs by Laotian (%) Mobile Phone Women Men 41.2 50 23.5 43.8 NA NA 25 16.7 NA Radio Women NA 11.8 41.2 NA 15

Contacts Flood Information News Uses of ICTs by Tompoun (%) Contacts 35 Flood Information 15 News 15 Source: Field Survey, 2009

Men NA 43.8 56.3 NA 8.3


Men NA 6.3 12.5 NA 8.3

The research survey found that there is an increasing use of mobile phones to keep in contact with relatives and friends to inform and requested help during the floods. This increase among Laotian women is from 5.9 per cent (prior to the flood) to 41.2 per cent during the flood. Among Laotian men, 50 per cent used mobile phones to keep contact with those involved in flood preparedness and ensure that their children were secure. The use of mobile phones during the flood for flooding information also made up 23.5 per cent of women and 43.8 per cent of men. This number is similar to the figure among those Laotian men who used their radios for the purposes of knowing more about the flood damages and possibility of relief support, which is considered as the use of radio for flood information. Table 6.3 also shows how the Tompoun ethnic group used ICTs during the flood; however, when the flood took place, there should have been more people using mobile phones to ask for news related to the flooding. Whereas, this has only 15 per cent of women and 16.7 per cent of men who used them at that time. One of the Tompoun male respondents confirmed during the interview that during the flood, access to information either directly or indirectly benefited from the ICTs such as mobile phones, so it is still very useful to have a ready-tocall mobile phone in the hand. I have mobile phone but I could not make any calls as I don’t have the credits. I went to one of my neighbors and asked her if she knows anything about when the water level would be gone. It was good she told me she received information via mobile from someone she knows in town that the Vietnam dam will be open until a few days. (Kan Kam Phai, from Tompoun man respondent). The issues of accessing to mobile phone devices is a key to access to information but the insufficient credit and unavailable of credit top up was something that kept constraining the full potential use of mobile phones. Unlike radio and TV that even do not require credit balance, women are still absent in their uses for viewing entertainment, flood information or news because of the burden of workloads, electricity, expenses and the fear of water level. As the previously noted that ICTs among the Laotian and Tompoun communities have been proven to be very limited in the context of early warning use due to its quite inappropriateness of its contents, lacking maintenance and awareness of the uses of ICTs 62

and the limited resources of both women and men in the Tompoun and Laotian communities. However, ICTs did help with early warning of flooding. Given challenges due to imminent flooding, ICTs has been found to be a useful tool. Let’s examine how these ICTs tools are essential during flooding. In a time of flooding, information transmission is seen as crucial to reach another party so that the needs can be responded to on time. As demonstrated the ICTs in the two communities have played a great role in ensuring that the concerns of the local populations, especially those who were in need, are dealt with during the flood. The fact that these are such useful tools derived from the fact that they supported evacuation to safety during the flooding. In Tompoun village where the flood rose up to one meter above the road surface and with a strong current that made it impossible to walk across the flooded landscape. Without a mobile phone to call for a boat evacuation, there would have been a devastating outcome among those who were in need of help. The women key informants expressed the importance of having a mobile phone even though there were not enough credits to make longer call, but a few seconds of call were sufficient to arrange a boat that charged US 0.25 dollars for one trip. Below is how she used her mobile phone to get help: When the water was flowing fast, I made a call to one of opposite house who may have seen the boatman… Eventually, the boatman came and took me and my kids to a higher place, while my husband waited at home. Without accessing to mobile device, I think we had to swim cross this water or we would be stranded here. (Kham Laov, from Tompoun woman respondent). The relevant content of how mobile phone is used showed great assistance to help communities fight during the flood. In such thing, dismissing the idea of how mobile phone is used during the flood might undermine the benefit of such ICTs in further disaster reduction programs. Not only continue doing so would influence the use of ICTs but even may downgrade the potential of ICTs which are proven to be one of the key in assessing the disaster reduction process as shown in the use of mobile phones during the flood evacuation and early warning where villagers used mobile phones to access for help. Those who could not afford a mobile phone would use the radio to acquire updated information. Radio is a tool that keeps villagers up to date with what has been happening around the area. This is how the radio helped Laotian men to understand what was happening including information about the flooding situation such as the possible prolonged dam opening, the upper stream damage and warning related to water-borne diseases and children playing in the water. Below is how the Laotian man acquired the update information about the flood: During the flood, I tuned in a radio program and happened to hear about the flooding that drown and killed one person from the upstream. It also alerted me of how to be careful when during the flood, especially from the insects, mosquito’s bites and other water-borne diseases. (Ting Pheung, from Laotian man respondent)


The content of the radio programs mostly cover matters that are not related to flooding but various programs do include some basic information on water levels and related concerns that allow radio listeners to access other information. The intention of using radio in order ow to listen to flood information was not given as a direct intention but other choices among the programs such as music and song requests have made the radio popular ICTs that embeds disaster information. 6.1.1 Immediate Impacts of Flood It is widely accepted that the male is still considered the breadwinner of the family, and women themselves firmly agreed it is the male who is the head of household despites the greatest contribution made by women to the family economy. Figure 6.1 shows the source est of livelihoods prior to flooding that took place on 29th Sept 2009. It clearly demonstrates that the majority of women in both ethnic groups have been involved in almost ever part every of income generation more than men. Such livelihood options remain a burden to women that has been uncounted.
Tompoun source of livelhoods in % 100 80 60 40 20 0 Farming Fishing NTFPs Gov't Staff Laborer Livestock Business Cash Crops Borrowing F M 100 80 60 40 20 0 Gov't Staff Laborer NTFPs Cash Crops Borrowing Farming Fishing Livestock Business F M Laotian source of livelihoods in %

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 6.1: Sources of Livelihoods Prior Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group In the Tompoun ethnic group, women performed over 60 per cent of home based business such as selling fruit, homemade cakes, noodles, fried bananas and other cooked food. These women were also occupied the most in the NTFPs collection with about 60 per cent of them collecting wild vegetables. Tompoun males are also convinced that they have m raised their livestock well and that ensures their survival during the short fall of food when the livestock can be an exchange for some rice and cash for medicine. Thirty per ce of cent these women engaged in cash crop and income generating activities compared with ten per cent of men. In the Laotian communities, the research found that up to 70 per cent of the women surveyed were involved in cash generating activities such as selling crops and vegetables, selling cakes and ice-creams in the nearby market; while some of them have their own small shop creams at home. Even though the flood seems to have been for a short period of time, between 3 3-5 days, but the heavy burden on both Tompoun and Laotian women meant that their income Laotian activities declined or halted due to the flooding.


Both Tompoun and Laotian men, saw their economic activities, fishing and wage labor also negatively impacted. A key informant who is close with one of the male respondents shows how strong his gendered acceptance and social norms exist within this Tompoun context: The flood has barred me from doing my construction wage which I used to earn 8,000 Riels (ThaiBaht 65) a day. As the head of household, it is not that easy to make my family going well by only reliance on the farming. You see, my wife has some sometime brought our vegetables and eggs to sell at the ometime market, but that cannot be compared to what I have earned from my labor. (Tan Sovhy, from Tompoun man respondent). Figure 6.2 shows a clear trend in the drop in the Tompoun sources of livelihood and the impacts of the flood which restricted the livelihood options as well as decreasing the livelihood capacity. And that impacted on the different source of livelihood of each woman and man in different ethnic groups. Farming, fishing, NTFPs collection, li livestock raising and wage labor have sharply declined from an average of 40 per cent to 80 per cent down to less than 10 per cent of every source of livelihoods. There is a noticeable increasing in the amount of borrowing, which is mostly in terms of rice and food. In the same figure, and there is an observable amount of men who began to engage in NTFPs which they had never done before the flood. This initiative of assisting to collect NTFPs during the flood made women feel that there was a greater help in terms of household work once the flood happened.

Tompoun livelihoods prior to flood in %
100 80 60 40 20 0 Business Cash Crops Gov't Staff Borrowing Farming Laborer Fishing Livestock NTFPs F M 100 80 60 40 20 0

Tompoun livelihoods during flood in %

F M Laborer NTFPs Cash Crops Gov't Staff Borrowing Farming Fishing Livestock Business

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 6.2: Impacts of Ketsana Flood on Livelihoods on Tompoun Village by Gender Before the Ketsana flood on 29th September 2009, women were occupied more than men in almost every daily activity. But during the flood, their primary activities became less than their male counterparts. These changes are reflected in what women are supposed to act during the flooding. Their mobility was constrained due to the flooding. Men, however, do heir not have such barriers to move around once floo flooding takes place so they are able to look for food from either NTFPs or fishing during the flood. Here is one of the women who claimed that her roles that used to sustain her family now have been disturbed by the flood: er


Before there was flood, I sold my fried banana and together with some guava. But because of flood that has not just destroyed my business; my banana trees have also fallen down due to this flash flood. In addition, I could not move around for the 3 days as I am afraid of this flood. But my 3-5 husband went out to fishing and collecting some NTFPs. (Sou Phan, from a Tompoun woman respondent). The Laotian communities, (Figure 6.3) showed similar patterns due to the impacts of flooding on livelihoods. For example, the fishing activities handled by men dropped from over 40 per cent to less than 20 per cent. For women, fishing was reported to have much smaller equipments than men. As usually women go fishing on the small ponds with their traditional nets together with other women across the ponds.
Sources of Livelihoods prior flood in % 100 80 60 40 20 0 Farming NTFPs Laborer Fishing Business Cash Crops Gov't Staff Borrowing Livestock 100 80 60 40 20 0 Farming Fishing NTFPs Gov't Staff Laborer Livestock Business Cash Crops Borrowing Sources of Livelihoods after flood in %



Source: Field Survey, 2009 Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 6.3: Impact of Ketsana Flood on Livelihoods on Laotian Village by Impacts velihoods Gender Natural resources, such as all sorts of NTFPs, which are supposed to be a major supplement to their diet have been replaced by their reserved livestock. Livestock, it is proved as the third largest source of livelihoods; it provides these Laotians with a social rgest safety net which sustained them for a period of time during the flood. This is different from the Tompoun where borrowing is the highest item recorded during the flooding and its aftermath. Furthermore, the Laotians developed a stronger livestock system during the th. flood. It is revealed that women’s earning activities were much contributed to the family income but given such flooding situation, women’s roles remain uncounted. However as male’s income earner is well practiced, all the money earned is kept with the women, which is later on to be taken for consumption. Such flooding and practice has also influenced on the gendered coping strategies that applied during flood events. As the flood has destroyed and disrupted various community structures and livelihoods of both ethnic groups, such impacts require great efforts on recovery strategies that put forwards to ensure the household functioning is not in danger. One of the urgent needs for recovery is to balance that food remain available for those whose household members needed the most. This urgent need has compelled the family to reduce their eating patterns in order to meet the demand of the family consumption. In such reducti reduction, claims of male


head of household’s privileges to reduce their food intake are widely cited in both ethnic groups. In the case where food is still really very insufficient, women and men have pushed for their social practice of their social norms to get into borrowing food supplies such as rice, salt and fish paste (prahok) from the community members. However, as borrowing is perceived as women’s better communication skills and the so-called social skills and gender stereotypes of women associated with reproductive roles led women to have engaged greater amount in borrowing as preferred/insisted by men. Other needs responding to the flood impacts are to find the means that help bring back some of the most needed shelters or re-adjusting the housing structures which were hit by the flood. Even in some cases where women also claimed to have contributed or ability to fix the house, but as gender roles are strongly assigned that fixing or re-adjusting the housing is mostly done by man give them the better performance of their gender roles as head of the household ensuring that the members are protected. In contrast, as seen by the flood impacts that most home gardening and wild vegetables were spoiled in which women are heavily depending on must look for possibility of re-planting. Such option of post flood to diversify for planting new crops are solely seen as only women’s roles in parts of coping strategies. More details of coping strategies are further explained in the following sections. 6.1.2 Coping Strategies and its Communication Strategies Each coping strategy reflects certain accepted social roles and obligations which have been constantly built and reproduced. Among the two different ethnic groups, five types of gendered coping strategies have been used each time of flooding. These five are “reducing eating pattern, borrowing, changing house structure, moving out and adopting new and/or different types of crops”. In both of the ethnic and gender groups, only the adoption of new crops was taken by women, none of men engage in new ideas of cropping that could survive during the course of flooding. The main coping strategy among women in the Tompoun ethnic group, as shown in the Figure 6.4, was borrowing and sharing food over the period of flooding. The close social contacts between women neighbors have helped them to engage a reciprocal way of exchanging support. In comparison the actions of Tompoun men to cope to flooding was to ensure their houses were strong enough to survive the rain and flooding. Such voices in the focus group discussions allowed Tompoun men to show powerful as a man who thinks of family first.
0 41
Tompoun Male Coping Strategies in % Tompoun Female Coping Strategies in % 5 30

33 Reduce eating Borrow Change house Move out 25 50 Adopt new crops

45 Reduce eating Borrow Change house Move out Adopt new crops

50 35

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 6.4: Coping Strategies by Tompoun in the Context of Flooding: By Gender


On the basis of employing an action to cope during the event of flooding, the idea of reciprocal support for men also exists but women are proven stronger than men when it comes to relying on each of the network supports. The idea of how women have so much reliance on this social support derived from what is considered an ideal that women are the closest link to their neighbor and relatives than males. This is how a Tompoun woman put it: During the time that we don’t have enough food, especially on the flooding event, I asked my husband to go and borrow from our neighbors. But he disagreed and insisted me to go instead. He said wife is better in dealing with borrowing and it is woman’s associated tasks when it comes to food. I also agreed with him, as if I go we have more chances of having something back. (Som Phoun, a Tompoun woman respondent). Other coping options are similar for women and men of the Tompoun ethnic group. Adopting new crops, however, found very little attention among women, and not at all for men. However, the reduction in eating, Tompoun men’s claim to have reduced their food intake more than women as they have to give more of their food to their children. The reduction in the consumption of food during the flood was one of the main choices to ensure that their reserves of food lasted for as long as the flooding lasted. In the course of reducing food, the women in the focus group discussion revealed that it is not who among husbands and wives gives more or gets less; and in fact they all give their children more food during the food shortage. The Tompoun women defended the males saying that they were also the victims of flooding but still have to give privileges to children. Every time there is not enough food, children are the first to be fed. In the Laotian communities, similar practices have been discovered with regards to the options adopted during the flood. Among the Laotian ethnic group, reduced eating was found in up to nearly 45 per cent of men who emphasized that their choice of reducing food is to help family members who are unable to understand the flood situation such as children and the elderly. Figure 6.5 shows that of the women; only 29 per cent reported having reduced their food consumption to feed their children. The percentages show that men are more likely to suffer from the food insecurity than women as men reduced their food from three meals a day to only two or sometimes one meal per day. That the Laotian women did not show such high percentage of lowering their food suggests that they do not take seriously that lowering their food intake to give for children is necessary. They did not see that this reduction in eating is an obligation because it is more important that they feed the children. It is not about the food reduction. For them, they just don’t really want to count their reduction of food as a strategy. One of the female focus group discussions emphasized that: I give food to my children is normal during this insufficient of resources. I don’t prefer to say that I am reducing food amount for the good credits. I am unable to eat same as before is not that crucial, but my kids are. (From Tompoun woman in a focus group discussion).


Laotian Male Coping Strategies in % 0 18.3 43.8

Laotian Female Coping Strategies in % 6 6 29

Reduce eating Borrow Change house Move out 37.5 15 Adopt new crops 30 23.5 Reduce eating Borrow Change house Move out Adopt new crops

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 6.5: Coping Strategies by Laotian in the Context of Flooding: By Gender Among the other options to cope with flooding is borrowing. Up to 30 per cent of Laotian women borrowed rice and food compared to men at only 15 per cent. In both cases of the Laotian and Tompoun, the findings revealed that women borrowed more than men, usually double of what men borrowed. The Laotian man firmly believed that their capacity to lead the family is well enough but borrowing is only a part of short time tactics during evacuation of women to the hi higher ground. This is particularly in the case where women could not come back to engage in borrowing, therefore men’s ability to go for borrowing through the flooding is seen as an option. In contrast, Laotian women continue to borrow even during the time of flood, either evacuation or not, they see that helping each other in the village is a key to community solidarity. Even though the flooding has passed, the damage still requires coping strategies. The serious impacts on the communities include the damages to business operations, rice crops, damages cash crops, fishing, NTFPs along the river banks, loss of livestock and damage to household properties. As shown by the survey data rice fields, fishing, NTFPs, livestock rice-fields, and cash crops were the most badly damaged and borrowing was seen as a temporary and coping strategy for survival during the flood and immediately afterwards. Among the Laotian ethnic group, less damage was cited and taking (killing) livestock for food was used more than borrowing. However, borrowing as part of their survival strategy was also as high. Other coping strategies in response to the flood were; giving food preference to children or elderly, improving the structure of the house, adopting flood resistant crops (only women cited) and a shorten-forced movement away from the home. Among both ethni groups, forced ethnic men’s most preferred coping strategy is to build stronger houses while women concentrated more on how to enhance their crops in the face of flooding and diversify their options into borrowing. These combinations implied that as the man is the hea of head household and woman’s role as household wife, their overall coping strategy is reflected from their gender roles as such. The idea of women as care takers does not make them care-takers think of reducing food and keep for their children the privilege of being a g good mother as they consider it an obligation to fulfill as a mother. This finding contradicts that men may be seen as the one who contributes in reducing their food for their children more than


women, but this idea of reducing food is just being viewed as what a good father is, while women do not believe that it earns credit by doing it. Different coping strategies as demonstrated earlier are used through the means of certain communication strategies and tools. These are both ICTs and non-ICT strategies which enabled women and men of each ethnic group to undertake a particular coping strategy. Five previous coping strategies; borrowing, changing housing, moving out of the flooded village and adopting new crops are taken because of certain social interactions and communications that are involved. From interviews, observations and focus group discussions, Table 6.4 indicates the communication strategies of people that enabled coping strategies by gender. As the Table reveals, communication strategies of both ICTs and non-ICTs are used to enable and facilitate the coping strategies among woman and man of Tompoun and Laotian. Table 6.4: Communication Strategies Used to Enable Coping Strategies Coping Strategies Communication Strategies that Enabled Coping Strategies Tompoun Laotian Male Female Male Female x x

Children were told they are hungry and no Reduce eating enough food. pattern No one tells, but it is an obligation to give to x x children and elderly Household visits and requested by wife to x x ask for food, uncooked rice salt and fish Take on paste from villagers. loans of money and/or Verbally request help as reciprocal supports. x x food Women’s communication in borrowing is better than man. Change of Learned this through flood experiences and x x housing suggestions from neighbors to make house material stronger. Neighbors and relatives advice them to move x x x x to a higher ground as water rises. Move out of Received mobile phone calls from relatives, x x x current house district governors and local NGO (3SPN). The neighbors and other villagers moved, so x x x x this sign tells that we have to move too. Adopt new No one told to plant but it is a sharing x x crop experience among women group. Source: Focus Group Discussions and Interviews, 2009 Note: (x) indicates the communication strategies/tools that led to a certain coping strategy.

Non-ICTs communication strategies are specifically taken to assist in all coping strategies, which are the uses of social communications such as interactions with neighbors, family members and other villagers and practices that have been built for years. Even with different gendered perceptions in communications, all have also led to the same coping strategies. In particular, as an example, when the Laotian and Tompoun male borrowed, the


communication is performed via the non-ICTs; which is the verbal request of wife to borrow food. While women pursued the same social networks but perceived as part of their better communication skills when it comes to borrowing. In addition, moving out of the village is seen as a result of both mobile phone calls and social communications that shared the idea to move out as an immediate coping to flooding and getting away from being stuck in the middle of the water. By the combination of each communication strategy, it is clearly outlined that social communications and social networks provide a multiple coping strategies. Still, the ICTs (even if it is little use) such as the use of mobile phones also led to moving out of the village where both ethnic groups can rescue themselves from the flood. In this case, it shows how importance of ICTs and non-ICTs communications are not just for early flood warning but also where both types of communication strategies/tools are enabling factors for adopting of flood immediate coping strategies and possible each coping strategy with the ICTs and non-ICTs also contributed to the livelihoods recovery, which will be discussed in the following sub-content 6.2 that follows. 6.2 Communication Strategies for Livelihoods Recovery after Flooding: Gender and Ethnic Group As the previous chapter demonstrated, communications using ICTs and non-ICTs methods have helped coping strategies, evacuating people during flooding and flood early warning. To a certain extent, ICTs has also been used for livelihood purposes such as on ordering foodstuff and goods from Banlung town and requesting assistance. Therefore, this research attempts to explore what kind of communications helped flood recovery using ICTs and then looks at communication strategies that did not use ICTs for flood recovery or livelihood options. 6.2.1 Use of ICTs in Communication Strategies after Flooding Event An examination of the uses of ICTs after flooding shows that they help to connect with friends and relatives. Such connections of ICTs after flooding events seemed to be relevant in responding to the flood damage. The use of such information via ICT tools are reflected on the information needs that would ensure greater public awareness (early warning, evacuation) as well as seeking support relief. According to the Tompoun village officials (village chief and assistant), ICT tools that were widely used after the flooding occurred were mobile phones and radios. Mobile phones were used extensively to send information to the related line agencies for either resource mobilization or flood impact assessment facilitation. Table 6.5 clusters the ICTs, their uses, and the communication strategies after the flood. Even if the table does not explicitly demonstrate the uses of ICTs to livelihoods recovery but the means of using mobile phone for work is a part of the livelihood options. As the use of ICTs by commune chiefs and village chiefs consider mobile phones communication as the facilitation to earn a living. As what has been defined as making livelihood is a combination of activities to ensure livelihood is sustained. In this sense, using mobile phones in working is considered the most appropriate for making a livelihood among the key officials.


Table 6.5: The Uses of ICTs among Villages’ Officials after Flood ICTs Mobile Phones Use after Flood Communication Strategies Limitations of ICTs - Expensive and needs recharging - Low network

- Working - Mobile is means of connecting with - Keeping contacts officials and NGOs for flood recovery informed support. Mobile keeps work smooth. Radios - News - A one way communication to learn of - Flood news overall flood impacts Source: Field Interview, 2009

Among village chiefs, mobile phones are particularly useful to share information with the commune councils, related government departments and NGOs who are working in their areas. Likewise, radio is useful as the receiving tool to learn what have been the responses from the NGOs and support provided by the government. Mobile phones and radio have helped village chiefs and assistants to report on damages, request support and participate in the flood assessments and where possible obtain reimbursement for the damage. As one of the Tompoun ethnic village chief replied during the discussion: I used my mobile phone to make a brief call to commune chief about my village rice field damages and losing of others livestock. Plus, I also received calls from the department of agriculture to accommodate the flood assessment which I showed them the flood damages. Similar to radio, I listened and learnt about the upstream serious damage such as human death. Without these radios and mobiles, we are like deaf on our surrounding areas. (From a Tompoun village chief). Even if ICTs is considered by the Tompoun village chief and assistant as a means of connecting and requesting help, challenges lie ahead to ensure access to ICTs is maintained. Given limited resources and infrastructure (network coverage), the village assistant raised how this has been restricting access to ICTs and limiting him to fully realize such benefits: The fees to make call is expensive and we don’t make money from that. We use them for the benefit of our community but the expense is on us. Also, the radio is not always clear to hear the news broadcasting. (From a Tompoun village assistant) The above challenge of financial cost is echoed by the village chief and assistants in the Laotian communities who have claimed this constraint to the use of ICTs. Without being able to feed the family properly, there is no point of thinking about using mobile phones, TV or radios. This was raised as none of the officers in the Laotian communities had bought any examples of ICTs. Concerns that were quoted as challenges for the Laotian village chief follow: We do not have money to buy mobile phone, TV and even a radio. To use those tools means money must be put every month; for example the purchase of mobile phone. First are the food and then such tools can come later. (From a Laotian village chief and assistants).


The challenges of ensuring the full maintenance of ICTs uses are determined by the capital required, but not the educational level. None of the village officials have complained about their inability to use mobile phones or combinations of ICTs tools due to a very low literacy rate. On the other hand, exploring the ICTs communications among the key population of respondents revealed that the use of ICTs after the flood remained limited to using it for livelihoods or businesses. As the research survey among both Tompoun and Laotian communities found mobile phones are most used after the flood to keep contact with friends and relatives. As Table 6.5 shows among the Laotian group there are only 5.9 per cent of females compared with 25 per cent of males and among the Tompoun group 5.0 per cent of females compared to 16.7 per cent males who use the mobile phone for business purposes, while radio and TV are found to have no connection with livelihood recovery. Table 6.6: The Uses of ICTs after Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group Uses of ICTs by Laotian (%) Mobile Phone Women Men 52 56.3 17.6 31.3 5.9 25 16.7 25 16.7 Radio Women NA 11.8 NA NA 10 NA TV Women NA NA NA NA NA NA

Contacts Flood Information Businesses Uses of ICTs by Tompoun (%) Contacts 35 Flood Information 15 Businesses 5 Source: Field Survey, 2009

Men NA 12.5 NA NA 16.7 NA


After flooding, mobile phone use for keeping contacts still remains the highest among other uses of ICTs. The figure is the highest either prior to flooding or during flooding. The change is derived from the increased need to communicate with their relatives, officials and friends in town about their situation resulting from the flood. In those uses of mobile phones after flooding to keep in contact with other Laotian women usage was 52 per cent compared to men whose usage was 56.3 per cent. The additional mobile phone use for women was 17.6 and 31.3 per cent for men seeking information on what would be the post flooding relief support, and most of all how can the compensation help cover the severely damaged rice and other crops. The research also found an interesting fact. During the flooding there was no evidence that mobile phones were used for urgent messages as the Laotian women and men were already engaged in an urgent situation. However when the flooding ended, the pain and damage did not end and then at least 11.8 per cent of the women and 6.3 per cent of men used mobile phones to deal with urgent matters such as taking children to hospital. Livelihoods, businesses, work and normal daily living have returned to as usual with the support of ICTs. The survey sees that both women and men began to maximize their uses of ICTs tools again but the uses of mobile phone among Tompoun women seemed to be static. However, as Tompoun men are considered as the head of household and they are the one to be registered with impact assessment, their engaged in using mobile phone in flood information has gone up to 25 per cent as women users did not see any changes after the flooding. The same thing applies to using mobile phones for working during the time of flood took place, no one has used mobile phone for work in which they tended to 73

overlook the access to their network at place while relied on the neighbors and village chiefs and friends. But such recovery to reconnect with work among women users reached 5.0 per cent compared to men at 16.7 per cent. It is important also to note that the use of ICTs even though as a small percentage of its uses, cannot be denied to have helped the flood recovery. This has been demonstrated by Laotian women who participated in the discussion who seemed to use mobile phones for ordering stocks of goods to be sold in the villages. As one woman described: I used my mobile phone to call my whole supplier in Banlung to send me some stuff of packaged noodles, soft drinks and other consumer goods. With this mobile phone, my business is going on. And of course, making some money from the saving of transportation; especially to recover from the good lost/damaged during the flood. (From a woman in a focus group discussion). Besides the use of mobile phone to make calls or ordering food stuff; Tompoun men also took the opportunities to use mobile phone to call friends and ask about the possibility of resuming wage labor and that helped them to earn income to supplement what had been lost by the damage. According to one informant, his use of the mobile phone indeed facilitated the access to wage labor: As flood occurred, I could not work anymore in a house construction. This is a lost. But after the flood is gone, I made a call to my former house construction supervisor and that is where I was informed to start working by next work. (Tan Sovhy, from Tompoun man respondent). The research further explored that the males of both ethnic groups are more likely than women to use mobile phone for business. Based on the survey on ICTs ownership and key FGDs among each ethnic group the results suggest that even when women have access to mobile phones or ICTs in general, the full uses of such tools are less than men. Such gendered access and ownership of ICTs is likely to contribute to how Tompoun woman would use ICTs. As a Tompoun female key informant explained: In my house, I and my husband have each mobile phone. But I don’t use it for business or making living. I used it for receiving calls from husband or calling him when he is coming back. And in most cases, my mobile phone has very little credits than my husband. (Shin Sina, from Tompoun female respondent). As the use of ICTs after the flooding implied, at least ICTs helped to recover the damages to livelihoods from the flooding. Such a small percentage is also a key element where ICTs policies in related to post-flood facilitation should be enhanced to ensure the information needed in making the right livelihoods would further developed and used effectively for not just an early warning but also for the livelihood opportunities. 6.2.2 Non-ICTs Enabled Communication Strategies for Livelihoods Recovery This section further investigates how non-ICTs communication strategies were used after the flood. The visits of the research team right after the flood allowed a significantly deeper understanding of the contexts of how non-ICTs, such as the use of social reciprocal


support and networking play a role in recovery after the flooding especially in terms of livelihoods. This is particularly crucial during the post flooding phase when every individual is seeking support, either materials or non-materials through the means of nonICTs such as the use of social communal practices; social assets as defined by Moser (1993). Moser (1993) defined social assets as ‘reciprocity within the communities and between households based on trust deriving from social ties’. In most of the communities, social asset is what keeps alive the sense of togetherness within a community. The sense of being identified or associated with a particular community member or being connected to a certain social group evolves over time and that as much as social construction; is produced and reproduced over a period of time. This social asset can play a very important role in various shocks and perceivable threats within a given situation; either to smooth recovery or restrict the ability to cope with the coming threats. This research looks at how social assets such as non-ICTs are used by ethnic and gender groups for livelihood recovery; the findings show that both women and men of Tompoun and Laotian ethnic groups have not just sometimes relied on the uses of information community-based transmission prior to flood but also such community-based networking remained an effective means to recovery. Such as in the time of food shortages after flooding when the use of social supports and community networking is an invisible communication strategy that helped access to food. Figure 6.6 explains the relationship between Tompoun and Laotian women and men and their peers. After the flooding there was a significant increase in relating to neighbors, relatives and the village chief. These are the key factors that are mostly reported not just to have sent the early warning or during the flood supports but also assistance during the postflooding phase. This closer connection with neighbors, relatives and the village chief allowed a stronger community building among women to develop and keep them informed on various community development plans and the possibility of relief distributed by local authorities.
Respondent's Contacts after Flood in % (Tompoun) 100 80 60 40 20 0 100 80 60 40 20 0 Respondent's Contacts after Flood in % (Laotian)

Female Male

Female Male

Source: Field Survey, 2009 Figure 6.6: Respondents’ Contacts after Flood by Gender and Ethnic Group As was raised by a Tompoun female who visited other villagers at their homes during the day time, and engaged face to face chitchatting with relatives and neighbors after the flood, these helped her to understand the possible relief to be distributed in the village.


It is normal that we sit and chitchat with friends and neighbors during free seasons. And that allows us to know everyone in the village and what has been happening. From my friends and neighbor visits, I was able to learn that an organization “CARE” will be distributing some rice and food. ( Tong Kla, from Tompoun female respondent). For Tompoun male social capital analysis implies a different point of view and connection among other social actors. As quite similar to Tompoun women were men’s relationship and community togetherness which are also high with the neighbors, relatives and village chief. The non-ICTs networking among Tompoun male is reflected from the existing gendered concentration. As shown in Figure 6.6 above among the Tompoun community shows how interrelationships of how Tompoun men get along much better with the village chief compared to Tompoun women. This ranking among each of the key stakeholder reflects on how male dominations in each of the social classes. As documented earlier, among the key local authorities such as village chief and commune councils are all male representatives. With strong composition of males, it makes easier the assumption that males relate themselves to other stakeholders also mediated by their same gender reflections. This would not however find among women to have such close contacts with village chief or commune councils. Another explanation of why the local authorities involve themselves with other males especially after the flooding is because males as the head of the household should register their names in the flood assessment list as the representative of the affected family. According to the data collected from the village chief, family members who were affected by the flood even if they only lost one spoon are considered to be represented by the head of household; who is a male, except where there are widows or male do not exist in the household. It is important to note that flooding has not directly shifted the social structures, but the social networking within the communities are indirectly influenced by how each individual related themselves to a certain key stakeholders through the non-ICTs communications. Arguments can be drawn that since women are not so well valued in the communities in term of their representative in public sphere and especially where meeting village chief and commune councils are considered very public, the Tompoun males emerge to be the closest link with these local authorities when compared with women. As it is the norm that men should be registered for the assessment of the affects of the flooding therefore the male is the most likely person to be associated with local authority counterparts. Together with the males’ ability to write and read it makes good sense that whenever the flood ended, greater contacts with these authorities are established, built and maintained by the men even without the support of mobile phones or other modern ICTs. In contrast with the Tompoun group the Laotian community (Figure 6.6), shows that social communication by the means of social capital is strong among relatives and neighbors of both men and women. Laotian men somehow had more opportunities to develop networks and those social networks gradually increased as the flooding occurred. It implied that the network of the males with the commune officials (who are mostly males) allowed Laotian males to interact with other officials when the flooding ended and this helped to get food.


6.3 Summary Chapter 6 has shown how flooding impacted on livelihoods of both ethnic groups and how ICTs and non-ICTs communications were used during and after the flood and for livelihood recovery. The research revealed that among the two ethnic groups, all male village chiefs (except village assistants in Laotian village) and commune authorities used mobile phones and radio after the flooding to keep the flow of flood information between their superiors and line agencies. Besides keeping the superiors in the districts and town up-to date about damage caused by flooding, the use of radios to receive information is shown as an additional tool to receive the broadcasts in the media. These included the use of mobile phones together with the radio for updating upstream serious flooding that was causing the death of humans and cattle, and warning of water borne diseases. Such tools also helped for the flood preparedness and information transmission to the key relevant line agencies in order to inform them of the situation and submit oral reports of the temporary impacts of the flooding. The research also found an increasing use of mobile phones to keep in contact with relatives and friends to give information and request help during the floods. For example in the case of Tompoun commune chief who used his mobile phone actively during the flooding event to transfer the flooding situation to most relevant institutions such as NGOs and government line departments on the water level and the severity of the situation. The facilitation by mobile phones is seen as needed to ensure that the flow of communication is sent and that proper relief support is documented and immediately supplied. The use of ICTs for Laotian respondents who utilized mobile phones and radios after flood is more than the Tompoun ethnic group in order to acquire information related to flooding and maintaining contacts as part of the information notices of the households. Such uses of both of these ICTs concentrated on access to better information about flood damage and keeping contact with friends, relatives and commune members. The research also shows that Laotian male on the use of mobile phones and radios are double higher than their females and more widely used during and after flood than the men in Tompoun ethnic group. The Laotian ethnic group are marginalized compared with the Tompoun due largely to their ethnic and migrant status within Cambodia. The ethnicity influences in this changes (prior to flood the research showed that Tompoun ethnic group used ICTs more than the Laotian) reflected that from time to time, ethnic groups influence differences on the access to and control of ICTs in either early warning, during and after flood. Therefore, the chapter notes that social relations and ethnicity shape the access to and control of ICTs during and after the flood affected communities. As flooding affected males and females of both ethnic groups, their livelihoods were severely impacted. Great losses were reported for crops, rice, business and work opportunities, livestock, NTFPs, and other cash crops. However, the burden on females of both ethnic groups was more than for males. The greater burden is due to the multiple livelihood options that females of both ethnic groups undertook when compared with males, which in turn made women among the most vulnerable. Plus, the change of household labor and gendered roles were also modified in the case of collecting NTFPs which used to be women’s roles and were taken over by males. To further enhance livelihoods, males and females of both ethnic groups utilized their ICTs tools differently as parts of their communication strategies for livelihood recovery. Such uses included ordering of food stuff to be sold, seeking construction work and establishing networks to


receive relief. Some of these were coordinated by social non-ICTs actors such as kin, relatives and other community administrative actors. Therefore, such supports of ICTs and non-ICTs are seen as supportive of each other in different ways to assist in the recovery from flooding. The assistance of ICTs to flood recovery is significantly small but effective in helping livelihoods recovery. This is shown by the use of ICTs demonstrated by Laotian women who used mobile phones for the benefit of ordering stocks of goods to be sold in their village as a business start up after the flood damages. The use of mobile phone was to reduce the travelling cost that would have been spent to order food stocks from Banlung, especially to recover the goods that had been lost. Furthermore, the communication for which Tompoun males used mobile phones was to resume wage labor through the connection to other laborers to get information when construction had started. But male access of ICTs is more predominant than for females which imply certain gendered assumption that women tend to give privileges to their men in the use and ownership of ICTs. As the use of ICTs after flood has little concentration on its functions and percentage; at least they helped to recover the damaged livelihoods from the floods. Such little but effective use may be a key element where future ICTs policies in related to postflood facilitation should be enhanced. This would ensure the information needed in making the right livelihoods and recovery through the coordination mechanisms of support and relief supplies in which ICTs can be the considered facilitation tools.


Chapter 7 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 7.1 Summary of Major Findings The research found that ICTs components of mobile phones and radios were used for early warning information, during flood assistance, and after the occurrence of flooding. The use of ICTs for early flood warning is very much associated with the male village administrators who are either village chiefs or commune councils that facilitate the information flow. As soon as the information of possible flooding is transmitted via the mobile phone, the commune councils immediately organized a meeting with village chiefs for further intervention and dissemination of such early warning. Some early warnings not using ICTs included the communal knowledge of observing water levels, visits by females in both ethnic groups and the means of getting risk communications via friends, kin and neighbors as they had limited access to acquiring information via the means of ICTs tools. Even if there is widespread access to different types of ICTs tools, operation mainly for the purposes of flood warning, during flood evacuation and flood recovery among both ethnic groups of females remains limited. The limitation or constraints include; income, choices of money for household needs over ICTs, energy preferences, lack of ICTs maintenance and gendered assumption that women of both ethnic groups have nothing to do with ICTs even if a small number of women users effectively employed ICTs as part of their business operation. The very low literacy rate is not the contributing factor to utilizing ICTs. In contrast, mobile phones are widely used by males of commune councils of both ethnic groups and for certain of Tompoun village chief but even there; concerns were raised with regards to the high cost of credit calls. Specifically, a part of the communication strategies that did not use ICTs is the strongest practice of social and traditional village leadership chief and kin/friends as the core responsibility in distributing, mobilizing and sharing information affecting the village prior to flooding, and during and after the flood. At the same time, social relations as nonICTs communication with the use of mobile phones and radio contributed to pass early warning information to village members. Furthermore, the existence of social communications also contribute to borrowing, lending and networking which in turns allow better community cohesion building, sharing of food among women in both ethnic groups in times of food shortages during and after floods, and an immediate coping for the means of livelihood recovery. The use of ICTs for livelihoods recovery is widely used to seek construction work, maintenance of work flow among village/commune administration and restarting small grocery shops. In the Laotian communities, the use of ICTs among women was more concentrated on restarting the business by ordering food stuff from the town to be sold in the village. Doing so helped save time and the costs of the business. Likewise, the nonICTs communication strategies being used by each ethnic group of female implied great links to their social actors such as friends, kin and neighbors, while their males are closely associated with village chiefs and commune councils who have transferred and passed the early flooding information. Such transmission of information is claimed by the village chief and commune councils as non-discriminatory, while the flow of such information sent from the center town is very much handled by males.


In the time of post flooding, the impacts are burdens on both Tompoun and Laotian women for their incomes, non-timber forest product collections, cash crops, rice and livestock rearing. Similar for both Tompoun and Laotian men, their economic activities such as fishing and engaging in wage labor are also negatively impacted. These different impacts should not however be translated as more or less vulnerable, but the research shows that in such intense and the perceivable risk of the flood, the women of both ethnic groups still have the notion of being as the secondary head of the household. Gender roles were also adapted to meet the condition of the family in which women’s lost chances of her mobility to perform their triple roles, while certain roles are replaced by males. Laotian and Tompoun women are the main income earners and supporters of the family but their men do not recognize this important contribution. Even with such little use of ICTs, it is seen as an effective means to inform flood prone communities to prepare for the impending flood and to provide assistance for evacuating people. However, the coordination of early warning messages via the use of mobile phones and radios would not be so effective without the information community-based transmissions where word of mouth and house to house visits by the village chief, relatives and friends helped coordinate and provide information to the intended communities. ICTs and the non-ICTs in this context have played a substantial role in the processing of information prior, during and after flooding in various capacities including restoring livelihood, facilitating evacuation of people and keeping the officials/villagers informed about what has been happening in the villages and in the context of the Ketsana flooding. It cannot be denied that the government is ignoring current and previous flood damage and continuing vulnerabilities that the communities face, particularly with regards to flooding; but Cambodia’s Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2008-2013 itself does not even prioritize Ratanakiri for interventions for disaster management. And this is where government policy plays a role in disaster/flood management. 7.2 Conclusion The research shows that the access and use of ICTs by women and men of both ethnic groups is gendered and hierarchical in nature as village and commune administrative bodies are male dominated in the context of the Ketsana flooding for early warning, flood evacuation and livelihood recovery. The claims that ICTs infrastructure, ownership and access to ICTs would bridge the gender digital divide are in question as such findings show that males still widely represented and continue to dominate ICTs ownership and use of their access. Even where women have control and uses of ICTs their use of ICTs still remained secondary and less important to that of males who were recognized as primary communicators especially in the context of a disaster or crisis. This has reconfirmed that having access to and ownership of ICTs by women are not yet the key to fully utilise them effectively. Therefore it is not only a matter of access and control of ICTs by women, but the social position they have that demonstrates whether they can take leadership roles and use these in times of crisis. The ICTs controlled by males are not just in the category of male representative but the hierarchy ethnic group authorities whom they have power over, such as those who are male key village chief, commune chief of Tompoun and the Laotian. The access of ICTs and


early warnings were also influenced by the ethnicity of the two groups. Since the Laotians are more marginal in Khmer society due to their migrant and ethnic status, this also weakened their access and use of ICTs for the early warning compared with the Tompoun ethnic group. But these uses weakened during the flood and after the flood as the Laotian began to expand their uses over the course of flood and after. Therefore, having the ICTs alone may not ensure automatically having access to early warning with the same feasibility over the flood cycles; as ethnic group, community members, infrastructure, economic and gender relations keep changing over times. Gender roles have determined how women and men of Laotian and Tompoun ethnic groups react towards flooding, appropriateness as female or male and use of ICTs and nonICTs actors. This covers the modifying gender roles and the preferences in using ICTs. The access to ICTs by each ethnic group and authorities contributes to a possibility of enhancing networks that help for early warning, during and after flooding. Such accessing to ICTs and information for a certain livelihood/coping options have also performed through non-ICTs; the network of kinship and other social institutional supports. The combination of ICTs and non-ICTs used in flood related management have reproduced the inequality of ICTs as women of both ethnic groups have more close contacts with their social networks than males. While males are very much associated with key authorities and the use of ICTs are being transmitted via these male village network mobile phones. Flooding and disasters are not an environmental issue alone, but have social, communication, economic and political implications as demonstrated by the actions of government policy, key authorities of village, commune and district levels who have the most access to early warning information, ICT tools and the means to implement action. They determine the effectiveness of the use of ICTs. However, since local people themselves are communicating with each other before, during and after disasters for early warning, coping strategies and subsequent recovery, it may be useful to further democratize the use of ICTs to facilitate, enhance and empower women and men equally in reducing the risks of disasters. ICTs can build on constructive non-ICT communication strategies and social networks, which are already in place. 7.3 Recommendations Reflecting some of the research findings, the following recommendations may be considered for flood early warning: • Develop appropriate early communication warning signs at the village level using community media, and appropriate local languages and that will effectively reach all, regardless of gender and ethnicity. Establish a gender-responsive and sensitive provincial toll-free call center in cooperation with telephone service providers. Enjoin both women and men to use this facility especially for information exchange prior, during and immediately after flood events Establish village disaster teams in order to assist with early warning awareness, transmission, evacuation and coordination. Mainstream disaster risk reduction into provincial planning and integrate into the Cambodia‘s Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) for Disaster Risk Reduction Gender mainstream disaster risk reduction and early warning communications by capacitating both women and men in disaster preparedness

• • •


Further research: • • The roles of NGOs in flood risk reduction along the Sesan: Challenges and Opportunities The impacts of post flood relief support on flood adaptation along the Sesan River


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Appendix 1: Research Matrix
Research question How is flood information transmitted from relevant institutions to/and among Laotian and Tompoun communities? Information set Data source Data collection technique

- Flow of risk and warning
communication - Information sharing about flood and its impacts - Agencies involve in flood mitigation and relief - Different characteristics of information among Tompoun and Laotian

- Department of Information - Department of Meteorology
and Water Management

- Key informants - Semi- structure

- Provincial Committees for
Disaster Management - Commune councilors and village chiefs - Tompoun and Laotian household (women and men)

- Publication
review about reports on flood

What are roles and forms of ICTs used in flood vulnerability mitigation and who have access and control of these ICTs?

- Existing communication tools Ownerships and forms of ICTs among women and men Uses of ICTs among women and men Factors impede or facilitate the access and control of ICTs for women and men Effectiveness of ICTs in flood mitigation implementation Perception about floods Gender division of labor Condition under current livelihood, obstacles and opportunities prior floods and after Sources and types of livelihoods Pre and post flood relief support Access and control of capital assets Classification/specificatio n of person who are likely to be affected by flood Existing coping, adapting and mitigating tools

- Department of Information - National Committees for Disaster Management Department of Meteorology and Water Management Household (women and men) Relevant NGOs Commune councilors and village chiefs

- Key informants - Semi- structure
interview - FGDs - Survey - Field Observations

How has vulnerability to flooding impact on men and women of Laotian and Tompoun and their respective livelihoods?


- Document on cultural practices, traditions and background of villagers Community elderly &village chiefs Household (women and men) Relevant NGOs working in the field Publication about flood in the area Village visit and observations Department of Fishery and Agriculture

- Survey - FGDs - Community/villag
e observation

- Key informants - Semi structured




Appendix 2: Timetable of each research methods No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time proposed First week September Second week September Third week September Four week September First week October Second week October Methods Preliminary visit Field observations Semi-structured interviews Key informants interviews Focus groups discussions Household Survey Remarks Overnight stays Overnight stays Day trips Day trips Day trips Day trips

Appendix 3: Key informants interview guide Target of respondents: Elderly respected person, commune chief, village head, household (men and women), related NGOs, CBOs and government agencies At village and commune level: Elderly respected person, commune chief, village head, household (men and women) 1. Can you tell a bit how the flood has occurred since you have come to live here? How frequency? 2. Which year was the most affected flood? And do you any of those who were badly affected? What kinds of information and communication technologies you have used? What are the most useful one, how and why? Can they be useful in term of flood warning or relief support? What do you use them for? 3. How has the flood been affecting you and the villagers’ livelihoods? What is your view about flood? 4. Who are more likely to get severely affected? And why do you think so? 5. How do you think among the five capital assets (ranking exercise list will be given), which one would be the most useful in term of pre and post flooding? 6. Do you think that it is your solely responsibility that every family member is secured when there is flood? 7. Have the division of labor changed after or during the flood? How and why? 8. How do you cope/adapt with flood in term of livelihoods and securing yourself/your family? How has the food/eating pattern changed as flood occurred? 9. Have you ever been noticed/informed about any information that floods are going to come in the next days or week? If yes, through which mode? If no, why? Who sent the information? 10. Have the workload changed as the flood takes place? How changes are they? At the provincial level: Related NGOs, CBOs and government agencies 1. What are areas of your work? 2. What are your current programs implementing along the Se San River? How are they contributing to mitigating the vulnerability of the populations? 3. How do you view flood in this area? How do you predict flood? Which year was the most affected? Are they severely and who are likely to be more affected or all equally affected? Or why that a particularly group is more or less vulnerable than others? What are ICTs used in that flooding? 4. How would you explain vulnerability in term its impacts according to your experiences in this area? Any explanations? 94

5. What do you think about the ICTs in mitigating flood vulnerability, both preduring-post floods? Relief support? Interventions during the flood? 6. How the communications about the flood are sent? Who is the legitimate agency/person in this flood warning transferring? What are the most effective ones? 7. What do you think about using different ICTs tools in this flood as mitigating warning mechanism? 8. What would be your recommendations in how flood warning can be improved and impact on both men and women be reduced/assisted? Appendix 4: FGDs Draft Question Guides Target of respondents: household (men and women separately) 1. When do floods come? What causes the flooding? Has this increased in recent years? How have people lived with increased or regular flooding? When does it flood during the year? 2. How have the flood had impacts on women and men? Why particular person is more or less harmful than others? 3. What livelihoods situations are before, during and after the flood? How are they different for men and women, kids and elderly? 4. Are there any information mechanisms or ICTs being used within the village? If not, why? If yes, what are they for? Have they been used for the flood mitigation? How and why? 5. What capital asset (social, human, natural, physical, financial) is useful in mitigating the flood vulnerability? Why?

Appendix 5: Semi-structure interview guide Target of respondents: Commune Councilor, Village Chief, Women, Men, Elderly Persons General Questions: 1. How long have you been living here? 2. What are you doing for the living? How about your family members? 3. Have you noticed of any floods or water rise irregularity? 4. What do you think about floods? 5. Who are the most likely severely affected by flood? Why? 6. When you think of the people in your village as poor, moderate or rich; what are your classifications? 7. In time of floods, how do you cope with it? 8. How flood changed or affect your life? 9. Are there any methods you used to adapt to flood? 10. How your livelihoods or living standards changed so far since the time you have come here? How? Why such changes occur? Are these changes good? Why? 11. Do you have any medium of information sharing (ICTs) such as radio, TVs, mobiles, Community Network, etc..? 12. If you don’t have, which among them or others do you wish to have? For what purpose you think it will serve you in term of using this medium of information sharing? 13. How the ownership of these ICTs belong too? 14. How did you know if there is flood in the coming days or weeks? Have you been informed about any flood related information? Why it so?


15. Among the capital assets (interviewer will explain this combination of capital assets), which one do you have the most? The least? How and why? 16. How these capital assets help your livelihoods? 17. Are these capital useful in mitigating your vulnerabilities? 18. How the mitigation of pre flood or post flood relief implemented? How do you think about this? 19. Have you got any relief support before when there is flood? 20. Who received all those support? How did the relief support distributed?


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