Participatory Poverty Monitoring in Rural Communities in Viet Nam: Synthesis report 2008 | Poverty

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In January 2007, Viet Nam was admitted as the 150th member country of the WTO. It was widely recognised that this would bring many new opportunities to Viet Nam, but would also pose many challenges, especially in ensuring that the full benefits of WTO membership are shared by the whole of Viet Nam's population, including poor and vulnerable people. In this context, ActionAid Viet Nam (AAV), Oxfam Great Britain (OGB) and Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK) started the 'Post WTO' poverty monitoring initiative in early 2007. However, the time frame of this initiative also happened to coincide with the onset of the global economic crisis and so the studies provide further valuable insights into the effects of the crisis on poor and vulnerable people in Viet Nam.The initiative is intended as a longitudinal study of poverty outcomes, linked with changes in livelihoods and market access of vulnerable groups, in selected communities and cities throughout Viet Nam. The intention is to provide analysis and recommendations for policy discussion as well as for the work of Oxfam, AAV and partners.
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  Table of Contents TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................3 PREFACE .....................................................................................5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .....................................................................7 ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS ...............................................................9 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .....................................................................11 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................15OBJECTIVE OF THE REPORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15METHODOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 The framework: themes and hypotheses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17Field work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 PART 1: AN OVERVIEW OF POVERTY TRENDS AND POVERTY REDUCTION EFFORTS .....21 1. OVERVIEW OF POVERTY TRENDS ......................................................211.1 DECLINING NATIONAL AND LOCAL POVERTY RATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211.2 DRIVERS OF POVERTY REDUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22Increasing productivity from farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23Infrastructure improvements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27Improving access to markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28Increased opportunities for wage labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29Better access to education and health services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Increased access to credit and financial services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .331.3 REMAINING POVERTYPROBLEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34Food poverty and poor nutrition remains serious for some . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34Difficulties in identification of the poor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 The national poverty line is inaccurate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36Strong pessimism for the near future among the poor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 PART 2. KEY THEMES IN ADDRESSING POVERTY .................................39 2. THE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND THE POOR ..............................................392.1 REASONS FOR INEQUALITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39Poor People have Fewer Income Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40Poor People Have Less Land and Lesser Quality Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40Poor People Have Fewer Assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42Poor People Participate Less . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44Poor People Have Fewer Social Assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44Poor People are Susceptible to Drug Abuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46Poor People are Less Successful in Applying Science and Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46Poor People Have Less Access to Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47Poor People Have Less Access to the Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49Poor People Tend to Be Ethnic Minorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .502.2 THE NEAR-POOR REMAIN AT RISK TOO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .532.3 CONCLUSIONS: THE DETERMINANTS OF THE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR . . . . . . . . .55 3  3. VULNERABILITY .........................................................................583.1 FACTORS OF VULNERABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59Vulnerability to weather and climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59Vulnerability to illness and labour loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60Vulnerability to crop pests and diseases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61Vulnerability to market volatility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62Vulnerability to other risks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .633.2 STRATEGIES FOR COPING WITH RISK AND VULNERABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Livelihood diversification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Returning to traditional upland cultivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65Buying on credit from local shops and agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Taking on seasonal wage labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .653.3 POLICY AND OTHER SUPPORT FOR THE VULNERABLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66Support from the community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66Support from mass organizations and other local institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67Government support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673.4 CONCLUSIONS: REDUCING VULNERABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 4. GENDER ..................................................................................704.1 GENDER DIFFERENCES WITHIN HOUSEHOLDS AND COMMUNITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70Division of labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70Decision-making: gender roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .714.2 ACCESS TO AND USE OF RESOURCES AND SERVICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71Access to Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71Access to Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72Access to Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72Access to health care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .764.3 REPRESENTATION AND PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76Involvement in community organisations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 Taking part in meetings and other village activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .774.4 CONCLUSIONS: MAINSTREAMING GENDER INTO PRO-POOR EFFORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78 5. PARTICIPATION AND EMPOWERMENT .................................................795.1 PARTICIPATION BY THE POOR IN POLICIES AND PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79Access to information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79Implementation of policies and projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80Participation in monitoring and managing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .835.2 ROLES OF THE COMMUNITY AND ORGANISATIONS IN STRENGTHENING PARTICIPATION . .835.3 CONCLUSIONS: RAISING EMPOWERMENT AMONG THE POOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 PART 3. CONCLUSIONS: PROGRESS TOWARD THE ELIMINATION OF POVERTY IN Viet Nam .................................................................................87 6. CHALLENGES FACING POVERTY REDUCTION EFFORTS IN Viet Nam .................876.1 POVERTY INDICATORS FOR MONITORING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876.2 FUTURE CHALLENGES FACING PRO-POOR GROWTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88Impact of the WTO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88Impactof the World Financial Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89Impactof ClimateChange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .896.3 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DISCUSSION ...............................................90 7. REFERENCES .............................................................................92 4
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