Rapid Assessment of the Social Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis in Viet Nam: Summary of first round research

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 12
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information Report
Category:

Documents

Published:

Views: 9 | Pages: 12

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Related documents
Description
With support from Oxfam GB and the World Bank, researchers carried out rapid qualitative assessment of the short-term social impacts of the global economic crisis on businesses and workers in different sectors in Ha Noi. The goal was to inform government understanding and policy during the economic crisis following the initial stimulus package. This paper summarises the findings of the initial rapid assessment and makes some suggestions for further research areas and techniques.
Transcript
    Oxfam  Discussion Paper    Rapid Assessment of the Social Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis in Viet Nam   Summary of first round research Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences   Academic researchers and consultants for the World Bank and Oxfam GB   July 2010   With support from Oxfam GB and the World Bank, researchers carried out rapid qualitative assessment of the short-term social impacts of the  global economic crisis on businesses and workers in different sectors in Ha Noi. The goal was to inform government understanding and policy during the economic crisis following the initial stimulus package. This  paper summarises the findings of the initial rapid assessment and makes some suggestions for further research areas and techniques.   Oxfam Discussion Papers   Oxfam Discussion Papers are written to contribute to public debate and to invite feedback on development and humanitarian policy issues. They are ’work in progress’ documents, and do not necessarily constitute final publications or reflect Oxfam policy positions. The views and recommendations expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Oxfam. For more information, or to comment on this paper, email research@oxfam.org.uk    Introduction 1   The unfolding global economic crisis is taking its toll on the Vietnamese economy through two main areas – exports (including exports of goods and labour, and inbound tourist services) and foreign direct investment, besides overseas remittances and indirect foreign investment. Current (March 2009) information reveals that job losses are growing in export-oriented labour-intensive industries, such as textile, garment and footwear manufacturing, seafood processing, wood processing, and craft villages employing unregistered migrant workers from other provinces. Some analyses argue that if unemployment reaches a certain threshold, it might push the current economic slowdown into a vicious circle: job cuts result in reduced incomes leading to reduced consumption and hence weakened demand, which in turn forces firms to scale down production resulting in further job cuts in the next round. In this context, the top priority for Viet Nam is to sustain employment, in order to avoid the vicious circle of economic downturn. The government of Viet Nam acted quickly to introduce and implement a first fiscal stimulus package, which was a timely governmental response. However, in the context of the large budget and current account deficits, as well as high inflation, that Viet Nam has experienced in the last couple of years, special care should be taken to ensure that the fiscal stimulus is as cost effective as possible, i.e. maintains the maximum level of employment while keeping inflation and macro imbalances at the lowest level possible. Planning the right types of government response requires that the government have sufficient information on the magnitude of the impact of the global economic crisis on enterprises and workers in Viet Nam and their resilience and coping mechanisms (particularly in case the crisis does not come to an end soon), formal and informal social safety-nets in areas and communities where the impact on the population is felt strongly, etc. Because of the lack of appropriate and frequently updated information, particularly on how the people affected respond to negative impacts, the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences, with support from Oxfam GB and the World Bank, has carried out an initial rapid qualitative assessment collecting up-to-date information about the impact of the ongoing global economic crisis on firms and workers, in order to provide timely inputs into policy-making processes and to complement, but not replace, the data and statistics collected by GSO and MOLISA. This report summarises key findings from the first rapid qualitative assessment implemented in Ha Noi. The research team will conduct follow-up assessments in different regions, and reports will be made available immediately after each assessment is completed. 2 Rapid assessment of the social impact of the global economic crisis in Viet Nam , Oxfam Discussion Paper, July 2010    Methodologies   A rapid qualitative assessment was carried out at several sites in and around Ha Noi in February 2009 to identify emerging initial impacts of the financial crisis. Sites were chosen to capture the groups where substantial early impacts were expected: a sample of five mobile labour markets in Ha Noi, two export-oriented craft villages (Bat Trang and Ha Thai), and Thang Long Industrial Park. The assessment was based on semi-structured interviews and group discussions using PRA tools such as time lines and ranking exercises. In total, 105 respondents participated in the fieldwork: ã Informal sector: three group discussions with 16 day labourers (of which three were women), and interviews with nine day labourers (of which six were women). ã Craft villages: interviews with 29 craft businesses (of which 12 were companies and cooperatives and 17 small-scale household enterprises), 12 labourers (of which four were women), and six leaders of communes, villages and craft associations. ã Formal sector: interviews with a representative of the developer (landlord) of TLIP, four managers of enterprises in and near TLIP, 23 workers (of which 18 were women), representatives of the nearby vocational school, two leaders of communes and villages and two hostel owners near TLIP. Rapid assessment of the social impact of the global economic crisis in Viet Nam , 3  Oxfam Discussion Paper, July 2010    Key findings   This rapid assessment indicates that migrant labourers are finding less work and facing reduced income. Some, particularly formal sector workers, are returning home. Others are considering returning on a temporary basis, hoping they can search for work elsewhere. Some are trying to stay in Ha Noi, either taking second jobs in less remunerative sectors or, in some cases, combining reduced working hours with studying and looking for better opportunities. They are particularly vulnerable to recent external downturns and are bearing the early adverse impacts of the economic crisis. Trends and patterns of employment, domestic migration and rural-urban linkages should be the key indicators in monitoring the social impact of the economic crisis in the coming period. Informal sector: day labourers in cho lao dong (mobile labour markets) are suffering reduced income and under-employment The incomes of the day labourers interviewed in Ha Noi had declined, as there were fewer jobs, especially in civil construction (which used to be their primary source of work), compared with early 2008. Also, there was increased competition from service companies for cleaning, house moving, and loading and unloading goods, which limits the work opportunities for casual labourers, including women. The labourers interviewed, many of whom had been working in labour markets in Ha Noi for several years, explained that daily wages had increased by 10–20% by late 2008 compared with late 2007, in response to increases in costs of living. However, the average days worked per month decreased by around 50% in the same period. They estimate that they had 20 days’ work a month during 2007, but they worked only 10 days per month in late 2008, of which the days worked in civil construction declined by about 70% and the days worked in other jobs (loading and unloading goods, cleaning, etc.) by about 30%. Their monthly savings had accordingly decreased by 30–50% after one year. Some labourers even said that since Tet 2009 they had received no construction work and thus had had insufficient income to pay for their minimum costs of living in the city. Reduced income and remittances, together with increased costs of living, have negatively affected the diets of labourers’ families and may threaten the educational prospects of their children at home. One female day labourer from Phuc Tho district (formerly Ha Tay, now Ha Noi) complained: “Money now loses its value. In Tet last year the rice price was only five to seven thousand dong 2  per kilogram, now it is ten thousand dong. The worst difficulties appear right after Tet with much less work... Normally I buy meat for my children three to four times a month. But since Tet this year, I have received much less work and so could not buy meat. What little money I have earned is only sufficient for some oil, vegetables and some soya curd each meal” . Another woman from Nghe An, going to Hanoi’s labour market with her husband, explains that: “If the difficult situation after Tet this year continues for long   and my husband and I cannot remit enough money home, my elder girl may have to quit school to    go to Ha Noi to work as a housemaid to fund the schooling of my two younger children” . Day labourers suffer reduced income and under-employment, but still not unemployment thanks to their high social capital. Day labourers often come in groups from the same locality, they are willing to share work with less income for each (e.g. more people do a piece of work), and they can borrow small amounts from each other when they have no work. ã In difficult times, the gender dimension of labour division is less evident as the female day labourers are ready to do the jobs which used to be reserved for men, and vice versa. In fact, they often work in groups with both men and women, and divide 4 Rapid assessment of the social impact of the global economic crisis in Viet Nam , Oxfam Discussion Paper, July 2010
Recommended
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks