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Chia Se Vietnam Sweden Poverty Alleviation Program, Phase I

The ‘Chia Se’ programme consisted of four components - three provincial projects in Ha Giang, Yen Bai, and Quang Tri provinces and a national one, which together support poverty alleviation and poverty-focused national policy making. In each province, two districts participated: Hoang Su Phi and Bac Me in Ha Giang, Mu Cang Chai and Van Chan in Yen Bai and Gio Linh and Vinh Linh in Quang Tri. Up to twelve communes per district were covered by the programme. Most of the people living in the project area belong to ethnic minorities, whose livelihoods depend primarily on wet rice farming and traditional upland cultivation. Besides its focus on poverty alleviation, Chia Se also strongly supported decentralisation processes under the Vietnamese Government's ‘Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy’ and the 5-Year Development Plan, ensuring that vulnerable and disadvantaged groups can participate fully in Vietnams rapidly reforming and developing society.

A key feature of the programme was the Local Planning and Management for Development system that allowed village communities to access the Local Development Fund and to plan for and handle these funds (on average USD 10,000 per village per year over four annual planning cycles) at their own discretion, based on their own participatory planning and prioritising of activities.

On a national level, special support is given to the integration of the CPRGS into the current 5-year planning cycles. The Ministry of Planning and Investment was also supported on strategic communication, specific capacity building and the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system.

The programme, which started in 2003, was divided into three phases, a 12-month piloting and inception phase and an implementation phase covering two plus two years. The inception phase developed and tested structures and methods allowing for rapid expansion, ultimately reaching up to 500 villages. The total programme budget was around USD 43 million.

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