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Self Management Study of the Chia se Poverty Alleviation Program Phase II

Chia se can be described as a pre-reform program aiming at showing a way to implement the decentralization policies of the Government of Vietnam Nation-wide, analyze the results obtained and communicate lessons learned to the public administration nation-wide. The Chia sẻ approach to poverty alleviation can be briefly described as a way of empowering villagers to jointly manage a Local Development Fund (LDF), large enough to support investments that can improve the living conditions of the poor in a sustainable manner. Identification of poor households as well as setting development priorities were tasks decided by the village meeting convened by officials elected by the village. To maintain a democratic and transparent process for managing the LDF, investment decisions were taken by the village meeting.

The second phase:

  1. Consolidated the results achieved in the local areas
  2. Developed and analyzed less expensive ways of successfully applying the same approach, making it replicable nation-wide
  3. Made the results and the procedures behind these results well-known and communicated, for obtaining impact on Socio Economic Development planning, policy-making and application of already existing policies within the fields of poverty reduction, rural development, decentralization and grassroots democracy

ORGUT provided technical assistance and advice to the Ministry of Planning and Investments and the Provincial Peoples Committees in Ha Giang and Quang Tri in particular in developing and promoting the decentralized, rights-based approach to local governance.

By 31 July 2011 the first part of Chia sẻ 2 (2009-2013) was to come to an end. At that date, the Sida-support to the program along with technical assistance was to stop. The remaining period of the program will mainly rely on Government of Vietnam resources.

A Result Analysis (Completion) report was required by both Vietnamese and Swedish regulations at this point. More important than the formalities though, was the potential a well documented report had to support the endeavors in the remaining years of the Chia sẻ program and beyond.

A Self Management Review was conducted at the end of Phase 1 (2008-2009). It was reported in “Chia sẻ Management Review” (January 2009) and is frequently referred to in the Result Analysis Report for Chia sẻ Phase 1.

In Chia sẻ Phase 2 there were now areas with 6-8 years of Chia sẻ experience as well as those with less than 2 years of experience. One of three main tasks of Chia sẻ Phase 2 was to develop less expensive ways of successfully applying the same approach, making it replicable nation-wide. In other words: making the Chia sẻ approach also usable within the context of the country’s normal constraints when it comes to budget availability and capacities within public administration. In short this is usually referred to as Chia sẻ light. Hence, the new communes in Chia sẻ 2 only worked with the Chia sẻ light model, while the older communes have experiences from both systems. At district and province levels, staff had been working with both approaches.

The ministry of Planning and Investment, therefore contracted a local consultancy firm to update and repeat a Self-Management also after the first half of the Phase 2 of the program. The method development was supported by the Chia se long-term advisors, but in addition a need to support the local consultancy team with international experience and best practices during the implementation and data analysis was identified. ORGUT therefore recruited a Team leader for the Self-management study.

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