Aus for EqualityUpdateNewsAus4Equality|GREAT Kicks Off First Strategic Planning in Hanoi

Aus4Equality|GREAT Kicks Off First Strategic Planning in Hanoi

Aus4Equality|GREAT Kicks Off First Strategic Planning in Hanoi

16-18 April – The First Aus4Equality|GREAT Program Joint Strategic Planning workshop brought together nearly 40 representatives from key partner agencies, including DFAT, the Project Management Units (PMUs), CowaterSogema and the implementation team. Using an inclusive market systems development approach, the program aims to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in some of the economically vulnerable Ethnic Minority Communities in Son La and Lao Cai.

The event follows a series of research, analysis and planning exercises over the past few months around how to engage ethnic minority women in Agriculture and Tourism Value Chains in Son La and Lao Cai provinces.

“I can see that we have a strong team coming together to develop a plan, test approaches and build consensus. Partnerships are at the core of the Program’s approach and I encourage you to consider how you can all work together to identify the best way forward.” – Said Ms. Kellie Raab, First Secretary at DFAT, in her opening speech.

The group discussed a wide range of key issues and principles, including how best the Program’s theories of change and action link to the situation on the ground and practical interventions, using an adaptive management approach to reaching shared overall objectives, and what the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders at all levels are in managing and delivering the program activities. The group mapped out a work plan for the first year of implementation with key milestones, which will include signing pilot partnership grant agreements with key strategic partners, as well as capacity development in partnership, inclusive Market Systems Development, and monitoring.

In anticipation of many opportunities and challenges ahead, the two provinces expressed their strong joint commitment by stating: “We’ve taken away a lot of knowledge and information from this workshop. We will adopt knowledge and tools provided flexibly and effectively over the coming years of the implementation and we are committed to working together to make this Program a great success.” –Mr. Nguyen Viet Cuong, Lao Cai Department of Planning and Investment.

Aus4Equality|GREAT is preparing for a launch of call for proposals in the coming months to invite potential partners from both private and public sectors to come up with innovative solutions to persistent poverty and economic marginalization among women in ethnic minority communities. The Program aims to create 4,000 paid jobs and help improve incomes for 40,000 women in the two provinces of focus by the end of 2021.

From left to right:
Mr. Dinh Trung Dung, Vice Director at Son La DPI; Ms. Kellie Raab, First Secretary at DFAT; Ms. Mia Hyun, Aus4Equality|GREAT Program Team Leader; Ms. Lan Phuong, Senior Program Manager at DFAT; Mr. Nguyen Viet Cuong – Head of Science, Educational, and Social Division, Lao Cai DPI; Ms. Fida Geagea, Executive Vice President at CowaterSogema; Ms. Bernadette Whitelum, Program Senior Consultant.

Group discussion around Program’s policy advocacy strategies.

Ms. Tran Thi Ngan – Head of Family-Economics-Society Division, Lao Cai Province Women’s Union – presenting her ideas about how Program’s objectives can be best achieved.

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