Provincial Engagement Strategy Workshops
Posted on 14/04/2018
Recently the Aus4Equality|GREAT program brought together 50 participants in two Provincial Engagement Strategy workshops from the Provincial DPI, DARD, DCST, DOLISA, VWU, CEMA, and District representatives of Son La and Lao Cai.
“Women can do what men do. Only a third of the agricultural extension training participants are women, but those women are very active and productive,” reflected one participant, Ms Hoang Thi Thu Hien, Director of the Son La Province Agricultural Extension Center.
The group discussed a wide range of issues including how best to prepare ethnic minority women to engage in agriculture and tourism value chains as well as key policy priorities to facilitate a sustainable and inclusive business environment. The Aus4Equality|GREAT program, launched by the Governments of Vietnam and Australia earlier this year, aims to increase the incomes of over 40,000 women and their families in the poorest remote ethnic minority communities in the Northwest of Vietnam, through innovative approaches to inclusive market systems development.
The program will use a Market Systems Development (MSD) approach to strengthening women’s engagement in agriculture and tourism value chains in Son La and Lao Cai provinces, which have high concentrations of ethnic minorities and poor communities.
According to Le Anh Tuan, the Program’s Inclusive Business Advisor, “By demonstrating how to incentivize businesses to engage with women led and managed producer groups and cooperatives, the program will enable local government to leverage significant private sector investments to help meet social development goals.” The program aims to collaborate with a diverse range of implementing partners including private sector, local business associations, producer groups and cooperatives, NGOs and government agencies. The program will use a “push-pull” approach to address the issue from both sides: on the one hand preparing women producers to collectively participate in value chains, and on the other working with the private sector to develop innovative ways to meaningfully engage with these female producers.
A call for proposals will be launched in the coming months to encourage potential partners to submit expressions of interest, the program is particularly interested in identifying and developing innovative locally driven solutions that can be tested and scaled up for broader coverage.