Annual report CSRD 2015

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CREATING RESILIENT COMMUNITIES Many poor and vulnerable communities traditionally depend upon the rivers, lagoons and coastal waters for their livelihood and their quality of life. They are threatened by climate change — salt intrusion, flooding, erosion of coast and riverbanks and by the dispossession of traditional lands which often accompanies hydropower schemes.

The Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) is a Hue-based, local nongovernment organisation (NGO) working to seek justice for vulnerable communities threatened by external change. We help to create community resilience to threats resulting from climate change, hydropower construction, agribusiness and industry expansion.

Working in partnership with local communities in Thua Thien Hue, other provinces in the central regions, across Vietnam and across borders as needed, CSRD provides support to disadvantaged and vulnerable people with information, empowerment, advocacy services and practical assistance.

We do this through four key activities: 1. We research the real issues at the grass roots level and maintain grass roots buy-in at all stages of project implementation. 2. We act as change agents and raise awareness by training and advocacy. 3. We empower the disadvantaged, particularly women, helping them realize their rights and how to make their voices heard. 4. We lead pilot projects such as mangrove planting, composting and child education to demonstrate change options.

All projects have been managed in close cooperation with the affected people. All our projects are research-based and we have skilled and experienced staff. We work to ensure positive change for the future of all in Vietnam.

The CSRD logo The CSRD logo depicts stylized bamboo — a plant with great cultural relevance, valued throughout our region for is versatility, strength and ready availability. Bamboo has particular significance in Vietnam where it symbolizes home and soul and the resilience and enduring strength of the Vietnamese communities and their natural resources.


‘We work to make a difference in people’s lives and to create communities that can adjust and succeed in moving towards a better future.’

From the Director, Lam Thi Thu Suu In review of the past year I would like to thank all of our donors, partners, volunteers and friends who have given us so much help and support. I would especially like to thank the CSRD staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the year. Without the help of all of these people we would not have achieved the significant advances we have made to many communities.

ries and are so entrenched it is hard to shift. But change we must. The women of Vietnam work hard, they are the key support for families and are the ones responsible to feed, clothe and find food for their children. But many women’s voices are not heard. For example, in the building of hydropower dams or major infrastructure women are not consulted. Yet they are the ones who must cope with the environmental and social We have been successful in changes resulting from these raising awareness of the issues events. With climate change faced by the poor and vulnerposing a great threat to Vietnam able in our country. We have it is important that the women of gained extensive media coverour country are consulted so age helping showcase some of that they understand the risks the problems and we have influand can help work to mitigate enced many stakeholders and climate change. policy-makers. Another challenge CSRD has This year we have carried faced this year is funding. Some out a lot of work regarding genof our traditional donors have der. This has not been an easy left Hue and others are refocustask. It has proved hard to coning away from Vietnam. To convince some key stakeholders of tinue our work, we need to find the need to even address this new sources of income and this issue. Gender imbalance in year we plan two new social Vietnam has historical and culenterprise initiatives: Green tural roots that date back centu-

Shops and Study Tours. Our SuSuXahn shop initiative will provide the people of Hue with safe, chemical free fruit and vegetables. We are working with farmers who produce vegetables naturally and we hope to influence other farmers to use less pesticides and chemical fertilisers. We have also had many requests from our supporters to visit the projects we undertake. We plan to incorporate study tours into our activities that will help raise funds but also showcase the work and the issues people are facing in this country. I look forward to the next year and our new projects but we are always interested to hear from our supporters. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or ideas for us.

Lam Thi Thu Suu, Director 3

FROM THE ADVISORY BOARD when land is taken from them for rubber plantations or the building of hydropower dams. CSRD has been able to help and give these people a voice. They are able to raise the issues with those in authority and, in many cases, enable changes to be made to improve the lives of those affected.

and commitment to their ongoing work. We greatly appreciate the support given to the work of CSRD in helping the poor and vulnerable of Vietnam.

Nguyen Thi Phuc Hoa

Funding is an issue for CSRD Chair, CSRD Advisory Board to be able to continue to adIt is a privilege to see the exdress the many pressing issues ceptional results that CSRD our country faces, from climate has achieved over the past Our New Website change, industrialisation and year– work that has helped the rapid economic expansion. Our new website, many people and communities, CSRD is progressing on a stra- was designed by creative design especially those in remote and tegic three year plan to generagency MoWorks in Melbourne, rural areas where life is hard. ate new funding streams from Australia as a pro-bono project. Many people in the Central and social enterprise as well as The new site, in English and VietCentral Highlands regions of seeking donations via the new namese, is a professional impactVietnam struggle to make a CSRD website. ful design and easy to navigate. living and enough food to feed The board fully support these Keep watching over the year for their families. Many of them are new information. initiatives, which demonstrate not aware of their entitlements CSRD’s determination

CSRD Values  We aim to work to protect the environment and its complex eco-systems which are essential for the continuing health and well-being of our country and our people.

 We believe in the value of all human beings and their right to live a life of dignity.  We strive to establish mutually respectful partnerships with our stakeholders.  We believe in ourselves and our capacity to introduce change peacefully within laws and regulations.  We will work to support poor and vulnerable people in Vietnam to live a better life by addressing the issues which produce negative impacts on them such as industrial development, climate change, rapid social change and gender inequality.


HELPING DISPLACED COMMUNITIES LEARN NEW SKILLS Continuing from 2014, CSRD, together with CRN, is working with communities of people, mostly ethnic minority groups, resettled due to the building of hydro-power dams. These people were moved from their traditional homes and gardens to new accommodation with inadequate land for them to grow their own food.

By learning new forestry techniques the community can harvest new crops from the forest.

Donor: ICCO Foundation Project Date: 2014-2016 Location: Bo Hon village, Binh Dien Commune, Huong Tra Town, Quang Binh Province

CSRD worked with the local people to lobby the authorities for improved conditions. The people of Bo Hon were granted an additional 87 hectares of forest land, which allowed the people to harvest non-timber forest products such as mushrooms, medicinal plants and rattan. The people were also paid a small amount in exchange for protecting the forest, and CSRD arranged for the community to be trained in silviculture techniques. so that they can, in turn, gain some economic benefit from the land.

RUBBER PLANTATIONS AND PEOPLE’S LIVELIHOODS Market pressures continue to lead to the expansion of rubber cultivation into new lands, often becoming monocultures in sub-optimal environments such as steep hillsides or cleared forest land. In Lau Chai province, farmers were promised work and high crop prices in exchange for contracting their agricultural land to rubber cultivation. The price of rubber has subsequently dropped and neither the employment nor the financial return have eventuated. Farmers used to growing their own food on the land which is now planted in rubber, are now facing food shortages. Land conversions for rubber plantations have expanded into areas where rubber is not historically grown, posing risks to farmers livelihoods and the environment.

Donor: ICCO and Forland Project Date: 2015 Location: Nam Giang District, Quang Nam Province and Sin Ho District, Lai Chau Province

CSRD’s research with eight community groups/70 participants confirmed that families suffer environmental, social and economic problems since the rubber plantations were contracted. A forum was organised with local communities, local authorities, scientists, and rubber company representatives to highlight the consequences of the rubber contracting. For the first time the issues were aired in a public forum, and further steps will be taken to address these. 5

RAISING CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS Starting in 2014, a climate change awareness programme commenced in five rural areas of Thua Thien Hue province. In 2014, the issues of pig manure disposal and the use of firewood for cooking were tackled by the very successful installations of household biogas plants. The overuse of chemical fertilisers was addressed by workshops for compost making. In 2015 the programme was extended to five rural schools. Students learned about climate change and what they could do to help. A poster competition illustrating their understanding of climate change was held and teams of older children competed on climate change knowledge. Very Children planted trees in their school grounds and positive feedback came from the children, the took part in school competitions. schools, and local communities. Most importantly all project activities have left lasting demDonor: Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) onstrations for local people of how they can reProject Date: 2015 Location: Phong Dien and Nam Dong District, spond to the challenges of climate change. It is hoped that this project can be replicated and a Thua Thien Hue rural groundswell for positive change created.

MONITORING THE IMPACT OF HYDROPOWER DAMS The positive effects of hydropower electricity generation are counterbalanced by many negative social and environmental consequences. CSRD has lead several initiatives to highlight such issues and has been able to create a network of communities able to address these and to be active participants in sharing of knowledge, planning processes and monitoring of the environment.

This book showcases all of the problems that communities face with changes to their environment, social and cultural lives and livelihoods. Its publication resulted in increased awareness and considerable media coverage on the issues.

Donor: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS) Project Date: 2015 Location: Quang Nam, Dak Lak, Quang Nam Province

CSRD has particularly focused on encouraging and enabling women to make their voices heard and become active participants in these activities. Workshops with all stakeholders – local communities, government, investors – have highlighted matters of community concern and secured some advances. To illustrate the problems caused by changes to their environment, livelihoods, and social and cultural lives, CSRD assisted the communities in developing the photovoice book: Hydropower Dams: Voices from the Communities. It is hoped that the book will stimulate broader international concern, discussion, and action on these issues. 6

PESTICIDES — RISK FOR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT There is increasing concern at the overuse of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture which put the health of consumers and farmers at risk, and pollute the environment. CSRD researched the issues then called an initial forum to stimulate debate, attended by NGOs, government and environmental protection agencies, farmers, and universities.

In 2013 imports of agricultural chemicals were 5,000 times higher than in 1994. Many chemicals are stored unsafely in decrepit warehousing.

Donor: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS) Date: 2015 Location: Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Quang Tri, Quang Binh

It was confirmed that the majority of farmers rely on using chemical pesticides and fertilizers to increase productivity. Many use the chemicals without protective garments, or information on the quantities and timing of applications, relying only on information or special promotions offered by the retailers. Furthermore, large increases in the import of agricultural chemicals was highlighted. There was concern at the lack of farmer education in the correct use of the chemicals and the need for stronger government controls. Larger-scale work on this pressing problem is needed.

LINKING COMMUNITIES ALONG THE MEKONG RIVER Developing strong networks across the Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam regions along the Mekong River provides a means to protect the river, the surrounding environment and the livelihood of the communities that depend on these resources. This is an essential first step to raising awareness and fostering groups capable of having a voice in development schemes.

Hydropower and other development schemes threaten the environment and livelihood of communities along the Mekong River.

Donor: Oxfam Date: 2015 Location: Mekong River; Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

A series of regional workshops was held with the participation of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and community representatives in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Delegates all contributed their ideas and experiences in living and protecting the resources of their river. A trilingual Handbook - Good Practices on Integrated Water Resource Management and Community Based Natural Resource Managementwas produced to capture this information, and provide insight for planning authorities. Further work will build on these foundations.



Awareness of the deep-rooted nature of gender discrimination is growing in Vietnam. Delegates from the coalition discuss and workshop the issue.

Donor: Oxfam Project Date: 2015 Location: Hue and Hoi An, Vietnam

CSRD worked with Oxfam — The UK Department of International Development’s coalition supporting programme (CSP), on a review of how the gender issue is approached in each organisation in terms of policy and documentation. The focus of the work was to mainstream and promote gender neutrality in all documents - strategy and planning as well as all policy briefs and articles. A workshop was held to present the findings from each coalition member and a training session was held in Hoi An to show how gender can be mainstreamed in advocacy and how the personnel structure of organisations can help support this. The new knowledge and experience from this work, plus input from other Oxfam gender experts, are being captured in a forthcoming handbook, as a resource to assist organisations pursuing a more equitable gender balance.

CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE AND THE ROLE OF GENDER The former imperial capital of Hue is located near the mouth of the Perfume River, and lies in the path of East Asian Monsoons. Its proneness to flooding is exacerbated by climate change, urbanisation and upstream river management.

Women are more vulnerable to climate change affects because they face more social, economic and political barriers that limit their coping capacity.

Donor: IIED Project Date: 2015 Location: Hue

Both genders are affected by flooding, but women face difficulties because they are traditionally responsible for feeding and maintaining the health of the family. This grass roots research (currently underway) examines the different gender impacts of urbanisation and climate change and the extent to which the different genders have been included in assessing climate change vulnerability and contributing to build the resilience of the city. CSRD will seek to identify good practice and draw lessons on gender sensitivity and sustainability as inputs into the Hue Green City, and the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) projects. 8

HOW GENDER ROLES ARE IMPACTED BY HYDROPOWER DAMS CSRD investigated the serious social consequences to communities resettled through hydropower construction. Resettlement has been to inadequate land where the people can no longer grow their own food or fish (a major part of their diet). The people now have insufficient food and struggle to survive. The men have no capacity to find local work and the women are particularly affected as they traditionally look after family wellbeing, making sure there is enough to eat. Their lives are a constant battle.

The dam construction restricts the water flow to the river resulting in social and environmental damage and affected the lives of people who depended on the river for their livelihood.

Donor: Oxfam Project Date: 2015 Location: A Luoi and Srepok 3 Dam, Central and Central Highlands

Through training workshops women were encouraged to discuss, explore and voice their issues. CSRD organised an important meeting was held between the communities, investors and local authorities. The investors were made aware of the grave consequences and gender imbalance that can arise from resettlement and the effects on women. Representations and further action at high government levels is an expected outcome.

CSRD CONSULTANCY SERVICES From time to time, CSRD is invited to undertake consultancy projects which utilize it’s proven strengths in community research and mobilization on environmental issues and climate change in the Central Provinces, Central Highlands and in the Mekong Delta. In 2015 consulting projects were undertaken on behalf of Danish Demining, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and DONRE, Quang Nam.

PUBLICATIONS IN 2015 Assessment of commitment implementation in environmental protection of Buon Kuop Hydro power dam in the Srepok river and unexpected social, environment impact in the affected area. Nguyễn Bắc Giang, Phạm Thị Diệu My, Lê Quang Tiến. Available in Vietnamese and English version in production. Supporting local practice to adapt to climate change and promote green growth in Thua Thien Hue province, Central Vietnam, Biogas and compost Factsheet – CSRD, available in Vietnamese and English. Hydropower Voices from Communities, Photovoice book of hydropower stories made by nine communities in Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, Quang Nam and Daklak, English and Vietnamese. Forest Land Coalition Fact Sheet, FORLAND, CSRD, Vietnamese language only Research report on Attitude and Practices of Pesticide use and Management in Thua Thien Hue, CSRD, Vietnamese language only. Good Practices on Integrated Water Resource Management and Community-Based Natural Resource Management, CSRD, available in English, Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian. Hydropower Dams in Central and Central Highlands, Vietnam: The Concerns of People and the Responsibility of Stakeholders, Publishing House: Thuan Hoa. Available in Vietnamese. 9


CSRD has a permanent staff of 11 plus, over the year between three to six volunteers. Our project officers are young, energetic, passionate and well-educated. Their dedication has a huge impact on the people we help. Their academic knowledge covers degrees in social sciences, human resources, forestry management, disaster management, gender and environmental management plus economics, finance and accounting. They have earned four Master’s degrees (plus two in completion in Australia and Thailand) and nine Bachelor’s degrees.

Maintaining a highly qualiOur Culture fied and professional apCSRD has an inproach is important to formal culture, CSRD. Staff are encourand a communal aged to attend training workspace which courses to ensure they are encourages colup-to-date with their sublaboration and jects and position in the or- makes it easy to ganisation. Nine CSRD staff discuss innovaattended courses over the tive concepts and year ranging from 1-5 days. to take fast deciOne staff member attended sions a course for one month and one other is attending a six month course at the Mekong School Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Our senior staff have worked on a range of projects over the years to become experienced development practitioners and project manag- The training courses covered all aspects relaters. ing to CSRD work including Project and Report Writing Skills, Media and Communication, HuWe invest heavily in staff development and man Rights, Management of Development Proalso train interns and new graduate volunteers jects and Programs, Advocacy, Gender Impact giving them experience and hands-on practical Assessment, Finance, Climate Change and work in the course of their providing support for Rights for Associations. CSRD projects.



Director Vice Director Technical

Vice Director Operations

Project Teams

Finance & Administration

Environment & Climate Change Gender & Social Justice Saving Resources

Communications/PR International Volunteer

The Centre for Social Research and Development operates under the governance and management guidelines of a Quality Management System. CSRD is committed to transparency and accountability in all its work and operations which include annual financial audits.

Team Leader Finance Officer

CSRD annual financial results are not available until after our 2015 audit in April 2016. Project Assistants/ Volunteers

In recognition of our transparency and accountability, CSRD was proud to be again (for the second successive year) one of the few Vietnamese NGOs to be honored with the award of a Certificate of Good Transparency and Accountability Practice 2015, by a consortium of four NGOs (Research Centre for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD); CSO Initiatives on Transparency and Mutual Ac-

Certificate of Good Transparency and Accountability Practice 2015

OUR DONORS AND PARTNERS We thank all of our partners and donors with whom we have worked during 2015. Without your help our projects could not have succeeded in creating resilient communities that will be able to adapt successfully to our constantly changing world. We look forward to again working with you in 2016.


With CSRD help, many communities are finding new ways to make a living such as growing acacia trees which are used in the manufacture of paper.

2/33 Nguyen Truong To Hue City Thua Thien Hue Province Vietnam Tel/Fax (+84) 543837714 Email: Website: CSRD was established under the Decision numbered 10/QDLHH by Thua Thien Hue Union for Science and Technology Association (HUSTA)