Annual Report of CSRD - 2017

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2017 Address: 2/33 Nguyen Truong To, Hue city, Thua Thien Hue province, Viet Nam Phone number: 0234.3837714 Email: Web:

ABOUT US Centre for Social Research and Development(CSRD) is a Hue based, local non-government organization (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, agri-business and industry expansion.

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

CSRD works in partnership with local communities in Thua Thien Hue and other provinces in the central regions, across Vietnam and across borders. We provide support to disadvantaged and vulnerable people with information, empowerment, advocacy services and practical assistance. All projects are managed in close cooperation with the affected people and are research-based. We have skilled and experienced staff and we work to ensure positive change for the future of everyone in Vietnam.


We would like to thank all the sponsors, partners, colleagues and friends who have supported us over the years. Thanks to all of your contributions and support, we have made significant achievements. In 2017, CSRD has managed numerous projects on social development and environmental protection. CSRD has built and implemented projects on Enhancing flood resilience in Urban and Coastal areas in Thua Thien Hue province - ResilNam for targeted communities in project areas. We have also worked on building capability and establishing five self-governing livelihood groups in Dak Lak province; enhancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment effected communities by dams along 3S basin in the Central and Central Highland Vietnam; raising awareness for seven communities in Quang Tri province on using of pesticides; and participating waste classification activities and promoting 3Rs in solid waste management in Thua Thien Hue province. Through the implementation of the project activities, CSRD has called for the participation of organizations, authorities, governments, departments from city to province, NGOs throughout the country, mass media and many different communities. We have faced several difficulties and challenges during the year. As difficult as it is to survive, we never want to stop protecting environment and supporting sustainable development of community. We still need your support to pursue our goals. Hopefully, your initiatives, ideas and contributions will be with us for a long journey ahead. If your want more information or have any questions, please contact us at the email address:, website:


CSRD focus on supporting poor and vulnerable communities in the Central provinces and Highlands areas. All of the projects focus on people who live in remote areas and rural areas which are affected by disaster, climate change and difficult lives. With our development direction on raising communities’ capability, minimizing the risks of disaster, and enhancing climate change resilience, CSRD has exploited new areas this year with our project: “Enhancing flood resilience in urban, lagoon and coastal areas in Thua Thien Hue”. CSRD’s new project is solving problems in urban areas, improving governance, and creating new opportunities to improve our response to climate change in rural areas. It is anticipated that there will be numerous challenges for CSRD in 2016-2017 with raising funds, expanding our network, and supporting our communities. CSRD has been working with old and new donors to maintain and find more funds, with the cooperation of sponsors such as Oxfam, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Motorola, Global Resilience Partnership, and domestic and overseas Universities. We appreciate CSRD’s effort and activities over this period. The Advisory Board will continue to provide ideas and support to activities which CSRD is implementing.


In my farewell speech to staff I explained that there were three main reasons I enjoyed working at CSRD – (1) CSRD values, (2) the work, and (3) the people. Firstly, I really respect and admire CSRD’s values – protecting the environment, and supporting poor and vulnerable people. And I enjoyed working for an organisation that promotes these values. Secondly, I enjoyed the work. I was happy developing projects for USAID and Motorola, and doing strategic work on funding trends and a funding strategy. And I learnt many new things, for instance about gender empowerment, water management, and conducting surveys. The field trips to Buon Ma Thuot, Hai Duong, Dien Hoa and waste management in Hue were real highlights. Thirdly and most importantly, I was so lucky to have worked with such wonderful colleagues. I learnt about project management, compassion, financial management, pesticides, friendliness, hydropower, team-working, managing a heavy workload under pressure, and fun! It was a privilege for me to work with them. I am now back in Melbourne and missing the excitement and friendliness of Vietnam and CSRD. Life here is very comfortable and the sun is shining but 2017 was an exciting and rewarding year and I cannot imagine another year quite like it. I wish CSRD and everyone connected with it all the best for the future.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES ENHANCING FLOOD RESILIENCE IN URBAN AND COASTAL AREAS IN THUA THIEN HUE PROVINCE On June 23, 2017, the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province issued Decision Nos1401/QĐ-UBND and 1402/QD-UBND to approve two water management projects in (1) the urban area, and (2) the coastal area of Thua Thien Hue Province. The project is part of the program "Global Water Management". Thua Thien Hue Province is vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather. Both local government and environmental organizations are aware of the situation and have introduced many measures to mitigate the impacts. However, many of the measures have not been successful as they have not fully addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the situation. To achieve a lasting solution, we need to include measures that are informed by community participation and support and which can be replicated in other localities. Our project is based on a resilience approach which integrates Ecosystem based Adaptation initiatives with a bottom-up, comprehensive approach and resources to implement the initiatives. The project is being carried out by the CSRD and the Universities of Potsdam (Germany) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). The project has a budget of US$175,000 and will last from 2017 to 2018.

From coastal areas in Thua Thien Hue Province… There are two main activities for this project. Firstly, the project will evaluate the value of Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) using mangroves in Quang Dien District and Huong Tra Town as an example. EbA measures will be applied in the Tam Giang Lagoon area where $26,000 will be used to replant mangroves in the coastal zone. Mangroves will be planted in two or three places in the Lagoon in sites which have been selected by the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People's Committee.

…to urban areas in Hue City Secondly, in Hue City the project will aim to improve the resilience of communities in flood prone areas by developing community-based solutions which can be replicated elsewhere. The project will invest $26,000 in rehabilitating and maintaining the drainage and sewerage system as a pilot project, backed up by advocacy and dissemination activities through the media. Measures will be taken to reduce waste discharges into ponds, lakes, ditches and drainage culverts, and to clean and clear the natural flow lines. An important part of the project is to strengthen the capacity and role of women in different communities to build flood resilience in urban and coastal areas. The materials will be disseminated widely to help the Women's Union across the country to improve their roles in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. In addition, the project will work with Year 3 and 4 students from the Faculty of Geography and Geology at Hue University to develop their skills and knowledge through their participation in the project activities.

SEE MORE AT: Further information:


This project is called "Pilot Impact Assessments on Gender from the A Luoi Hydropower Plant and Srepok Hydropower Plant in the 3S River Branches of Central Vietnam and Central Highlands". It was carried out by the CSRD on behalf of Oxfam International. This assessment is one of the first efforts in Vietnam to apply the practice of gender impact assessment to hydropower development. It uses tools referenced primarily from “Balancing the Scales: Using Gender Impact Assessment in Hydropower Development” (Oxfam International). Rather than being a final product, the assessment is a learning process which aims to maximize the benefits to the different stakeholders, to enhance understanding, and to promote best practice.

The selected sites are affected by the Srepok 3,4 and 4A hydroelectric power plants which have been built on the Srepok River in Buon Don District, Dak Lak Province. Group discussions were conducted with villagers from the Srepok 3 hydropower resettlement site in Tan Phu village, Ea Noul commune, and communities affected by the Srepok 4 and 4A hydropower dams in Tri A village and Ea Mar village, Krong Na commune. These two villages both have a matriarchal social model so are of particular interest for gender research. This assessment describes the different roles, impacts and needs of men and women in the studied communities and the division of labor. With hydropower development on the Srepok River, it is now much more difficult for women to achieve a full economic, healthy and spiritual life, even in the matriarchal communities.

The main reason is that these energy projects favor technology and they build "hardware" and are less focused on solving social problems and mobilizing community participation, and are less aware of gender issues.


ENHANCING GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT IN DAM AFFECTED COMMUNITIES IN THE 3S AREAS OF THE CENTRAL AND CENTRAL HIGHLANDS REGION, VIETNAM From September 2015 to June 2017, CSRD under the sponsorship of Oxfam, implemented the project “Piloting Gender Impact Assessment with A Luoi and Srepok 3 dam in the 3S areas of the Central and Central Highlands Region, Vietnam” (GIA1). The overall goal was to support the dam companies and related government agencies to take a stronger account of gender in hydropower development in the 3S river areas. In order to achieve the goal, the project tries had three specific objectives: 

To better understand the gender impact of the A Luoi and Srepok 3 dams on local livelihoods

To enable government agencies and dam companies to put the gender issues and women’s interestsat the center of decision making. To strengthen the capacity of a gender focal point involving VRN, the local Women’s Union, and GENCO 1 and 3 of theElectricity Corporation Vietnam (EVN)

After the completion of the GIA1 project, there was a need to sustain changes initiated by the project, particularly with regard to impacts on women groups. Stakeholdersagreed to a follow-up project titled “Enhancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in dam affected communities in the 3S areas of the Central and Central Highlands, Vietnam” (GIA2).

The project has the following objectives: 

To enhance the environment for women’s economic activities by promoting women’s social networks and increasing access to financial assets for women affected by the A Luoi and Srepok 3dams. To advocate for full and adequate SIA and GIA in the development process for hydropower dams in Vietnam. To strengthen the capacity and networking of indigenous people- especially indigenous women along the 3S rivers and across the border - to raisetheir voice about dam impacts.

The GIA2 project is designed to achieve these specific outcomes:

Shared responsibilities among EVN, CHP, and the Provincial Women Union.

Local livelihood initiatives and women’s leadership in economic activities are recognized as sustainable and adaptive models with new gender roles in the affected areas of A Luoi, Cu Jut and Buon Don.

Wider audiences such as INGOs, VNGOs, GOs,the private sector, development partners, individuals, and communities will have the opportunity to learn about and get interested inGIA and SIA.

Networked women across the border will raise their voice about the gender and social impactsof dams and will generate public attention and support.


Policy brief: Gender impact assessment of hydropower project on Srepok River - 2017: Detail

Photovoice: Where the river flowsbackwards: Water, gender and development 2017: Detail

Networked women across the border will raise their voice about the gender and social impacts of dams and will generate public attention and support

CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF RESOURCES IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS The Central Highlands is the upstream sourceof many large rivers such as the Srepok River, the Sesan River, the Ba River, and the Dong Nai River. However, water resources and biodiversity in this area are declining in both quality and quantity due to pressures from building hydropower dams, mining, and developing cultivated areas for commercial crops. On top of this, there are the negative impacts of climate change. Accordingly, the Government has issued policies and directives for the rehabilitation and development of forest resources, stopping the exploitation of natural wood, and the conservation and development of water resources in the rivers.

With funding from Oxfam Novib, CSRD collaborated with PanNature on the "Water Resources Management" project in Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces. The main purpose of the project is to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods of local communities in the Srepok and Sesan Rivers. We also wish to raise awareness of the community and policy makers and to share practical experience about forest governance and communitybased resources at the national and regional levels.

2017,with a total budget of 457,000,000 VND. The project activities focused on:

CSRD undertook a second project "Promote meaningful participation through community networks in Srepok River basin management in Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Kon Tum and Dak Nong provinces”. The project duration was from June 2016 to May

This project produced positive changes for community groups by setting a goal for a sustainable community economy alongside the conservation and development of natural resources.

Strengthening the capacity of local community groups;

Focusing on women and youth groups in the river basin;

Supporting sustainable livelihood initiatives while preserving natural ecosystems; and

Developing a network of community links.


CSRD and the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) in Quang Tri province convened a workshop about their project: “Communication on raising awareness about using pesticides in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province”. The project was sponsored by RLS SEA. Between June and July 2017, the project produced a documentary film and organized eight training courses to increase awareness among local people about pesticides. The focus was on Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri. Huong Hoa has more than 25,000ha of

agricultural land, including cassava, coffee, and pepper cultivation. Huong Hoa is not a farming area, but is a hot spot for pesticide pollution and it is a water catchment area, where people have limited education. Unsafe handling of pesticides will have negative impacts on the environment and will affect the health of downstream communities, especially when combined with the impacts of climate change. Through training courses, officers of the DPP in Quang Tri province provided peoplewith knowledge and information aboutthe impacts


of climate change on agricultural production. In particular, people were trained about how to identify some common types of pesticides, theirimpacts on agricultural production, and how to use pesticides and follow the four principles which will make it safe for the environment and for people’s health. People practiced with labor protection devices and chemical mixing techniquesin order to minimize the risks from using pesticides. Methods for the collection and treatment of waste from pesticides were also discussed in the training course.





The Thua Thien Hue province’s ‘Solid waste management plan 2023-2050’proposes many solutions which rely on different sectors and communities for implementation. The plan sets out many activities to reduce pollution and to raise community awareness about environmental protection. Some of these activitieshave been implemented and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

In addition to implementation activities, CSRD coordinated charity activities, donations, and support to disadvantaged communities through theFlood In The Central Area fanpage. CSRD raised money for household items, clothing, books and socks to send to disadvantaged communities. In 2017, CSRD took part in two volunteer activities in Thua Thien Hue province and Quang Tri province which were small scale activities, but enabled staff to share some of the difficulties that local people are facing. Over the next twelve months, CSRD will continue to carry out these volunteer activities to provide further supporting fordisadvantaged communities.

Community-based tourism brings many benefits for sustainable economic development in local communities. Community-based tourism not only helps people to protect their ecosystem and environmental resources, but also provides an opportunity to protect and promote their local culture and identity. Over the twelve months, CSRD led three study tours to areas which CSRD has been supporting. These tours aim to provide and share information about social progress, sustainable development,and the challenges and difficulties that local people are facing. The tour is of interest toyoung people, scientific researchers, students who study abroad, and to local schools. Combining theory with practical experience produces understanding.

Priority activities include production of organic fertilizer in the community, and the promotion ofthe 3R principles (Reduce/Reuse/Recycle) through coordination with business establishments,schools, and residential apartments. Waste classification and monitoring at source has been carried out in many localities and with different activities across Thua Thien Hue province. These activities have been regularly monitored and guided by CSRD as project consultants during the waste classification practice process. The project activity ended in December 2017.

If you want more information or have any questions, please contact us at our email

2017 PUBLICATIONS Policy brief: Gender Equality – Assessment of hydropower Dam on Srepok River - 2017 Photo report: Upstream areas: water, gender and development Up to date publicationsfrom CSRD can be found on our website:


COMMITMENT TO BEST PRACTICE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY CSRD applies a Quality Management System (QMS) to all its operations. It is committed to transparency and accountability in all its work including an annual financial audit and assessment of staff capability. CSRD sees this as an important issue which we have now followed for several years. CSRD always encourages sound implementation and responsible management. We regularlyregister and are accredited for certifications and awards such as: “Obvious and responsible Initiatives” (COS-TAI); “Organization of Good Transparency and Accountability Practice”(Research Centre for Management and Sustainable Development/MSD) and Ailen Aid (Irish Aid).

OUR DONORS AND PARTNERS We thank all the sponsors and partners who have been with us in 2017. Your help and support has delivered projects which encourage the healthy growth of communities and allow them to adapt to a constantly changing economy and society. We look forward to working with you in 2018 and beyond. Website: Fanpage: Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) We use our website and fanpage to provide information and to communicate. It allows the user to easily find information, activities and events and is in both Vietnamese and English.


Gender research Environmental management Wastemanagement Climate change resilience


Community advocacy Negotiation and conflict resolution Forming and developing partnerships Community training


Survey development and analysis Public meetings/event management Designing/delivering consultant programs Focus groups/small group discussion Consultation with ethnic minority communities


Consultation with disadvantaged groups Project initiation and development Policy advocacy Monitoring and evaluation