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THE CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT

H NG AND S

TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

Connecting and Sharing

Hanoi, March 2016


CONTENTS SRD - TEN YEARS OF CONNECTING AND SHARING Letter from SRD’s Executive Director

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Letter from the President of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations

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Ten years to look back the growth of The Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD)

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SRD secures its development through “nurturing human capacity”

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Power of working culture in SRD office

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Gender and diversity in SRD program

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SRD’s achievements in its areas of expertise

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Sustainable agriculture: Foundation, Experience and Achievement

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Enhancing networks’ capacity and supporting communities in response to climate change

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Achievements in REDD + and FLEGT

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Networking and Policy Advocacy

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Partners’ impressions of SRD

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Once CIDSE and now SRD

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Thoughts of a former volunteer

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SRD’s Role and Position in the VNGO&CC Network

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SRD working on climate change communication in the Mekong Delta

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SRD connects members to develop the network and make policy recommendations

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Thoughts about SRD

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The story of a “female general” in the frontlines

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Ten years of a journey

Edited by: Pham Thi Bich Ngoc and Vu Thi Bich Hop Photos by: SRD staff Published by decision of: ..... (cho so giay phep xuat ban vao day) Design & Printing Co.: Quangminh Media: 0904 267 080

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Connecting

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Letter from SRD’s Executive Director

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RD’s journey from 2006 to 2016 was guided by a spirit of CONNECTING and SHARING. The decade was marked by SRD’s steady development internally as well as successful outreach to regional and global levels, proving itself as “one of the leading non-government organisations in Vietnam” .

Looking back on the early days of our establishment, we – SRD’s leaders and staff – are impressed and proud of our achievements. The ‘SRD’ brand has become wellrecognised from regional and national to global levels, not only within agriculture (where we started our operations in during 2006), but also in the areas of climate change, forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT) and REDD+. In order to achieve this success, it is vital to mention the significant contribution of SRD’s management and staff, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), government agencies, local partners, beneficiaries, and lastly, but very importantly, donors. SRD’s team has been working together as the most sincere friends and colleagues to fulfil our mandate to “go along with poor farmers”, so as to support them in poor, rural, and, especially, mountainous areas to improve their lives. Through this work, SRD has partly, yet meaningfully, contributed to poverty reduction and sustainable development in Vietnam over the past ten years. In this ten-year publication, we are pleased to summarise SRD’s achievements, which despite being relatively unknown to the general public, are significant to hundreds of poor communities in Vietnam. The challenges that we faced during the past decade are not depicted in this book, however we can say that the journey of development is never straightforward. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to SRD’s Board of Trustees and staff, SRD’s donors, VUSTA, government agencies, local partners and people, and many other I/NGOs for your valuable contribution to SRD’s significant development over last decade. Thank you 1

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Prof. Dang Vu Minh, President of VUSTA

TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

Mrs Vu Thi Bich Hop - SRD’s Executive Director for your kind support and cooperation, SRD has successfully fulfilled our mandate so far and is recognized as an active and efficient CSO actor, contributing to the growth of the CSO sector in Vietnam. As Chair of SRD’s Founding Committee and Executive Director, I am confident that SRD will continue to develop to a higher quality in the next decade, and I am committed to work at my highest level to realize SRD’s Succession Plan by effectively building capacity for young, passionate and talented staff in the coming years. This will ensure SRD’s continuous and high quality development and meaningful contribution towards poverty reduction and sustainable rural development in Vietnam in the context of rapid social change, world integration and unpredictable challenges caused by the impact of climate change. With best regards,

VU THI BICH HOP Chair of SRD’s Founding Committee and Executive Director Centre for Sustainable Rural Development


Letter from the President of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations

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he Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) is recognised as one of the most effective members within the 400 science and technology organizations founded under the Vietnam Union for Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA). Most impressively, SRD always actively seeks aid donors around the world and effectively manages their budget. During the past ten years, the total amount of aid money has grown to USD9.2 million, from 27 donors. Effectively spending this budget, SRD has implemented many projects and activities spreading across 21 provinces in Vietnam. As a result, the number of people supported increased quickly to 110,000 direct beneficiaries and 120,000 indirect ones by the end of 2015.

and recognition in national defence and development, poverty eradication, socio-economic development and international integration, as well as the fields of science and technology. In particular, in October 2015, SRD was honoured to receive the ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication. In December 2015 SRD was named as one of the ten most outstanding of VUSTA’s affiliated science and technology organizations in mobilizing foreign aid. Vietnam is moving into a new period of national development. We have become a middle-income country; the Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by traditional donors has been decreasing. Farmers’ development needs are also now different from the past, and new donors will be far stricter over the implementation of their aid. Due to these changes, it is necessary that SRD’s staff, as well as associated experts, improve their knowledge and skills to meet the requirements of the new development period.

Prof. Dr. Dang Vu Minh President, The Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations

In the past decade, those at SRD who have experience in sustainable development worked tirelessly and applied their passion and expertise to run projects. Being close to locals and understanding their difficulties, the SRD officers have done much rewarding work in both supporting communities to sustainably improve livelihoods and coordinating between folk and administration agencies at all levels in order to implement projects together with the government’s policies and missions. SRD’s role was strengthened when it became one of the leading organizations in establishing and chairing important networks of Vietnam in climate change, and in Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), as well as being an active member of many national and international networks and policy forums. SRD, in partnership with other networks’ members, has submitted many valuable recommendations for making policies at the local and national levels towards poor and vulnerable people in many fields, namely sustainable development, forest management, environment and climate change, and REDD+. SRD’s values of ownership, effort, creativity and continuous learning were highly appreciated by the Ministry of Science and Technology, VUSTA, government authorities, and the communities in which its projects have been carried out. SRD was honoured to receive certificates of merit

Establishing the strategic and overall framework for SRD’s activities in the coming years, and enhancing the management and governance, will help SRD go further on the path of rural development. As the President of VUSTA, I believe that SRD’s achievements show that it has a great capacity to continue carrying out its mission as one of the foremost professional development agencies that will contribute even more to poverty reduction and sustainable rural development in Vietnam.

Prof. Dr. Dang Vu Minh President, The Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations

Hà Hà Nội,Nội, tháng tháng 3 năm 3 năm 2016 2016

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YEARS

To look back the growth of

THE CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT (SRD)

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ith the high spirit of “outreach efforts”, SRD has steadily achieved their developments over 10 years. SRD has implemented 68 large and smallscaled projects with the total grant of more than US$9.2 million funded by the total number of 26 different donors and implemented in 21 provinces nation-wide, which involved more than 110,000 direct beneficiaries and more than 120,000 indirect beneficiaries. SRD has achieved such admiring figures over the last 10 years and is recognized one of the most successful and prestigious organization in the NGO community (by VUSTA). SRD has constantly consolidated their own organizational structure, management and execution with aims to meet new demands arising from practical situation. As shown by the organizational development assessment’s (OCA) findings of 2 recent years (2013 and 20142015)1, with the highest score at 4, SRD’s capability of 7

areas including governance, institutional management, program management, project effectiveness management, human resource management, financial management and administration have reached the near highest score (at more than 3.5). SRD is assessed an organization with a clear and specific vision, mission and strategy which have been deeply understood and agreed by the entire employees. SRD has a tailor-made organizational structure designed suitable for their vision, mission, strategy and roles and responsibilities of departments. SRD and its attached departments ‘action plans’ are annually developed in a participatory way. Information is regularly updated and shared both inside SRD and outside with relevant partner organizations and agencies. SRD’s Policy and Procedure Manuals are being annually updated with SRD’s activities in line with the organization’s vision, staff expectations and donor requirements as well as Vietnamese laws.

1 1st evaluation by independent consultants in 2013 and 2nd evaluation in 2015 with USAID support under the framework of the Vietnam Forests and Delta Program (VFD)

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through the efficiency of community-based irrigation” in Yen Bai, “support the communities to improve their income and sustainable livelihood and relieve the pressures over forests through the medical planting operation as a selected alternative livelihood” in Ba Be - Bac Kan, “The System of Rice Intensification” in Phu Tho and Thai Nguyen. “Local Rice Variety Conservation and Development for the purpose of higher income and lower dependence on outsourcing genes” in Bac Kan.

Thanks to the trust of donors, SRD has been receiving an increasing number of grants on annual basis. Aiming to effectively use funding, meet local people’s needs and keep in line with social development trends, states policies and donor requirements, SRD has constantly developed their expertise areas, project sites and quality and quantity of human resources. Since 2006, SRD started with 10 personnels mainly working as agriculture experts and accountants in 4 pilot provinces and focusing mainly in sustainable agricultural sector. After 10 years, SRD has recruited more than 40 employees with various expertise ranging from environment, forestry, social issues, psychological issues, international relations, etc. SRD has so far reached 21 provinces and focused on 4 key areas, i.e. agriculture and sustainable livelihood, natural disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation, FLEGT and REDD+, network development and policy advocacy. Over recent 10 years, SRD has experienced 3 benchmarking periods that SRD has been developing clear strategies, specifically:

Stategic Plan 2004 - 2007 for LÚA and SRD 2006 - 2007: Agriculture and sustainable rural development SRD focused on 3 key objectives: to provide technical support to farmers; to improve the role of communities and to support capacity building of community-based organizations and local governance. Technical support, SRD supported local people to have their own experiences to absorb new knowledge and gradually target at sustainable livelihood management. Some models have been successfully established and upscaled, for instance “consolidate the solidarity of communities and improve provincial resource management

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TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

Increase the role of communities, SRD always appreciates the role of local people as center and pays attention to gender equity. Local people are encouraged to participate in project activities, to discuss and make their own decision on their livelihood and their life. Thereby, local people feel confident and proactive to apply their knowledge to practical conditions. Therefore, crop production, income and living standard have been improved. Develop communities and local governance, one of many outstanding achievements is recognized as the model of community-based livelihood club in Phu Tho. The model attracted the participation of women and poor farmers. Through this Club, farmers experienced new advanced farming methods of using livestock breeding, fertilizers, and plant protection chemicals to shift into green clean and sustainable agriculture. Besides, at this Club, local people are also be able to have access to financial sources including a part of which coming from their savings, this creates the saving habit for the poor who have never thought they can manage it, thus helping to reduce poverty in a sustainable way. In addition to livelihood promotion, SRD provides advices for state authorities and local governments to make policy suitable for local conditions.

Strategic Plan 2008-2012: Climate change and scaling up the sustainable agriculture and livelihoods models Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries by the climate change impact. The Government of Vietnam has promptly signed the international conventions as well as timely promulgated the policies on responding to the climate change. Together with the Government efforts, the civil society organizations (CSOs) have also taken initiatives and actively improved their capacity to participate in this process. Thus, the plans and activities of SRD during this period are also expanded to meet timely the national


agenda issues and the climate change response is the core SRD interventions from 2008. The outstanding achievements regarding climate change of SRD during this period are: •

Took initiative in capacity development for VNGOs and CSOs responding to the climate change. About 500 staff of more than 100 NGOs and 1,585 staff from the NGOs’ partners have been improved their capacity on climate change response. The first trained 15 staff of NGOs became experts and participated actively and effectively in the climate change response. Took leading role in establishing and maintaining successfully the 2 big networks of VNGOs and CSOs including Vietnamese NGO and Climate change Network (VNGO&CC) and Vietnamese NGO and FLEGT network (VNGO-FLEGT), while being selected as cochair of the Climate Change Working Group, marking the growth of SRD as well as belief of VNGOs in SRD. Implemented successfully 5 projects for climate change and disaster risk reduction. Various models have been piloted in the project sites, of which the bio padding model for pig raising and the closed cycle cultivation model without wastes, the communitybased risk reduction model have been replicated and appreciated by the local authorities.

The agriculture field was expanded and gained successes in 297 villages and 17,820 households were benefited. The local households (HHs) have diversified their livelihoods, applied new initiatives in preserving the local genetic sources such as chemical plants, local rice species. Models established by SRD have been recognized by MARD to be the good models for mass deployment in rice cultivation like SRI. Besides, many other successes that help the local poor to raise awareness of the land use rights, sustainable livelihoods and self-management at commune level such as: The land use management project in Thua Thien Hue, project to support for participation of the ethnic communities in the socio-economic development planning process in Yen Bai, project supporting for the ethnic communities to adapt to the urban changes in Dien Bien province, etc. Policy study and advocacy is one of the two prioritized programmes in this period. The typical models and initiatives for livelihoods responding to the climate changes were documented and shared to all stakeholders, thus supporting the policy makers of all levels to issue the policies and plans that enable the local people for application and replication. During this period, SRD issued various

publications that are useful for policy mobilization and development and addressing the poor, the vulnerable caused by climate changes, typically: •

In 2010: publication “renovated rice cultivation techniques SRI”,

In 2011, research report “local livelihoods needs assessment under the context of climate change”,

In 2012: publication “community based climate change responding models – experiences of VNGOs” , and

Publication “summary of activities responding to climate change in the Mekong delta”…

All the SRD publications are appreciated by the state agencies and local authorities for its practical implications. The socio-economic development plans of many localities have been developed with participation of local people and integrated the climate change adaptation models. Besides documenting the practical experiences, SRD was also very active, together with other VNGOs, participating in the policy forums to integrate the practical experiences into the policies such as: providing comments on the National Strategy for Climate Change Response of MONRE, New Rural Development Programme of MARD, Aid Effectiveness Framework and Policy of MPI, etc.

Strategic Plan 2013-2017: Sustainable livelihoods development responding to climate change and policy advocacy, REDD+ and FLEGT Successes have been achieved in various fields. Especially, in the first year of implementing strategy of this period, SRD has achieved impressive figures that benchmark a success and a long-term and sustainable step of SRD, including: •

3,924 people were directly supported for livelihoods improvement and market access capacity development, of which role of women in working groups, communities and livelihoods clubs is highlighted;

4,300 people participated in the community-level communication campaigns for forest management and protection, and limited use of plant protection chemicals;

4,525 people participated in the training on natural disaster management and awareness raising for climate change and risk mitigation;

565 people with disabilities were supported for im-

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proving their livelihoods, material and spiritual lives and establishment of the associations for the people with disabilities at all levels; •

More than 100 organizations registered for joining the VNGO&CC network and more than 10 organizations registered to participate in the VNGO-FLEGT network.

Sustainable agriculture and livelihoods is an important component of the SRD programmes operating in the poor and vulnerable communities caused by the climate change. Beside the technical support for the livestock and horticulture, the local people were also raised awareness of the value chain methodology, climate change and ways to select a climate smart agriculture (CSA): •

More than 300 government officers and people were raised awareness on the CSA;

Various publications were issued for the policy advocacy purpose including:

Nearly 200 government officers and people were raised awareness of the value chain methodology;

10 livelihoods models using the value chain methodology and taking into account the climate change factors were piloted and supported well the local communities for improving their incomes, adapting to the climatic subregion change and less greenhouse gas emission/ less environment pollution as compared to the traditional models.

In 2013 a consultation report with local communities on the timber legality definition (LD);

In 2014 a study report on impacts of VPA on the livelihoods of the local people relying on forest (LIA) was published;

In 2015 a baseline study report on the capacity of house holds to meet the requirements of timber legality; and

Study Report on possible linkage between REDD+ and FLEGT was issued;

Three issues of policy recommendations and newsletters relating to the protection forest planning, ability to meet the requirements for VPA FLEGT, etc. were published in 2014 and 2015.

The climate change and natural disaster mitigation are prioritized. SRD continues to carry out activities to support the VNGOs of the VNGO&CC network, while outreaching to the communities as well as participating more in activities at central and international levels. Five climate change projects have been deployed in this period. These projects focus on: supporting communities for planning for natural disaster prevention and mitigation; awareness raising, skills improvement for responding, adaptation experience to the local people; providing necessary and basic tools for village-level storm, flood prevention and fighting; supporting women, children, people with disabilities and the elders to participate in the natural disaster prevention planning, etc. Many models were documented to provide evidence for policy advocacy: •

In 2013, publication “support farmers for livelihoods improvement under the context of climate change – successful cases of SRD”;

In 2014, publication “sharing experiences on integrating natural disaster mitigation and climate change into the commune-level socio-economic development planning” and

In 2015, publication “livelihoods adapting to climate change: assessment criteria and typical models”.

Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT), SRD was active in coordinating members to participate in various relevant joint studies, improve capacity, and contribute actively to the negotiation process of VPA-

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FLEGT. This period was highlighted by the efforts made at both national and commune levels. At national level, SRD developed capacity for the member organizations, helped them to be knowledgeable to contribute worthy and effectively to the VPA-FLEGT. At commune level, SRD and network members conducted the communication campaigns to raise awareness of the local people on VPAFLEGT and worked closely with the member organizations to organize meeting to collect comments, feedbacks of the local people on addressing the VPA requirements and conducted related studies aiming for raising the voices of the local communities to the VPA FLEGT negotiators.

TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

Over the past ten years, by taking the concrete actions though projects implementation, SRD has made remarkable contribution to the sustainable agriculture and rural development, improvement of the local poors and governance in the regions of Vietnam. All community-level activities, SRD always sticks to its principles and mandates. While orientation for activities, SRD’s strategy, specific objectives and action plans were adapted to respective periods. Of each period of time, SRD always imprints its achievements for the sake of the community, of the sustainable agriculture sector and poverty reduction, for environment orientation and for the vulnerable people, etc. SRD has been quietly providing a “fishing rod” to the farmers to enable them “fishing” by themselves and changing their awareness to be confident in action, ways to maintain their livelihoods and protecting their lives that are facing with the negative impacts of the natural disasters and climate change.


Sharing

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SRD SECURES ITS DEVELOPMENT THROUGH

“nurturing human capacity” Connecting and sharing were the two fundamental and consistent principles throughout a wide range of SRD’s programmes over the past 10 years. These principles are underpinned by the enthusiasm” and “outstanding expertise” of SRD’s staff, who are all proud to be a part of the SRD family. They are a team that demonstrate their expertise, passion, commitment, and understanding of poor people’s needs, as well as their tie with farmers. In the beginning, SRD with only 10 staff - majoring in agriculture or economics - worked solely on agriculture in four provinces. Presently, SRD has a team of 40 staff, the majority of whom possess diverse expertise in related fields including not only agriculture and economics, but also the environment, forestry, sociology, psychology

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and diplomacy. All project officers and managers have a Bachelor`s or Master’s Degree and possess at least five years of experience in the field they work within. Many of them have worked in international organisations before joining the SRD team. All of them together build the united and strong organisation, seeing eye-to-eye the vision of an equal, democratic, and civilised society. In order to have such a team, SRD has created a professional working environment and a clear career path for its staff. Project officers are enabled to focus on a particular field and provided with opportunities to learn, share, and develop themselves. Therefore, their professional knowledge and competence constantly improves. SRD’s Board of Trustees always keep in their minds that the staff is their most valuable asset, and that is why they have attempted to facilitate the connection and sharing within SRD’s staff, and between staff and other organisations, to create a learning culture inside the organisation. Every year, SRD has a succession plan that suits its development trajectory, and spends 5% of its budget to develop the relevant human resources. In addition, SRD’s recruitment process is transparent and delivers results by selecting appropriate and competent new staff to contribute to SRD’s growth.


Communication, within and between managers and officers, is always open and thoroughly transparent. Everyone in SRD has equal rights to raise their opinion and then together exchange and discuss issues of management methods, implementing and monitoring projects, and other related technical perspectives. SRD also pays attention to giving its staff opportunities to participate in international conferences and forums, in order to access up-to-date knowledge and grasp changes in the development sector. SRD’s representatives joined events including the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, East Asian Future Leaders Program in Japan, and NGOs’ Role in Global Women’s Issues in the U.S. SRD’s values of connecting and sharing will persist. With a dynamic spirit, SRD will continuously contribute to the cause of rural development in Vietnam, fitting its own name – the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development – as well as the path SRD chose and has followed. Some impressions and feelings from SRD’s staff: Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop – Executive Director: “SRD is a home where every member feels close to each other, and that love and solidarity are shown by connection and sharing”

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa – Deputy Director: “I, as well as others, am so proud of SRD, to describe it in just three words: ‘big, powerful and diverse’”. Ms. Nguyen Kim Ngan – Deputy Director: “We have a team of staff who work hard and with all their passion for the community. Consequently, SRD has significantly contributed to poverty reduction in Vietnam.” Mr. Vu The Thuong – Project Officer: “I am impressed that SRD demonstrates the professional conduct of an international NGO” Ms. Tran Thi Thanh Toan – Central Project Manager: “I see that our work brings about happiness and changes in the lives of local people, their family, and their community. This encourages us to work more enthusiastically and passionately to contribute more and more.” Ms. Doi Khanh Ha – Project Officer: “I witness SRD’s growth year by year, and I am very proud that I have contributed my share to SRD’s sustainable development”. Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thu – Communications Officer: “SRD has a very positive working environment that is important for the youth like me to gain knowledge, develop capacity, and learn from experienced colleagues.”

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POWER OF WORKING CULTURE IN SRD OFFICE

“Understanding working culture of SRD is to understand the strength of this organization” Nguyen Thu Linh, member of the Former Advisor Board of SRD

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rom the early days of establishment, besides technical and organizational development, SRD also paid due attention to the development of working culture. This required patience, consistency and sensitiveness of the management board, which then gradually formulated the self-discipline habits, creativeness and linkage among staff. The growth of SRD can be measured by the development in terms of quantity and successful results of each project, impact of SRD within the VNGOs network and international organizations, and by the working culture developed by SRD itself. The SRD working culture – the soft power - has many different layers that represent similarly to the rings of a tree trunk. The core of culture is the values, looked at as the core layer of the tree trunk, which are the hardest and also the most difficult recognizable part. This core layer when develop will be osmotic into the hearts and minds of all members, and will automatically regulate the behavior and conduct of the

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organization. Having understood these core values of its culture, since it establishment, SRD has selected the right values that an NGO needs to pursue and commit to if the organization wants to exist. These are that the organization itself and its members need to have OWNERSHIP, all members are EQUAL and ACCOUNTABLE, and for EFFECTIVE and SUSTAINABLE operation; these core values were practiced by SRD over its first 8 years. In 2013, when SRD developed its strategy for the next period under the context of the drastic change of environment and the more visible impact of climate change, bigger gap between rich and poor, IT development and the world is “flat”, etc. SRD decided to revise the organization’s culture values. OWNERSHIP was kept as the first value. TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY were prioritized to meet the growing requirement of donor and stakeholders. EFFECTIVENESS was also positioned, defined and interpreted into each activity, while also dedicating the values of RESULT and IMPACT. While SHARING and LEARNING were selected as values that SRD should pay special attention to under the context of newly developed knowledge and the expansion of NGOs. PARTICIPATION was also focused, which implies the expectation of SRD in its role to grow civil society in relation to the state agencies and private sector. Further to the core culture values are the tree trunk’s vein layers covering the core layer, which representative of the spread of the culture values that help to formulate the code of conducts of the organization and its members. The existence of these culture standards supports the sustainability of the other values. The culture standards refer initially to


the rules on using the logo, of which its background color is the color of soil and terraced rice field representing to the upland cultivation, which is used consistently in all working papers and transactions of SRD and is a standard to follow for all SRD staff. Logo, values, mission and mandates are always presented in the first pages of the annual working handbooks to remind the members to apply the message in their actions. The other regulations mentioned in the manual, which were developed by contributions of all members, have been practiced by all members. Along with the regulations mentioned on paper, non-written regulations also exist and became the daily cultural practices in SRD; these include the mutual support among members, the new comers to be guided and shared by the experienced working staff. This support is not only applicable for office work but also personal matters. The other characteristic of SRD that is recognizable by anyone who participates in the SRD activities is the discussing culture. All members are equally able to raise their own opinions and the SRD leadership always encourages and creates opportunities and the environment for staff to present themselves openly. The discussion and feedback sessions sometimes are tough but the culture values are then referred to in order to pursue transparency, accountability and participation, and after these tough discussions, members understand each other more thoroughly, realize the problem for solving and finally feel happy. The next layer out from the tree trunk’s veins is its outer shell, which represents the appearance of the SRD working culture. Maintaining the office kitchen to provide hot and

cozy lunches for the staff is an easy recognizable aspect of the culture of SRD, which is there to create an, open and friendly environment between leaders and staff. The lunch time is also a time to share the work and personal issues that are unexposed during working time so as to lead to better understanding between leadership and staff, and thus devoting themselves to work. The end of year ceremonies are well prepared by SRD as this is a chance to the staff to bring along their family members to chat and share in a cozy environment. Leaders and staff share their thoughts and expectations that are not exposed during the working days of the year. All the layers, including the core, veins and outer shell, have jointly created the perfect SRD with its working culture that is based on measurement of successful outputs. Conclusion: in spite of the limited role of VNGO within the Vietnamese society, but with the successes of organizational development in terms of both technical and cultural aspects, SRD is a worthy and typical reference for organizational development. The independent evaluation report noted that: the working environment of SRD is a united and open family with the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff members. SRD has introduced itself to the national civil organizations and international organizations with a perfect and excellent administration, personnel, and financial system together with a working culture of which all the members have OWNERSHIP, EQUITY, LEARNING AND SHARING, PARTICIPATION devoting for an EFFECTIVE and SUSTAINABLE SRD.

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GENDER AND DIVERSITY IN SRD PROGRAM

Looking back on the past 10 years, SRD is proud of its attempts to support its members and other network associates in equally accessing all resources, in order to improve their capacity and share together the results that SRD has achieved. We encourage the participation of local people at our project sites and equally deliver project’s results to beneficiaries. These are our ideas that push us to continue to work and run projects for a fair and humane society.

Promoting gender equality – one of the human rights “Ending the gender discrimination is the goal of SRD’s projects about gender equality” (Strategic Plan 2013-2017)

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ender inequality is the primary barrier of women’s effective participation in decision-making. Especially in Vietnam – one of the countries most affected by climate change – women and female children are considered as one of most vulnerable groups. Therefore, during the progress of running projects in the 10 past years, SRD has paid careful attention to women and female children. We have emphasized gender equality, as well as taken a general approach of including gender integration in all projects at local sites. Carrying out the integration is a result of the progress of researching, building a proposal, directing the involvement, giving solutions and monitoring assessment. According to the 2013 – 2017 strategic plan, SRD aims to become an organization which has gender responsibility within the organization, in projects at the community-level, and in policy advocacy unions towards gender equality. In the period 2014 – 2015, SRD’s gender announcement and commitment, that it will be consistent in integrating gender issues into future projects in communities, represented a landmark in its development. The approach of considering the rights of women and female children is a highlight in SRD’s projects. The projects’ activities see the number of female participants always accounting to at least approximately 50%. Women have been provided opportunities to join the Board of Project Management and persuaded to take part in and openly discuss issues of family violence, promoting women’s participation in local agencies at various levels, etc.

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Carrying out activities involving gender equality has delivered results which were documented and used to advocate policy at COP20 and COP21. SDR commits to work for “a positive change of the view of the administration and people – both males and females – on the equal participation and towards a better community”

Child protection – Responsibility and Understanding In the context of the natural environment being affected by disasters, and climate change becoming more and more extreme, children, as well as women and people with disabilities (PwD), are the most vulnerable groups. Understanding that, SRD created a core group of officers who have worked to establish child protection guidelines, playing an essential role in making certain that the rights of children are protected when implementing activities of SRD’s projects at local sites. This also protects the rights of SRD’s stakeholders and partners, including SRD’s representatives. SRD’s policy of child protection presents a code of conduct which aims to manage potential risks which could happen to children and involving people. Since SRD’s child protection policy has been in practice, all its officers have received training on the guidelines and made commitments to completely comply to the policy. They are also encouraged to carry out child protection integration into the project’s activities under their management. All contracts between SRD and consultants

always have terms of child protection. This means that the consultants, who read and understand the terms before signing, have to commit to obey the contract. There has been no signatory breaking the terms since they were carried out in contracts. Besides raising awareness and promoting the practice of the child protection policy by SRD’s staff and consultants, SRD calls on funding donors for support in conducting activities of child protection at local communities. This has resulted in the Central project sites having 359 parents and children’s relatives made aware of SRD’s policy, and 262 children at the project sites of Can Loc District (Ha Tinh Province) and Gio Linh (Quang Tri Province) joining activities involving their rights. Although SRD is not specifically an organization for children, it has actively carried out the integration of children in all of its activities in project sites, as well as inside the organization. SRD understands that pursuing child protection policies not only help to protect them but also prevent some risks involving child safety and benefits which SRD’s people could face. Due to the child protection policy, SRD’s staff can correctly apply the standards of behavior in working and communicating with beneficiaries, including children and their parents. In addition, integrating the child protection policy into programs or projects reminds SRD’s people to respect and uphold children and their family’s private rights and dignity, when using information and images in communications documents of the organization and its projects.

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People with disabilities – Care and Support Supporting PwD is a crossing-cutting issue integrated into all SRD projects. In 2009, SRD ran a project for PwD in Thua Thien Hue Province. This is the first time SRD officially promoted PwD integration to become an intervention priority, carried out in Central provinces that have been seriously affected by the war aftermath, disasters and climate change. They are also the provinces which have suffered from more disadvantages than others and having the highest rate of PwD, especially poor PwD. The number of SRD’s intervention projects for PwD, as well as direct beneficiaries (both adults and children), have been increasing through years. In the period of 2009 – 2010, the project Supporting People with Disabilities, funded by Caritas Australia, was carried out in 4 communes of Phong Dien district, Thua Thien Hue province. The project has delivered many results. SRD advocated to set up six PwD independent associations at commune-level and one at district-level. The associations have become a home for local PwD. There were 1066 PwD receiving medical examinations, provided rehabilitation equipment, and supported in rehabilitation processes. SRD selectively presented ten sustainable livelihood models to PwD’s households. Due to this, 180 households have been equipped with knowledge about livelihood development and provided financial assistance to practice their livelihood model. 300 PwD households suffering from Typhoon Ketsana – the second most devastating tropical cyclone in the 2009 Pacific typhoon season – received financial assistance to fix their house and livestock shelters, and recover their livelihoods after that.

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Due to the success of the project for PwD in Thua Thien Hue Province in 2009, SRD expanded the results to Gio Linh district, Quang Tri Province in 2012. The project Supporting Adults and Children with Disabilities at Gio Linh was launched in order to improve their physical and spiritual status and livelihood, to have a brighter and more independent life. The intervention project also aimed to promote more solidarity in the community, through PwD’s participation allowing every member to take joint efforts to adapt to climate change and disasters. After three years of practicing the project, it made a change and had a positive impact to 688 PwD households, including children with disabilities. The project’s practicability, efficiency, suitability, and expandability were highly appreciated by local authorities, the communities, and participants. Therefore, the donor decided to provide financial assistance to run the project phrase II from 2015 to 2018, covering five communes. Besides the projects for PwD, SRD has carried out another project that integrated roles of PwD into community’s activities, aiming to adapt to disasters. The project’s goal and content completely suit the Government‘s Program 1002, about raising communal awareness of disaster risk management. Although the project lasted only one year, it is recognized that there are initial positive changes happening in the community. People have changed their views of PwD, from the vulnerable group that needs help and play no roles in the planning process at communitylevel, to the group that would participate and contribute their ideas and experiences in communal common activities. In addition, PwD have changed their own mind to gradually integrate into the planning processes of disaster prevention and adaption.


SRD’s achievements in its areas of expertise

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SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Foundation, Experience and Achievement

S

RD originally focused its activity solely on sustainable agriculture. SRD’s agricultural projects have been aiming to promote the capacity of poor, marginalised farmers - especially women and ethnic people - to improve their incomes and to increase their decision-making ability at the community level through creating and implementing livelihood models in order to adapt to climate change. These projects have delivered numerous achievements in sustainable agriculture and livelihood development which has improved local people lives.

SRD has worked directly with local people to support them to maintain and develop various livelihood models, and to adapt to a changing environment and society in the context of development and international integration. In projects that create diverse and suitable livelihoods, SRD’s approach is based on local people’s needs. Then SRD develops intervention solutions as well as communications, facilitates local people to experiment, apply and disseminate effective agricultural production technologies that suit the market demand.

practice improved, and they gradually changed their traditional methods to adopt modern technologies. They are also more confident to give their opinions in the decisionmaking process at the community-level. In addition, technical capacity of the local people increasingly improved and their traditional cultivation habits progressively developed, matching the social changes. The model of the Community based Livelihood Club was successfully carried out in Phu Tho Province, before being replicated in livelihood projects in other provinces including Thai Nguyen and Yen Bai. For example, 17 poor communes that are under Program 135 in Van Chan District, Yen Bai Province, have applied the model of Farmer Interested Groups as a result of the experience of the Community based Livelihood Club. Along with the assistance of Program 135, local people have made plans for improved production and business before successfully put the plans into practice. This improved their living standards and contributed to Program 135’s efficiency.

Participatory irrigation management

Over the last 10 years, SRD has fundraised 5 million USD to implement more than 30 agriculture and livelihood projects in 11 provinces of Vietnam: Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Lao Cai, Bac Can, Yen Bai, Dien Bien, Son La, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh and Thua Thien Hue. SRD’s most significant achievement is that successfully carrying out livelihood models has helped local people at project sites improve their livelihood, increase income, and stabilize their life in response to climate change. The effective models were summarised:

The model was successfully carried out in Yen Bai and Phu Tho Provinces and improved local people’s awareness of participatory infrastructure management at the community level, as well as developed the working methods of local management officers. Another result is that the project helped raise the productivity of rice and other crops by 30%. This played a role in ensuring food security, improving poor people’s income, and strengthening the solidarity in the community.

Community based Livelihood Club

Participatory land use and management

This is a model of voluntary cooperation in which local people are put at the centre of development. At the club, they jointly discuss and agree on their working regulation and together make plans for developing production methods. They have opportunities to share their knowledge and experience in agriculture production; learning from others through face-to-face meetings. As a result, they become more confident and active in their family decision-making. Their aptitude in agricultural production and technical

The model was practiced for the first time in Phong Dien District, Thua Thien Hue Province. Due to its success, the participatory method in land use and management was replicated in Thai Nguyen and Phu Tho Provinces. The model delivered results from two perspectives: (1) improving local people’s capacity to govern authorised-land effectively and efficiently; and (2) promoting the voice and position of local people, especially women, in development activities at the community level which helps improve their lives.

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Conservation and development of farmer rice varieties The model helps farmers control inbred rice sources, decreasing the dependence on hybrid rice varieties that have unstable qualities and limits when adapting to climate change. This preserves the genetic source of precious rice varieties that have high quality, productivity, and are able to adapt to climate change. The model was carried out by SRD for the first time in Bac Kan Province, lasting three years from 2008 to 2010. There were 40 field training courses conducted during the project, helping 1200 farmer households access the knowledge and skills of seed rehabilitation and selection as well as the application of improved cultivation technology and integrated pest management. A seed production group was established with 19 household participants. The cooperation group produced 13.2 tons of the purebred rice Bao Thai, a local rice variety. This helps the households improve their income by 40% more compared with before joining the seed production group. There were 23.3 tons of rice seeds produced and exchanged between farmers involved in the project for planting at their own paddies. 14 potential rice varieties, which were able to withstand the climate at the local site, were selected and given to production at a large scale. In particular, the two varieties DV108 and KDDB were recognised and listed in the Bac Kan Province’s rice variety structure by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Based on the project’s results in Bac Kan Province, SRD disseminated the model to other provinces that are seriously affected by climate change, including Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh, Yen Bai, Son La and Lao Cai. Besides helping local people control seed resources and adapt to unpredictable changes of climate and weather, the model of conservation

and development of local rice varieties supports the people to increase their income through decreasing input costs, and uses environmentally friendly agricultural production methods. One of the significant results was the selection of 13 rehabilitated rice varieties and 18 adapted local rice varieties to suit the climate and site. For example, the salt resistant rice variety M2 was selected and brought into wide use in Thanh Hoa. The drought resistant, short-term rice variety MD1 was cultivated in highland communes of Hoa Binh Province. Many local rice varieties, such as Nep Lech – a type of sticky rice - and Seng Cu, were rehabilitated in Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Son La Provinces. There were 6720 households accessing high-quality rice varieties.

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) SRD’s project applied the system for the first time in Thai Nguyen and Phu Tho Provinces. The project delivered numerous results: (i) one guide book on technical and communications skills about SRI replication; (ii) 240 agriculture officers at local sites were trained in the knowledge and skills required to support local people to apply SRI; (iii) 127 farmers were trained in practicing SRI; and (iv) 6902 households applied SRI in paddies covering 2634 hectare. The model decreased the number of seeds, the use of water, pesticide and herbicide, as well as increased productivity. This led to profits rising by 8-32%. After successful application of SRI in Thai Nguyen and Phu Tho Provinces, SRD disseminated the application of SRI to all other SRD’s agriculture project sites. At the sites, rice productivity was raised by 15-20% while pesticide and chemical fertilizer costs fell by around 30%.

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Conservation and development of traditional herbal plants The project activity was carried out in Yen Bai Province. There were five herbal plants, including Ardisia silvestris, Ophiopogon japonicus, Polyscias fruticose, Disporopsis longifolia Craib, and Stephania diesiana Lour growing well in local climate conditions that were planted widely in Yen Binh District, Yen Bai Province. The cultivation helps not only to conserve local herbal plants, but also brings farmer households a sustainable income source. As well as this, local people share their knowledge of planting techniques, benefits of medicinal plants and traditional remedies, and inform each other about prices from local wholesale buyers. The model helps poor people, especially women, have a new, sustainable income source and decrease their dependence on forests. In addition, the model contributes to stabilise the area of medicinal plants in Yen Bai Province.

Sustainable livelihoods for poor and vulnerable households facing climate change SRD’s projects in Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien Hue Provinces supported farmer households in project sites to launch combined livelihood models as well as single livelihood models, such as chicken, pig, fish or rice models. Local people improved their livelihoods due to learning effective farming techniques from training workshops and project officers’ guidance. In addition they could access loans from the Bank for Social Policies and the community. This helped increase their income and consequently boosted the community’s economy. The project’s evaluation showed that the number of households with increased income, from raising

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chickens and pigs on biological padding, was continuously increasing. Due to following the advised technical procedures, rice productivity increased by 15-20%. The total income per year grew 15-20% thanks to a reduction in input costs by 20-40% on average. SRD achieved the success of connecting farmers’ agricultural product supply with urban markets by holding agricultural product markets at Ciputra Township (Hanoi), and at a regional specialty market at Royal CityTownship (Hanoi). The markets attract attention and are welcomed by customers, because they can buy clean and safe agricultural products directly from project farmers. SRD supported local people at project sites to sustainably self-manage their various livelihoods in an appropriate way; this ensured that the people would continue to further their own benefits after the project ended. Seeing SRD’s efforts and achievements, its role in the cause of poverty eradication, and how it has aided agricultural and rural development has been recognised by government agencies at all levels. SRD received numerous certificates of merit and recognition from local authorities at project sites, such as the People’s Committee of Phu Luong District, Thai Nguyen Province, the People’s Committee of Can Loc District, Ha Tinh Province, the People’s Committee of Gio Linh District, Quang Tri province, the People’s Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province, the People’s Committee of Yen Bai Province, and the Yen Bai Oriental Traditional Medicine Association. In addition, SRD is highly appreciated by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, other Government related agencies, and the Prime Minister. SRD is proud to be one of the leading NGOs in the development of agricultural and sustainable livelihoods due to its achievements for local people and their communities.


Enhancing networks’ capacity and supporting communities in response to climate change SRD is committed to help poor and vulnerable communities mitigate climate change impacts, as well as facilitate them to apply greenhouse gas emission reducing livelihood development solutions. These goals are specified in its projects’ intervention. Every project has activities to improve awareness and capacity of climate change, and then supports farmers to implement pilot models and disseminate climate change adaptation livelihood models and solutions.

Establishing, maintaining and developing the network SRD and some other Vietnamese NGOs jointly initiated the launch of the Network of Vietnamese NGOs on Climate Change (VNGO&CC). The network members increased from five organisations in September, 2008, to more than 130 throughout the country presently. As the Chair of the Steering Committe, SRD has proactively called on financial assisstance and led in implementing activities that aim to enhance the network’s capacity, linkage, and share information and experiences between member organisations in order to strengthen their voice in communications and policy advocacy on climate change. As a result, the network of VNGO&CC has been reinforced and operated more effectively. This was seen in formation of the VNGO&CC regional groups, the frequent sharing information between the member organisations, the popularisation of VNGO&CC activities on mass media channels, and the improvement of officers’ skills including communications, research and policy advocacy in climate

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change. The network has also researched, documented and disseminated climate change adaptation models. The built and improved cooperation between the network and government agencies contributes to the success of the network.

Improving capacity on climate change Since working in the field of climate change in 2008, SRD has undertaken several hundred training workshops and conferences to enhance capacity and raise awareness of climate change. In particular, these have seen the participation of around 700 leaders and officers from the 8 provinces of Long An, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Ninh Binh, Hai Phong, and Quang Ninh, nearly 700 participants from more than 100 NGOs throughout the country, more than 1500 partner NGOs’ counterpart officers, and more than 28000 people at SRD’s project sites.

Supporting farmers to develop their livelihoods, build climate change adaptation models and reduce natural disaster risks. Intervention projects undertaken by SRD prioritized affected countryside regions by climate change including Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Bac Can, Thai Nguyen, Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Long An Provinces. Prioritized participants are vulnerable people to climate change, poor farmers, ethnic minorities, women, children, and people with disabilities (PwD) and PwD’s families. Numerous activities supporting farmers in climate change adaptation have been undertaken by SRD in its interven-

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tion projects at local sites. These are (1) enhancing farmers’ capacity on natural disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, (2) supporting community-based forest protection and management activities, (3) supporting solutions of garbage and waste treatment, and reducing environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, (4) testing and disseminating sustainable, eco-friendly and climate smart agricultural cultivation initiatives and models, and (5) advocating local authorities at different levels to make policy frameworks to replicate successfully piloted climate change adaptation initiatives/ models in the community, and integrate them into socioeconomic development plans of the local community. The climate change adaptation initiatives and models piloted in project sites generally were practical, meeting communities’ actual needs and being supported by local people and authorities. Some outstanding models include System of Rice Intensification (SRI), climate smart and closed-loop agricultural production, conservation and development of climate change adaptive rice varieties, the use of biological bedding in pig farming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, and the experiment of planting watermelon in dry paddies in which farmers cannot grow rice. The models selected to experiments should be practical as well as have a scientific basis. These applications mostly are based on 3 principles: ensuring requirements of climate change adaptation, bringing about economic effectiveness and environmental sustainability, benefiting numerous people, and being replicable. In Thanh Hoa Province, SRD helped coastal farmers in Dong Tan Village, Da Loc Commune, Hau Loc District, select rice varieties that adapt to the saline soil. The farmers were trained in selection and conservation skills by


the hands-on method and guided to practice selection skills including seed rehabilitation, line selection, variety comparison, and applying the method of SRI. The trainees actively participated in the process, ranging from building trials and conducting researches to following and carrying out measures on paddies. Over three harvests, farmers assessed some saline tolerant rice varieties including M2, M4, M11 and M12, in comparison with rice varieties that were presently cultivated in a local site. The M2 was evaluated as being a potential for cultivation and development in local saline paddies. In Bac Kan Province, the SRI was operated in the three districts of Ba Be, Cho Moi and Na Ri, in 2012. The technique was highly appreciated by local people and authorities. Local farmers’ capacity of crop cultivation was improved to become “scientists on paddies”. The results showed that SRI increased the rice productivity by 30% and was suitable to apply on cultivating local inbred rice varieties, especially Bao Thai rice. In Thua Thien Hue Province, SRD supported 18 member households of Thai Duong Thuong Cooperative in Hai Duong Commune, Huong Tra District, to successfully build the drought-tolerant watermelon planting model that help the farmers to utilise areas of the paddy fields left uncultivated due to the shortage of irrigation water during summer, and create an additional livelihood for them. SRD also supported people in Hai Duong Commune to cultivate the saline tolerant rice variety RVT, which shows its outstanding advantages in the condition of extreme weather. The rice RVT is a high-yield and quality variety

with the expected yield of 50 – 55 quintals per hectare. Due to this, farmers can sell their rice with a higher price than other local rice varieties previously cultivated, and consequently help them raise their income. In Ha Tinh Province, through the “Taking a value chain approach to improving rural livelihoods in the context of natural disasters and climate change” project, famers were supported to establish flood prevention groups and equipped with knowledge of storm and flood prevention and control. They also joined piloting climate change adaptation models of agricultural production. For example, farmers cultivated the new rice variety NA.R5, which allows them to harvest before the flood season, and they would not worry about crops losses due to the flood. One of many models farmers are interested in is biological bedding for pig farming. This method brings about economic effectiveness without greenhouse gas emissions and farming odour. SRD has undertaken many agricultural projects in which climate change is integrated. When implementing project activities, SRD’s officers have their “secret” approach. The approach is that SRD does not mention to the local people the climate change aspects of each project, they just focus on the purpose of protecting their environment, using their natural resources effectively, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and many others. This way will help people gradually understand and change their mind about the terms of climate change adaptation and its impact mitigation.

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Achievements in REDD + and FLEGT REDD+

In 2009, SRD started to work in the field of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), initiating the development of a REDD+ curriculum for the first-generation trainers of NGOs, and providing capacity training for NGOs’ officers on REDD+. SRD and some other Vietnamese NGOs, with knowledge about REDD+, jointly carried out community consultations on the readiness to implement REDD+ in Thanh Hoa, Lang Son, and Thai Nguyen provinces, and provided valuable contribution to the UNREDD Programme Phase I in Vietnam. In 2014, SRD was nominated by Vietnamese NGOs to be their representative in the Steering Committee of the UNREDD Programme Phase II, and got favourable consensus from the Steering Committee. Since then, SRD has played its role in supporting capacity development for NGOs on REDD+ and, consequently, ensured that NGOs bring the needs and voices of forest-dependent communities into the development of REDD+ action plan in a number of provinces.

FLEGT In 2012, SRD joined the field of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). During the four years of work on FLEGT, SRD has succeeded in being a pioneer organization and leading the civil society to bring to voice and aspiration of grassroots to the negotiation table of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).

Contribution to the civil society regarding FLEGT Perhaps the most important achievement is the establishment and development of a network of Vietnamese Non-Governmental Organizations on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT), which has significantly contributed to the VPA negotiation process in Vietnam. Initially with only four members, the network has grown to more than 60 at present. As a founding member and Chair of the Steering Committee of the network, SRD attracted more than $1.0 million in fund-raising from the EU, the Department for International Development (UK),

1

GIS: Livelihood Impact Assessment LIA: Livelihood Impact Assessment 3 TLAS: Timber Legality Assurance Systems 4 IFM: Independent Forest Monitoring 2

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The FLEGT Action Plan is an initiative of the EU, which sets out a range of measures to tackle illegal logging and timber trade. At the core of FLEGT Action Plan is the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) - a legally binding trade agreement between EU and a timber-exporting country into the EU, including Vietnam. The VPA negotiation and implementation process in Vietnam is forecasted to impact many stakeholders, including vulnerable groups such as forest-dependent households and communities. and the EU-FAO-FLEGT program to carry out three projects on building capacity of member organizations in order to actively participate and contribute to the VPA negotiation process in Vietnam. 30 training workshops on VPA-FLEGT have been conducted with approximately 900 direct beneficiaries. Eight members of the network attended FLEGT Week held by the EU every two years in Belgium; four members joined the course on Forest Governance in the UK. More than 20 members participated in an array of courses on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Livelihood Impact Assessment (LIA), Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS), and Independent Forest Management (IFM) in Asian VPA countries. In addition, SRD developed important training on Independent Monitoring of households’ legal timber


compliance, and REDD+ and FLEGT linkage. These are important training workshops for network members to enhance their capacity and join the Independent Monitoring of the VPA FLEGT and the UNREDD Programme in Vietnam.

Conducting research to recommend actions A large number of research activities were coordinated by SRD and network members to bring evidences at grassroots level to the VPA negotiation table. Research topics have included: (1) community consultation of timber legality in 2012, (2) conducting LIA assessment (on the impact of VPA on vulnerable communities), and community consultation on some articles of the Forest Law 2004 relating to household and community level in order to recommend amendments to the Law, (3) carrying out in-depth LIA research in two northern highland districts (Phu Luong of Thai Nguyen Province and Yen Binh of Yen Bai Province) and two carpentry villages in Red River delta (Dong Ky and Huu Bang), to enrich the general LIA research in 2013, (4) conducting baseline surveys for Independent Monitoring of household compliance with legal timber requirements, and exploring the potential linkage between REDD+ and FLEGT in 2015. Based on research results, SRD and network members consolidated and developed policy briefs for advocacy purpose. The policy briefs and research reports have provided useful recommendations from the community perspective to the VPA negotiation in Vietnam. This shows that civil society plays such an essential role in the VPA negotiation and implementation in Vietnam.

Providing suggestions to various articles of the VPA SRD, having considerable knowledge and practical experiences in working with communities and conducting research, has coordinated network members to provide valuable and meaningful suggestions to various drafts of the VPA: (1) three official recommendations to the Annex II of legal timber definition, (2) two recommendations to the Annex V of timber legality assurance system, (3) and one recommendation to the Annex VIII of public information disclosure. These recommendations were received by bothVietnam and the EU delegations for review and changes.

2015 2014 More than 40 CSOs/NGOs registered Amending the charter

2013

The Steering Commi ee: SRD, SFMI, CORENARM More than 60 CSOs/NGOs registered

The Steering Committee: SRD, PanNature, ForWet, CRD More than 30 CSOs/NGOs registered

2012

Establishing the Steering Committee of VNGO-FLEGT, including: SRD, PanNature, CSDM, CERDA, CRD, FORWET Developing the operating charter of the network More than 20 CSOs/NGOs registered

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Networking and Policy Advocacy Sharing experience, enhancing knowledge SRD has taken the position as the Chair of the People’s Participation Working Group (PPWG), which includes more than 100 development organisations such as UNDP, WB, bilateral donors, NGOs, and others. As the Chair, SRD successfully achieved the coordination of PPWG’s members to effectively provide support to the Government, during the formulation of Decree 151/2007/ND-CP on the organisation and operation of Collaborative Groups. In early 2008, SRD proactively initiated civil society related activities in order to tighten links with Vietnamese and international partners. Due to its contribution and capability SRD was selected by The Vietnamese Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) to be VUSTA’s representative in welcoming the delegation of Laotian civil social organisations. Following this, SRD became a member of the Advisory Board of a project between VUSTA and UNDP on enhancing the capacity of VUSTA. At the end of 2008, SRD, in partnership with other Vietnamese NGOs, jointly initiated, established, and steered the Network of Vietnamese NGOs on Climate Change (VNGO&CC), and at that time SRD was elected Co-Chair of the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG). In the position as Chair of the Steering Committee of the VNGO&CC Network, and the Co-Chair of CCWG, SRD carried out consultations and provided feedback on policies, programs and plans relating to climate change, at provincial as well as national levels. These efforts are reaching the policy-makers; documents on climate change adaptation models published by NGOs were important reference materials for government agencies to build the criteria for assessing community-based models and programs on climate change, as well as for provincial authorities to develop socio-economic development plans integrating climate change factors and disseminate climate change adaptation livelihood models in the community.

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Pro-poor policy advocacy is one of SRD’s main strategic objectives. SRD has gained a great number of experiences to share with local authorities and policy makers over many years of operation. As well as this, SRD has actively broadened its international cooperation relations, and enhanced its standing as a civil organisation with continuous learning and a readiness to collaborate with others to jointly take actions to approach and influence policy makers to support poor people.


At the beginning of 2012, Vietnam joined the negotiations regarding the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). Applying their experience from founding and steering networks, SRD and other Vietnamese NGOs jointly established the Network of Vietnamese NGOs on FLEGT (VNGO-FLEGT), of which SRD was elected the Chair of the Steering Committee. In this position, SRD, in cooperation with other network members, conducted much research and community consultation activities on VPA/FLEGT, and had a valuable and practical contribution to the negotiation process of VPA/FLEGT between the Vietnamese Government and the European Union. SRD proves that it is a pioneering organisation by coordinating all the networks’ activities and programs, including those in new fields such as FLEGT, finance for climate change, climate-smart agriculture, as well as transparency and accountability in development investment. In multilateral projects, SRD frequently shared its experience in order to improve NGOs’ professionalism in the policy advocacy working environment of Vietnam. SRD has always played a core role in the discussions, consultations, and events in promoting the voice and positioning of civil society organisations. Furthermore, SRD has also been recognised as a reputable organisation by joining policy making processes such as the New Rural Development Programme, the National Target Programme on Climate Change Adaptation, the Sustainable Development Strategy in Vietnam, the Forum for Development Effectiveness, and by actively contributing to international forums for policy advocacy

such as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 20+), the Sixth International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA6), the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15), and 21th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris. Propagating and advocating towards pro-poor policies is at the core of SRD’s activities; the main strategy used to achieve this goal relies on connecting with different organisations and actively joining and contributing to related networks.

Interconnecting with international partners Since 2008, SRD has also joined the two regional networks focusing on agricultural issues: Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), which commits to support biological and ecological agriculture, and East Asia Rice Working Group (EARWG), which works to promote sustainable rice production and support natural seed selection without using genetic technology and genetically modified organism. SRD is the only Vietnamese NGO in both networks, raising communities’ voices in line with farmers’ interests and rights. Additionally, SRD joined the activities of the International Council on Social Welfare – a global network of social welfare – which includes effective dissemination and advocacy methods, as well as regional advocacy programs of intergovernmental agencies within ASEAN. Finally, and equally importantly, SRD is a member of the Asian Pacific Research Network (APRN) and other regional networks including Aid Effectiveness, the Mekong Adaptation Forum, and the Reality of Aid Network. SRD’s frequent and active participation in national and international forums to contribute ideas and discuss current development issues, shows that SRD’s officers and leaders invested their effort and time to gain practical experiences as well as generating convincing, scientific-based models and evidence, for the benefit of its own activities as well as the networks steered by SRD. Considering its capability and contribution, SRD will continue to be a key representative of Vietnamese and international NGOs in forums on sustainable agriculture, climate change and FLEGT. 1

APRN: Asian Pacific Research Network

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Partners’ impressions of SRD

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Once CIDSE and now SRD Rudi Kohnert, Forest governance campaigner (South East Asia), FERN

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eing associated with SRD past and present has been a privilege, and seeing today the kind of organisation SRD has grown into, is a cause for celebration. Thinking back to 2004 it was far from clear what would become of what was CIDSE’s Vietnam country office. It is worth remembering the situation back then, and comparing it to how far SRD has travelled in such a short time, all the more to applaud the achievements of SRD on its anniversary in 2016. It was a time when CIDSE was grappling with how best to enable the emergence of autonomous NGOs to grow out of its regional programme in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Staff in none of the field offices were exactly pushing for change in those days, but resigned to options being put to them by CIDSE for creating national, subnational or regional NGOs. Only a very small handful of people (many of whom incidentally ended up working with SRD) expressed the excitement of vision and mission that is normally necessary for an independent organisation to thrive. A study was conducted to provide CIDSE decision-makers with options for the future of its country offices. Member organizations and field staff were consulted on what they thought of a range of options, including becoming independent national, subnational, or regional NGOs. I had to smile nostalgically

when I dug out an old file from my archives to remind myself of that process and that in Vietnam, initially a majority of staff were in favour of a regional option, albeit with some trepidation about financial security and how it might look in practice. But there were clear preferences within CIDSE members for a single national NGO to evolve from each of the three CLV country offices. This was resisted in Vietnam, where members of staff were able to assert their own vision, ultimately leading to SRD as one of two Vietnamese organisations to emerge. But quite apart from considerations of ownership and staff buyin, were questions about what would actually work legally and politically. This was a time when the law for the establishment and governance of local NGOs was still under discussion, with no indication when it might be finalised. It was also a time when there were tight controls and unease about the very notion of independent organisations. An indication of the restrictions facing would-be NGOs at the time, was the abrupt and public interruption of the original launching ceremony. Despite much thought, expense and publicity in preparing that launch as the centre for Livelihoods and Upland Agriculture, officialdom disapproved of the branding and LUA acronym, and refused to allow the organisation to choose its own name. Nowadays of course, by virtue of the work it

does and its own success, SRD has become a very recognized brand in the Vietnamese NGO world. It is so gratifying therefore, that now, a decade later, and in a very different role, I am around to witness how the VNGO FLEGT network members have elected SRD onto its steering committee, as chair of their nationwide network. And this is not just any network, but a pioneering one. For me there is a sense of déjà vu here: yet again SRD is breaking ground, helping create what could be a unique space for Vietnamese NGOs in contributing to the negotiating process of a major timber trade agreement with the EU. These contributions will be very important for upholding the rights of communities who depend on forests for their livelihoods by ensuring that the issues they face are taken into account in defining what

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Thoughts of a former volunteer Wendy Conway Lamb First Secretary, Sustainable and Inclusive Development Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Embassy should constitute legal timber in the context of Vietnam. Without this participation, community opinion in the definition of legality would not be heard, and some who depend on forests could find themselves criminalised. With the participation of NGOs like SRD in the negotiations, questions about in whose interests the trade agreement is negotiated are preempted with buy-in from a wider range of stakeholders, making it all the more credible internationally. This VNGO network has now become a known and increasingly proactive and respected stakeholder group in the VPA process. So much so that on the morning of Têt 2015 at peak viewing time, our partners in Vietnam secured a slot on VTV1 to broadcast a film about these negotiations and the importance of NGO participation in them. Which seems like an appropriate moment to return to this article’s opening sentiment and salute SRD for how far it has come in a short space of time.

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hen I joined SRD in early 2010, little did I know that this would be the beginning of a long and happy relationship with Vietnam, and in particular with the country’s northern mountainous areas. I had taken leave from my job with the Australian Government’s aid program in Canberra, and was at the start of a 15-month placement as a climate change officer with SRD, under the Australian Volunteers for International Development program (AVID) as it is now known.

Within a week of settling into Hanoi and starting my placement, a team of SRD colleagues took me to Yen Bai and Quang Ninh provinces to undertake climate change vulnerability and needs assessments with rural communities. I was struck not only by the considerable challenges that these communities were facing, including as a result of extreme weather events and climate change, but also by how resourceful and determined they were in tackling their challenges. And, as anyone who has visited these areas would know, how friendly, open and welcoming. Six years later, I find myself travelling in Vietnam’s northern mountainous areas again, this time on a design mission for Australia’s new women’s economic empowerment program. I can’t help reflecting on the deep impact that my time at SRD had on my knowledge and understanding of

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TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

this beautiful country, my appreciation of the valuable contribution that Vietnamese civil society is making to the country’s socio-economic development, and my own commitment to this work. On its 10th anniversary, I am proud to see how SRD has continued to grow as one of Vietnam’s very effective and well-respected homegrown NGOs. Thanks to its clear vision and enthusiastic dedicated staff, SRD manages to combine delivering positive change at the grassroots level, with connecting and empowering other civil society groups, as well as engaging as an informed stakeholder in national and international level conversations about sustainable and inclusive development.


SRD’s Role and Position in the VNGO&CC Network Truong Quang Hoang,PhD. Director – The Centre for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD) Member of the Steering Committee of the VNGO&CC Network, based in the Central Region

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limate change affects Vietnam more significantly than nearly any other country in the world. Vietnamese and international NGOs in Vietnam, in partnership with the government, have been attempting to take practical actions that support local people to combat the effects of climate change.

In 2008, several Vietnamese NGOs jointly established the Network of Vietnamese NGOs and Climate Change (VNGO&CC), receiving the support of the Embassy of Finland. As one of the founding members, SRD represented VNGO&CC when signing a cooperation agreement with the Embassy of Finland. Following this, SRD directly implemented and coordinated the project’s activities. As the Chair of the Steering Committee of the network, SRD has been an active participant and given significant contributions to the establishment and development of the VNGO&CC Network over the past years. These contributions include: SRD has addressed and overcome numerous difficulties in order to increase the membership of the network, develop its overall capacity, and to improve the organisational structure and institutional operation. The number of network members increased from only five when founded to 130 presently; the VNGO&CC Network is now a nation-wide network. The network has operated more effectively with a more rigid structure due to the creation and continuous improvement of regulations and, most importantly, the network’s development strategy. SRD has always proactively looked for and called on financial assistance in order to implement the network’s activities. These particularly include enhancing members’ capacity, directly supporting communities, and advocating policies which convey initiatives, unheard voices, and experiences of communities to the Vietnamese and international governments. This leads to policies that benefit local people and support them when adapting to climate change. SRD has formed a solid relationship with ministries and other government agencies to introduce and promote the network’s image. Consequently, this gives member or-

ganisations the opportunity to opportunity to contribute policy recommendations, as well as developing climate change action plans with government agencies. SRD initiated and hosted many policy advocacy activities on climate change. These included holding workshops and conferences to provide information about policy making, and providing government authorities at a range of levels with study trips to learn about effective climate change adaptation models. Through the activities, the authorities gained valuable experience and observed interesting initiatives from communities in different regions. This helped them design policies that meet local people’s needs and aspirations. SRD has raised the position of the network by joining national and international forums on climate change. As the representative of the VNGO&CC Network, SRD, in partnership with CCWG and other partners, participated in and presented at side events of COP15 and COP21. SRD has played a significant role in VNGO&CC’s creation and development. On SRD’s 10th anniversary, on behalf of CRD – a member of the Steering Committee of the VNGO&CC Network – I would like to congratulate SRD for their remarkable achievements thus far, and hope that SRD will continuously develop and contribute to Vietnam’s rural development cause in general, and to the network in particular.

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SRD working on climate change communication in the Mekong Delta Le Anh Tuan, PhD. Deputy Director, Research Institute for Climate Change Member of the Steering Committee, The VNGO&CC Network, based in the Mekong Delta region

as the Chair of the network of Vietnamese NGOs on Climate Change (VNGO&CC), SRD has enthusiastically held many practical activities and supported civil organisations in the Mekong Delta in activities of training and communications about climate change.

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mproving awareness of the community in adapting to potential natural disasters, uncertain weather, and the increasing impacts from climate change such as sealevel rise, is one of the central issues in Vietnam. Since 2008, many training courses and workshops on capacity enhancement and mass communications in adapting to climate change in the Mekong Delta have been widely carried out, through aiming to clearly understand its causes, evidence, impacts and solutions. These activities saw a significant contribution from research institutes, universities, government agencies, and particularly nongovernment organisations (NGOs), including the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD). In the capacity

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TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

DRAGON Institute – Mekong – Can Tho University, a member of the Executive Committee of the network of VNGO&CC, has cooperated with SRD in many activities: (1) organising about ten training workshops and conferences covering issues of climate change with about 300 participants in the Mekong Delta, (2) collecting and documenting climate change adaptation models in the Mekong Delta, and (3) frequently sharing information to other member organizations of the network in the region. These activities delivered many results including raising awareness of climate change, providing information and experience-sharing mechanisms between member organisations of the network, and tightening connections with organisations around the world, towards supporting communities to adapt to climate change. Combating climate change requires organisations to take long-term action plans in the future. We think that SRD will continue to utilise their advantages alongside civil organisations in the Mekong Delta to jointly support disadvantaged people – especially people in the countryside, mountainous areas, and coastal areas – through giving specific and sustainable solutions for their lives and livelihoods facing many new challenges as a result of climate change.


SRD connects members to develop the network and make policy recommendations Tran Nam Thang, PhD. Deputy Director, The Consultative and Research Centre on Natural Resource Management Member of the Steering Committee, The VNGO-FLEGT Network

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In 2010, Vietnamese Government officially started negotiating with the European Union (EU) about a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in the framework of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan. One of the requirements of the negotiation and implementation process is that related parties should fully participate to mitigate FLEGT-VPA negative impacts, especially on vulnerable groups.

The Network of Vietnamese NGOs on FLEGT (VNGOFLEGT) that comprises Vietnamese NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who are interested in the VPA/FLEGT was voluntarily established and started operating in January, 2012. At the first meeting of the network, key organisations jointly agreed to launch the Steering Committee, and elected SRD as the Chair due to its experiences in managing and steering the Network of Vietnamese NGOs on Climate Change (VNGO&CC). SRD has always taken the lead in connecting the Network’s members through practical activities and consequently brought about many results. In particular:

1. SRD has led the development of project proposals, calling on financial assistance and cooperating with other members to carry out projects aiming to improve CSOs’ capacity to effectively participate in the negotiation and implementation process of VPA/FLEGT. As the result, many member organisations set up their own projects involving VPA/FLEGT, sponsored by the EU, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), and positively contributed to the network. Particularly, SRD has been implementing four projects relating to VPA/FLEGT with the participation of most of the network’s members. 2. Improving capacity of vulnerable groups, especially forest dependent communities, and small and mid-scale forest product trading or processing enterprises, to help them prepare for and consequently mitigate risks when Vietnam officially implements the VPA/FLEGT. 3. Consulting related stakeholders, and undertaking field studies on: (i) Timber Legality Definition (LD), (ii) Livelihood Impact Assessment (LIA), (iii) Assessment of the Forestry Law 2004, (iv) assessing the capacity of compliance with Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS); (v) Building the criteria and setting up the independent monitoring system, and (vi) studying the REDD+ and FLEGT linkage to improve national programs’ effectiveness. All study results have been analysed and then summarised, in order to submit policy recommendations to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry to consider and then adjust regulations of the forestry law system.

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Thoughts about SRD “I’m so proud of working with SRD” – Mrs. Duong Thi Lien, Head of International Cooperation Department – Research Institute for Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification (SFMI) / Member of the Steering Committee of the VNGO-FLEGT Network

4. As a result of these activities, the role and position of CSOs have been recognised and significantly enhanced by governmental management agencies and related partners. They have seen CSOs’ potential, capacity, and importance in the process of making and finalising policies and monitoring the implementation. Therefore, representatives of the VNGO-FLEGT Network and other CSOs have been consulted and encouraged to participate and contribute their recommendations in forestry development programmes of Vietnam. The network’s achievements are visibly far from initial expectations. In order to attain this success, it should firstly mention SRD’s active and meaningful contributions to the network, and forestry and sustainable rural development in general. To further the results, the VNGO-FLEGT network – led by SRD – has been organising dialog forums and developing action plans on institutionalising CSOs’ role as an independent monitor of the negotiation and implementation process of VPA/FLEGT. This will be a significant move in order to improve effectiveness and ensure transparency for sustainable and equal development.

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TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

As a member of the Network’s Steering Committee, I have worked with SRD since 2012. My first impression was that SRD is a strong team of passionate and enthusiastic people that strive to support poor and vulnerable people in the country to improve their livelihoods, forest protection management, and adaption to climate change, towards an equal and humane society. SRD has made significant contribution to civil society, particularly the network VNGO-FLEGT. SRD has made tremendous efforts in fund-raising, connecting related parties in Vietnam and other countries to support member organizations to improve their capacity and awareness of VPA FLEGT, and consequently delivering essential messages on timber legality and policy to local communities. This has greatly promoted the role and position of the network, and the reputation and image of SRD in the community. What a proud of contribution that SRD has made in supporting poor people in many fields throughout Vietnam! I believe and wish that SRD would continue moving forward and supporting the development of the VNGO-FLEGT Network, and contributing to the VPA negotiation and implementation in Vietnam.


The story of a “female general” in the frontlines Doan Hong Minh, Journalist – Natural Resources and Environment Magazine

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know her from the early days of the establishment of the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD). She is a senior manager and known by NGOs. Before working for NGOs, she had worked for the Ministry of Science and Technology for years and provided consultancy services for international organizations including UNDP, ADB, IFAD, SIDA, Action Aid, etc. To talk about her, the communications give her the name of “female general in the frontlines”- she is Vu Thi Bich Hop – Chairwoman and Executive Director of SRD – Chair of Steering Committees of the two big and famous 1 2 networks of the VNGO&CC and VNGO-FLEGT .

The first frontline that is linked well to her name over the past 10 years was to lead SRD to develop to become one of the leading VNGOs in Vietnam and be honored by the VUSTA as one of the top 10 organizations in 2015. SRD was also awarded the Leadership on Poverty Reduction and Rural Development of the ASEAN Associations. To be the top leader at SRD, she often provides wise and timely decisions to keep SRD to update with social changes and development, and thus shifts SRD’s focus from just agriculture issues to become one of the top NGOs in Vietnam working for climate change, ODA utilization effectiveness and FLEGT. Besides the sharp directions for technical, professional aspects, she also provides drastic instruction for the organizational and personnel development to meet the social development trend in terms of both quantity and quality aspects. Together with capacity of visioning, being sensitive and soft in communication, smart in synthesizing and analyzing problems, open in discussion, she is admired by her colleagues. Smiling while sharing with us, she said “I am very proud of SRD because it is a home of talented and enthusiastic colleagues. Especially, as we are a united team and SRD is considered as the second home of the staff. The SRD family, of whatever positions

Mrs. Vu Thi Bich Hop – SRD’s Executive Director

Profile In 1983, Ms. Hop graduated Bachelor of Economics at the National Economic University. In 1993 she got postgraduate diploma on Development Planning at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands. In 1998, she started working for CIDSE Vietnam with a role of Finance and Administration Manager. After almost 8 years working for CIDSE, with management capacity and experience together with passion and accountability over the tasks, she was appointed to be Joint-Representative of CIDSE in 2005 and independently managed the LÚA Department which later was renamed as SRD. In March 2006, she was elected as Director of SRD and re-elected in 2009 lasting till now.

they are always united together, sharing the core values such as participation, accountability and professionalism. We are all together sharing for the future, to be committed to make SRD a leading NGO in Vietnam”.

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VNGO&CC: Network of local NGOs and Climate Change

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VNGO-FLEGT: Network of local NGOs on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade

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In the second frontline, it must be mentioned her taking the initiative and leading roles over the VNGO Networks regarding climate change and FLEGT, which is recognized and appreciated by the stakeholders including the government agencies, donors and international partners. Being a founding member and leader of the Steering Committee of VNGO&CC, she has mobilized various funding sources to improve capacity of the member organizations and together with the Climate Change Working Group signed MOUs with two government agencies on climate change including the Hydrometeorology and Climate Change Department (under MONRE) and the Steering Committee of the Climate Change Adaptation Programme (of MARD). These are the first agreements in Vietnam signed between the Government agency and a NGO Network to milestone a benchmark in the recognition of the role of the VNGOs. She has been invited to participate in the United Nations’ summit conferences on climate changes such as COP15, COP21 and the UNFCCC’s. As well as in the VNGO&CC network, she has taken lead in development of the VNGO-FLEGT network to contribute actively to the negotiation between EU and the Government of Vietnam on the VPA. Nationally and internationally whenever mentioning FLEGT, the VNGO-FLEGT network under the leading role of Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop is always referred to. With success in driving the two networks to be formulated and developed, she was voted by the VNGOs to be their representative in the Executive Board of The UNREDD

Phase II in Vietnam since Feb 2014. Not only of the national networks, she is also known by regional and international NGOs and she has been elected to be a Board Member of the APRN (Asian Pacific Research Network) for two terms (2012-2014 and 2014-2016). The APRN consists of more than 50 NGOs selected from 20 countries in the Asian Pacific region. She was invited to the 4th High Level Forum on Development Effectiveness (in Bussan 2011) and the 1st High Level Meeting on Development Effectiveness (in Mexico 2014). With her obtained knowledge and experience, Ms. Hop is also known for her participation in and contribution to national, regional and international policy dialogues. She has also been invited to a number of TV shows as a special guest, for example: the “contemporary story” and “CEO Forum”. She, finally but not less importantly, was honored by the Intellectual Development Magazine to be one of the outstanding Vietnamese intellectuals working for community development. This is considered to be the third frontline in which she was honored. Although being a senior leader, she has never stopped learning. Even for learning, she has always been an excellent learner. Whenever participating in training courses regardless of long or short, she is always open to listen to others and share her knowledge and experience to the rest. And this is also another “frontline” in which her leading role is always mentioned. The sensitiveness, determination and creation in leadership, management and administration of Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop together with the Board of Management of SRD is opening opportunities for more drastic changes to continue going forward with the mission for the sustainable rural development of Vietnam, to deserve an active and effective member of VUSTA, and be the pioneer of the VNGOs. Of the past 10 years’ successes, it affirms the pioneering role of the “female general” Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop over various “frontlines”.

Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop receiving the prestigious ASEAN Leadership Award for one of the NGOs that have made numerous contributions to rural development and poverty eradication

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TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

I am very impressive with her sentence that “being a woman, we should be manageable, balancing the business tasks and family works. That is a perfect woman”. And Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop is such a perfect woman. Beside the business successes, she is a gentle mother, a thoughtful wife of the family. Her achievements and thoughts have been fruiting in her wise and good children.


Ten years of a journey Remember the day our ethnic folks In Tuan Giao are full of joy As livelihood brings meaning to life A smile appears in the shining light of the countryside

Forest law enforcement and governance program Equity, transparency, as it praises The golden words of FLEGT Protect the green forest, preserve the tranquil village life

Climate is changing, just like everything Causing long impacts upon life Quickly the project must come by Develop the needed capacity for us all

We lead the establishment of a network Of NGOs supporting FLEGT Independent monitoring periodically Helps people to comply with the laws

For mankind, for homeland, for life Pledging our strength and heart in a promise to the mountains and rivers How immense the mountains and rivers may be Sweat and tears that nobody may see

Gathering members to build networks Civil society getting together Initiating the first move in great awareness To cope with long term climate change

As the shiny and rainy days swing upon The hardship could not shake our determination Our will is fixed as a mast We sail to the ocean in full wind

In the fight against natural calamity, come the grassroots The good old story has been retold In Phong Dien, community folks join hands To develop a model for disaster prevention

The landscape of our country stretches thousands of miles The forest and delta of Vietnam VFD program, the “bald eagle” spirit Cooperation between state and non-state sector is resoundingly popular

Beholding the coming decade anniversary Overwhelming emotion brings up a poem Contemplating the passage of time Ten years have passed rather unnoticeably Witnessing the peak and trough of the world And the changes of all beings Since the very first day of foundation Devoting ourselves to build a better future

Our soul is as ample as space We walk firmly on a long journey Our strength is spread far away We help the kinsmen, forever the mutual bond The love for our country perpetuates resolutely beyond all mountains The feeling for our people lays unwavering over thousands of miles Climbing mountains, crossing streams, stretching our back Our story has been written since day one In Ba Be, fostering the herbal species In Yen Lap, supporting farmers’ livelihood SRI is all about sustainability Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, people are aided Selecting the rice varieties to enhance their agro-system Helping the rural folks to improve hygiene People of Bac Kan hold gratitude For the project implementation is a blessing No hesitance at the manifold hardships Joint efforts to improve livelihood Disabled folks are grateful Quang Dien, Quang Tri, just you and me

Livelihood cannot be without land It is the common property of the people A model of participatory management Named PLUM, showing full-strength participation In Yen Lap, women take the lead Showing their virtue in irrigation management Improve capacity to realign their position In the blooming days of gender equality To raise livelihood and income The value chain must not be ignored Tea, rice, herbs; all homegrown Folks are eager to produce Fresh chicken, vegetables, staples Phu Luong, Can Loc, all organic stuff The results are so surprising In terms of the added value, plus pro-environment

Climate change mitigation is taking place in Nghe An, Thanh Hoa Adaptation in Nam Dinh, Long An Great capacity reaches all provinces and municipalities Great reputation for organizations and donors And our story will go on Even as we run out of pages Our achievements remain forever We stand for our people, our country, our humanity Our good reputation spreads out Commanding much respect and affection We pass through all twists and turns With the Captain maneuvering our ship Our collective strength makes the force Together we shall move forward Ten years of benefaction for our homeland We go forward with the resonance of our anthem Ten years of solid development Such is our Center for Sustainable Rural Development

Forestry – a new horizon Vietnam’s timber in the wake of the European market Legality – the foremost criterion As the chain of custody takes to the very origin

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TEN YEAR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY

THE CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT Address: No.56, Lane 19/9 Kim Dong Street, Hoang Mai District, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Annual Report 2015  
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