Capacity Development for Citizen-lead Inclusive Development (CD-CID)

Capacity Development for Citizen-lead Inclusive Development (CD-CID)

Women were not only engaged, they were central in discussions, decisions, design and implementation of the actions. My dream is for local authorities to take on this participatory model built on the needs of the people and trust between stakeholders to implement democratic and sustainable community development.

Antonino Faibene – Programme Manager, Oxfam in Laos.

CONTEXT

Over the period of three years, the project aimed to contribute to the increased development and inclusive local governance led by Lao people, by using innovative institutional development approaches in village development planning. Accountability is a known driver of effective public service delivery and local good governance. It has proven to significantly boost local government accountability, increase representation and empower citizens, particularly women and minorities. Furthermore, citizen action is critical in solving societal problems through creativity and innovation.

OBJECTIVES

  • Engage Local Authorities (LAs), Non-State Actors (NSAs) and communities in participatory governance for inclusive local development.
  • Increase capacity, trust and cooperation between LAs, NSAs, and communities leading to improved local governance.
  • Learn and share good practices on inclusive and participatory development to influence policy makers at national and at regional levels.

RESULTS

  • Increased capacity to facilitate learning and partnership among NSAs, communities and Local Authorities on inclusive, participatory local development
  • Dialogue, mutual learning and joint micro-project implementation builds trust and ongoing cooperation between communities, NSAs and Local Authorities in addressing locally determined needs
  • Lessons learned and good practices are captured and used to scale up the successful approaches and to inform policy makers

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 16 418 Laos citizens in the communities of Bokeo, Vientiane Capital, Savannakhet, Khammouane,Champasack and Xiengkhoung Provinces benefit from project
  • 574 Non staff association, Local Authorities, and National Assembly members learn about inclusive governance

TESTIMONY

A young woman from an ethnic minority stands up for herself

"I am now confident when talking with government counterparts and facilitating village development plans, something I did not know how to do before," says Miyada Phengpanya, a 22-year-old from Phonesavang village in Meung district in Bokeo province.

Miyada belongs to the Aka ethnic minority group. In the past, women in her village never led meetings or participated in community development projects.

She says women faced other challenges too. For instance, when she worked on a rubber tree plantation with a group of workers doing the same job, women were paid less – a common phenomenon in this area, an accepted norm.

While Miyada only completed high school, she was a volunteer with a partner organization before joining the Capacity Development for Citizen-Led Inclusive Development Project and was a natural fit to become a development facilitator. 

In June 2016, Miyada joined the Capacity Development for Citizen-Led Inclusive Development Project where she was trained.

Miyada learned how to identify the needs a community requires by conducting a community needs assessments and identifying potential opportunities and challenges that will affect development work in the village. Miyada also learned about gender equality and how to facilitate village development plan processes.

"I realized that there is unequal pay and unequal treatment for ethnic women. There were limitations imposed on ethnic people preventing them from fulfilling their full potential," Miyada says.

Through the process, Miyada was able to assist community members develop village micro-grant in eight locations. Ethnic minority group members managed most of the grants that were set up with the aim of improving meaningful participation of women in community development and enhancing the quality of women’s lives.

Currently, Miyada is the lead female facilitator in the village. She has also helped create a chance for the participation of women in the fight for gender equality by introducing the Gender Action Learning System to ethnic minority women groups by teaching them about their rights.