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Preparatory steps for implementation of the Most Immediate Activities (MIA) at 6 pilot sites of SUSFORM-NOW

Following the On-the-Job-Training (OJT) for formulation of Village Development Plans (VDPs), covering participatory forest management plan and livelihood development plan, at 6 pilot sites of the project between May and June 2011, the highest potential activities for income generation were selected as the Most Immediate Activities (MIA).

The purpose for MIA support is to create opportunities for local villagers at the pilot sites to improve their livelihoods via technical assistances by SUSFORM-NOW and counterpart departments at provincial and district levels, which will be resulted in poverty alleviation and endogenous development of them. Concurrently it is expected that more sustainable forest management would be attained by participation of them. The preparatory steps for MIA execution are briefly described as follows:

  • 1. The candidates of MIAs were first proposed and prioritized in the order of their importance and impact by the villagers during VDP workshops;
  • 2. Evaluation and selection of the MIA among the candidates per each village was done based on the 12 formulated criteria via a monthly meeting with the participation of Project Management Unit (PMU) members. Those activities were all found to focus on animal husbandry due to their higher economic efficiency compared to crop cultivation;
  • 3. Formulation of interest group consisting of those committed to implement MIA and selection of the initial participating households;
  • 4. Formulation of management board and operation regulations that stipulate the roles and responsibility of each member. Special attention will be paid on the revolving scheme of the accrued profits i.e. the initial participating household group is responsible for transferring the supported inputs (e.g. construction materials & seed animals) from the project to the next group after their first production period;
  • 5. Input cost estimate for each MIA by specialists of Dien Bien and Dien Bien Dong Districts and approval by PMU representatives;
  • 6. Procurement of construction materials and technical training on pen construction & animal raising technique, if required;
  • 7. Procurement of seed animal.

Given the crucial significance of the first pilot MIA implementation and future dissemination, operation rules of the interest groups are now thoroughly discussed among all related parties and elaborated in reference to those successfully implemented by previous RENFODA project in Hoa Binh, a neighboring province. It is one of the positive results of the study tour visiting the project (news article on the study tour in 2010).

The actual kickoff of MIAs at 6 pilot sites is expected to take place by the end of August 2011. To observe qualitative changes of villagers and village communities through the implementation of MIAs by participatory observation, monitoring volunteers from Tay Bac University have been dispatched to each pilot site already (news article on the arrival of TBU monitoring volunteers).

PhotoEvaluation of MIAs by PMU members.

PhotoOrientation meeting for monitoring volunteers

PhotoMeeting at Na Phat A village (Dien Bien Dong District) for MIA cost estimate briefing and operation management

PhotoVillagers of Sai Luong village (Dien Bien District) discussed the MIA operation regulation.


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