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Project News


Training on village fund management organized with RECOFTC

Following a training workshop organized in November on village fund management, SUSFORM-NOW invited RECOFTC (Center for Forest and People) to organize a follow-up training in December on the same topic.

After more than three years of implementation of project activities, a number of villages in initial project pilot sites have been able to set up their village funds through collecting repayments/contributions from participating households and, in the near future, receiving payment for their services invested in forest management and protection. Other external support, including government subsidies and grants from non-governmental organizations, would also help develop village funds in the future. As village funds become available, the Project has gone one step further in its provision of support.

PhotoGroup discussions on necessary skills for chairing a meeting

On 5-8 December, SUSFORM-NOW organized a three-day training courseon village fund management for both extension workersand village management board members (who managevillage funds). As an effort to gradually build up and develop capacity on village fund management, this training focusedentirely on loan proposal development and evaluationin connection with the availability of the village funds. Two villages in initial project pilot sites, i.e. Phieng Ban and Sai Luong, were selected; and as many as five loan proposals were developed by local villagers and evaluated by members of each village management board. It should be noted that the extension workers, who participated in the training workshop in November, had earlier held an informal meeting with both village management boards to brief the content of and preparation work for the field training, including preparation of loan proposal templates.

Though the evaluation and conclusion made by the village management boards during the training were regarded as temporary ones, the training provided participants and local villagers with a no-better opportunity to grasp basics of a new and transparent method in formulating and appraising loan applications. Of more importance, it raised the awareness of local villagers, particularly the members of village management boards, on better and sustainable village fund management.Upon the conclusion of the training, two above-mentioned villages would allocate their village fund for loans, considering the needs and capabilities of loan applicants against the availability of their village funds.

Additionally, further support from SUSFORM-NOW has been broadening as the Project this month provided safety boxes to the 15 villages for secure storage of their village funds and documents. The Projectplans tohold a training course for each village on further village fund management skills including financial record/book keeping, repayment collection, and strengthening of fund internal regulations.

Understandably, the fact that village fund management is strengthened will bolster the livelihoods of local farmers and, subsequently support sustainable forest management, which is the purpose of SUSFORM-NOW.

PhotoVillage meeting for assessment of loan proposals by Sai Luong village management boards


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