IFAD works for and with the poorest people in Viet Nam, including ethnic minorities, small-scale farmers and households headed by women. Strategies to reduce poverty and improve living conditions include building partnerships, strengthening institutional capacity and promoting participation. IFAD works with the government and other partners to empower poor rural people so they can have a role in decision-making. To do this, IFAD finances programmes and projects that focus on developing and testing innovative approaches to poverty reduction that can be replicated and scaled up by the government and other agencies. Interventions are area-based and multisectoral. They target regions where poverty reduction is a priority.
Over the last five years, the IFAD country programme in Viet Nam has retained a strategic focus on: participatory planning; increasing the capacity of poor rural people to participate in local decision-making processes; decentralization and community-driven development; increasing the assets of poor communities; and support for small-scale infrastructure. In response to Viet Nam's dynamic rural development, in the last three years aspects of market-oriented approaches to poverty reduction and institutional sustainability have taken on increasing importance. Particularly central are: improving access to markets; promoting private-sector growth; delivering services for market-oriented poverty reduction; and mainstreaming poverty-focused, market-oriented approaches and methodologies in rural, public-sector institutions.
The starting point for Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) was the growing disparity between rural and urban areas, and particularly the plight of ethnic minorities (EM) in upland areas*. The COSOP identified IFAD's comparative advantage in Viet Nam as being: the development of innovative methods for linking poverty reduction with market-oriented agricultural and rural development; forming strong partnerships with provinces; and promoting government ownership. In this COSOP period, IFAD interventions will promote the adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, as appropriate.
Building on extensive dialogue with the Government of Viet Nam, the COSOP focuses on four interlinked strategic objectives (SOs):
- Rural poor households in uplands access markets through increased private-sector partnerships
- Poor and vulnerable households take advantage of profitable business opportunities
- Upland poor communities secure access to, and derive sustained benefits from, productive natural assets
- The rural poor contribute to pro-poor agricultural, market-driven policy processes at subnational levels"
* ‘Uplands' is a term used by the Committee for Ethnic Minorities (CEM) and refers to 20 highland and midland mountainous provinces in central and northern Viet Nam. In addition, there are 114 upland districts in 26 other provinces. The uplands have a complicated topography and are generally inhabited by ethnic minority groups.