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Role of stakeholders in Red River basin for IWRM water security and poverty reduction

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, Anders Hjort-af-Ornas
Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, Anders Hjort-af-Ornas (1) (1) Researcher, Vietnam Institute for Water Resources Research, ngoc_phamthibich2004@yahoo.com and Professor, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linkoping universitet, andershiort2004@yahoo.com

Keyword(s): role of stakeholders, Red River basin, water security, poverty reduction
Article:
AbstractIntroduction After several years of implementation and assessment an integrative methodology has been developed. It comprises interplay between local specific knowledge and universal technical experience. The case presented is the Second Red River Basin Sector Project, Vietnam (1). This basin covers 25 provinces with 25 million inhabitants. The study accounts for the process, and claims that the approach has wide applications. Objective Two stakeholder processes combine; first province levels upwards towards sub-basin and national participation, and thereafter province level downwards in scale through selected districts into local community involvement. Priority water sub-sectors in an IWRM context, inherent problems and possible solutions were recorded at province, sub-basin and national levels through a series of consensus building workshops. After that stakeholders have involved locally in a process of water sub-sector planning in the priority four water sub-sectors. The objective behind the gradual and open process has been to build consensus over resource allocation in the individual case of Red River basin. The study objective is to account for the key roles of stakeholders in this process. Method The facilitation process allowed stakeholders and their respective experience to interact in a transparent way, by building capacity and awareness, and by setting up a rigid interaction process with decisions taken stepwise. The method allowed even reaching consensus in highly resource competitive situations. Workshops, seminars, SWOT analyses, and deep interviews were prime elements in the facilitation methodology. Results The process of water sector planning that was developed and implemented proved successful beyond expectation, given the scale. The first stakeholder involvement process successfully set up a procedure in consensus with all provinces. This was achieved in province level workshops, clustering their results into five sub-basins workshops, in turn interacting for consensus over priorities, until finally stakeholder interaction with national level administration concluded findings; that priority issues are irrigation agriculture, flood control, and water supply & sanitation. The output from this interaction process was taken as starting point for next process; going stepwise within two selected provinces into smaller sub-basins until finally reaching commune and village levels. Throughout, all relevant stakeholders were represented, building capacity to report back, so that informed decision-making could take place over priorities. In this second process, the result was to identify and rank a list of potential sub-projects for investment. Active involvement by stakeholders took place in three main streams, meeting with consensus building over priorities. Local authorities as well as province, district and commune/village levels water users thereby set up two informed decision-making processes, drawing on technical experts’ specialized assessments. The facilitation process in the case study project has lessons for institutional and local community involvement through carefully structured stakeholder interaction. Conclusions The study shows (i) a participatory investment planning process in IWRM has broad applications; (ii) selection of potential sub-projects, designed and agreed upon in cooperation with stakeholders, can be made through a transparent method for shared responsibility, (iii) the process generates awareness raising and capacity building as a result of the informed decision-making process. Notes ------- ----------------- 1. The project is financed over a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with parallel co-financing from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and a grant from the Netherlands’ Government (GON). Executing Agency (EA) for the project are the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE)
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