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Fri, 02/03/2012 - 04:52
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Eleven Asian countries share community driven development

VIENTIANE,03.2.2012 (KPL) - Eleven Asian countries gathered in Vientiane Capital yesterday to share achievements and challenges and lessons on Community Driven Development and Livelihoods project. Lao Government in cooperation with World Bank organized the Regional Workshop on Community Driven Development (CDD) and Livelihoods on 2-3 February, focusing on Community Driven Development and improvement of rural livelihoods. A two-day workshop, the participants from 11 countries are namely Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, China, Mongolia and the host country from South and East Asia discussed regional experiences in improving economic opportunities in the rural areas, expanding road access and improving living conditions and empowerment among the rural poor. The objective of workshop is to share achievements and challenges from the past experience, and also to discuss future regional collaboration in the area of Community Driven Development and rural livelihood development. The CDD is an approach which gives direct control over planning, decision making and investment resources for local development projects to community groups. The World Bank Country Manager to Lao PDR, Ms. Keiko Miwa said the CDD and livelihood projects are still new to Laos so this workshop will give useful knowledge. The approach of CDD are closely aligned with the Government’s policy framework and policy such the 7th five year national socio-economic development plan 2011-2015, and political report to the 9th Congress. The CDD is seen as an important approach that will help Lao PDR graduate from Least Development Country status by 2020. She also urged the participants leaning from neighboring countries which have similar experiences and are facing similar obstacles is one of the best ways to get truly useful lessons which can then be applied in our different countries. In livelihood programs, social capital created by the CDD approach will be transformed in economic capital, through a robust institutionalization of the poor on the premise that such institution can push for better services, better financial terms and more jobs. By 2010, the World Bank group support for CDD related projects had amounted to approximately US$7.8 billion, of which the CDD component was estimated to be US$5.1 billion all over the world. While each country in the region has been enjoying a rapid economic growth in the past decade, there are emerging social and economic challenges such as rural-urban inequality or youth unemployment. The CDD and work on livelihood improvement are increasingly recognized as important and effective approaches to address such issues. The event is part of an exchange program called “Learning from CDD models for Better Economic and Social Development Outcomes” supported by the South- East Experience Exchange Trust Fund. The programs have been enhancing mutual learning between South Asia and South East Asia countries since early 2011 and also included a knowledge exchange visit to India with delegations from Lao PDR and Vietnam in August 2011. Vice Minister to Government Office, Mr. Meck Phanlack said: Community Driven Development and livelihood projects are still new to Lao PDR and we are looking forward to learning from this workshop through cross-regional knowledge sharing from all of you. Mr. Meck who is also Vice President of the National Leading Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication added that even though there are no “one size-fits” model of development or “the best” CDD and livelihoods project, I believe that this workshop is an important forum to come together and discuss best practices and lessons learned. “It is a powerful means of transferring, replicating and scaling up “what works” on the ground.”