Official Development Assistance in Agriculture and Rural Development workshop
Updated at: 12/31/2011 11:28:44 AM

Workshop participants, with Mr Duong Duc Ung, Senior Policy Advisor, and Mr Cao Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Foreign Economic Relations Department

On Wednesday 26 December, SRD hosted a workshop on "Official Development Assistance in Agriculture and Rural Development", sponsored by Reality of Aid.  The workshop was attended by approximately 50 participants, from both government and non-government organizations. The full day workshop saw a variety of presentations, question and answers sessions, and active discussions engaging all participants. 

In the morning Mr Cao Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Foreign Economic Relations Department in the Ministry of Planning and Investment, provided a general background to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) defining ODA and providing a history of ODA both in Vietnam and globally the advantages and disadvantages of ODA, and challenges and solutions of monitoring and evaluating ODA projects. Mr Le Cong Luong, Vice Director of the VUSTA Office provided an overview on ODA opportunities for all organizations registered under VUSTA. 

Following the general information provided by MPI, the workshop moved on to focus on the role of ODA in the agriculture and rural development sector in Vietnam. Mr Nguyen Vu Hoan, representing the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development presented on the opportunities and challenges for ODA in agriculture. He commented that the Agricultural sector is a vital area for Vietnam. The agricultural sector in Vietnam provides 8% of Vietnam's GDP, and accounts of 70% of the labour force. While the amount of ODA given to this sector is not the as large as some other sectors, agriculture has the largest number of ODA activities, with over 200 projects each year. 

In the afternoon, Mr Duong Duc Ung, Senior Policy Advisor of the Capacity Building Program on ODA Management discussed the need to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of ODA opportunities, and the need to consider the social and political impacts of OCA, as well as only the economic impacts.

Overview of the workshop

The future directions for ODA in Vietnam was also discussed, with participants agreeing that ODA in the agricultural sector must ensure food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable economic development, and must manage natural resources sustainably.

Ms Vu Thi Bich Hop, Executive Director of SRD, d participants on the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness she attended in Busan, Korea, earlier this month. The Fourth High Level Forum was the first time that NGOs were able to have a positive voice in an international forum such as this, to work with contribute to discussions on building effective development cooperation.  Mr. Cao Manh Cuong shared about the Vietnamese Government experience, follow up on the Busan Statement and their plans for next time. He also suggested a way forward for CSOs to participate in these programs, to be more confident on aid effectiveness and take part to implementing and monitoring ODA projects.  

The workshop was part of the "Capacity Building for Aid Effectiveness of Civil Society Organizations" project, emerging from the Aid Effectiveness Core Group established by SRD earlier this year.

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