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ISSN : 1225-8857(Print)
ISSN : 2288-9493(Online)
Journal of Korean Society of Rural Planning Vol.23 No.4 pp.1-13

Study on the significant influence of capacity building toward the livelihood assets of ethnic minority Villages in the northern part of Vietnam

Kim Sun Ho, Nguyen Thi Minh Hien
Dept. of Economics and Rural Development, Vietnam National Univ. of Agriculture Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics and Rural Development, Vietnam National Univ. of Agriculture

Corresponding author : Nguyen Thi Minh Hien
20170914 20170926 20171031


역량강화사업이 베트남 북부 소수부족민 마을의 생계자산에 끼친 긍정적 영향에 관한 연구

김 선호, Nguyen Thi Minh Hien
베트남농업대학교 경제 · 농촌개발학과


베트남 북부 산악지형에 거주하는 소수 부족민들의 생계개선이 베트남 정부의 정책적인 지원 사업에도 불구하고 현 재까지 뚜렷한 성과를 내지 못하는 것으로 알려져 왔다. 특히 지속가능한 개발 및 인적자원개발을 목표로 하고 있는 베트남 경제사회개발정책(2011~2020)의 하위전략인 신농촌 개발정책(New Rural Development)에 의한 사업들이 적절히 수행되고 있는지 의문이 대두되었다. 한편, 베트남 라오까이성 행복프로그램은 한국 코이카 재원으로 새마을운동 경험과 정신을 바탕으로 설계되었으며 심각한 빈곤상태에 있는 성내 8개 소수부족민 마을에 마을특성과 주민 의견이 반영된 개발계획을 수립하고 계획실행의 주체인 마을주민들과 현장 공무원에게 다양한 훈련 사업들을 제공하였다. 본 연구는 생계개선에 대한 이론 고찰 과 함께 한국 및 베트남의 농촌개발 경험사례 분석을 바탕으로 프로그램의 다양한 역량강화 사업들이 8개 소수부족 주민들 의 의식변화와 생계자산 향상에 어떠한 영향을 끼쳤는지 알아보았다. 본 연구결과는 프로그램에서 제공한 다양한 역량강화 훈 련들이 주민의식의 긍정적인 변화와 소수 부족민들의 생계자산에 대하여 상당한 만족도를 가져왔는바, 신농촌 개발정책은 직접자재 위주의 지원을 줄이는 대신 주민들의 자신감 고취를 위한 주민의식 교육과 주민들의 생계활동 능력향상을 위한 다양한 훈련 사업을 확대해야 함을 보여준다.


    Current rural development policy of Vietnam, National Targeted Program on New Rural Development(NTP-NRD)’s performance(2011~2015) has found inferior result up to now. Particularly only 2% of standard communes completed their objectives and the performance is more poor in the region of north west of Vietnam, where Lao Cai province located. The KOICA report pointed out that sophisticated infrastructure, Income generation, cultural progress and environment improvement among 19 criteria of NRD objectives could not draw public attention much so their progress also delayed. Meanwhile, Vietnam's Socio-economic development strategy(2011~2020), above level of NRD policy has three basic strategies with 1) sustainable development, 2) human resources development and with 3) improvement of public administration and market system. However there is a doubt whether NRD fulfill above three strategies properly or not. And it pointed that further study is necessary on particularly 1) sustainable development, 2) human resources development(KOICA report, 2015).

    Lao Cai Province has received the support from many projects funded by Vietnamese government, other agencies and NGOs. Particularly from 2009 up to now, ODA donors and non-governmental organizations have invested a total capital of 154 million USD in Lao Cai for rural infrastructure development, urban infrastructure, economy development linked to sustainable poverty reduction, environmental protection and human resource development. Despite many ODA donors' intervention and remarkable high economic growth rate, Lao Cai Province is still facing a lot of difficulties on their livelihood activities particularly in the Muong Khuong, Bac Ha and Si Ma Cai District(3 over 8 districts of the province) which are listed among of 62 poorest districts in Vietnam(KOICA Action plan, 2015).

    Lao Cai Happiness Program(LCHP) funded by KOICA has started from Dec 2015 to improve their livelihoods in the region of above 3 poorest districts of Lao Cai province, Vietnam by utilizing Saemaul Undong(SU) way of livelihood strategies, which consider villager’s mindset with can-do spirit and capability as most important factors. Furtherly baseline survey report(IRC, 2016) suggested that program should prioritize activities on improving technical knowledge on their agriculture and livestock training to improve their productivity. In its program application, the LCHP invested various training on their mindset change, capacity building for their livelihood improvement activities from the beginning stage. Therefore it is necessary to analyze how much the LCHP’s training influenced the villager’s mindset change, capability and further degree of their livelihood assets improvement. In further the study may suggest the LCHP’s performance toward NRD policy for better livelihood strategy in particularly ethnic minority’s region in Vietnam.

    2.Study Background and Methodology

    2.1.Background of the Study

    2.1.1.Lao Cai Happiness program

    Lao Cai Province is composed of one City, Lao Cai City, and eight(8) Districts, namely, Sa Pa, Bat Xat, Bao Yen, Bao Thang, Si Ma Cai, Van Ban, Muong Khuong and Bac Ha. Within the eight(8) Districts of the Province are 143 Communes and 21 Precincts(ward and towns under districts) and Lao Cai Province has a total average population of 646,495 people with 79% of the population living in rural areas . The province is the home to 25 different ethnic groups, among which ethnic minority population accounts for 64% of the whole province's population. The high poverty incidence of Lao Cai province is still prevailing in some localities in the province, mainly in 6 districts such as Bac Ha(28.5%), Simacai(29.5%), Muong Khuong(31.3%), Sapa(25.3%), Van Ban(22.2%), and Bat Xat(21.6%) (LaoCai Statistical year book, 2013). The poor in these districts mainly consists of ethnic minority groups with H'Mong, Dao, Nung(KOICA Action plan, 2015). The LCHP constituted of 6 subcomponent, which are 1) 366km of Road construction from selected 28 communes in 4 districts among 8 districts of Lao Cai province, 2) livelihood improvement for 8 pilot villages selected from 28 communes who is the beneficiary of road construction 3) NRD/SU training 4) Health 5) Public governance 6) Education as shown below table 1. The ultimate goal of the Program was “to make a Happy Lao Cai together, make a better Vietnam together” and LCHP’s strategy to intervene target beneficiary with two frame pillars constituting of Infrastructure development (Road, 8 village community development) and of soft power enhancement(SU, Public governance, Health and Education) to the program owner of infrastructure subcomponents through various training by participatory way.

    2.1.2.Livelihood improvement strategies for 8 villages

    The 8 villages was selected in the 3 districts where the most major poverty prevalent in Lao Cai province and the objectives of the component was to poverty reduction and livelihood improvement with people’s self-help and participation in align with Vietnam’s National Targeted Program on the New Rural Development(NTD-NRD) based on SU spirit application. As below Fig1 shows 8 villages who were selected as an target beneficiaries, 357 household with 2,242 population in Muong Khuong, Bac Ha and Si Ma Cai District of Lao Cai Province, Vietnam(KOICA action plan, 2015).

    Basic characteristics of the 8 villages

    8 villages under the LCHP locate at 4 mountainous communes of Lao Cai Province. Among those 8 villages, there are 3 upland villages such as Sảng Mản Thẩn, Say Sán Phìn and Lùng Khấu Nhin 1 Village, and other 5 villages are lowland ones. All villages have the similar eco-regions, including forest(natural forest and artificial forests), burnt-over fields, flat area and residential area. In forestry land are mainly timbers with low economic efficiency. Soil in burnt-over field and terrace of 8 pilot villages is very sloping, and often be eroded, leading to poor soil. Because there is no irrigation system, most villages grow maize and beans. In 2 villages of Sảng Mản Thẩn and Say Sán Phìn, local residents can grow dry rice and vegetables. In 4 villages of Cốc Cái, Na Lang, Bồ Lũng and Lùng Khấu Nhin 1, people can grow tea. Soil of flat area with rice fields are medium or good; however, due to lack of water, 60% of wet rice area in 8 villages can only be grown in one time a year, and in the remaining season, land is abandoned, or be grown maize(in some villages). In addition, in some villages, local people also grow maize, beans and vegetables. In the residential area, main plants are fruit trees and vegetables; gardens here are mainly mixture of different plants. Only 2 villages in Man Than Commune have gardens of Ta Van plums with high economic efficiency. Main animals in 8 villages are buffalos, pigs, chickens and ducks. There are 5 villages raising buffalos, 2 villages raising horses and 1 village raising goat. However, the number of animals is very few(KOICA Participatory Rual Appraisal (PRA) report, 2016).

    The number of households in the villages range from 40 to 74 households, in which Nam Mon Village has the biggest number of households with 74 households and 337 heads. In 8 villages, there are 8 ethnic minority groups including Giay, Nung, H’Mong, Tay, Dao, Padi, Cao Lan and Kinh, in which H’Mong and Nung ethnic minority people account for the largest portions. The rate of ethnic minority households is from 96.6% to 100%; there are 6 villages with 100% of ethnic minority households. The average number of heads per household is 4.9 heads per households, and the number of laborers per household is 2.2 laborers per household. The poverty rate widely ranges from 0% to 58.9%. Among 8 villages, Lung Khau Nhin 1 has the highest poverty rate(58.9%), and Coc Cai Village does not have any poor households. According to survey statistics, the average income per capita is from 5 to 22 million VND/person/year, in which the highest income per capita is in Coc Cai Village(around 25 million VND/person/year), and the lowest income per capita is in Lung Khau Nhin 1 Village(5 million Vietnam Dong(VND) /person/year). In other villages, income per capita ranges from 10 to 15 million VND/person/year. In terms of income structure; Due to no side work, income of households in 8 villages is mainly generated from plantation and animal husbandry. In most villages there are some laborers who are wage-earners in the province or in China. Alone, in Coc Cai Village, most laborers do part-time jobs in tea-processing factory of Thanh Binh Tea Company. There are 4 villages in which the percentage of income from plantation is more than that from animal husbandry(ranging from 40% to 60%). There are 2 villages(Lùng Khấu Nhin 1, Cốc Cái Hạ) in which the percentage of income from plantation is the same as that from animal husbandry. And there are 2 villages(Say Sán Phìn, Sảng Mản Thẩn) in which the percentage of income from animal husbandry is higher than that from plantation(KOICA PRA report, 2016).

    Livelihood improvement strategies for 8 villages

    Alinovi, L., Marco D’Errico, Erdgin Mane and Donato Romano(2010) stated that Livelihood strategies are the combination of activities that people choose to undertake in order to achieve their livelihood goals. They include productive activities, investment strategies and reproductive choices. And also mentioned that a major influence on people’s choice of livelihood strategies is their access to assets and the policies, institutions and processes that affect their ability to use these assets in order to achieve positive livelihood outcomes. In further livelihoods approaches try to understand the strategies pursued and the factors behind people’s decisions, to re-enforce the positive aspects of these strategies and mitigate against constraints. The LCHP has formed sustainable livelihood frameworks among all program participants from planning stage up to monitoring stage in a circulation way as shown below in the Fig 2. The program frameworks was targeted on 8 ethnic villager’s mindset changes and their capacity buildings enough to utilize their own livelihood assets through the practices with program activities, such as training, workshop, field visit and various technical training while implementing their program activities. It can be expected that villagers’ trained capabilities through program practice toward their livelihood activities shall bring significant change on their livelihood strategies and their assets.

    At the planning stage; 8 villages were born among candidate villages from 28 communes, which were direct beneficiaries of 366km of road construction subcomponent of the program. Candidate villages came from villages located at 28 communes, which were direct beneficiary of 366km of their road construction in their communes. Selection was done through the scoring criteria and questionnaire based on the 3 SU spirits(diligence, self-help and cooperation) which consider highest priority of respondents with their readiness toward program practice by participating program officers and consultants. Selection process applied to 15 villages’ leaders and 4 commune officers in their sites and finally 8 program villages were born. Program needed general understanding of 8 village’s livelihood assets and their characteristics before planning any program activities formulation and its implementation strategies. In an effort to provide current status of 8 villages’ livelihood assets, PRA and Value chain analysis were completed to understand 8 villages ‘livelihood assets and their characteristics by external Vietnam National Institute of Agriculture Planning and Projection(NIAPP) and Vietnam National University of Agriculture(VNUA). These results helped a lot to villagers during their village’s livelihood activities plan making by participatory way. While Program Management Consultant(PMC) designed training activities for their mindset change and capacity enhancement such as field visit, workshop, forum and agriculture and livestock technical training. These planning practices shall provide villagers with better capabilities and livelihood strategies for their future planning on their village activities to improve their livelihood effectively based on their respective village livelihood assets.

    At the implementation stage; the better prepared village plan from deep understanding of their assets and characteristics could have more positive outcome shall be. This implementation process shall help villagers to know which activity has most significant progress and economic benefits to villagers and suitable to their livelihood characteristics. In case of mindset changes, training was applied with video clips of Korean SU experience, lectures, and workshops to all villagers, provincial leaders, and district and commune leaders. In further Study tours to Korea for learning real successful rural sites were benefited to even village leaders, commune officers more chance to participate for their mindset change. In case of capacity building the technical training and workshop were mostly based on their agriculture and livestock economical program activities. hands-on training applied mainly for their stable income such as rice, maize, off-season vegetables cultivations, buffaloes, black pigs and chickens which were suitable their topographic characteristics. Credit fund, potential income seed were also applied to each 8 villages with usage agreed guidelines to all villagers. For villagers empowerment credit ownership transferred from provincial woman union into village management unit under the supervision of commune chairman with training and field visit to other successful sites.

    At the monitoring stage; Villagers could recognize that their livelihood strategies were proper or not through their activities outcomes at this stage through village general meetings chaired by VDC heads. Base on the activity result villagers tried to find any countermeasure against challenging issues toward their livelihood improvement efforts. So this stage shall help villagers another planning with better livelihood strategies through lesson learnt from former planning and implementation experiences. In addition to that Program Management Service(PMS, consultant above PMC directly consulting to the Donor, KOICA) as an external technical supporter evaluated and recommended their observations through whole stage of the program to Lao Cai Provincial Peoples Committee(PPC) and to KOICA. The bellowed diagram Fig 2 shows how the LCHP provided the frameworks to all involved program stakeholders with circulated relationships during the program process to achieve sustainable livelihood activities in 8 villages.

    2.2.Methodology and Data

    2.2.1.Theoretical review on livelihood improvement

    Chambers and Conway(1992) said a livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets(stores, resources, claims and access) and activities required for a means of living. In further, A livelihood is sustainable which can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for the next generation; and which contributes net benefits to other livelihoods at the local and global levels and in the short and long term(Robert Chambers and Gordon Conway,1992; Lasse Krantz,2001; William Solesbury,2003). Above two theoretical reviews emphasized role of capabilities as one of important factors to make their livelihood improved and sustainable.

    A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets(including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, while not undermining the natural resource base(DFID,2000; GLOPP,2008). According to Karim Hussein and John Nelson(1998) a livelihood is considered to be sustainable when it can cope with and resist to pressures and shocks, be maintained and reinforced its abilities and resources at the present and in the future, while do not cause degradation to natural resources. Hence, on the basis of the above views we could state that capability is one of most important factor to make their livelihood sustainable. Capability can be upgraded by the investment on human resources through spiritual and technical training both. So capacity building for improving capabilities on the rural ethnic villagers can be an effective key to cope against any facing livelihood difficulties under their local conditions to sustain their livelihood.

    2.2.2.Empirical review on livelihood improvement

    Vietnam case

    Chronic Poverty Research Centre(Feb 2010) said that there have been a number of government Integrated Rural Development Program(IRDP) including Program 168, 173, 186, Program 135 and other state program is also informed by IRDP prospectively, although in practice, it still is largely focused on improving road access and infrastructure provision within Vietnam’s poorest communes. And the above Centre(Feb 2010) also said that Recent experience in Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East suggests that target communities, and not just national and regional governments, but village leaders must have true ownership over the IRDP process, along with the capacity to sustain and to manage new infrastructure investments. It could be found that there were many government funded IRDPs available in the rural area of Vietnam to eradicate poverty recently, however, the paper pointed out that rural program components still mainly invested the infrastructure rather than villagers training, who are the one to operate and maintain investment outcome properly. Also mindset changes are necessary enough to be understood with can-do spirit by mind-set training to cope against their livelihood difficulties and also villagers should select their livelihood activities by themselves considering actual demands villages’ natural and environmental characteristics so as villagers could have more positive activities ownership. IFAD(Dec 2015) and World Bank said that National Targeted Program on New Rural Development(NTP-NRD) Phase 1(2010~2015) in Vietnam was implemented to achieve improvement of rural socio-economic infrastructure in their poor rural communes. In the executive summary of the assessment about the NTP-NRD implementation by the Joint IFAD-World Bank stated as bellows; The NRD criteria set for Provinces, Districts and Communes to attain were quite rigid and left little room for local investment prioritization; the 19 criteria in some cases led to construction of non-essential or low priority infrastructure and the criteria also did not sufficiently emphasized or promoted rural economic diversification and income generation opportunities. From the above executive summary report was found that the state program still focused on infrastructure and less considered of training which could improve villagers capabilities who directly handle their livelihood assets based on their local characteristics. It was found that 19 criteria’s objective of commune level had not been reflected their own livelihood characteristics at village level. It could be a main reason of less interest by villagers’ participation and eventually degraded program outcome.

    Korean cases

    Saemaul Undong(SU) in Korea late 1970s was called rather successful which had applied nationwide in rural area in Korea. SU is the success achieved by Korea in a relatively short time(the decade of the 1970s) in raising incomes and improving living standards in rural areas, thus narrowing the urban-rural divide. There are many examples of failure in the world of rural development, so success certainly attracts attention and deserves to be celebrated and studied(Edward Reed, 2010). It was a lessoned learning that SU was a great successful nationwide program to Korea at that time. The movement was initiated by the central government’s strong intervention to provincial, district, commune and village level by top-down method at the beginning stage. And afterward bottoms up approach was possible when see the significant progress of the work result was seen by villagers and villagers public interests. Even poor rural villagers could challenge their livelihood improvement with also “Can-Do spirit” with 3 principals(diligence, self-help, cooperation). Also Korean government recognized the importance of village leaders. Villages followed the national guidelines properly but villages without proper leaders might happen to spend their resources uselessly. Therefore, the development and poor implementation of SU needed dedicated leaders for the cause. Since the government realized the importance of a leader, the government opened the training institute for SU leaders in 1972. The Institute selected three goals: recruiting and training top-quality SU leaders, encouraging these leaders to engage in self-help programs, and contributing to the establishment of a beneficial system through diligence, self-help and cooperation(Seong Min Hong, 2013). Also The National SU Training Institute provided short two-week courses for village leaders on “democratic decision-making,” production technology, bridge construction, farm house renovation, as well as national security and economic development. In 1974, the institute’s training program was extended to central officials, business leaders, intellectuals, priests and monks. The institute trained a total of 46,420 people in the 1970s, and about 25% of trainees came from the ranks of the political and social elite(Looney, Kristen, 2012). This mindset change training later on became a spiritual platform and good foundation of the livelihood activities to enhance the villager’s capabilities in 1970s in Korea. Also Korean government provided the construction materials such as cements but the kinds of construction activities are respected by villagers choice to bring their interests more, who knows their village’s social and economic situations and also followed various practical training such as farming and micro credits which directly related economical livelihood improvement.

    The main differences between the Korean and Vietnamese rural development policy could be said their flexibility of choice of livelihood activities in their villages and it means empowerment to villagers or not. for an instance, 5 years of NRD drawback in Lao Cai province pointed out that NRD mechanism is not fitted with real situations in local areas and resource allocation has encountered many difficulties in their drawbacks while Korean empower villagers to choose which ever public infrastructure or income activities with their choice under the decision of the VDC, voluntarily non-political organization at village level. So village leaders are necessary to be trained to get capacity enough to guide villagers to choose and implement their most needed livelihood improvement activities considering their different local livelihood characteristics. The LCHP was allowed to establish Village Development Committee(VDC), voluntarily organization at village level to lead villagers and started to provide various training for their mindset change with Can-do spirit which is a spiritual platform of any livelihood activities. Based on mindset training, furtherly hands on training for agriculture and livestock to Common Interest Group(CIG) of village applied into most villagers including villagers-oriented credit system operation targeting to enhance their technical capabilities and income opportunities to escape from the poverty.


    The study employed both secondary and primary data. Secondary data were used theories about livelihoods, improvement and sustainability on livelihood, empirical reference on Vietnam NRD policy (Similarly to SU policy in Korea) and its implementation result last 5 years in Lo Cai province, Vietnam and also Korean SU reference and program action plan, internal plan document prepared by the Lao Cai Happiness Program and its local official counterpart; and also baseline survey report by IRC(2016).

    Primary data was collected from 8 SU villages, which are Coc Cai, Na Lang, Bo Lung villages(Lung Vai communes, Muong Khuong district); Lung Khau Nhin 1 village(Lung Khau Nhin communes, Muong Khuong district); Nam Mon and Coc Cai Ha villages(Nam Mon commune, Bac Ha district) and Say San Phin, Sang Man Than(Man Than commune, Simacai district). Data was collected from July 6, 2017 to July 28, 2017 in 8 villages by visiting each household. The questionnaire constitutes of Personal information(5), Training(5), Satisfaction(5) so total 15 questionaries were asked to find out number of training taken and also to find out satisfaction degree for 4 asset aspects(financial, infrastructure, social and human). Primary data collection was randomly applied to the all heads of households in 8 villages which was 457 households however the effective respondents were 364 households and the descriptive data analysis was done by excel. Based on the data collection statistical, descriptive and comparative analysis were applied for this study.

    Before embarking to the result analysis, it is important to note that this study was completed during ongoing implementation of the LHCP so the program outcome still not available to utilize the before-after comparison method of 8 villages even though baseline survey report available which applied by quantitative and qualitative analysis. At the start of the program, Capacity of 8 villages was perceived very weak because 8 villages belonged to 62 poor districts in Vietnam nationwide with very vulnerable geographical condition in mountainous and remote area(KOICA action plan, 2016). Furtherly baseline survey report(IRC, 2016) suggested that program should prioritize activities on improving technical knowledge on their agriculture and livestock training to improve their productivity. It emphasized that program should provide technical knowledge for farmers as main focus on livelihood activities. Based on the theoretical, local situation and baseline analysis the LCHP thought that training could be considered to be an important factor to improve their capabilities enough utilizing their assets with proper activities. So the study tried to find training influence on their capabilities with mindset change, and also satisfaction degree on their 4 livelihood assets through descriptive way and statistical measurements.

    3.Analysis Result and Discussion

    3.1.Demographical characteristics of respondents

    Respondents were all 364 in the 8 villages, and among them male was 221(60.7%) and female was 43(39.3%) as shown in the below Table 2. Almost all(98.1%) said that they are ethnic minorities group. VDC heads or CIG heads answered 90(24.7%) and general villagers were 274(75.3%). Respondents said poor group of 2015(200, 54.9%) and changed the poverty group to 2016(185, 50.8%). 15 respondents(4.1%) among interviewees answered not anymore in the poverty group comparing to last year.

    3.2.Training type taken and its preference by respondents

    The program training was carried out in parallel with income generation and public infrastructure activities to stimulate their participation. Livelihood improvement’s activities by villagers whose the ownership by community and their capacity are expected to be gradually enhanced through such participation. In this regards, SU training was fuelled to drive the “car of development” where the community is in the driving seat to head to future by themselves with the support of the program(KOICA, 2016). As the pointing out of the base line survey(IRC, 2016) villager’s technical knowledge training was quite limited and recommended the program to reinforce hands-on training while implementing their livelihood activities in their villages.

    The LCHP provided mainly 5 types of training to 8 pilot villagers toward most livelihood activities such as income generation activities(agriculture, livestock) and infrastructure works(village road, house rehabilitation, irrigation and portable waters). The training was offered to villagers to each major livelihood activities with several combined training types. For an instance, heads of VDC took almost all 5 kind of training to improve their capabilities as village leaders with technical knowledge and mind-set change through “2. capacity building”, “3. field trip”, “4. workshop” and “5. village forum”. In case of micro credit operation village credit operator participated “2. capacity building”, “3.field trip and “4. workshop”. In case of village general meeting it was classified as “5. village forum” so most villagers participated this training while SU training offered. The mindset change training(“2. capacity building”) such as SU became a spiritual platform of livelihood activities with confidence while other combined training enhanced villager’s capabilities. Therefore Kind of training taken by villagers mostly relied on kind of livelihood activities.Figure 3

    Regarding training type taken by the villagers, the number of people taking 5 types, 4 types, 3 types, 2 types and 1 type were 22 responses(6.3%), 39 responses(10.7%), 130 responses(35.7%), 132 responses(36.3%), 41 responses(11%), respectively. More than 4 kinds of taken believed VDC heads and CIGs heads as village leaders supposed to guide their villagers. the details are shown below table 3.

    Most preferred type of training was 1.1 “Agricultural technical training” with 72.3%(263 respondents), next preferred training was 1.2 “Capacity building” with 26.4%(96 respondents). More than 52.7% of respondents answered that they participated more than 3 kinds of training offered by the LCHP so it showed that they are most interested to learn the training which could helpful for their direct income activities. As shown below table 4 the respondent answered 1.1 agricultural training with 94.2%(343 respondents) for direct income improvements, 1.5 Village forum for mind-set change with 86%(316 respondents) and 1.2 Capacity building for village operation and management with 46.7%(170 respondents) and 1.4 Workshop for VDC heads leadership courses with 21.2%(77) and 1.3 field trip for VDC and CIG heads to learn other successful cases with 14.0%(51). It showed that direct income improvement related such as agricultural training is more interested by villagers and followed by mindset change with village forums as next preferred training to villagers.

    3.3.Influencing relationship of training toward capability and mindset change

    In the questionnaire of “Do you think how much your capacity has been improved through the program? Your skills for meeting organizing and hosting, propaganda, presentation, and conflict solving skill have been improved” the respondents answered their capacity significantly improved with 79.0%(very much 53%, quite a bit 20.6%). Therefore it can be also concluded that villagers could get significantly improved capabilities for their livelihood activities and more ready to cope with external vulnerability such as shocks, trends and reasonability. Also in the questionnaire of “your mindset has been changed through the program?” the respondents answered their mind-set significantly changed with 73.6%(very much 53%, quite a bit 20.6%) and it showed their attitude changed through various SU based training such as lecture, video and successful cases’ sites visit. Therefore it could conclude that significant mindset change occurred enough to have self-confidence trying to do planning, implementing their village’s livelihood activities by participatory way. The below Fig 4 shows their ratio of capacity improvement and also mindset change significantly as followings.

    To provide a further analysis on the effects of different types of training on capacity development and changes in mindset, a simple regression model could be estimated.

    In the most simplified form, the regression equation could be expressed as below:

    Y = f ( X 1.1 , X 1.2 , X 1.3 , X 1.4 , X 1.5 )


    Y is either the level of capacity development or the level of mindset changes. Above Independent variables of function Y [1] are whether the villagers were trained by the Happiness Program in different types of training from 1.1 to 1.5 as above. The regression equation [1] could be estimated using the Ordinary Least Squares(OLS) method and the results are reported in table 5 below. It is consistent with the descriptive results above that training is generally positive to capacity development and changes in mindset of the beneficiaries. In particular, capacity building and workshops are most important determinants of capacity improvements(with the estimated coefficients that are statistically significant).

    The other types of training effects on capacity development, as far as the regression results concerned, are not statistically significant. With regards to the changes in mindset change(in the last column of above table 5) the regression results indicated that the field trip and workshops are important determinants of mindset change. The coefficient estimates of these two types of training is statistically significant and of high magnitude, suggesting important contribution of these two training to mindset changes.

    3.4.Influencing relationship of training toward 4 livelihood assets of 8 villages

    From above chapter 4.3 it was revealed out that training could influence villager’s capabilities and their mindset change significantly. The survey suggests that the beneficiaries revealed positive changes in the livelihood assets. Fig 5 below reports the average evaluation of the interviewees improvements in their livelihoods assets. The descriptive figures show that the beneficiaries in the eight villages surveyed are generally satisfied or strongly satisfied with the effects of training support from the Happiness Program to some important livelihood assets, especially financial assets and infrastructures. The level of audience who was not satisfied in this regard was found to be very low(less than 1 percent in all cases).

    In further efforts to quantify the contribution of the training to the livelihood assets, a simple regression model as used in 5.3 is also adopted in this section. In the most simplified form, this relationship could be expressed as below:

    A = f ( X 1.1 , X 1.2 , X 1.3 , X 1.4 , X 1.5 )


    A is either the level of satisfaction with improvements in different livelihood assets.

    Above Independent variables of function A [2] are whether the villagers were trained by the Happiness Program in different types of training from 1.1 to 1.5 as above.

    The regression equation [2] could then be estimated using the OLS method and the results are reported in the below table 6. In statistical terms(when the coefficient estimates are statistically significant), it is found that field trip is the most effective type of capacity building that contribute to the level of satisfaction with improvements in different livelihood assets. For all types of assets, the coefficient estimates of the field trip are positive and statistically significant. Beside this field trip, agricultural technical training was found to be an important determinant of social and human capital; the effects of workshop on satisfaction with improvements in different livelihood assets were positive and statistically significant for financial assets and infrastructure; while those of village forums contributed to infrastructures and social capital.


    This study analyzed how the LCHP’s training influenced villager’s mindset and their capabilities together with theoretical and empirical review on Korean and Vietnamese rural development. Based on the analysis result it could conclude that training has brought positive mindset change and significant satisfaction degree of their four livelihood assets.

    Regarding the influencing relationship of training toward capability and mindset change it was turned out that training is generally positive to capacity development and changes in mindset of the beneficiaries. In particular, capacity building and workshops are most important determinants of capacity improvements. This result showed that the SU way of training influenced villager’s mindset change and their capability enough to carry their livelihood activities with the action plan of the LCHP. Hence, the study recommend the above LCHP’s implication toward NRD policy as following;

    Capacity building; NRD policy needs to focus more on capacity building to villagers who are supposed to implement their livelihood activities by themselves considering their local livelihood assets characteristics with suitable capabilities.

    Training institute; More training institutes are needed to train village leaders and officers to improve their capabilities enough to guide their villages effectively as Korean government opened nationwide training institute to train village leaders enough lead their villagers for their livelihood activities.

    Subsidy issue; Simple state subsidy which may increase only villager’s dependency on the government should be decreased while increase training to improve their capabilities to cope with their livelihood difficulties in their villages.

    Regarding Influencing relationship of training toward 4 livelihood assets of 8 villages it was turned out that field trip is the most effective type of capacity building that contribute to the level of satisfaction with improvements in different livelihood assets. Beside this field trip, agricultural technical training was found to be an important determinant of social and human capital; the effects of workshop on satisfaction with improvements in different livelihood assets were positive and statistically significant for financial assets and infrastructure; while those of village forums contributed to infrastructure and social capital. The result can be concluded that villagers’ trained capabilities with their mindset change have brought significant satisfaction on their four livelihood assets. therefore, the study recommend the above LCHP’s implication toward NRD policy as following;

    Villager’s ownership; Villager’s ownership could draw more attention to villagers for their livelihood activities by participatory way and this villager’s interest could influence more positive impact which could reflect better livelihood activity outcome rather than applying simply 19 criteria objective to rural area in Vietnam.

    Villager’s Organization; Government should allow formulation of voluntary organization in village level. Village Development Committee(VDC), as an non-political function could be operated by all villagers with their ownership to utilize their 4 livelihood assets for their own preferences.

    Finally, this paper is subject to some limitations. It would be useful if a before-after comparison method could be applied. However, this study is completed when the LCHP is in operation and hence this methodology is not applicable. It is also noted that the LCHP cycle is only three years and all of the training have been delivered just before the study. Therefore, it is reasonable to argue that many influences of training is not yet to be realized. In addition, this study focuses exclusively on the 8 villages supported by the LCHP using the SU approach. It would be useful to expand the coverage to other NRD villages and particularly ethnic minority villages that are not targeted by the LCHP. But this option was constrained due to the time and resources available for the current study and might be an agenda for future research.



    Locations and household details of 8 villages, Lao Cai province, Vietnam


    Sustainable Livelihood Frameworks of the LHCP


    Training types taken by respondent


    Satisfaction Degree of Mindset change and Capacity building


    satisfaction degree on livelihood assets


    Subcomponents of LCHP

    Demographical statistics of respondents

    Respondent ratio of training type taken by respondents

    Respondent ratio of training type taken by respondents

    Training effects on capacity development and mindset change

    Note: ***, **, and * are statistically significant at 1%, 5%, and 10% respectively.

    Training effects on the satisfaction degree of four livelihood assets

    Note: ***, **, and * are statistically significant at 1%, 5%, and 10% respectively


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