Let Ethnic Minority communities be informed about development projects

  • So often, Ethnic Minority (EM) communities in Vietnam are not well-consulted about development projects (DP). As these communities are blocked from information about project financial funders, project performance standards and complaint mechanisms, they suffer significantly in every angle if those projects violate projects’ purposes of poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
    To minimize such information gaps, CIRUM and Inclusive Development International (IDI) have co-organized a training “Following the Money” for some of LandNet members and CIRUM staff.
    Speaking at the training, David Pred, IDI Managing Director and also the trainer, said “Giving information to people means giving power” to stress on the importance of providing EM effective consultations so that they can fight for their rights.

    Trainees engage to the lecture/Photo: CIRUM

    For the first time, the participants recognized International Finance Corporation (IFC) as the main pressure point for a number of DP implemented in Vietnam. The trainees were also introduced about IFC’s ultimate goal of poverty mitigation and sustainable development, its eight performance standards and its project intermediaries. Additionally, they realized the concept of Free Prior Informed Consent as well as IFC’s complaint mechanism.

    Participants discuss about negative impacts of development projects/Photo: CIRUM

    Vi Dinh Van, LandNet coordinator, said “If DP implementers obligated with IFC’s performance standards, our people would not suffer much”.
    Luong Viet Chau, LandNet member, said “Now I realize that the rubber company who took our forest land for rubber plantation has violated its commitments to IFC’s performance standards. I understand our community’s rights. I will disseminate what I have learnt today to my community. We will engage with the company and the local authorities to have our rights back”.
    This training is a start for serial trainings at the local towards creation of movements in EM communities so that they are able to realize their rights of accessing development project’s action plan, getting involved in project evaluation and monitoring, and sending grievance to relevant actors to solve any violations.