This paper gives a chronological account of experiences of participatory approaches to natural resource management and rural development in the Vietnam Sweden Cooperation Programme, including the Vietnam Sweden Mountain Rural Development Programme (MRDP) and the Vietnam Sweden Forestry Cooperation Programme (FCP). The five provinces included in the programme are Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai and Ha Giang. The authors give a background to the evolution and current discussions of participatory approaches in natural resource management and rural development. A brief introduction is given to the MRDP-FCP programme, followed by a description of the institutional and socioeconomic context in the northern mountain region of Vietnam where the programme was initiated in the early 1990s. The report then goes on to give an analytical story timeline of FCP and MRDP over a 10-year period, based on internal reports, external publications , and monitoring and review documents. Detailed examples are given of more or less effective strategies and methods fro field base learning. While some examples are of technical content, while others relate to facilitation of complex realignments between different stakeholders and institutions at the local level. Some deal directly with community planning and methods for participatory monitoring and review, while others are essentially linked to policy formulation. Examples also include both internal process initiated by MRDP-FCP within the provincial extension systems, and activities that have been carried out in partnership with external research and training organisations.
Vietnam Sweden Mountain Rural Development Programme with Sida