Indufor is finalizing the final evaluation of two forestry projects in Vietnam. These are “Development of Management Information System for the Forestry Sector (FORMIS – Phase II)” and “People Participation in Improvement of Forest Governance and Poverty Alleviation in Vietnam (PFG)”.
The Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has the leading role in the implementation of the Vietnam Forestry Development Strategy (VFDS) for 2006-2020. To contribute to the implementation of the VFDS, Finland has been supporting the development of a forest sector management information system (FORMIS). The first phase of the FORMIS project was implemented 2009-2013 in three pilot provinces in Vietnam. The second phase, which runs from April 2013 through December 2008, was formulated to ensure a nationwide scaling-up of the results achieved during the first phase.
The PFG project has provided complementary action for the FORMIS II and other policy processes in improving forest governance in Vietnam at the grassroots level. PFG project has been implemented in four sites by an international non-governmental organization, ActionAid, from 2014 to October 2018.
Both FORMIS II and PFG projects are being completed by the end of 2018.
Paper maps are still used, but the computer versions are considered to be more useful!
Up-to-date forest information allows for sustainable management and contributes to poverty alleviation
The overall objective of the FORMIS II is that forest resources are managed in a sustainable way based on up-to-date information and they contribute to the alleviation of poverty in the socio-economic development framework of Vietnam. The project has established a fully integrated Management Information System (MIS) for forestry decision making supporting forest management, REDD+, FLEGT, and Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) activities. Government staff have been trained at central level, in 60 provinces, and 547 districts to use the system.
The PFG project, implemented by ActionAid Vietnam, aimed at creating an open and interactive space for people from grassroots communities to participate in national forest management information system, to improve forest governance and to contribute to poverty alleviation in Vietnam. PFG has worked with 17 Core Community Groups in 4 districts, training them to use the internet and the FORMIS system, engage in community-based forest management, and forestry-related livelihood improvement models. They have also supported human rights-based approaches to participatory planning and democracy, promoted women’s engagement.
Core Community Group information kiosk at a Commune Office
FORMIS Servers and Other Hardware at Ministry’s Center for Information and Statistics
Vietnam transitioning new cooperation modalities with Finland
The final evaluation of these projects is interesting, especially since Vietnam reached the status of a lower middle-income country in 2010. As a result of this new status, Vietnam’s ODA profile is changing, and Finland is gradually shifting to new cooperation modalities. The relationship between Vietnam and Finland will continue, but it is in a state of transition towards a more comprehensive partnership for mutual benefit. Finland concentrates its efforts on sectors where Vietnam anticipates challenges in the future and where Finland can produce added value and complementarity based on Finnish know-how and the long experience of development cooperation with Vietnam.
The evaluation will provide independent and objective evidence to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and ActionAid on the achieved results in FORMIS II and PFG and their sustainability. This evaluation will also provide information to the MFA on the role of FORMIS II in the transition phase in Vietnam from bilateral development cooperation to wider commercial, political and cultural relations.
The evaluation report will be published in early 2019.