Laos

Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health through Reducing Early Marriage in Remote Ethnic Communities in Sekong Province, Lao PDR

Lao PDR has the highest rates of early marriage in the region, even though the law sets the age of marriage at 18. Young brides are more vulnerable to sexual abuse from their partners and to unintended pregnancy. Lao PDR has the highest adolescent pregnancy rate in the region due to early marriage, limited knowledge of sexual & reproductive health, and limited access to appropriate services. The overall goal of the project is improved sexual reproductive and maternal health (SRMH) in remote ethnic communities in Sekong Province. The action contributes to reduced child marriage, as well as providing SRMH knowledge and developing youth friendly health infrastructure. The action engages the whole community to reflect on harmful traditions and their negative impact on the development of girls, and to create an enabling environment for girls. CARE also provides organizational and technical capacity development to local governments and partners to enable them to deliver key messages on the link between child marriage and pregnancy risk to the targeted ethnic minorities.
This report is 17 pages long. Read More...

A Social Impact Analysis of CARE’s ‘Enhancing Women’s Voice to STOP Sexual Harassment ’ Project

The Enhancing Women’s Voice to Stop Sexual Harassment project (STOP), an initiative of CARE Australia, has been working since 2017 to prevent and address the under-reported problem of sexual harassment in mainland Southeast Asia’s garment sector. At the time of writing, STOP is the only initiative that addresses this issue on a multi-country scale within the sub-region. Operating across a pool of garment factories in four Mekong countries—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam—STOP aims to enhance women’s voice and economic rights at both the national and factory levels. Based on a socio-ecological model of violence prevention, CARE Country Offices (COs) are working with participating factories to create workplaces where female workers feel safe and experience less SH through the implementation of standardised SH reporting mechanisms and rigorous training programs. Supported by CARE Regional staff, each CARE CO engages with relevant country, regional and international stakeholders to strengthen the national regulatory environment to promote laws, policies and mechanisms to address SH in the workplace.

In 2018, CARE Australia commissioned a consortium of researchers from UNSW Sydney and UNSW Canberra to undertake an independent evaluation the STOP project and provide a separate Social Impact Assessment (SIA) focused on Cambodia STOP as the particular case study. The SIA is intended to complement the findings of the Final Evaluation (FE) of the STOP, as implemented in the other three project sites. The SIA and the Final Evaluation should be read as two parts of a single whole. The UNSW team drew upon a range of evaluative sources including factory surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews with factory workers, middle management and government officials. A conceptual framework is also advanced in order to better capture the nuances of social impact and gender transformation, and to provide a rigorous basis on which to evaluate STOP’s development and implementation in Cambodia. [94 pages]. Read More...

Regional Mekong Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19

COVID-19 has created unprecedented health, economic, and social impacts all over the world. As of 31 August 2020, there have been 25,405,845 confirmed cases globally, and a total of 849,389 deaths. In the Mekong region, there have been 5,612 cases, with 274 in Cambodia, 22 in Lao PDR, 882 in Myanmar, 3,390 in Thailand and 1,044 in Viet Nam. In addition to health effects and deaths caused by the virus, the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and prevention measures taken by governments are far reaching and long-lasting, especially in the context of climate change and natural disasters in the region.
For the Mekong region, COVID-19 presents special challenges for high-risk populations, including the many migrant workers, garment industry workers, indigenous and ethnic minorities, refugees, internally displaced peoples, migrants, urban slum-dwellers, and people working in the informal sector, such as female sex workers. As with all crises, women and children are disproportionately affected. COVID-19 exacerbates the challenges at-risk populations face and makes it even harder for women to access the support services they need in times of crisis.

This brief summarises the Mekong RGA, written by Athena Nguyen, Jordan Hoffmann, Laura Baines, Ratha Ra, Rebecca Elias, and Christina Haneef in September 2020. This Rapid Gender Analysis draws from 301 interviews (including 126 women), secondary data sources, and CARE’s research to understand women’s specific challenges in the Mekong region during the pandemic. Read More...

Laos Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19 July 2020

As of 29 June 2020,10,280,397 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 505,145 deaths have been recorded across 213 territories countries and territories and 2 international conveyances. To date, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has confirmed 19 cases, mainly in the Vientiane Capital. The Government of Lao PDR has acted swiftly since the first reported infection to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since 13 April 2020, no new confirmed cases have been reported.

Although Lao PDR has been able to avoid the worst health impacts of the pandemic, prevention measures such lockdown, closure of schools and businesses, social distancing and travel restrictions, have had significant economic and social impacts across the country. Gender roles, relations and norms within Lao society have influenced the impact of these measures on different genders. Drawing on primary and secondary data, this Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) has found that the pandemic has both reinforced traditional gender norms as well as provided opportunities for men and women to work together to address the current crisis. This reflects broader gender roles and relations in Lao society in which forces of modernization are challenging and changing traditional gender norms. Read More...

An analysis of gender equality and social inclusion among flood-affected communities in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR

Tropical Storm Son Tinh, which hit Lao PDR on 18-19 July 2018, led to an overflow of water from the construction site at the Xepien-Xenamnoy hydropower dam on 23 July 2018, causing a flash flood through 13 villages downstream in Attapeu Province. The Government declared the affected areas a National Disaster Area.

CARE is undertaking a rapid gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis in Attapeu to provide information and recommendations about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women, men, boys and girls including people with a disability and ethnic minority groups. Very little primary data was available for this report due to a lack of access to the affected locations, lack of current information on the situation and recovery efforts, and a lack of sex, age and disability disaggregated data. However, secondary data and insights by humanitarian partners provide evidence that while both women and men are traumatised, depressed and bored, they are facing different vulnerabilities in the aftermath of the flooding. Read More...

Desk review to conduct assessment of ‘value for money’ provided through CARE International’s programmes to vulnerable and marginalised populations in Asia

This case study has been prepared as part of a study commissioned by CARE International (CI) to assess its long-term impact achieved in the Asia Pacific region between 2005 and 2010. As part of this process CI explored the extent to which socio-economic cost benefit analysis could be applied on a sample of CI projects, using an adapted form of the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology1.
The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of CI’s ability to deliver added benefit and value to participating communities and their societies, given invested resources, whilst testing the feasibility of applying an adapted form of SROI to projects. The study is also expected to contribute to a wider discussion on the usefulness, and applicability, of demonstrating value for money within the contexts CI works.
Given CI’s focus on empowerment, and especially of marginalised and vulnerable women, this case study presents the analysis and findings of four projects: Plantation Community Empowerment Project (PCEP), Sri Lanka Social & Economic Transformation of the Ultra Poor (SETU), Bangladesh Integrated Rural Development and Disaster Mitigation (IRDM), Cambodia Poverty Alleviation in Remote Upland Areas (PARUA), Laos
It is important to note that the projects selected for analysis were initiatives within wider programmes and, as such, were not intended to be illustrative of the overall programme’s magnitude or effectiveness. The SROI methodology is a good fit for CI’s projects due to its participatory nature and valuation of things that matter to stakeholders. However, due to the desk-based nature of this study, these findings should be seen as purely indicative as field research would be required to build a definitive and an accurate picture of impact. Read More...

CARE Rapid Gender Analysis in Lao PDR

Tropical Storm Son Tinh, which hit Lao PDR on 18-19 July 2018, led to a breach in the Xe Pien-Xe Nam Noy hydropower saddle dam dam on 23 July 2018, causing a flash flood through 13 villages downstream in Sanamxay district, Attapeu Province. The Government declared the affected areas a National Disaster Area. CARE undertook a two-phase rapid gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis in Attapeu to provide information and recommendations about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women, men, boys and girls including people with a disability and ethnic minority groups. This report is the second version of this evolving analysis and provides a valuable contribution to the limited information available on communities’ lives in the temporary residence camps where they are now residing. [25 pages] Read More...

Northern Uplands – Promoting Climate Resilience (NU PCR) Final Evaluation

NU-PCR is a climate change adaptation project implemented in three districts -- Mai, Samphan, and Ngot Ou -- in Phongsaly, Laos. It has a budget of 2,152,800 €. The project is being implemented by CARE International in Lao PDR as the lead agency together with the partner organisations CCL and SAEDA. NU-PCR worked in 30 villages with 1,778 households and 9,562 direct beneficiaries. The project is designed to improve the resilience of local ethic communities in Phongsaly Province to the impacts of climate Read More...

Northern Uplands Promoting Climate Resilience (NU PCR) Narrative Report

NU-PCR is a climate change adaptation project implemented in three districts -- Mai, Samphan, and Ngot Ou -- in Phongsaly, Laos. It has a budget of 2,152,800 €. The project is being implemented by CARE International in Lao PDR as the lead agency together with the partner organisations CCL and SAEDA. NU-PCR worked in 30 villages with 1,778 households and 9,562 direct beneficiaries. The project is designed to improve the resilience of local ethic communities in Phongsaly Province to the impacts of climate change and to strengthen the capacity of government authorities and villagers. [55 pages] Read More...

Resilient Livelihoods for the Poor Pilot Final Evaluation

This report presents findings from an evaluation of the DFAT-funded Resilient Livelihoods for the Poor (RLP) pilot program in Lao PDR. The evaluation was conducted by the Laos Australia Development Learning Facility (LADLF). It provides key lessons for future investments in the social protection sector in Lao PDR and elsewhere, and contributes to the literature on asset and social transfers in response to poverty reduction in Lao PDR.
The RLP pilot represents an investment of approximately AUD 8 million from January 2014 to July 2017. Its purpose is to improve sustainable livelihoods of poorest households through the provision of productive assets, short-term cash transfers, and technical support addressing care of assets, enterprise development, financial literacy, disability and gender. The RLP pilot targeted 1,200 households in four districts of Lao PDR, namely Xepon, Soukhouma, Mounlapamok and Lao Ngam. The actual implementation of the RLP pilot reached 1,190 households in the beginning of the pilot, which then decreased to 1,154 households at the end of the pilot in June 2017. [56 pages] Read More...

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