Ha Giang – On 21st December, 2012, the Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas held the closing ceremony of the VACI 2011 project titled Pilot Model of Community Participation in the Planning of Public Facilities at local level in Tan Bac commune, Quang Binh district.

Attendees of the seminar included Nguyen Tuan Hung – representative of Quang Binh’s Commission of Mass Mobilization, To Dinh Su – Quang Binh’s Centre of Political Training, Van Lao Lu – Party Secretary of Tan Bac commune, and other representatives from CISDOMA and authoritative bodies in Tan Bac commune such as the Women’s Union, Youth’s Union, Farmer’s Union, Vietnamese Fatherland Front, and Commission of Culture.

Before the ceremony, the participants attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Boarding House for students of Tan Bac Secondary School, a pilot model developed using community-based participatory approach in socio-economic development planning at local level.

Sponsored by World Bank in Viet Nam, VACI 2011 project was launched in January 2012 and ended in December 2012. At the closing ceremony of the project, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha, Programme Officer of CISDOMA, showed the outcomes and discussed the shortcomings and lessons learned of VACI 2011 with the participants.

The participants reached the consensus that the project had afforded ethnic minority students living far from school the opportunities to continue schooling. Dang Tai Phau from Parental Commission of Tan Bac Secondary school said: “I feel satisfied with and thankful for the project. My sincere thanks go to the donors and CISDOMA for helping my children and other students who live far from school to live in spacious boarding house and pursue their education.”

On behalf of the Tan Bac Party Committee, Van Lao Lu, the Party Committee Secretary, stated: “Thanks to the project, people in Tan Bac commune have gained better understandings of Grassroots Democracy Ordinance and people’s rights to participating in socio-economic development planning at local level. In particular, we, the commune officers, have been given effective and needed support for capacity building in Grassroots Democracy Ordinance promotion. The project has attracted attention and participation of communities and authoritative bodies in Tan Bac commune. It has also helped ethnic minority people to better comprehend the policies and laws of the Party and the Government. This is an effective and practical project, and we hope that it will be replicated in the future.”