Women in Vietnam are convincing their governments to use evidence to make decisions. How? By conducting beautiful research.
Want a solution that will last? Ask the locals what you should do. CARE has known it for a long time, but it can be incredibly hard to implement. In Vietnam, co-research has proved an effective way for CARE to do this. More importantly, it has convinced local governments to listen to women from minorities. As one leader said, “I used to be worried when our organization signed the Agreement to implement this project in Bac Kan as the method is very new to us. Now I see the beauty of the method …”
The Voice and Rights for Ethnic Minority Women ran from 2015-2018 with $400,000 in support from the European Union. The project was in partnership with the Vietnam Women’s Union, and reached 105 people directly and 22,000 indirectly.
What did we accomplish?
- Convince partners to scale: The Vietnam Women’s Union is now scaling the research methods and scaling recommendations from the project to 90 border regions beyond where the CARE project worked.
- Women are more confident: The number of women who feel that they can affect change themselves has more than doubled, up to 79% at the end of the project. Now they don’t feel they have to wait for others to come provide answers. The number of women who feel confident to present ideas in public went up nearly 5 times.
- Women’s say carries more weight: Government officials are 60% more likely to think women’s contributions are important, and 23% more likely to believe they can use the research women present to them.
- Help women get involved in policy: Women who were involved with research teams are more likely to go to village meetings and get engaged in policy processes. Policy makers are 54% more likely to listen to women’s contributions
- Government is getting better: Local governments are getting more evidence based, and are more active in looking for research to inform their decisions.
- Governments are more inclusive: According to one official, “I would prefer to invite the [women] to participate in such meetings, as they have better assessment of the feasibility of the commune economic development plan. Once they agree with the targets related to agricultural production, they are very committed to achievement of the targets.”
How did we get there?
- Get local women involved in research: The project funded local women from ethnic minorities to conduct research on questions that were relevant to their lives. Women selected questions, designed research plans, and generated solutions based on data.
- Aim to influence policy: The project encouraged women to look for specific research opportunities that they could link to local policy processes, so that the research would be influential beyond just what the woman learned.
- Work with local support: The project connected women to the research group iSee and the Vietnam Women’s Union so they had support and a way to carry the project forward.
- Think beyond research skills: In addition to training on research, 90 women got training on advocacy, data presentation, and public speaking skills.
Want to learn more?
Check out the project evaluation.