Project completed

Since 2007, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has supported the Lao government to improve its management of social and economic data. SDC seeks to enable policy makers to make better-informed decisions by making reliable data more readily available, contributing to equitable development.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Public sector policy
01.11.2013 - 30.06.2018
CHF 5'190'000

While Lao PDR has experienced rapid economic growth during the past decade, the country still faces many challenges. Persistent poverty among women and ethnic minorities, weak infrastructure, and a generally low level of skills are major obstacles to equitable and sustainable development.

The Lao government is faced with finding solutions to these challenges. The task is increasingly complex, not least because the government must consider ever more diverse groups of people, often with widely differing needs, when making decisions on national governance. In some cases, policy makers base their decisions on unreliable data. Even when relevant data does exist, decision makers may not have access to it, leading to opaque and uninformed decisions. That’s why stakeholders from both government and civil society have called for improved management and analysis of data.

SDC launched the Lao DECIDE Info project in 2007 to ensure that decisions addressing socioeconomic inequities are based on the best available information. Since then, the project has helped to make more data available and has spurred greater understanding of information sharing needs and benefits.

In November 2013, SDC launched the third and final phase of the project to ensure that the Lao government can continue data sharing initiatives beyond the project’s lifetime.


In support of equitable and sustainable socioeconomic development, SDC seeks to ensure that national policies are based on the best available knowledge concerning economic and social trends in Lao PDR. In addition, SDC hypothesizes that if policy makers base their decisions on reliable, accessible data, accountability and transparency in governance will improve.


Expected results:  

As a result of its contribution to the project’s third phase, SDC expects that:

  1. National institutions will strengthen the quality of their data and provide data with a spatial dimension for easy integration, analysis, and dissemination across sectors. SDC also expects that government officials will begin using Lao DECIDE Info’s knowledge and information platform:
  2. Government officials will become better at designing surveys, integrating data across sectors, and deriving new insights from the available data. SDC expects that government agencies will begin to communicate information relevant to development processes through a one-stop platform available to the public.
  3. Government officials will feed results from cross sectorial data analysis into ongoing development discussions and contribute to evidence-based decision-making processes.

Results from previous phases:  

Since the inception in 2007, the project has successfully:

  • Produced and disseminated the Socio-Economic Atlas of the Lao PDR, which presents a comprehensive set of maps depicting a wide range of socioeconomic aspects of the population of Lao PDR.
  • Established an online information platform,, where economic and social information is freely available for the first time. Among other things, the platform presents detailed spatial and statistical data for more than 10,000 villages.
  • Provided materials and information to the higher educational system in Lao PDR, including via a course on socio-economic spatial data at the National University of Laos.
  • Published Concessions and Leases in the Lao PDR, the first report to present valuable data and a critical perspective on the state of land and natural resources in Lao PDR.
  • Contributed to the elaboration of the draft national land policy and authored an article on Land Information System and Data Sharing.
  • Fostered increased recognition for the need to standardize and integrate information from different sectors, leading to increased readiness to share information.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • SDC Field Office
  • Unversität Bern
  • Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern, Switzerland

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'190'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   5'156'302
Project phases Phase 4 01.06.2018 - 30.06.2021   (Current phase)

Phase 3 01.11.2013 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.07.2009 - 30.11.2015   (Completed)