Public Service Provision Improvement Programmein Agriculture and Rural Development (PS-ARD)

Progetto concluso
Getting Water from Upland at Nguyen Binh District, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam. © Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.

Despite Vietnam’s high economic growth rates in the last decades with impressive achievements in poverty reduction, the poverty rate gap between urban and rural areas is still high. More than 95% of poor people live in rural areas. In Cao Bang province, where ethnic minorities account for more than 90% of the population, the poverty rates were 25% in 2009.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Cao Bang
Agricoltura e sicurezza alimentare
Politica agricola
01.05.2011 - 31.12.2015
CHF  4’140’000

The Swiss strategy aims at supporting both level of government, the central government in defining reform framework and the local government in implementing reforms. SDC plans a long term support (about 10 years) to the reforms and poverty alleviation in Cao Bang (CB). SDC is increasing its support in the mountainous and ethnic minority areas to help them better integrate the reform process. With this project, SDC support will target more specifically the ethnic minority groups, who have not benefited from the development process with the same intensity as the majority group in the low land. An important issue remains the respect of the cultural identity of the minority groups. Improved governance can be an important factor in poverty reduction. Deficient service delivery, unfavourable policy settings, inappropriate allocations of public resources, insufficient budget for social welfare (education, health, water…), corruption, weak enforcement of some legal rights are many of poor governance issues that would be tackled indirectly by the project. The poor are often the most adversely affected by weak governance and bad public management. Therefore, by strengthening governance capacities, the project will contribute to improve poverty issues and help set some priority development plans based on participative approaches.


To contribute to province and district-wide mainstreaming of participatory local planning, financial decentralisation and improved public service delivery in agriculture, in order to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods in disadvantaged areas of Cao Bang province.

Gruppi target

Over 44’000 households in 75 communes in 6 districts in Cao Bang.

Effetti a medio termine

Outcome 1: Consolidating, scaling up and mainstreaming of decentralised and participatory planning and transparent and efficient financial management piloted in phase I to increase local ownership and contribute to poverty reduction and economic development.

Outcome 2: Providing needs and demand-based quality ARD services piloted in phase I, resulting in increased agricultural productivity.


Risultati principali attesi:  

Outcome 1a: Comprehensive and need-based commune and district SEDPs are standard and binding for all local development activities, applied in 4 poor districts in Cao Bang.

Outcomes 1b,c: Improved commune level financial management, project planning and implementation, through the Commune Development Fund to allow communes to become investment owners for decentralised state budgets.

Output 2: Farmer Field School is institutionalized and applied as a standard extension method in provinces, while other ARD services provide quality services.

Risultati fasi precedenti:  

  • In Hoa Binh and Cao Bang, 80% and 55% of interviewed people report an improvement of public services in ARD after two years[1].
  • In 5 districts in Hoa Binh and Cao Bang, people participating in local planning increased from 10% to 50%. People were informed of and agreed with the planned commune budget, resulting in the effective use of the fund with stronger local ownership: 3’400 projects implemented in 103 communes benefited 77’000 households, with local contribution to infrastructure projects increasing to 40%.
  • 4 prov. schools in Hoa Binh and Cao Bang improved their curricula with quality assessment criteria in all modules, which brings long-term benefits in human resources development to both prov.
  • In the project areas, PSARD contributed to reducing poverty  from 33% in 2007 to 25% in 2009.

[1] Satisfaction Survey Report, October 2010.



Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    4’140’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    4’035’573
Fasi del progetto

Fase 3 01.05.2011 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)

Project Factsheets

  1. Project Factsheet in English
  2. Project Factsheet in Vietnamese

Previous Phases of this project are known as Cao Bang Governance Project 


1. Our Village Road, Thon San Village, Nguyen Binh town, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam

2. Voice from Village Film Series: Water Tank in Tan Viet commune, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam

Do you feel frustrated when water doesn’t run for one day? If yes then you can imagine how hard the life is when you have to fetch water every day!

Having tap water is just a normal thing in the city but a luxury wish of most people in mountainous area. In this second film, you will see how life in a small village in Cao Bang changes when water is brought straight to their front door. Once again, grassroots democracy clearly shows its impact when people can raise their voice about their needs and manage their infrastructures effectively.

3. Voice from Village Film Series: New Road in Lung Ria Village, Thach Lam Commune, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam

Having a road wide enough for motorbike is always a dream of local people in many remoted communes in Vietnam. The film will show you how life changes when a new road is constructed in a village in Cao Bang.

4. Voice from Village Film Series: Beef Fattening Farmer Field Schools, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam

Learning is much more useful if the topic is of real interest to you and the trainer is lively and enthusiastic. In this film, you will see how a group of farmers in a small village in Cao Bang receive interesting and relevant training on cattle rasing - a topic that they identified themselves as being a high priority. The enthusiasm and sincerity of the trainer also has a great impact on the trainees in the class. Once again, grassroots democracy clearly shows its impact when people can raise their voice about their needs for training and support .