To promote equitable and inclusive growth in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), the Mekong Institute (MI) is implementing the regional and local economic development project "Capacity Development for a More Inclusive and Equitable Growth, GMS" via an internal collaboration between Mekong Development Program (MDP) Department and RLED-EWEC Project teams.
The project is a regional capacity development project that aims at contributing to rapid, local economic development and inclusive growth in the GMS with special emphasis on provinces and communities along the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), in which three pilot provinces/states Khammoune Province (Lao PDR), Quang Tri Province (Vietnam) and Kayin State (Myanmar) had been selected. In the framework of this project, the research effort "Analytical assessment of current Local Economic Development (LED) policies and practices" is currently being conducted with the objective of increasing the capability of provincial and local LED actors to facilitate LED processes in which women and men have active roles and meaningful participation.
In order to understand current LED processes and capabilities at the pilot sites, consultants designed an approach that looks into various research subjects, namely the national LED framework, local framework, policies, practices, capacities and results. In order to gain the necessary insights into these research topics, different research instruments were employed including desktop research, pilot site interviews and workshops(using a simplified format of the Compass of Local Competitiveness), a Capacity Development Needs Assessment (CDNA) survey and a concluding round of internal assessment.
To follow-up the CDNA, the workshop on LED Stocktaking & Capacity Development Needs Assessment East-West Economic Corridor / GMS was held from March 17-19, 2014 at Mekong Institute, KhonKaen.
The CDNA survey results show that, by and large, across all three countries and pilot sites, LED policies and practices seem to be in line with important LED principles. LED is predominately done in a bottom-up manner; participation is the principle that is most strongly reinforced followed by gender sensitivity and market-orientation.
The next step is Phase I of LED Training of Trainers (ToT) that will take place from April 21 – 25,2014 in Vientiane.