The second Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the RLED-EWEC Project was organized on August 14, 2018 at Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen, Thailand. In attendance were government officials from the project sites in Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, along with representatives from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Mekong Institute.
Aimed at assessing the second phase of project implementation, the meeting set out to review outcomes and achievements over the past year; highlight success factors and lessons learned; and discuss challenges as well as identify corresponding strategies to it.
Ms. Barbara Jäggi Hasler, SDC Deputy Director of Cooperation and Head of Domain Employment and Skills, echoed the importance of sustainability of project activities. “The ultimate goal is to ensure that the project impact remains sustainable for our beneficiaries – whether through financial or institutional sustainability. This can be carried out by encouraging collaboration with the private sector or by promoting favorable conditions for transboundary trade,” she emphasized.
Likewise, MI Executive Director Dr. Watcharas Leelawath recognized the extent of work that needs to be done; nonetheless, the ownership and commitment of stakeholders serve as leverage to maximize potentials as the project draws to its final year of implementation.
The RLED-EWEC Project is expected to conclude in June 2019. To date, it has improved the livelihood of smallholder farmers in the rice sector in Khammouane Province, Lao PDR; the maize sector in Kayin State, Myanmar; and the coffee sector in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.