Mekong Institute Publications is available on-line as well as in person. Please click on the topic from categories below you are interested in.
If you have questions or requests for information on a specific GMS country, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mekong Connection 2005 Apr-Jun
Mekong Connection 2005 Jul-Sep
Tourism: A Regional Approach for Economic Cooperation Strategy Bloc and East-West Corridor Countries
Written by Mekong Institute
This report evaluates the learning programme "Tourism: A Regional Approach for Economic Cooperation Strategy Bloc and East-West Corridor Countries." Mekong Institute (MI) conducted this course from 6 September to 1 October 2004 with generous support and cooperation by the governments of Japan and Kingdom of Thailand through their representative agencies Japan International Development Agency (JICA) and Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation (DTEC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Twenty-three government officials attended the course from the five Economic Cooperation Strategy Bloc and East-West Corridor countries (Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam). Participants hold a mixture of middle to senior level positions from a wide variety of tourism related ministries, agencies and state-owned tourism enterprises. Of participants, 39% are women. MIemphasised the importance of gender mainstreaming to CBTD in activities and curriculum. According to questionnaires and country-group discussions, participants felt that gender mainstreaming efforts at MI were excellent.
Four programme presenters, one PECD Instructor, four guest presenters and two field visit facilitators assisted participants with knowledge and skill development and professional network formation. Participants confirmed that the resource persons are qualified, experienced people who were able to explain difficult content in clear and simple terms. Overal, participants felt resource persons were excelent or good and attained their teaching objectives.
Curriculum was divided into four module segments. According to the MI questionnaires and country-group discussions, participants felt that the course content was very successful.
Supplemental activities included a wide range of learning and social activities. Participants felt that the main learning activites, including the PECD, were either excellent or good. They further felt that the additional learning activities were good and social activities were excellent. Participants also found MIto be a clean, well-run facility with dedicated, freindly staff and excellent IT and library services.
Many participants found the duration of the programme too short due to the amount of material and speed of lessons. They felt that six-weeks might be more appropriate.
Outcomes of the programme include knowledge and skills gained for CBTD. Participants further developed professional skills, such as data and case analysis, presentation, Internet research, and professional networking. Participants felt they fully attained or attained the new knowledge and professional skills presented in the curriculum. Further, they made many new friendships and professional contacts.
This report concludes, based on the above feedback, that the learning programme was ver successful. Finally, recommendations for further programme improvement are provided in Section 5 of this report.
Improvement of People's Attitute Towards Environmental Conservation in Khon Kaen Province
Written by Mekong Institute
1. Responsible Agency: Group 3, Khon Kaen University, Faculties of Education and Agriculture, Khon Kaen Province
2. Project Name: Improvement of People's Attitute towards Environmental Conservation in Khon Kaen Province
3. Background and Rationale (why do you need to do the project):
Over-harvesting and high investment result in environmental problems in Khon Kaen nowadays. A variety of pollutions emerged is not far different from any other urbanized places.
The misuse of natural resources is still widespread. No matter what type of environmental problem is, people activities are becoming a crucial cause. This has ligtened the issue of building public awareness of Khon Kaen people as the target area for this project. Project findings introduced from the case would be also taken into consideration for future deveopment programme of Khon Kaen Province. Furthermore, Khon Kaen University can accept the Curriculums--as the main outputs of this project-and apply in the university schedule. Once the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Agriculture of Khon Kaen University already approved the application of the curriculum, we need certain financial aid form the Provincial Government of Khon Kaen Province to support the project. In this case, financial assistance is required for organization the 2 basis schemes. Firstly, we need an office that could maintain the project organization and materials. The function of this office would guarantee the neccessary need of the project. Secondly, at the same time we need financial support to pay the salary for team memebers.
To improve people's attitute towards environmental conservation in Khon Kaen Province:
(1) 6 curriculums in response to the 6-major problems of environmental concerns
(2) 4 types of media advertisement concerning environmenntal campaign through Video/TV/radio/newspaper/poster
This project duration covers 1 year (2004-2005). In order to achieve the objective of this project, 3 strategies will be established. Strategy 1: Give knowledge to students through--(1) creating environmental curriculums which are made up of 6 curriculums--land,water,forest,air,city and culture/attitute and (2) giving lecture by hiring lectures and visiting sites. Strategy 2: Promote environmental awareness campaign to general people by carrying out two majors tasks. Those are--(1) making Video and (2) making advertisement through all kinds of media. Strategy 3: Establish project office as the office as the office center and running for project organization as well as project facilitator through the whole processes.
6. Linkage to other Activities and Projects:
The two-Faculties will apply the 6 curriculums and incorporate the subject into all department of Khon Kaen University. They wil also assist and give suggestion to all universities of Thailand to have a tentative action to the curriculums.
7. Participatory Development Issues:
(1) Let the students of KKUtake part in the process of creating and try to adopt the suggestions coming from the students
(2) Let the officers of related governemental departments take part in the lectures and field visiting organized by the project
(3) Let the media agency and other agencies take part in the whole processes of the project.
8. Sustainable and Structural Poverty Reduction Impact:
(1) Successful project will make the people establish strong awareness on environmental conservation. This is the most important aspect
(2) Although we can't get the direct befits from the project which take long-term meaning. People will pay more attention to protect the environment, change the style of development and keep sustainable development from the bottom of their hearts
(3) Successful curriculums will be published and get the benifits to maintain the project Development of te questionnaires could ensure the improvement scale of people's awareness
9. Implementation Arrangements:
The Faculty of Education in Khon Kaen Province, as the represent of government, will monitor and evaluate the project Media agency (one contractor) provides the services to the project KKU, as the co-operator of the project, will take an active action to carry out the curriculums
10. Cost Estimates and Financing:
The donor of the project is the Provincial Government of Khon Kaen Provincial, the total budget is US$ 191,374.
Partcipation in Government and Civil Society: Module 2
Written by Mekong Institute
This report evaluates GMS Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management (PPP) Asian Development Bank's (ADB) learning course "Participation in Government and Civil Society-Module 2" Mekong Institute (MI) hosted this course from 1 to 12 November 2004. Seventeen (17) government officials from the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries attended the course. Participants hold a mixture of middle level to senior level positions from a wide variety of government ministries, agencies and state-owned enterprises. Of participants, 41% are women.
This course was the second of a two-part modular programme. Module 1 comprised four segments covering introductory aspects of participation, including legal and institutional frameworks involving multi-stakeholder cooperation and participation for effective development. Module 2 comprises 10 topics to develop participants' skills to implement the knowledge gained in Module 1 and apply it to participatory development projects and actions. According to the PPP questionnaires and country-group discussions, participants attained the Module 2 objectives.
Participants developed the skills for participation through a wide range of course activities and learning materials. Participants further developed professional skills to develop and present a project proposal. The course activities include presentations by facilitators, class discussions, group work/ assignments, case methods, field research visits and course related social and recreational activities. These activities received excellent ratings from participants. According to the PPP questionnaires and country-group discussions, participants felt they fully attained the new knowledge and skills offered, learning materials and content were excellent, and they made many new friendships and professional contacts.
Five programme presenters assisted participants with knowledge and skill development and professional network formation. Participants confirmed that the resource persons are qualified, experienced presenters who were able to explain difficult content in clear and simple terms. According to the questionnaires and country-group discussions, participants felt resource persons were excellent in helping them acquire module content.
This evaluation reports on MI support services. In general, participants and resource persons found MI to be a clean, well-run facility with dedicated, friendly staff.
The report concludes, based on the above findings, that the learning programme was successful. Finally, the course participants, facilitators and MI support staff provided many valuable recommendations on curriculum, learning activities and methods, and future course offerings. These recommendations are summarized in Section 5 of this report.
Mekong Connection 2004 Sep - 2005 Mar
Mekong Connection 2004 Jan-Aug
Policy Interventions for GMS Poverty Reduction
Written by Mekong Institute
This report evaluates the third MI course on poverty reduction: "Policy Interventions for GMSPoverty Reduction" funded by both Asian Development Bank and New Zealand Agency for International Development. The course was conducted at MIfrom 25 August to 19 September 2003.
The course was organised to improve knowledge and skill of government officials, experts, practitioners and civil society personnel. The course covered formulating, refining and adjusting poverty reduction strategies and interventions, planning and implementing poverty reduction programs/ projects, and monitoring and evaluting poverty impacts. It was also aimed to promote regional cooperation and foster a professional network among course participants in poverty reduction.
Twenty-nine public sector personnel from the six GMScountries attended this course. Of them, five work wth research institutios, one with a bank, and the remaining with government agencies. The course achieved adequate representation of women participants at 45% of the total.
The course comprised 5 modules, constructed along the ADB poverty reduction framework. It involved poverty concepts,measurement and analysis; framework, strategy and interventions for poerty reduction; how to develop a poverty reduction strategy and interventions; and how to monitor and evaluate poerty impacts. 50-58% participans considered them as "useful and interesting".
Five experienced experts taught this course, one additional expert gave a guest presentation. In addition, two Engish instructors provided necessary language support required for course teaching. All the module presenters recieved good training from participants.
Course activities used for this course included lectures, class discussion, case studies, guest presentation, field research visits, on site English training, coaching on presentation and Internet navigation, and social and cultural activities. Both presenters and participants considered these activities as helpful, though their ratings varied across the activities. For example, the end of coure survey recorded 75% participants considered lectures as "very helpful". Figures for class suggest that most of the course activities are effective and useful, while it is neccessary to further encourage an active, participatory approach to teaching and learning.
As a result of both dedication of the resource persons and effectie course activities/ methods and organisation and administration, this course was successful in achieving its four general objectives (p. 8 of this report) and module specific objectives set out in the course design statement.
i) Overall, 61% participants were very satisfied with the course , another 39% satisfied. The rate is higher than the second MI course on poverty but lower than the first.
ii) 33-71% participants (varying significantly across modules, same thereafter) indicated they gained "a lot of " knowledge from this course, while 29-67% participants gaind "some" knowledge.
iii) 29-46% participants thought they could easily use skills for poverty analysis and the development of poverty strategy, interventions and programs, while majority (around 65%) of participants could use "some" skills learnt.
iv) 47.5% participants held that their English skills improved "a lot"; while another 28.8% partcipants, " a little".
v) 75% participants made "many" friends during the course. 35% participants fostered "many professional contacts" with their fellow participants and presenters; 60% participants, some contacts. The course helped promote GMS cooperation and develop a professional network for effective responses to poverty issues.
The course also provided an excellent opportunity for MI to reflect on its course organisation. This reflection is summarised in Section 9 of this report, and is recommendation from both presenters and participants. The recommendations are on modules and topics, course delivery, course activities and methods, programming or course time arrangement, Enlish language training, and so on. Some of these recommendations have been taken into account for the course afterwards and is a reference for organising future courses.
Project Management for Sustainable Development in the GMS
Written by Mekong Institute
For the first time the Mekong Institute designed and organised a training course on "Project Management for Sustainable Development in the GMS" with financial assistance of NZAID. The course was held from the 10th of February to the 7th of March at the Mekong Institute on the campus of the Khon Kaen University and was attended by 34 participants from the six GMS countries, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Yunnan Province of China.
The response from the GMScountries showed that the selection of the course subject was te right choice. The eficient implementation of projects requires competent project personnel and with the increasing number of projects in the GMS countries through various donor agencies the need for better trained project personnel is urgently felt.
The effiicient planning and implementation of projects plays an important role in the economic and social development of the GMS countries and thus contributing substantially to the reduction of poverty.
The course consisted of four training modules and additional English language training.
Module 1: Project Cycle and Project Planning
Module 2: Project Team Buildng and Management
Module 3: Project Budget Management
Module 4: Project Monitoring and Evaluation and Project Rist Management
NZAID policies on gender and development (GAD), enviornment and educaton were incorporated into the course modules and also addressed throughout the course. Of the 34 participants on this course 12 were women.
From the course evaluaton it can be concluded that the four course objectives were widely achieved. The majority of participants considered that from the course they gained "a lot" of knowledge and skills for dealing more effectively with project management issues, developed skills for learning, computer use, and interent searching, built a spirit of cooperation and established professional and personal contacts among themselves.
The course achieved a high level of satisfaction by the participants. Of te 34 participants, 18 were "very satisfied" with the course, 15 were "satisfied" and one participant did not answer the questions.
This course evaluation report presents and analyses course design and delivery, course services and course results, using data and information collected from participants and presenters coupled with those from other complementary sources. It also contains comparisons with some indicators on previous courses.
This report includes recommendations, again largely from presenters. Some of tem were addressed when the course was on going. They will be useful and have significant implication for future course at MI and even courses on such theme/ topics elsewhere.
Private Sector Participation in GMS Growth and Development
Written by Mekong Institute
This report evaluates the course on "Private Sector Participation in GMS Growth and Developememt" held at Mekong Institute from 29 September to 24 October 2003.
The course was organised to meet GMS need for training on the private sector development because the sector is the main engine to achieve economic growth and reduce poverty in the sub-region. Based on the understanding, all the GMS countries are promoting the development of the private sector as part of national development and poverty reducton strategy.
Twenty-eight participants from the six GMScountries attended the course. Most of them were government officials, but some were working with blank sector and chamber of commerce. There was one participant from the private sector. Seventy participants (61% of the total) are women.
The course consisted of four modules, involving the role of the private sector and strategies for private sector development, especially public and private partnership and SMEs. 43-50% participants considered the modules as "very useful and interesting" and another 50-57% participants considered them as " useful and interesting".
This course has achieved its four general objectives and module specific learning objectives. i) Overall, 54% participants were "very satisfied" with the course, and antoher 46%, "satisfied" with it. ii) In terms of knowledge gaining, 47-64% participants (varying across modules, same thereafter) indicated they gained " a lot" of knowledge from the course, while another 29-36% participant gained "some". iii) As far as development of varous skills associated with private sector participation, 42-57% participants can use "some" skills learnt. iv) Overallm 43% participants held that their English skills improved "quiet a lot", while another 21% participants, "a lot". v) Most participants believed they improved their presentation skills. vi) 64% participants made "many friends" with their fellow participants; and 50% participants establised "many professional ocntacts" with other participants and presenters; and 35% participants, "some" contacts. The course helped to strengthen the "Greater mekong Spirit" and foster a network of professional contacts in promoting private sector development and economic development.
The achievements were results of dedication of resource persons, effective course activities and methods, and course organisation. Three experienced experts instructed the modules, and other two experts gave guest presentations. The participants gave all the modules very good rating.
Both presenters and participants considered the course activities and methods (lecturing; class discussion; case studies; guest presentation; field research visit; English training; training on Internet navigation, presentation; and social and recreatonal activities) as effective and helpful, though ratings of particiaptns varied across the activities. For example, at the end of course survey, 78% participants considered lecturing as effective, the figures for case studies, and guest presentation were 78% and 40% respectively. All the participants rated field trips as "very helpful" and "OK". In conclusion, these course activities are useful and effective in achieving optimum outcomes.
This course also provided an opportunity for MIto reflect on its couse topics and course organisation. The presenters and participants provided many comments, suggestonos and recommendations. These are in Appendices D and E, and 14 recommendations are summarised in the last section of this report, "Recommendations from This Course". They involves course topic and modules, and almost all aspects of course organisation, such as pre-course arrangements, resource person identification, teaching and learning activities, course duration and time allocation between course activities, teaching facilities, and support services. They are useful and helpful for future courses at MI and a referenced for course organisation elsewhere.