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Field report

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Title:
Field report a consultant's report : socio-econmic analysis of the Lao89550 Highland Intergrated Rural Development Project
Uniform Title:
Consultant's report
Portion of title:
Consultant's report, socio-economic analysis of the Lao89550 Highland Intergrated Rural Development Project
Portion of title:
Socio-economic analysis of the LAO89550 Highland Integrated Rural Development Project
Creator:
Luche, Jenna E.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
ii, 107, 8 p. : ; 30 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Rural development projects -- Laos -- Vientiane (Province) ( lcsh )
Rural conditions -- Vientiane (Laos : Province) ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Vientiane (Laos : Province) ( lcsh )
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non-fiction ( marcgt )

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General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
"7/5/91."
Funding:
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
Statement of Responsibility:
submitted by Jenna E. Luche.

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Full Text
A CONSULTANTS REPORT:
SOCTO'ECONMIC ANALYSIS OF THE LAO/a9/550
HIGHLAND INTEGRATED RURAL'DEVELOPMENT7PROJECT
sUbmitted. by: Jenna E luche 7/5/91




A CONSULTANT'S REPORT:
SOCIO-ECONMIC ANALYSIS OF THE LAO/89/550
HIGHLAND INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
submitted by: Jenna E. Luche 7/5/91




TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I
2.0. CONSULTANT'S FORWARD 17a
3.0. DOCUMENT FORMAT 18
3.1. Village Case Studies 19
3.2. Common Issues 20
3.3. Management Tool 21
3.4. Socio-Economic Survey 21
4.0. COMMON ISSUES: THE BASIS FOR PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1. The Impacts of Resettlement: Analysis of the
Changes in Village Standard-of-living 22
4.2. Income Generating Potential:
The Need for Diversification 26
4.3. Feasibilty of the Cessation of Opium
Poppy Cultivation: The Financial/Labor/
Time Costs of Addiction 29
Feasbility of Substitute Cash Crops: Agricultural
Training and Marketing
4.4. Land Tenure Systems 32
4.5. Village Social Systems: The Decision-making
Process and Crisis Control at the
Village and Household Level 35
Village and Household Cash Flow and Expenditures
4.6. The Hmong-UNFDAC Connection: The Ways and Means
for Paticipatory Development 40




5.0. SOCIO-ECONOMIC VILLAGE CASE STUDIES
5.1. Nam Kien 49
5.2. Palaveck 59
5.3. Phu That 67
5.4. Ban Hom 74
5.5. Huay Si 82
5.6. Nam Gnok 90
5.7. Sam Sac 97
6.0. THE "TEAR AWAY" MANAGEMENT TOOL
6.1. Health Services 104
6.2. Water Supplies 107
6.3. Education Facilities 109
6.4. Dam and Canal Construction 111
6.5. Sawmilling Activities 113
6.6. Irrigated Rice Cultivation 116
6.7. Crop Diversification 119
6.8. Palaveck Agricultural Promotion Center 122
6.9. Road Construction 125
APPENDIX I. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEY QUESTIONS AND METHODOLOGIES




1.
1.1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Executive Summary contains the issues and information that are essential for understanding and analyzing the Project from an socio-economic perspective. This shared perspective should provide insights for the Project team regarding the impacts of resettlement, income generating potential, the role of opium cultivation and sales, feasibility of substitute cash crops, land tenure, socio-economic systems, cash flow and the ways with which to strengthen the project's participatory process. Apart from highlighting these key issues, the consultant will also include corresponding recommendations.
1. Resettlement: The process of resettlement has reduced the
standard-of-living of almost all the villages, with the
notable exception of Palaveck, in the Project area. It is
the expenses incurred during the resettlement process, the
diminishing cultivation and sale of opium, and thd increased
intensity of slash and burn cultivation with its associated augmentation of time and labor inputs that have combined to
create diminished economic returns for the lowland
villagers..
The time and labor inputs required to meet subsistence
levels are barely being met because of the impacts of poor
health and increased slash and burn. The Project
participants have increased their slash and burn cycle
because of the short-term productivity of the sandier delta
soils.
Physical adjustment to the lowland environment has adversely affected the health of both livestock and human populations.
Poorer health in the lowlands is due to a number of causes:
hotter lowland climate enervates the villagers and
livestock; first time exposure to malaria; increased
population density has factored in increasing the spread
of disease; shared river water is constantly contaminated with the organic effluence of this denser population; and
loss of many forest resources, i.e. fruit, edible plants and




2
medicinal plants have not been compensated for. This
poorer health not only affects the villagers' quality of life but also diminishes their economic and subsistence
productivity.
The most important factor in the reduced incomes of the Project area is the diminished cultivation and sales of
o .pium. Opium not only provided the bulk of the cash needed
to purchase basic household items, supplemental rice for
household consumption and cloth, but provided an annual
savings that the hidden costs of resettlement have
(absolutely) depleted. Most villagers claim that they no
longer have any financial security against crisis
situations.Many of these households can no longer afford to
purchase supplementary rice and therefore subsist upon
cassava once their rice is consumed. Households that have
opium addicts cannot afford to purchase opium. They must
continue to cultivate opium to meet the addicts' needs; this
is another drain upon household time and labor inputs.
Livestock is now a primary source of income althoqgh
livestock numbers have reduced because of lowland climate
and exposure to disease.
Social structures have undergone tremendous pressures during
the resettlement process. In many cases, it is the village
elders that transmit important cultural norms, myths and
unique traditional skills. The elders have been particularly impacted by poor health and are less active in these duties.
Furthermore, much of what the Hmong elders might have to
share with the villagers is often less applicable or
practical as the villagers have resettled into a
substantially different environment and economic system.
The Project team cannot change the history of resettlement in the Project area. However, they should understand the social and economic disruptions resettlement has caused for the Hmong in Palaveck valley; particular attention must be given to cultural survival, income generation, livestock and human health care. The consultant recommends the Project team research and/or consider the following issues when implementing Project activities:
a. The forces behind each village resettlement and the
attitudes of the villagers towards resettlement.




3
b. The reasons behind the changes or disintegration of traditional social processes; its impact on the morale,
social organization and productivity of the Project
communities.
c. The prioritization of Project activities to initially
meet the participants' basic needs; a detailed participatory
monitoring system that quantifies the meeting of these
objectives.
d. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of basic infrastructure in the Project area and an open dialogue
regarding the impacts of resettlement upon the Hmong
communities inthe Project area.
2. Income Generation: The Hmong tribals who have settled in the
Project area have two traditional activities that generate
income; opium and cattle/livestock. Opium cultivation and
sales have reduced substantially since resettlement;
livestock sales have not yet provided the income that opium sales once did. Households used to average 200,000 kip/year
earnings from opium sales, the current average income
earnings now reach 80,000 kip/household/year. Long-term
savings have been spent to. meet basic needs and to
compensate for the expenditures associated with relocation.
The lowland Palaveck valley areas are currently unable to
provide the villagers with adequate paddy land, grazing land
and land for food/fodder cultivation. The Hmong continue to
exploit the highland and upland slope areas to meet their
subsistence needs. Given the fragility and limits of the
Palaveck ecosystem to sustain its human and livestock
population, the need for income diversification that does
not rely upon agricultural activity should be considered by
the Project team.
Furthermore, the ecosystem should be viewed as a potential source of sustainable income. The possibilities for income
generation that derive from an intact forest system are
numerous and follow the Lao government dictates regarding
slash and burn cultivation; i.e., extractivism of medicinal




4
plants and fruit, Wildlife production and social forestry.
Other income generating activities might include the
production and sale of a variety of secondary products made from primary forest products and the limited production and
sale of traditional handicrafts (due to time and labor
constraints).
Key income-generating process constraints that the Project
team must consider are that most villagers are unable to
formulate accurate business plans, break-even points, inputs
to outputs for profit or cost-in depreciation. They do not
have accounting or bookkeeping skills; they do not know what
the outside markets will pay for their products should they delete the middleman service. Also, these skills might well
be essential to the long-term success of the Project's
revolving loan fund activities. Almost all the Project women
are both innumerate and illiterate. In fact, their social
status might also decline if they are not active cash
earners. The consultant recommends that the Project team
facilitate the building of the above mentioned skills.
3. Opium: The consultant recommends that the Project team
raise the question of legal opium sales to pharmaceutical
companies; Laos P.D.R. and the project beneficiaries might
then cultivate opium for hard currency earnings. Legal opium
sales will minimize the following problems: there are no traditional or nontraditional products, income-generating
activities or cash crop substitutes yet identified that
provide the same income given time and labor inputs or have
a marketing infrastructure; every Project village has
resident opium addicts, these households are unable to
afford the purchasing of opium and must cultivate to meet
the addict's needs; opium continues to be the beneficiaries
"drug of choice" for dysentery and fever; opium addicts have
not been given or had any access to treatments/medicines that might cure them of their addiction or the illnesses
that initially led to their addiction.
Traditionally, opium was the foundation for the Hmong
economic system in the Project area. Opium has been used in
equal trade for the acquiring of household goods, the
payment of debts, payment of labor (particularly when the laborers are addicts or have addicts in their households),




5
and for conversion to cash and silver ingots as needed. The
Project participants have ingots to maintain their opium
caches as an internal banking system, the second preference
being silver ingots and the third being cash. Cash is
primarily used for small household and modern medicine
purchases.
To facilitate the eradication of opium poppy cultivatiorf and illegal sales, the Project team should research the following possibilities:
a. Determine and implement, or identify and coordinate a
treatment to cure opium addicts of their addiction;
facilitate the introduction of medicines for dysentery and
fever to replace the use of opium; continue to provide
health care training that includes opium addiction awareness
and hygiene habits that reduce the possibility of those
illnesses that have traditionally been treated with opium.
b. Identify and facilitate the establishment of diverse
income generating activities that are less time and labor
intensive than opium poppy cultivation. Provide appropriate
skills training. Facilitate the development of a marketing
infrastructure.
4. Land Tenure/Use: The land tenure systems in the Palaveck
valley Project area are influenced by a variety of issues;
district level decisions are petitioned and determined
through population density/need and personal connections;
village level mediation-and negotiation are based upon
kinship ties, relative wealth and household need; and most
importantly, the limited arable and paddy land availability.
Arable and paddy land are the only household held lands used
by the Project villagers. Grazing land and forest resource
areas are shared by the village community at large and often
encroach boundaries of other village communities.
Although the District might not ever designate land for
these two purposes, the Project communities are beginning to
feel the pressures of increased human and livestock
population, particularly with regards to grazing areas.




6
The consultant anticipates that the competition for
grazing land might cause friction within villages as well on
a village-to-village level.
The consultant recommends that the Project team further research and understand the following issues:
a. The amount of lowland arable land and potential paddy
land designated to each village and the reasons it is not
currently being cultivated, as well as the amount currently
under cultivation.
b. The land mass and areas that are currently being grazed
by each village's livestock; particularly cattle.
c. The participation of village elder councils, other village committees and the District in mediating land
disputes; the history of land disputes in each village.
5. Socio-economic Systems: The Hmong villagers in the
Project area would not be classified as "risk takers".
Decisions are made based on long-term observation of
environmental conditions regarding agricultural
activities; small-capital investment; low-risk, low-return
income generating activities; societal norms regarding
investments in education; kinship linkages and need
regarding arable land distribution; loans based on need
and kinship; marriage matches based on suitability,
kinship and often romantic love; and crisis control based
upon historical analogies. Within the household, the
decision-making process does not vary, yet both genders
have specific areas within which they make decisions; i.e.
as in which gender might take responsibility for what
activities and which gender decides what to buy based upon
the amount of a particular purchase.
Women tend to decide upon all household purchases that do
not require travel to market centers and hold the money
available for these purchases. Household items include soap,
cloth, plates, cooking utensils, thread and needles. Women
will also take the responsibility for the purchase of




7
chickens, vegetable seed and herbal medicines. Women tend the pigs and chickens and therefore decide when and quantity of cassava and maize they need to plant to supplement the pigs' and chickens' scavenging diets. Yet it is usually the men who decide which animals to sell or kill for home consumption. Men travel to these market centers if necessary. Men purchase the water buffaloes, modern medicines, cattle, pigs, crop seed and farm tools. Both men and women will sell opium or trade it for household items and cloth.
With the exception of those Hmong who have government salaries, there is very little cash exchange within the village economic system. Households will trade needed items or at times take loans for emergencies purposes such as a medical illness. These loans have no time limit for repayment, but are often repaid within two opium harvests.
There are also the long-term debts taken on for marriages. These debts are not so much due to bride prices, Out the costs incurred for the village marriage feast and the purchase of household items for the newlyweds.
There is a great deal of marrying between the two major clans, Her and Lo; they make up more than 2/3's of the valley population. Women retain their birth families name upon marriage, whereas the offspring take the name of the husband's family.
Women usually marry by the age of 15, men by the age of 18. Adolescent females are commonly married by 13 years of age. Premarital sex is acceptable for both the man and woman in Hmong society. However, once they are married, they woman is required to be sexually faithful, whereas the man can continue to have sex with unmarried women. This situation divides the village women into two coalitions, the married and unmarried women; the men fight over the unmarried girls.
Men decide where each household will have what land. Men mediate and settle all household, household-to-household, village-to-village and village-to-District disputes. Women settle the disputes of their children; they settle household disputes when the family men are absent.




Anything larger than a household dispute requires the formation of some council (of male leaders). At times,
specific committees have designated responsibilities for the
settlement of particular issues. At other times, a special council will be formed to address and issue; this happens
most commonly with crisis control.If the vested parties are
not happy with the council's decision, they might take the
issue to the District level. If the council is unable to
decide because of their own vested interests, they will recommend that the parties go to the District level for
settlement of their dispute.
The consultant recommends that the Project team research and understand the following issues:
a. The kinship linkages within each village that often
determine the outcome of an important decision.
b. The role of some women in some villages that take part in
decisions affecting the entire community; i.e. the
herbalist.I
c. The respect given to the elderly in this traditional
society and how the interventions the Project will be
introducing might upset this balance of power.
d. The increasing importance of cash within the village
economic systems should the Project area develop
economically as is anticipated; the material items the
villagers will purchase once more income is being generated.
e. The role of the District mediation of village and
village-to-village disputes and the nature of these
disputes.
6. Participatory Process: The recognition of the
capabilities and limits of the Project communities is the basis for the.Project team/participants collaboration to meet their shared objectives/agendas. The villagers must go beyond merely requesting assistance to identifying in
what specific skills/knowledge areas the Project team might
assist them.




The Project team and the participants should work as equals
in the development process. Furthermore, the Project team
should always request that the project communities identify
their problems and make specific decisions regarding their
inputs and those of the Project team by which to achieve common objectives. The decision-making process should be circular in form, decisions are made through feedback and
the information sources which are most appropriate.
The following information/opinions came from village
informants. How the following requests towards the
development of a participatory process are going to be
met is to be decided upon by the Project team. The
consultant suggests that the Project team keep these factors
in mind:
a. Villagers' free time to coincide with Project's
schedule.
b. The need for regular dialogue (meetings) between
villagers/Project team/government officials;
c. The capabilities/limits of the Project team and
communities.
d. The need to prioritize and come to consensus when
implementing Project activities.
e. The importance of trust-building, regular dialogue and
shared cross-cultural experiences when building the
participatory process.
The consultant recommends that the Project team include the following participatory inputs to strengthen Project sustainibil1ity:
a. The consultant recommends that the Project team identify possible Hmong art forms and/or stories/myths/proverbs that
might facilitate the understanding and communication
efforts of all involved parties.
b. The consultant recommends that the Project team identify those government officials that might be most supportive of
providing Project activities-linked extension services to.
the Project area.




10
c. These government officials should be encouraged to
regularly visit the Project sites, talk to the beneficiaries and take an active part in those decisions that will require
later Lao government support.
d. Develop a sound selection criteria with which to chose
villages/households that might most benefit from this
activity.
e. An action-plan that incorporates follow-on; i.e.
surveys, observation, and follow-through; i.e. benchmark
monitoring, activities.
f. The role that the Village Project Committee will assume
in ascertaining a just delegation of villagers'tlme/labor
inputs to sustain these activities.
The following suggestions came from the informants, the consultant agrees entirely with the participant's input:
a. The villagers said that there needed to be regular and
institutionalized communication between the Project team and
the villages. (There exists confusion regarding the
villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities
and objectives.)
b. It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used
for all communications; both to break the language
barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings-due to
cultural differences.
c. The villagers would be interested in organizing a
"Village Project Committee" that would facilitate
communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team
and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of
time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was
essential if there was to be full cooperation and support of
the Project by the participants.
The informants said that it would be very important to have
equal representation by men and women on the Village Project
Committee. In general, the village women know much less




about the Project because they do not attend as many
Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings
are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the
women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong
until closing. The consultant observed that many of the
women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-of-meetings. The informants said that the village men do not share many details of the meeting with the women.
d. The Nam Kien and Palaveck informants said that they
wished to receive adequate training to maintain Project
activities once the Project is completed.
Furthermore, they (Palaveck and Nam Kien informants)
wanted assistance from the Project in developing
organizational and management skills; particularly for those
activities that required financial organization.
The consultant states that these attitudinal changes are an
extremely important transformation regarding the I
participatory process. The consultant recommends that the
Project team bring some of these informants to other village
meetings so that they might share their understanding of
participatory development.
7. Project Activities' Recommendations: This is a summary of
specific activities' recomendations not covered under the
previous general issues. (Please refer to Section 6.)
A. Health services: To provide health education, medical care and chemoprophylaxis for malaria and to develop a primary health care system.
a. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of basic
health service infrastructure in the Project area.
b. Investigation into the reasons behind the changes or
disintegration of traditional social processes; i.e.
training of herbalists and shamans, knowledge loss regarding
traditional herbal plants.




12
c. The prioritization of Project health activ ities to meet
the participants' basic health needs; a detailed
participatory monitoring system that quantifies the meeting
of these objectives.
d. The development and dissemination of health social marketing tools (posters, etc.), that are culturally
geared towards the Hmong and consider their illiteracy, to
be distributed to all Project villages.
e. Determine and implement, or identify and coordinate a
treatment to cure opium addicts of their addiction.
f. Facilitate the introduction of medicines for dysentery
and fever to replace the use of opium. This will also help
to reduce the possibility of more villagers becoming
addicted to opium.
g. Continue to provide health care training that includes
opium addiction awareness and hygiene habits that reduce the
possibility of those illnesses that have traditionally
been treated with opium.
In the consultant's opinion, the activities to augment the lower standard-of-health that most of the villagers in the Project area have been operating under since resettlement is of top priority. Villagers' productivity and morale has been significantly reduced due to poor health.
B. Water Supplies: To provide selected Project villages with easy-access sweet water. (This reduces the water-fetching labor of the women and provides an incentive to cultivate paddy rice rather than dry upland rice.)
a. Research and consider the changes in social
organization due to resettlement and the previous Vietnamese
hydro-electric dam project and how this might affect the
accountability of the villagers to monitor and maintain
their Project water system.




13
b. Determine if the water system will be utilized for
irrigation of paddy fields '. If there is potential paddy land, develop an appropriate action-plan to facilitate
this process.
c. Consider the financial resources and financial management
training that might be required for the villagers to
maintain the water system.
d. Determine whether, why and how all villagers are
benefiting from the water system. If necessary, implement
a just spread-of-benefits program.
e. Determine the potential use of this water system for cash
crop substitutes and nutritious kitchen gardens.
f. Determine if livestock are being provided with the sweet
water and whether this alters their mortality/illness!
lactation rates.
C. Education Facilities: To facilitate the establishment of new schools for selected Project villages.
a. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of basic
educational infrastructure in the Project area.
b. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage and monitor the education of female children until they have at least achieved functional literacy and numeracy
skills.
c. Research/implement suitable for training programs for
male and female adolescents and adults that provide skills
in: literacy, numeracy, business planning, break-even
points, inputs to outputs for profit, depreciation,
accounting, bookkeeping and market surveys.
D. Dam and Canal Construction: To assist in the implementation of paddy rice infrastructure (on appropriate land) for the Project communities.




14
a. A strengthened Project team/Lao go vernment dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of basic
paddy rice and irrigation extension services in the Project
area.
b. A Project team negotiation and monitoring plan that qualifies and quantifies the distribution of new paddy land amongst those households that are the most needy.
c. A Project team negotiation plan that stipulates the
basic time/labor inputs and sustainable accountability of
the (irrigation) water-users groups.
d. A gender-disaggregated study/understanding of the
communities' irrigation infrastructure time/labor inputs.
The Project communities all recognize that paddy rice cultivation gives higher yields and is less labor intensive than dry rice cultivation. They are extremely eager to have the Project team assist them in the establishment of new paddy land. However, expectations vary due to the lack of knowledge regarding how the project's heavy machinery might impact the area's topsoil. The project team should explain the reasons behind their appropriate use of heavy machinery in creating new paddy land.
E. Sawmilling Activities: To establish a skills based, localresource based income generating activity for the Project area. To provide the lumber-needed in various activities and the
Project center.
The consultant has observed and been informed of illegal lumber exploitation in the Project area. It is yet to be determined who are the persons most benefiting financially from this illegal activity. However, should it be determined by the Project team that the beneficiaries will be able to retain control of the sawmill, as well as generate legal income from it, the following recommendations should be researched and/or considered by the Project team:
a. The amount of exploitable forest land designated to each
village.
b. The potential just spread of sawmill income benefits
within each village and from village-to-village.




c. The current and future vested interests of those
groups/individuals that are not part of the Project's
beneficiaries pool that might abuse, interfere or compete
with the beneficiaries' sawmill income-generating
activities.
F. Irrigated Rice Cultivation: To assist the Project's communities in meeting their household rice consumption needs. To increase rice production to the point where it can generated income for the participants. To reduce the amount of current slash-and-burn dry rice cultivation.
a. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of basic
paddy rice extension services in the Project area.
b. Identify rice varieties and provide technical assistance
to introduce that require lower time/labor inputs than opium
poppy cultivation if rice is to be considered a potential
cash crop substitute.
c. Determine the market competition for rice given the
transport costs that the Project communities will have to
assume.
d. Facilitate the development of a rice marketing
infrastructure that can be sustained without Project
assistance.
e. The amount of potential paddy land designated to each
village and the reasons it is not currently being, cultivated, as well as the amount currently under
cultivation.
To further complicate this issue, the consultant asks that the Project team consider prioritizing the introduction of additional paddy rice for subsistence, surplus rice for sales and other cash crops as this requires enormous time/labor inputs from the participants. Also, the consultant reminds the Project team that the Hmong are not traditionally risk-takers regarding new agricultural systems and have few marketing skills.




G. Crop Diversification: To provide the Project's communities with alternative income-generating cash crops so that opium poppy cultivation/opium sales might stop.
a. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of coffee
technical assistance and marketing infrastructure for coffee
in the Project area.
b. Identify coffee varieties and provide technical
assistance to introduce coffee varieties that require lower time/labor inputs than opium poppy cultivation (if coffee is
to be considered a potential cash crop substitute).
c. Determine the market competition for coffee given the
transport costs that the Project communities will have to
assume.
d. Facilitate the development of a coffee marketing
infrastructure that can be sustained without Project
assistance.I
The consultant reminds the Project team that, in her opinion, there is limited income to be generated from agricultural production; this is due to the stresses already placed on the environment of the Project area. Please refer to the "Income Generation: The Need for Diversification" portion of this document.
H. Palaveck Agricultural Promotion Center: To provide the Project participants with tested, developed and promoted agricultural activities/seed/technical assistance that might further the establishment of diverse income-generating and nutritional agricultural resources.
a. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to
encourage continued support for the provision of basic
agricultural infrastructure in the Project area.
b. Identify agricultural produce that has market potential as well as potentially augments the nutritional intake of
the Project communities.




17
c. Identify and facilitate the establishment of diverse
income generating activities; i.e. wildlife production, that
can utilize the Palaveck Agricultural Promotion Center's
infrastructure. Provide appropriate skills training.
Facilitate the devlopment of a marketing infrastructure.
These activities might not earn an income equal to that of opium. However, these activities might be well received by
the villagers if they are less time and labor intensive than
opium poppy cultivation.
d. The gender-disaggregated time and labor inputs in which
experimental cultivation might be implemented.
I. Road Construction: To construct a Project road (to Nam Gnok); this road should encourage economic activity.
a. Dialogue with the Lao government to promote and finalize
their continuing service to maintain the Project road.
8. Technical Assitance Required: The consultant recommends that the Project team identify and supply consultants with the following expertise:
1. Wildlife production
2. Micro-enterprise/village credit union development




17a
2.0. CONSULTANT'S FORWARD
The content's of this document provide a socio-economic analysis and report on the following factors, includes significant-issues recommendations and specific details as to how the Project team might implement these recommendations:
1. Project activities; health services, water supplies, education facilities, road construction, dam and canal
construction, sawmilling activities, irrigated rice cultivation, crop diversification and development of an
agricultural promotion center at Palaveck;
2. The position and importance of opium cultivation in the
lives of farming families in the Project zone;
3. Income-generating activities in selected Project
villages;
4. Ways in which to strengthen the participatory process in
all Project activities.
The consultant gathered and analyzed data from seven Project villages; Phu That, Nam Kien, Palaveck, Ban Hom, Huay Si, Nam Gnok and Sam Sao. Other villages were, at that time, closed due to security issues. Discrepencies in data occur within the consultant's findings and other reports given the time constraints the consultant was operating under.
However, the villages visited by the consultant provide a wide variety of data regarding resettlement, disparity in incomes and sources of income generation, health and education issues, attitudes and perceptions of the Project and its relationship to Lao government services. Hmong cultural traits regarding the decision-making process, marriage, land tenure, entrepreneurship, kinship and social systems of organization provide a basis for common issues" analysis.




3.0. Introduction to Document Format
The following socio-economic research will be detailed in a fivepronged approach: village case-studies, issues common to all the village settlements, recommendations, a "tear-away" management tool for Project activities and a methodologies systems guide for further socio-economic data collection and analysis. This format should provide the Project management team the village-by-village socio-economic understanding and practical recommendations to implement a participatory process throughout the remainder of the Project.
The following document has been designed to be an easy access management tool. The five-pronged approach should provide the Project team with a document containing:
1. Information unique to each Project village
2. An analysis of socio-economic issues common to all the
Project villages with a particular focus upon the-socioeconomic role of opium poppy cultivation and sales
3. Practical recommendations which strengthen the
participatory process, Project sustainibility and economic
development within the Project area
4. A quick-read tear-away management tool that details
recommendations for all Project activities in the Project
area
5. Socio-economic survey questions and methodologies for
further data collection and analysis; to be utilized as
monitoring tool or rapid rural appraisal tool in new Project
villages.




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3.0. Introduction to Document Format
3.1. Village Case Studies: (Please refer to Section 5.)
The information detailed in the following village case studies was gathered through a modified socio-economic rapid rural appraisal process. This process included two days of observation in each village as well two-hour interviews with two or more key informants. The key informants were selected as they met the following criteria; they represent both genders, their village peers said that they were very knowledgeable regarding village social and economic systems of organization and the villagers hold them in high esteem.
The information presented in the case studies reflect hard data and the project villagers' opinions and expectations of the Project activities. The "soft" data, comprised of the villagers' opinions and expectations, is essential for raising the Project team's awareness of the villagers' expectations and commitment to the Project and the participatory process. Many of the villagers' opinions express their "feelings" as opposed to their real standard-of-life indicators. Those opinions that contradict my observations and other information sources I have prefaced with words such as "apparently" and "claim."
The case studies are intended to provide the Project team with insights regarding the beneficiaries'/participants' social and economic systems of organization. The Project team should review the case studies as a guideline to understanding the beneficiaries' expectations and socio-economic systems rather than attempting to fulfill all these expectations.
By understanding the beneficiaries' attitudes towards the Project, common ground communication might be established and thereby form an invaluable tool for Project sustainibility. Also, the systems of social and economic organization detailed in the case studies should provide a basis of understanding when negotiating community contributions of time and labor throughout the Project activities.




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3.0. Introduction to Document Format
3.2. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
(Please refer to Section 4.)
As the case studies are reviewed, the reader will note social and economic information both consistent and widely contrasting between each Project village. The uniqueness of each village group must be understood and considered during all Project implementation activities.
Issues common to all villages will be determined, outlined and detailed under separate headings. Furthermore, the basis for recommendations that follow each case study draw upon the social and economic characteristics that are common village-to-village. The consultant considers that by using these common characteristics to base her recommendations, the Project team will acquire formulae for implementation of economic activities that is both practical and feasible. Recommendations will address the following issues:
1. The Impacts of Resettlement: Analysis of the Changes in
Village Standard-of-living
2. Income Generating Potential: The Need for Diversification
3. Feasibility of the Cessation of Opium Poppy Cultivation:
The Financial/Labor/Time Costs of Addiction *
4. Feasibility of Substitute Cash Crops: Agricultural
Training and Marketing *
5. Land Tenure Systems
6. Village Social Systems: The Decision-making Process and
Crisis Control at the Villa9er and Household Level *
7. Village and Household Cash Flow and Expenditures **
8. The Hmong-UNFDAC Connection: The Ways and Means for
Participatory Development
To be combined.
** To be combined.




21
3.0. Introduction to Document Format
3.3. The "Tear-away" Management Tool: (general format)
(Please refer to Section 6.) TITLE OF ACTIVITY:
PURPOSE OF ACTIVITY:
DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY: CURRENT STATUS OF ACTIVITY: CURRENT OUTCOMES OF ACTIVITY: RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIVITIES TO IMPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS: INTERDEPENDENCE WITH OTHER PROJECT ACTIVITIES: COMMENTS/FREESTYLE:
3.4. Socio-economic Survey Questions and Methodology System:
(Please refer to Section 7.)
The survey designed and utilized for this socio-economic analysis should have continued use throughout the Project lifetime. The survey might be used for further data collection and analysis, as a monitoring tool for the participatory process or as a rapid rural appraisal tool in new Project villages.The methodology detailed is inseparate from the survey process, as well as the guidelines for data analysis.




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4.0. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
4.1. The-Impacts of Resettlement: Analysis of the Changes in
Village Standard-of-Living
The process of resettlement has reduced the standard-of-living, with the notable exception of Palaveck, of all the villages in the Project area. It is the expenses incurred during the resettlement process, the diminishing cultivation and sale of opium, and the increased intensity of slash and burn cultivation with its associated augmentation of time and labor inputs that have combined to create diminished economic returns for the lowland villagers. Furthermore, physical adjustment to the lowland environment has adversely affected the health of both livestock and human populations.
Poorer health in the lowlands is due to a number of causes. The highland Hmong villages have been traditionally isolated from one another on high mountain peaks. Human and livestock population density remained low, diminishing the spread of disease. Water resources were independent mountain streams that provided unpolluted drinking and bathing water. Cool high altitude climates did not enervate the villagers and livestock. Also, most highland villagers had never been exposed to malaria.
In the lowlands, two tributaries from the Nam Pang River, are shared by Palaveck, Nam Kien, Ban Hom and Phu That villages. The water is used for irrigation, as a potable water source, bathing, washing clothes, defecation and as a water resource for t 'he livestock. The population density of this four-village area is at least five times greater than when they lived in the highland si tes.
The Nam Pang River is constantly contaminated with the organic effluence of these four villages and the villagers consider it a disease vector. Increased livestock and human density has also significantly increased the spread of disease; livestock mortality rates are as high as 50% in many of the villages. This is an increase of 40% from the highland sites. Human mortality rates have also increased, particularly for infants and elders. Phu That lost 24 villagers in their first year of resettlement due to malaria.




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There are many forest resources, i.e. fruit, edible plants and medicinal plants that are no longer easily attainable in the lowlands. The lost nutritional sources have not been compensated for in the lowland diet. The lack of medicinal plants has led to g greater dependency upon costly, questionable-quality modern medicines.
In general, Project villagers claim that they are ill an average of five times a year in the lowlands, whereas in the highlands the average was once or twice a year. This poorer health not only affects the villagers' quality of life but also diminishes their economic and subsistence productivity.
The time and labor inputs required to meet subsistence levels are barely being met because of the impacts of poor health and increased slash and burn. The Project participants have accelerated their slash and burn cycle because of the sandier delta soils. These soils have high yeilds but are not fertile beyond two years. The highland soils are productive for a minimum of four years.
The most important factor in the reduced incomes of the Project area is the diminished cultivation and sales of opium. Opium not only provided the bulk of the cash needed to purchase basic household items and cloth but provided an annual savings that the hidden costs of resettlement have (absolutely) depleted. Most villagers claim that they are unable to save any income since resettlement and therefore do not have any financial security against crisis situations.
Furthermore, income from opium purchased the rice to meet household consumption needs. Rice productivity has not substantially increased for most lowland villagers (due to the lack of paddy cultivation). Many of these households can no longer afford to purchase supplementary rice and therefore subsist upon cassava once their rice is consumed. Households that have opium addicts cannot afford to purchase opium. They must continue to cultivate opium to meet the addicts' needs, yet do not cultivate a substantial cash crop because of Lao government dictates against opium sales. This is another drain upon household time and labor inputs.




24
Livestock is now a primary source of income. However, livestock numbers have reduced because of lowland climate and exposure to disease. Many families cannot afford to consume meat due to the limited numbers of animals and the cash potential livestock represent.
Social structures have undergone tremendous pressures during the resettlement process. In many cases, it is the village elders that transmit important cultural norms, myths and unique traditional skills. The elders have been particularly impacted by poor health and are less active in these duties.
The villages as a whole go through a great state of flux and scrambling as they try to meet their basic needs during the first few years of resettlement. During this transition period, meeting basic needs always takes priority over the culturally significant luxuries of story-telling ,etc. Furthermore, much of what the Hmong elders might have to share with the villagers is often less applicable or practical as the villagers have resettled into a substantially different environment and economic system.
The Project team cannot change the history of resettlement in the Project area. However, they should understand the social and economic disruptions resettlement has caused for the Hmong in Palaveck. Furthermore, if the above mentioned constraints are understood the Project team might specifically orient the Project activities to diminish the impacts of resettlement. I recommend that the Project team consider that their activities implementation must first facilitate a standard-of-living equal to what the Hmong enjoyed in their highland village sites. Particular attention must be given to cultural survival, income generation, livestock and human health care. Once this has been achieved, the Project team should facilitate an improved standard-of-living for the participants.
I recommend the Project team research and/or consider-the following issues when implementing Project activities:
1. The forces behind each village resettlement and the
attitudes of the villagers towards resettlement.




25
2. The reasons behind the changes or disintegration of traditional social processes; its impact on the morale, social organization and productivity of the Project communities.
3. The prioritization of Project activities to initially meet the participants' basic needs; a detailed participatory monitoring system that quantifies the meeting of these objectives. (Please refer to 4.6. for details of the participatory process.)
4. A strengthened Project team/Lao government dialogue to encourage continued support for the provision of basic infrastructure in the Project area.
5. An open Project team/Lao government dialogue regarding the impacts of resettlement upon the Hmong communities in
the Project area.




26
4.0. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
4.2. Income Generating Potential: The Need for DiVersification
The Hmong tribals who have settled in the Project area have two traditional activities that generate income; opium and cattle/ livestock. Opium continues to be an income generator, yet to a much lesser degree than when the Hmong lived in their highland sites. Livestock has now become the primary source of income for the Project area. However, livestock sales have not provided the income that opium sales once did. Households used to average 200,000 kip/year earnings from opium sales, the current average income earnings now reach 80,000 kip/household/year.
Village economic systems have been operating under an income deficit since resettlement to the lowland sites.Long-term savings have been spent to meet basic needs and to compensate for the expenditures associated with relocation. However, there are some households, mostly in Palaveck, that do have expendable income.
The lowland Palaveck areas are currently unable to provide the villagers with adequate paddy land, grazing land and land for food/fodder cultivation. The Hmong continue to exploit the highland and upland slope areas to meet their subsistence needs. Given the fragility and limits of the Palaveck valley ecosystem to sustain its human and livestock population, the need for income diversification that does not rely upon agricultural activity should be considered by the Project team.
Furthermore, the ecosystem should be viewed as a potential source of sustainable income. The possibilities for income generation that derive from an intact forest system are numerous, feasible and follow the Lao government dictates regarding slash and burn cultivation. Marketing studies in the following areas should be considered by the Project team:
1. Extractivism of medicinal plants from the forest for
national and international sale.
2. Wildlife production for food consumption and national and international sale; a consultant might be needed to provide
this technical assistance.
Other non-wood products that might be exploited include: bamboo, rattan, ginger and cardamom.




27
3. Social forestry to meet the fuel/fodder/timber needs of
the Hmong and outside markets.
4. Extractivism/cultivation of a variety of fruits specific
to the highland forest for sale in national and
international markets.
Other income generating activities might include the production and sale of a variety of secondary products made from primary forest products and the limited production and sale of traditional handicrafts (due to time and labor constraints).
Another key constraint that the Project team must consider when facilitating income generating activities is the formal education, both literacy and numeracy skills, that the majority of Project participants lack. Most villagers are unable to formulate accurate business plans, break-even points, inputs to outputs for profit or cost-in depreciation. They do not have accounting or bookkeeping skills; they do not know what the outside markets will pay for their products should they delete the middleman service.
They do understand quality issues and control as they traditionally sell agricultural products; particularly their coveted "Hmong" cattle. The villagers do not break down time and labor inputs when pricing a product; they only say its "too time consuming"* or "too hard"~ for the price they will receive.
The Project women will be particularly disadvantaged as their active participation in economic growth will be limited to labor inputs as almost all the Project women are both innumerate and illiterate. In fact, their social status might also decline if they are not active cash earners.
Education, particularly adult education in basic numeracy, could easily augment participation in economic development and reduce the risk of the villagers being cheated once they expand into larger market systems. Furthermore, there are a number of simple bookkeeping and accounting systems, and business planning skills that have been developed for illiterate entrepreneurs.




28
The consultant recommends that the Project team consider these business skill constraints and research/implement suitable training programs. This might well be essential to the long-term success of the Project's revolving loan fund activities.
1. A micro-enterprise consultant might be needed to provide
this technical assistance.




29
4.0. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
4.3. Feasibility of the Cessation of Opium Poppy Cultivation:
The Financial/Labor/Time Costs of Addiction
Feasibility of Substitute Cash-Crops: Agricultural
Training and Marketing
Before addressing these issues, let us consider the possibility of legal sales of opium to pharmaceutical companies. Indeed, the Project's and the Lao government's objective for the economic development of Palaveck valley would be successfully and quickly met if the Hmong were able to sell opium legally.
I recommend that the Project team raise this question with their Lao government counterparts as soon as it is possible. If there exist restrictions due to the current opium-legal-sales cartel, it might only be a matter of diplomatic politicking before Laos P.D.R. can cultivate opium for hard currency earnings.
Traditionally, opium was the foundation for the Hmong economic system in the Project area. Opium has been used in equal trade for the acquisition of household goods, the payment of debts, payment of labor (particularly when the laborers are addicts or have addicts in their households), and for conversion to cash and silver ingots as needed. The Project participants have preferred to maintain their opium caches as an internal banking system, the second preference being silver ingots and the third being cash.
Of the three currencies, cash has been used the least until resettlement. Cash continues to be the least preferred form of currency and is traded or earned or mobilized only when there is a distinct cash requirement for payment. Unlike opium and silver ingots, cash values vary and diminish with inflation and other economic fluctuations. Also, cash is often unwieldy to store and hide as the common note denominations in Laos are very small. Cash is primarily used for small household and modern medicine purchases.




30
The following socio-economic factors will continue to contribute to illegal opium sales:
1. There is no traditional Hmong product that provides the
same income given time and labor inputs.
2. There are no cash crop substitutes yet identified that
provide the same income given time and labor inputs. The
question of cash crop substitution in Laos P.D.R. is further
complicated by lack of marketing infrastructure, both
internally and for export.
3. There is no non-traditional product or income-generating
activity yet identified that provides the same income as
opium given time and labor requirements.
4. The Hmong in the Project area do not have to market their opium. Buyers come to their villages and purchase opium with
cash or exchange households items and cloth for the opium.
Therefore, opium has no transportation costs. 4
5. Every Project village has resident opium addicts. The
households with opium addicts will always choose to
cultivate opium to meet their addict's needs rather than purchase opium. Households with addicts cannot afford to
purchase opium. A significant portion of their agricultural
time and labor inputs revolve around opium poppy
cultivation. In fact, most (if not all) of these households
lessen this loss of potential income by cultivating
additional opium for sale.
6. Villagers continue to have opium be their "drug of
choice" for dysentery and fever. Dysentery and fever are common and often chronic medical problems in the Project
area.
7. Opium addicts are willing to arrest their habit, but have
not been given or had any access to treatments that might
cure them of their addiction. Until the addicts are cured of their addiction, they and their households will continue to
produce, consume and sell opium.




31
In summary, the consultant concludes that the Project team should research the following possibilities:
1. Determine and implement, or identify and coordinate a
treatment to cure opium addicts of their addiction.
2. Identify substitutes and provide technical assistance to
introduce cash crop substitutes with strong internal and
international markets. Facilitate the development of a
marketing infrastructure. These cash crops might not be able
to provide an income equal to that earned by opium sales,
but they might provide a supplementary income.
3. Facilitate the introduction of medicines for dysentery
and fever to replace the use of opium. This will also help
to reduce the possibility of more villagers becoming
addicted to opium.
4. Continue to provide health care training that includes
opium addiction awareness and hygiene habits thatreduce the
possibility of those illnesses that have traditionally been
treated with opium.
5. Identify and facilitate the establishment of diverse
income generating activities. Provide appropriate skills
training. Facilitate the development of a marketing
infrastructure. These activities might not earn an income
equal to that of opium. However, these activities might be
well received by the villagers if they are less time and
labor intensive than opium poppy cultivation.
6. The continuing impacts of resettlement upon the undermining of the villagers' physical well-being.




32
4.0. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
4.4. Land Tenure Systems
The land tenure systems in the Palaveck valley Project area are influenced by a variety of issues; district level decisions are petitioned and determined through population density/need -and personal connections; village level mediation and negotiation are based upon kinship ties, relative wealth and household need; and most importantly, the limited arable and paddy land availability. The consultant will now share one local history revolving around land disputes that clarifies the fluidity of the land tenure system in Palaveck valley.
The village of Nam Kien petitioned the District for arable land use; the District agreed with their petition. The headman's family then lay claim to the largest percentage of arable and paddy land in this designated area. Claim is enacted by the placement of bamboo crosses at the corners of the land mass. However, due to labor shortage within the family, 45% of this land lay uncultivated for a period of seven years. k
A poorer Nam Kien household felt that they needed the land to meet their subsistence needs. The poorer household proceeded to slash and burn two fields "owned" by the headman's family, prepare the soil and plant their rice, cassava and maize. After this labor was completed they approached the village council of elders to seek approval for their actions. However, the headman's family would not relinquish this area to the poorer family and put forth the idea of compensating with cash the labor and seed inputs of the poorer family.
The village council of elders were stymied as to the justness of this decision. True, the headman's family were willing to compromise, but in no way would a cash settlement reflect the loss of subsistence food for the poorer family. In fact, the cash settlement would not even purchase the poorer family's yearly rice consumption.




33
Also, there was some resentment in the village against the headman's family for having such a large portion of the arable land given the size of their household. Added to that resentment was the recognition of immediate need of the poorer family and the lack of agricultural activity or land use by the headman's family.
Land is an extremely important resource and the headman's family holds much power and authority in the village. However, there existed a village majority support for what the poorer family had done and so the final decision by the village elder council swayed in favor of the poorer family.
The village elder council determined that the poorer family would directly reap the benefits of this year's agricultural labor, but that the headman's family and the poor family must take their differences to the District for next year's resolution. The district decided to allow the poor family to cultivate one field for their own consumption and that the headman's family must pay the poor family wages for cultivating the second field.,
This story reveals the complexity of land tenureship at both the village and District level, the importance of village and District level mediation in settling disputes and the social values that are involved in land acquisition.
Arable and paddy land are the only household held lands used by the Project villagers. Grazing land and forest resource areas are shared by the village community at large and often encroach on boundaries with other village communities. However, although-the District might not ever designate land for these two purposes, the project communities are beginning to feel the pressures of increased human and livestock population, particularly with regards to grazing areas. In fact, two of the Project villages have considered petitioning the district for designated grazing areas to protect investment in livestock as an important source of income. the consultant anticipates that the competition for grazing land might cause friction within villages as well on a village-to-village level.




34
The consultant recommends that the Project team further research and understand the following issues:
1. The amount of lowland arable land designated to each
village.
2. The amount of potential paddy land designated to each
village and the reasons it is not currently being cultivated, as well as the amount currently under
cultivation.
3. The land mass and areas that are currently being grazed
by each village's livestock; particularly cattle.
4. The participation of village elder councils, other village committees and the district in mediating land
disputes.
5. The history of land disputes in each village and the
variety of settlements that might be unique to each village.




35
4 .0. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
4.5. Village Social Systems: The Decision-making Process and
Crisis Control at the Village and Household Level
Village and Household Cash Flow and Expenditures
The Hmong villagers in the Project area would not be classified as "risk takers". Decisions are made based on long-term observation of environmental conditions regarding agricultural activities; small-capital investment; low-risk, low-return income generating activities; societal norms regarding investments in education; kinship linkages and need regarding arable land distribution; loans based on need and kinship; marriage matches based on suitability, kinship and often romantic love; and crisis control based upon historical analogies.
Within the household, the decisions-making process does not vary, yet both genders have specific areas within which they make decisions; i.e. as in which gender might take responsibility for what activities and which gender decides what to buy bs sed upon the amount of a particular purchase.
Women tend the pigs and chickens and therefore decide the quantity of cassava and maize they need and when to plant to supplement the pigs' and chickens' scavenging diets. They take responsibility for the management of this livestock. Yet it is usually the men who decide which animals to sell or kill for home consumption.
Women tend to decide upon all household purchases and hold the money available for these purchases. Household items include soap, cloth, plates, cooking utensils, thread and needles. Women will also take the responsibility for the purchase of chickens, vegetable seed and herbal medicines. In general, women will make all small purchases that do not require travel to the outside markets in Muong Hom, Longxan or Vientiane.
Men will travel to these markets if necessary. Men purchase the water buffaloes, modern medicines, cattle, pigs, crop seed and farm tools. Both men and women will sell opium or trade it for household items and cloth.




36
Many of the Project villages have Lao government employees residing in them. These representatives are usually the only villagers that regularly purchase agricultural produce from the other villagers or pay for labor to work their fields.
In general, there is very little cash exchange within the village economic system. Households will trade needed items or at times take loans f or emergency purposes such as a medical illness. these loans have no time limit for repayment, but are often repaid within two opium harvests.
There are also the long-term debts taken on for marriages. These debts are not so much due to bride prices, but the costs incurred for the village marriage feast and the purchase of household items for the newlyweds.
In 1989, the Lao government decreed that bride prices be fixed at a little over one silver ingot. traditionally, the bride price ranged between three-to-five silver ingots. the recent discrepancy for bride prices is now made up through livestock "donations" to the bride's family. i
However, the bride price has always been a rather misleading concept given the close kinship ties that exist throughout the Project area. In fact, households will move the silver ingots on a circular loan basis whenever the grooms-to-be require the silver. In this fashion the silver ingots circulate from village household to village household and into other villages.
There is a great deal of marrying between the two major clans, Her and Lo; they make up more than 2/3's of the valley population. Women retain their birth families name upon marriage, whereas the offspring take the name of the husband's family. Women usually marry by the age of 15, men by the age of 18. Adolescents are commonly married by 13 years of age.




37
Premarital sex is acceptable for both the man and woman in Hmong society. However, once they are married, the woman is required to be sexually faithful, whereas the man can continue to have sex with unmarried women. I was told that married women often resent unmarried women for this reason and that this situation divides the village women into two coalitions, the married and unmarried women. I was told that the women actually fight with each other over the men, whereas the men fight over the unmarried girls.
There exist preadolescent engagements. However, both the promised man and woman can later decide not to marry the spouse that their parents chose for them. Sometimes the man will "kidnap" the woman; she can either be interested or not interested in marrying the man. If she is not interested, she returns to her birth home. Should two (unmarried) lovers not be allowed to marry, it is not uncommon for them to commit suicide.
A married couple stays for at least two years within the husband's family's home, providing additional labor for that family. When the young couple starts to have a number of children they build their own home and are usually designated separate fields; this depends upon the wealth of the family.
Men decide where each household will have what land. Men mediate and settle all household, household-to-household, village-tovillage and village-to-District disputes. Women settle the disputes of their children; they settle household disputes when the family men are absent.
Anything larger than a household dispute requires the formation of some council. At times, specific committees have designated responsibilities for the settlement of particular issues. At other times, a special council will be formed to address the issue; this happens most commonly with crisis control. The process for settlement is as follows.




38
Depending upon the nature of the disagreement, the whole village might gather for the hearing, or all the men and some high-status women or only some men. The parties that have vested interests in the outcome of the issue present their case to the council. The village council then openly discusses and debates the pros and cons of all parties cases. The council then allows the villagers observing the meeting to air their views.
Then there are two things that might happen: either the council takes an open vote to settle the issue immediately; or the council members return to their other duties to be later visited by the head of the council. The head of council then gathers the individual secret votes. Once all the secret votes are cast, the council reconvenes to state their decision.
If the vested parties are not happy with the council's decision, they might take the issue to the District level. If the council is unable to decide because of their own vested interests, they will recommend that the parties go to the District level for settlement of their dispute. k
The consultant recommends that the Project team research and understand the following issues:
1. The kinship linkages within each village that often
determine the outcome of an important decision.
2. The role of some women in some villages that take part in
decisions affecting the entire community; i.e. the
herbalist.
3. The respect given to the elderly in this traditional
society and how the interventions the Project will be
introducing might upset this balance of power.
4. The increasing importance of cash within the village
economic systems should the Project area develop
economically as is anticipated.




39
5. The role of the District mediation in the of village and village-to-village disputes and the nature of these disputes.
6. The nature and lack of women's cooperative skills due to the married and unmarried village division and how this will affect women's participation in Project activities.
7. The material items the villagers will purchase once more income is being generated.
8. The (limited) potential for innovative entrepreneurship given the traditions of the Hmong society and how this skill might be developed with regards to making best use of the Project's revolving loan funds.




40
4.0. Common Issues: The Basis For Practical Recommendations:
4.6. The Hmong-UNFDAC Connection: The Ways and Means for
Participatory Development
This portion of the document should be considered essential for Project implementation and sustainibility. It should be utilized hand-in-hand with all subsections of the "A "Tear-Away" Management Tool" portion of the document.
"Participatory development" has become a much bandied slogan in development documents. However, there is little participatory process built into most development projects as participation is not often recognized as a quantifiable indicator. Before outlining the importance of participatory development in the implementation and sustainibility of this Project, the consultant will reiterate an excellent project-local development story. This story is significant in that it reveals a local history of a development project and the evolution (as a result of this history) of the Project beneficiaries' attitudes towards participatory development.
Once this story has been reiterated, the consultant will detail a quantifiable and qualifiable analysis of said story; key issues are numbered. The consultant will then provide the project team with a "participatory template" with which to establish and monitor participatory development.
Before addressing the issues raised by participatory development, the consultant asked the informants of Palaveck and Nam Kien to detail the history of the Nam Pang hydroelectric dam located North of the village. This following history provided an excellent basis by which to approach the concept of participatory development.
THE STORY:
1. According to the informants, the dam was fully constructed without the assistance of local labor inputs. 2. Then, three local Hmong Lao government officials were trained to maintain the dam. 3. When the dam started to have its first power glitches the local maintenance crew was not well or adequately trained to address the problems. 4. They requested outside assistance and were told that there would be a fee charged.




41
5. At that point, none of the user communities had organized any system to share maintenance payments. 6. As long as the electricity worked sometimes, the communities let the situation ride. Eventually, the electricity worked less and less often, but by that time the costs to repair the dam were very high.
Also, the user communities still had not addressed the issue of shared maintenance costs. To date, the dam has not operated for two years and nothing has been done to rectify the situation by the user communities.
7. The lesson learned and shared with me by the Nam Kien and Palaveck informants was that they wished to receive adequate training to maintain Project activities once the Project is completed. 8. Furthermore,they wanted assistance from the Project in developing organizational and management skills; particularly for those activities that required financial organization.
ANALYSIS OF STORY:
1. "According to the informants, the dam was fully constructed
without the assistance of local labor inputs."
Are there many communities that will assume responsibility for infrastructure they take no part in creating?
Will not these communities further assume that the project people will provide all secondary related assistance needed to maintain the infrastructure?
These communities also lose the opportunity to take pride in and responsibility for improving their standard-of-living.
2. "Then, three local Hmong Lao government officials were
trained to maintain the dam."




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According to the informants, the government officials are paid whether or not they fulfill their assigned duties, therefore their dam maintenance was not particularly regular. Furthermore, it is clear that the project did emphasize the importance of regular monitoring.
The community should have been given some input in the decisionmaking process for choosing which community individuals would take on this responsibility. This choosing of government officials was another top-down decision that alienated the community from the dam implementation and sustainability.
Furthermore, those individuals chosen by the community should be paid (in kind) by the community when they inspect and maintain the dam. The maintenance crew should report to the village the dam status and explain what might need to be done.
3. "When the dam started to have its first power glitches the
local maintenance crew was not well or adequately trained to
address the problems."
This project either did not understand/research the capabilities of their maintenance crew, or else they expected the communities to depend upon outside assistance. If the project team expected the communities to depend upon outside assistance, then perhaps they did not take into account the relative lack of government services to the area.
In the consultant's opinion, they chose the wrong technology to implement as it could not be easily maintained given the skills training the project provided.
4. "They requested outside assistance and were told that there
.would be a fee charged."
The project communities were not informed as to the potential costs this infrastructure might incur and/or what they might be responsible for. If they were informed then clearly the project team did nothing to identify local village organizations that might carry out these responsibilities or create an appropriate organization.




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5. "At that point, none of the user communities had organized
any system to share maintenance payments."
The project team must have introduced the title of the organizational unit without facilitating its institutional capacity. Also, the project communities still expected the project or government to provide them with free service. After all, every other aspect of the dam had been free and did not involve the communities. Obviously, the communities did not understand the responsibility of the users' groups.
6. "As long as the electricity worked sometimes, the
communities let the situation ride. Eventually, the
electricity worked less and less often, but by that time the
costs to repair the dam were very high. Also, the user
communities still had not addressed the issue of shared
maintenance costs. To date, the dam has not operated for two
years and nothing has been done to rectify the situation by
the user communities."
Who decided that these communities had the priority neod of electricity? If one looks at the lack of concern on the part of the project communities, it is quite easy to see that electricity was not one of their top priorities; particularly as Nam Kien is far from rice sufficient. The "need" for electricity before the meeting of basic needs appears to be another centralized top-down decision.
7. "The lesson learned and shared with the consultant by the
Nam Kien an d Palaveck informants was that they wished to receive adequate training to maintain Project activities
once the Project is completed."
Although it remains unclear as to the true need for electricity, the beneficiaries are determined to not allow another infrastructural improvement lay outside their capacity of maintenance. This attitudinal change is an extremely important transformation regarding the participatory process.




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The Project team will benefit from the villagers' recognition of the importance of the villagers' role in the maintenance and sustainibility of the Project's activities. This attitude provides the basis for participant accountability. It' reveals their vested interest in improving their standard-of-living as opposed to accepting top-down decisions.
8. "Furthermore, they wanted assistance from the Project in developing organizational and management skills; particularly for those activities that required financial organization."
This recognition of the capabilities and limits of the Project communities is the basis for the Project team/participants collaboration to meet their shared objectives/agendas. The villagers have gone beyond merely requesting assistance to identifying in what specific skills/knowledge areas the Project team might assist them.
It can be said that the project team and the participants might now work as equals in the development process. Furthermore, the Project team should always request that the project communities identify their problems and make specific decisions regarding their inputs and those of the Project team by which to achieve common objectives. Note also that the decision-making process has become circular in form, decisions are made through feedback and the information sources which are most appropriate.




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PARTICIPATORY TEMPLATE
Project Communities 1-3, 5-8, 10-12
Project Team
1-4, 6-8, 10-11
THE PROJECT
Government Officials
1, 4, 6, 9-10
1. Problem Identification
2. Problem Solving
3. Formation of Village Project Committee
4. Assistance: Financial, Material, Organizational,
Training
5. Participants' Inputs: Time, labor, Financial
6. Circular Decision-Making Process
7. Implementation
8. Moni-toring
9. Follow-on Support 10. Circular Dialogue
11. Reassessment of Implementation Activities/Process
12. Complete Take-over of Project Activities




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The following information/opinions came from all village informants the consultant interviewed. How the following requests towards the development of a participatory process are going to be met is to be decided upon by the Projects team. The consultant suggests that the Project team keep these factors/recommendations in mind:
1. Villagers' free time to coincide with Project's schedule;
2. The need for regular dialogue (meetings) between
villagers/Project team/government officials;
3. The capabilities/limits of the Project team and
communities;
4. The need to prioritize and come to consensus when
implementing Project activities;
5. The importance of trust-building, regular dialogue and
shared cross-cultural experiences when building the
participatory process.I
6. The consultant recommends that the Project team identify possible Hmong art forms and/or stories/myths/proverbs that
might facilitate the understanding and communication
efforts of all involved parties.
7. The consultant recommends that the Project team identify those government officials that might be most supportive of
providing Project activities-linked extension services to
the Project area.
8. Government officials should be encouraged to regularly
visit the Project sites, talk to the beneficiaries and take
an active part in those decisions that will require later
Lao government support.
9. Develop a sound selection criteria with which to chose
villages/households that might most benefit from these
activities.
10. An action-plan that incorporates follow-on; i.e.
surveys, observation, and follow-through; i.e. benchmark
monitoring, activities.




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11. The role that the Village Project Committee will
assume in ascertaining a just delegation of
villagers'time/labor inputs to sustain these activities.
The following suggestions were made by the informants; the consultant agrees with them entirely:
1. The villagers said that there needed to be regular and
open communication between the Project team and the
villages. (There exists confusion regarding the villagers'
expectations and the actual Project activities and
objectives.
2. It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used
for all communications; both to break the language barriers
and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural
differences.
3. The villagers would be interested in organizing a
"Village Project Committee" that would facilitate
communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team
and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of
time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was
essential if there was to be full cooperation and support of
the Project by the participants.
The informants said that it would be very important to have equal representation by men and women on the Village Project
Committee. In general, the village women know much less
about the Project because they do not attend as many
Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings
are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the
women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong
until closing. The consultant observed that many of the
women had wandered off to attend to household chores before
the close-of-meetings. Furthermore, the village men do not
share many details of the meeting with the women.
4. The lesson learned and shared with the consultant by the
Nam Kien and Palaveck informants was that they wished to receive adequate training to maintain Project activities
once the Project is completed.




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Furthermore, they (Palaveck and Nam Kien informants) wanted assistance from the Project in developing organizational and management skills; particularly for those activities that required financial organization.
The consultant states that these attitudinal changes are an extremely important transformation regarding the participatory process. The consultant recommends that the Project team bring some of these informants to other village meetings so that they might share their understanding of participatory development.




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5.0. Socio-economic Village Case Studies
5.1. VILLAGE: Nam Kien
RESETTLEMENT HISTORY:
Nam Kien has two waves of resettlement groups within the village. In 1975, 20 families moved to Nam Kien so that they might have "a better life." Lowland Lao villages were then in the process of moving from the Nam Kien site to the Vientiane delta. The lowland Lao left established paddy/irrigated fields which were taken over by the Hmong settlers. This first wave Hmong settlers knew about the availibility of the paddy fields before they relocated.
The second wave of Hmong resettlers, a total of 26 households, arrived in Nam Kien in 1989. Thirteen of these families have since relocated to Borikhamsay Province due to lack of irrigated land.
Nam Kien is located on the Longxan to Palaveck road,.5 kilometers Southwest from the Project Center. Its elevation is approximately 400 meters above sea level. The villagers of Nam Kien resettled for the following reasons:
1. The Lao government wants highlanders to cease traditional
slash and burn agriculture or swiddening activities.
2. The Lao government wants highlanders to establish
permanent village sites and cultivate paddy rice instead of
opium.
3. A Lao government representative told the second group of
Hmong settlers that if they moved to the lowlands the Lao government would provide the villagers with paddy fields,
schools, health clinics and a road.
4. Insurgents greatly disrupted the villagers' agricultural
activities.




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5. The Lao government told the second group of Hmong settlers that they had to move down to the Muong Horn
lowlands.
IMPACTS OF RESETTLEMENT:
INCOME GENERATION:
When the villagers lived in the highlands, households earned an average of 150,000-200,000 kip/year from the sale of opium. Average yearly income varies greatly between the households; the average is 70,000 kip/year from sale of livestock and rice and government positions.
On the whole, the villagers believe that they enjoy a higher standard of living in the resettlement site. Upland produce is carried down to the village, thereby reducing labor; medical care is available if required; and their children can attend school through 8th grade at Palaveck.
However, the current "infant mortality rate of 50% is a high price to pay for an improved standard of living."
(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:
The informants claimed that all households stopped cultivating opium by 1989. Households used to earn approximately 150,000 200,000 kip/year (1 kg = 100,000 kip) from sales of opium. The opium earnings have traditionally been used as "security against misfortune," i.e.; food crop failure and catastrophic illness.
The villagers stopped cultivating opium because of the Lao government policy regarding opium sales and because the opium fields were a three-to-four hour walk upland from the current village site. Lowland Lao and Hmong opium buyers used to come to the village to purchase the opium. The cash from the opium sales was then converted into silver bars; this avoided income loss due to currency inflation.




Nam Kien has five opium addicts. In one household, two spouses are addicted to opium. All the addicts became addicted when they started to use opium as a medicine for chronic ailments. All the addicts are willing to receive treatment to cure them of their addiction.
The addicts are aware that their families suffer great financial hardship. As all Nam Khien households have stopped cultivating opium, precious income is spent to purchase opium to meet the addicts' needs. These unfortunate families are unable to purchase basic household needs and must rely on the charity of their extended families.
Paddy Rice Cultivation:
In 1989, the Lao government outlawed 'slash and burn activities. One result of this law is 50% diminished production of upland rice for the villagers of Nam Kien. Not one family meets their subsistence rice requirement through paddy rice cultivation. Thirteen households do not even have paddy fields. Pre, ious to the enactment of this legislation, upland rice provided many households. Households still depend upon these rice revenues. Therefore, the village has slipped into a cycle of selling its rice, not meeting its household rice consumption needs, borrowing rice and finally paying for the borrowed rice with income from livestock/garden vegetables and next year' s rice crop.
As a whole, the village is unable to meet its ri ce subsistence needs. Nam Kien is unique amongst the Project villages in that although rice is loaned, payment must be provided in cash and not in kind or labor.
Villagers know that paddy rice cultivation is less laborintensive and more productive than their traditional dry rice cropping. Villagers said that there is not enough available lowland (level/irrigatable lowland), tools or water buffaloes for every household to have paddy fields.




52
Nam Kien villagers do make use of cattle for plowing their paddy fields. They say that cattle are faster workers and withstand the heat better than the water buffaloes but that the water buffaloes can work longer and better in water. They said that cattle that do plowing become too thin and lose their market value.
Livestock:
The cattle and water buffaloes of Nam Kien are apparently thriving, but the pigs and chickens are not. "The chickens and pigs start dying when the rains come and/or whenever the seasons change. There have been numerous requests for veterinary assistance to the District level; as yet there has been no assistance.
Livestock disease has affected the village's level of meat consumption. Livestock, particularly cattle, continues to be sold as these sales provide the major income earnings for Nam Kien. However, the scarcity of the livestock means that households cannot afford to consume meat. Villagers said that there is always a market for livestock and believe that if they are able to increase their livestock population, they could meet subsistence needs and increase their income.
Villagers said that there is currently adequate grazing and pasture land for livestock expansion. However, there is concern that the Palaveck valley will continue to increase quickly in human and livestock population size because of the Lao government resettlement dictates. Should these populations continue to increase at the current rate of the resettlement influx, adequate grazing/pasture land is going to become a household-to-household and village-to-village survival issue.
Issues surrounding a new District law concern the women of Nam Kien. Livestock must now be kept in enclosures outside the village. Women must now provide the greater portion of their households' pig and chicken feed. The cutting of cassava and production of slops was very time/labor consuming work before this law was passed; now it will become even more of a burden. Previous to this law enforcement the pigs and chickens roamed freely scavenging the major portion of their food. The pigs also ate the village garbage.




53
Other Sources of Income:
The resident herbalist, shaman and Lao government officials are the only villagers that claim to earn any additional income other than livestock sales. Enumerators were recently recruited from Nam Kien (and other villages) to provide short-term assistance to the Project's Census and Key Informant Surveys. The enumerators earned 800 kip/day for their service.
Additional Losses and/or Benefits:
1. Villagers are no longer affected by insurgency
activities. They are better protected by the Lao government
now that they live near the Subdistrict center.
2. Near their highland village site wild fruit trees were
plentiful and an excellent nutritional source. Villagers do
not believe that fruit will grow well in the lowlands and
therefore have lost this forest resource.
EDUCATION:
Students attend school, 1st through 8th grade, at Palaveck. Students begin school at varying ages, usually between the ages of 8-10 for boys and 10-13 for girls. Many do not complete 8th grade until the age of twenty. Because students begin school at a late age, many cannot read and write or do basic mathematics until the age of fifteen.
This late start negatively affects the girls educational opportunities. Most girls are married at the age of 13 or 14 and consequently leave school to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, most girls leave school before they have gained any of the benefits and skills from education. This situation further reinforces the traditional belief of Hmong households that girls do not benefit from education; also, education is costly. Therefore, many families do not even bother to send girls to school.




54
In Namn Kien, the daughters of the Lao Women's Union representative (her husband is a District level official) attended only two years of school. Neither the daughters or mother are literate. All three of their sons attend school regularly and are expected to complete vocational training at Longxan as well. The eldest son has been encouraged to complete his university studies in Vientiane and the family hopes that he will find employment in another country.
The villagers' attitude towards formal education is positive but unformed. Villagers believe that "education improves the chances for good employment." Educated children are not expected to assist the community other than by sending money, if affordable, to their parents. Families expect educated children to go wherever they can find a well-paying job.
There is a shared concern that the villagers who go to Vientiane for further education have some initial difficulty adjusting to the lowland Lao culture. This adjustment period and natural affinity towards establishing friendships with other Hmong students does not serve them well when seeking jobs. The Hmong students often do not develop networks with the lowland Lao business and government communities, whereas many of their lowland Lao colleagues do.
HEALTH:
Villagers' health suffered during their first five years in the resettlement for the following reasons; first-time exposure to malaria, poorer quality drinking water and poor adjustment to the hotter lowland climate.
According to an informant, most of the children born during this time period died. She further stated that the current infant mortality rate is 50%. She also said that infant mortality rate at the highland village was 0% most years, some years it reached 5% and that some families never experienced infant mortality.




55
Many households cultivate 10 medicinal plants in their home gardens; more than 30 medicinal plants can be collected from the forest nearby. Villagers used to go to the clinic in Palaveck (1975-1989). The clinic used to provide free medical service and medicines. Villagers now purchase "modern medicines" cheaply at the market in Longxan or seek the services of the village shaman and herbalist. If illness cannot be cured, it is not uncommon for the patients to die at home. Many villagers seek medical treatment from the Project doctor.
River water is more available at the new site. Therefore, people bathe and wash their clothes more often. There is also a great deal more "standing water" at the village site; the villagers believe the standing water might be a factor in the health problems.
VILLAGERS' UNDERSTANDING OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Many villagers do not understand the objectives of the Project. They have seen the construction of the road and the Project center. Some villagers say the "the Project team uses the road and that is to bring supplies up from Vientiane." The villagers also know about the health training, because there are some women from Nam Kien attending the training course, and some details regarding the sewing machines.
The village men would like to be paid laborers for the Project's remaining construction. Villagers do understand that their labor contribution is providing the village with a water supply.
The villagers have discussed the coffee nursery and hope that it will provide an adequate cash crop substitute (for opium). They believe that if they grow coffee the Project will purchase it from them at 400kip/kilogram." (This is not true.) Therefore, they would like to know "if they need to buy the coffee seed or will the Project continue to provide it for free," and "will the Project teach them how to grow high quality coffee?"~




55
The notion of exploiting the road through other business endeavors has also been discussed. The villagers vaguely wished to know if the Project believed that horses would provide adequate transportation for their agricultural products. Aside from agricultural product demands, they believe that there is strong market for bamboo and would like to know if the Project could help them to transport bamboo to Vientiane. In fact, the Project team has offered free transport of bamboo for sale in Vientiane, but the villagers have not recieved their "export permit"~ from the District to sell bamboo.
The villagers also said that since the road was constructed, lowland Lao have arrived in the Project area to set up small shops. The Hmong villagers wish to provide this service for themselves but do not have the capital to begin such endeavors.
Villagers' expectations of what the Project might provide them are uninformed. In general, the villagers believe that the Project will "help to motivate and train the villagers." Informants said that the villagers are unclear in their concept of what constitutes community contribution; they requested that the Project team clarify this issue.
In general, the village women know much less about the Project because they do not attend as many Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong until closing. The consultant observed that many of the women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-of-meetings. The informants stated that the village men do not share many details of the meeting with the women.
VILLAGERS'ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROJECT (PARTICIPATION):
Before addressing the issues raised by participatory development, the consultant asked the informants to detail the history of the Nam Pang hydroelectric dam located North of the village. This following history provided an excellent basis by which to approach the concept of participatory development.




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According to the informants, the dam was fully constructed without the assistance of local labor inputs. Then, three local Hmong Lao government officials were trained to maintain the dam. When the dam started to have its first power glitches the local maintenance crew was not well or adequately trained to address the problems. They requested outside assistance and were told that there would be a fee charged.
At that point, none of the user communities had organized any system to share maintenance payments. As long'as the electricity worked sometimes, the communities let the situation ride. Eventually, the electricity worked less and less often, but by that time the costs to repair the dam were very high. Also, the user communities still had not addressed the issue of shared maintenance costs. To date, the dam has not operated for two years and nothing has been done to rectify the situation by the user communities.
The lesson learned and shared with me by the Nam Kien informants was that they wished to receive adequate training to maintain Project activities once the Project is completed. Furthermore, they wanted assistance from the Project in developing organizational and management skills; particularly for those activities that required financial organization.
The villagers said that there needed to be regular and institutionalized communication between the Project team and the village. There exists confusion regarding the villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities and objectives.
It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used for all communications; both to break the language barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural differences.
The consultant asked if the villagers would be interested in organizing a "Village Project Committee" that would facilitate communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was essential if there was to be full cooperation and support of the Project by Nam Kien. The informants said that it would be very important to have equal representation by men and women on the Village Project Committee.




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VILLAGERS' REQUESTS FOR PROJECT ASSISTANCE: You will note that despite the expressed understanding of participatory development, the villagers of Nam Kien have high expectations of "hand-outs."
1. Would the Project bulldozers level land to create paddy
fields?
2. Would the Project assist them in expanding their
irrigated farm land?
3. Would the Project give their village a health clinic and
prenatal health care training?
4. Would the Project provide the village with a primary school so that the children do not have to walk so far?
5. Would the Project provide them with a preschool?
6. Would the Project help the villagers identify markets and
develop products for these markets?
7. Would the Project identify and train villagers in a
(opium) substitute cash crop?
8. Would the Project provide them with a market building?
9. Would the Project provide a year-round road?




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5.0. Socio-economic Village Case Studies
5.2. VILLAGE: Palaveck
RESETTLEMENT HISTORY:
Palaveck was established in 1979. The so-called "King of Palaveck" was a high ranking General in the Communist revolution activities. One result of this history is that Palaveck has enjoyed a variety of Lao government-supported infrastructures (that are no longer functioning); a school that goes through 8th grade, a medical clinic and first choice for paddy land and village site in the Project area. The King continues to have strong links and support from the government.
The villagers of Palaveck moved from their highland site to Palaveck to cultivate paddy rice. Palaveck is located at the end of the Done Hom to Palaveck road one kilometer Northeast of the Project Center. Its elevation is approximately 450 meters above sea level.
IMPACTS OF RESETTLEMENT:
INCOME GENERATION:
When the villagers lived in the highlands, households earned an average of 150,000 200,000 kip/year from the sale of opium. Average yearly income varies greatly between the households; the average is 90,000 kip/year from sale of livestock, lumber and government positions.
However, this average figure does not represent the disparity of earnings. Many households earn as much or more income as they did from opium sales, whereas other households are earning as low as 20,000 kip/year. Approximately 10% of the adult labor force rent their labor to those farmers that have government positions and salaries. On the whole, the villagers believe that they enjoy a higher standard of living in the resettlement site. Upland produce is carried down to the village, which requires less effort than carrying produce uphill; medical care is available if required; and their children can attend school through 8th grade at Palaveck.




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(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:
The informants claimed that all households stopped cultivating opium by 1990. Most households stopped cultivating opium by 1985. Households used to earn approximately 150,000 200,000 kip/year (1 kg = 100,000 kip) from sales of opium. The opium earnings have traditionally been used as "security against misfortune," i.e.; food crop failure and catastrophic illness.
The villagers stopped cultivating opium because of the Lao government policy regarding opium sales and because the opium fields were a three-to-four hour walk upland from the current village site. Lowland Lao and Hmong opium buyers used to come to the village to purchase the opium. The cash from the opium sales was then converted into silver bars; this avoided income loss due to currency inflation.
Palaveck has 12 opium addicts. All the addicts became addicted when they started to use opium as a medicine for chronic ailments. All the addicts are willing to receive treatment to cure them of their addiction.
The addicts are aware that their families suffer great financial hardship. As all Palaveck households have stopped cultivating opium, precious income is spent to purchase opium to meet the addicts' needs. These unfortunate families are unable to purchase basic household needs and must rely on the charity of their extended families.
Paddy Rice Cultivation:
The villagers of Palaveck learned how to cultivate paddy rice through trial-and-error; it took them two years to achieve good production levels. Lao government extension agents did provide some training in paddy rice cultivation. Paddy rice is cultivated by 95% of the households in Palaveck. The remaining 5% of the households cultivate upland rice, a half-to-one hour walk from the village. As a whole, the village is able to meet its rice subsistence needs. There is no rice sold for income.
Some families do not have enough peoplepower, tools, or a water buffalo to work their entire paddy land, yet they do not share their paddy land with extended family. These are the families that usually have the burden of an opium addict as well, which is




61
a significant factor as to why they are unable to afford tools, labor and water buffalo. The poorer households, approximately 10% of the village population, subsist on maize and cassava once their rice is consumed rather than buying or borrowing rice from clan members.
Villagers know that paddy rice cultivation is less laborintensive and more productive than their traditional dry rice cropping. Villagers said that there is not enough available lowland (level/irrigatable lowland) for every household to have paddy fields. Palaveck villagers only make use of water buffaloes for plowing their paddy fields.
Livestock:
The livestock of the Palaveck villagers have thrived once they adjusted to the lowland climate. Villagers average the same income from sale of livestock as they did from opium sales. It is common for middlemen from Longxan to purchase the cattle for sale in Vientiane. Villagers do not know what the exact market rate is for their cattle in Vientiane and therefore do not know how much profit is earned by the middlemen. There are also some middlemen who come directly from Vientiane; these middlemen offer between 5,000-8,000 kip more per head of cattle.
Villagers said that there is always a market for livestock and would like to increase their number of cattle; there are currently 200 head. They think that this could be done if there was a veterinary extension service and vaccines provided to the Palaveck valley area. They did have veterinary extension services until 1988, but have not received any vaccines since then.
Villagers said that there is currently adequate grazing and pasture land, but probably not enough for livestock expansion. There is concern that the Palaveck valley will continue to increase quickly in human and livestock population size because of the Lao government resettlement dictates. Should these populations continue to increase at the current rate of the resettlement influx, adequate grazing/pasture land is going to become a household-to-household and village-to-village survival issue.




62
Issues surrounding a new District law concern the women of Palaveck. Livestock must now be kept in enclosures outside the village. Women must now provide the greater portion of their households' pig and chicken feed. The cutting of cassava and production of slops was very time/labor consuming work before this law was passed; now it will become even more of a burden. Previous to this law the pigs and chickens roamed freely scavenging the major portion of their food. The pigs also ate the village garbage and occasionally consumed home gardens. The informants said that the villagers plan on following the new dictate only during the growing season and will release the pigs to scavenge during the dry season.
Other Sources of Income:
The resident herbalist, shaman, Lao government officials and their paid laborers are the only villagers that claim to earn any additional income other than livestock and lumber sales. Enumerators were recently recruited f rom Palaveck (and other villages) to provide short-term assistance to the Project's Census and Key Informant Surveys. The Enumerators earned 800 kip/day for their service.
EDUCATION:
Students attend school, 1st through 8th grade, at Palaveck. Students begin school at varying ages, usually between the ages of 8-10 for boys and 10-13 for girls. There are between 20 and 25 annual graduates; approximately 30% continue onto highschool in Lang Sane. Many do not complete 8th grade until the age of twenty. Because students begin school at a late age, many cannot read and write or do basic mathematics until the age of fifteen.
This late start negatively affects the girls educational opportunities. Most girls are married at the age of 13 or 14 and consequently leave school to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, most girls leave school before they have gained any of the benefits and skills from education. This situation further reinforces the traditional belief of Hmong households that girls do not benefit from education. Therefore, many families do not even bother to send girls to school. Furthermore, in 1988, the Lao government stopped enforcing mandatory school attendance; girls attendance has subsequently dropped by approximately 70%.




63
One informant, the 7th and 8th grade Social studies teacher, married at 15 years of age, after attending only two years of school. However, her husband, a high school graduate and government official, encouraged her to complete her education. She is one of the only "working mothers" in Palaveck and the Project area. She says that the villagers scrutinize her home to ascertain whether or not she is fulfilling all her traditional duties as wife and mother. She believes that she provides a good role model for school-aged girls, but that traditional beliefs concerning girls' education are very difficult to overcome. However, she also believes that when the Project area does open
-up to more economic opportunity then the Hmong realize the importance of numeracy and literacy skills for business management.
The villagers' attitude towards formal education is positive but unformed. Villagers believe that "education improves the chances for good employment." Educated children are not expected to assist the community other than by sending money, if affordable, to their parents. Families expect educated children to ago wherever they can find a well-paying job.
There is a shared concern that the villagers who go to Vientiane for further education have some initial difficulty adjusting to the lowland Lao culture. This adjustment period and natural affinity towards establishing friendships with other Hmong students does not serve them well when seeking jobs. The Hmong students often do not develop networks with the lowland Lao business and government communities, whereas many of their lowland Lao colleagues do.
HEALTH:
Villagers' health suffered during their first three years in the resettlement for the following reasons; first-time exposure to malaria, poorer quality drinking water and poor adjustment to the hotter lowland climate. The infant mortality rate is approximately 4%.
Palaveck is unique in that the villagers turn to "modern medicines" for initial treatment; if that fails they seek healing from the herbalist or shaman. The village herbalist does not cultivate any medicinal plants but gathers them (about 30 varieties) from the forest as needed. Villagers used to go to




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the clinic in Palaveck (1975-1989). The clinic had provided free medical service and medicines. Villagers now purchase modern medicines" cheaply at the market in Longxan. If illness
cannot be cured through these means it is not uncommon for the patients to die at home. The Project doctor also provides free medical service and medicines to those villagers who seek her assistance.
It is curious to note that although many Palaveck households have adequate disposable income for necessary health care, villagers do not mobilize their resources and transportation quickly enough to save lives.
Some villagers would like to start a small middleman business providing modern medicines. They would like to go down to Vientiane and purchase a variety of medicines that are difficult to find in the Muong Hom market and make them available (at a profit) to villages in the Project area.
Water is more available at the new site. Therefore, people bathe and wash their clothes more often. There is also a great deal more "standing water" at the village site; the villagers believe the standing water might be a factor in the health problems. The Project team gave assistance in providing sweet water to Palaveck.
VILLAGERS' UNDERSTANDING OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Many villagers do not understand the objectives of the Project. They have seen the construction of the road and the Project center. The villagers also know about the sewing machine activity, coffee nursery and the health training (there are some women from Palaveck are attending the health course).
Villagers' expectations of what the Project might provide them are uninformed. The villagers believe that the Project will "help to motivate and train the villagers."
In general, the village women know much less about the Project because they do not attend as many Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong




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until closing. The consultant observed that many of the women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-ofmeetings. The informants said that the village men do not share many details o-f the meeting with the women.
VILLAGERS' ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROJECT (PARTICIPATION):
Before addressing the issues raised by participatory development, the consultant also asked the Palaveck informants to detail the history of the Nam Pang hydroelectric dam located Southwest of the village. This following history provided an excellent basis by which to approach the concept of participatory development.
According to the informants, the dam was fully constructed without the assistance of local labor inputs. Then, three local Hmong Lao government officials were trained to maintain the dam. When the dam started to have its first power glitches the local maintenance crew was not well or adequately trained to address the problems. They requested outside assistance and were told that there would be a fee charged.I
At that point, none of the user communities had organized any system to share maintenance payments. As long as the electricity worked sometimes, the communities let the situation ride.
Eventually, the electricity worked less and less often, but by that time the costs to repair the dam were very high. Also, the user communities still had not addressed the issue of shared maintenance costs. To date, the dam has not operated for two years and nothing has been done to rectify the situation by the user communities.
The lesson learned and shared with the consultant by the Palaveck informants was that they wished to receive adequate training to maintain Project activities once the Project team completes their ass istance.
The villagers said that there needed to be regular and institutionalized communication between the Project team and the village. There exists confusion regarding the villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities and objectives.
It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used for all communications; both to break the language barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural differences.




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The consultant asked if the villagers would be interested in o organizing a "Village Project Committee" that would facilitate communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was essential if there was to be full cooperation and support of the Project by Palaveck. The informants said that it would be very important to have equal representation by men and women on the Village Project Committee.
VILLAGERS' REQUESTS FOR PROJECT ASSISTANCE: The villagers had no requests for specific Project assistance. They had just received latrines, a women's center and subsidized sewing machines.




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5.0. Socio-economic Village Case Studies
5.3. VILLAGE: Phu That
RESETTLEMENT HISTORY:
In 1989, the village of Phu That moved from the highlands to its current site on the Project road to Nam Gnok, six kilometers Northeast of the Project center. Phu That is approximately 400 meters above sea level. Phu That resettled for the following reasons:
1. The Lao government wants highlanders to cease traditional
slash and burn agriculture or swiddening activities.
2. The Lao government wants highlanders to establish
permanent village sites and cultivate paddy rice instead of
opium.
3. A Lao government representative told them to that if they
moved to the lowlands the Lao government would provide the villagers with paddy fields, schools, health clinics and a
road.
4. Insurgents greatly disrupted the villagers agricultural
activities, burnt down their homes and threatened to kill
them.
Phu That was initially established on the mountain slopes between the original village site and the current Phu That. Phu That moved to its current site in 1989 after a malaria epidemic killed 24 villagers.
IMPACTS OF RESETTLEMENT
INCOME GENERATION:
Phu That believes itself to be "one of the poorest if not the poorest" resettlement villages in the immediate Project area. Each household earns approximately 10,000 kip/year.




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(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:
The informants claim but did not expalin why all villagers stopped cultivating opium when they resettled. Households used to earn approximately 200,000 kip/year (1 kg = 100,000 kip) from sales of opium. The opium earnings have traditionally been used as "security against misfortune," i.e.; food crop failure and catastrophic illness.
Phu That has spent almost all of its combined and accumulated savings from prior opium sales during the process of resettlement. Furthermore, Phu That has not yet found any incomegenerating substitute activity that generates income as well as opium did.
There are two families that each have an opium addict. Both addicts are willing to receive treatment to cure them of their addiction. The addicts are aware that their families sLtffer great financial hardship as they must now purchase opium to meet their addict's need. These two families are the poorest in the village because their disposable income is spent on opium as opposed to household items, schooling, clothes, extra rice and medicine. They will "never be able to purchase paddy land even if it becomes available."
Paddy Rice Cultivation:
Phu That villagers understand that paddy rice cultivation is less labor-intensive and more productive than their traditional dry rice cropping. However, only four households have irrigated rice paddy fields.
Villagers said that there is not enough available lowland (level/irrigatable lowland) for every household to have paddy fields. Other constraints include the lack of available income to purchase water buffaloes to plow the paddy fields, buy tools or pay 25,000 kip for a rai of paddy field.
The remaining households continue to cultivate dry rice in the highlands, approximately an half-hour to one-hour walk from the village. Phu That does not earn any income from rice cultivation. In addition, villagers must sell livestock to pay for their subsistence rice needs as they do not produce enough rice for home consumption.




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Livestock:
Phu That lost many animals (cattle, pigs, chickens and goats) to disease during their resettlement process; they believe that this loss is due to disease and maladjustment to the lowland environment. The animals that currently remain in the village area are not thriving.
In response to these problems, villagers have fenced-in most of their cattle in the highland forests, a two-hour walk from the village. Families share labor responsibilities for these combined household herds.
Due to lack of daily protection, Phu That has lost two cattle to .1 small tigers." However, villagers noted that since the cattle have been back in the highland forests, their weight has increased significantly and the calves are thriving.
Phu That is currently earning income from the sales of livestock, particularly cattle'. Because they have no savings left, much of their livestock has been sold to meet basic needs.
However, villagers said that there is always a market ior livestock and believe that if they are able to increase their livestock population, they could make "as much money as they did from opium sales or more."
In fact, Phu That has begun village discussions to organize a cattle cooperative to better manage the forest-placed cattle. They believe that there is adequate slope-land fodder resources to raise 400-500 head of cattle.
Other Sources of Income:
A varying number of villagers earn 800 kip/day from intermittent construction work (of houses) at the Project site. Many adults rent their labor to farmers at peak agricultural-activity seasons. The farmers who can afford to pay labor are also government officials with a salaried income; these paying farmers live in the villages of Palaveck, Nam Kien and Ban Hom.




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Additional Losses and/or Benefits:
1. There are a number of forest resources that can no
longer be exploited at the new site. They include a variety
of fruit, edible plants, medicinal plants and easy game. The villagers have not found substitute resources at the lowland
site.
2. Villagers are no longer impacted by insurgency
activities. They are better protected by the Lao government
now that they live near the District center.
3. In general, villagers are less productive in the lowlands
than they were in the highlands because of illness.
EDUCATION:
Students attend school, 1st through 8th grade, at Palaveck. Students begin school at varying ages, usually between the ages of 8-10 for boys and 10-13 for girls. Many do not complete 8th grade until the age of 20. Because students begin school at a late age, many cannot read and write or do basic mathematics until the age of 15.
This late start negatively affects the girls' educational opportunities. Most girls are married at the age of 13 or 14 and consequently leave school to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, most girls leave school before they have gained any of the benefits and skills from education. This situation further reinforces the traditional belief of Hmong households that girls do not benefit from education. Therefore, many families do not even bother to send girls to school.
The villagers' attitude towards formal education is positive but unformed. There is no clear idea how education/vocational skills can benefit the community; they hope that "education will improve the standard-of-living of their children." Educated children are not expected to assist the community other than by sending money to their parents. Families expect educated children to go wherever they can find a well-paying job.




71
There is a shared concern that the villagers who go to Vientiane for further education have some initial difficulty adjusting to the lowland Lao culture. This adjustment period and natural affinity towards establishing friendships with other Hmong students does not serve them well when seeking jobs. The Hmong students often do not develop networks with the lowland Lao business and government communities, whereas many of their lowland Lao colleagues do.
HEALTH:
Villagers' health has suffered for the following reasons; firsttime exposure to malaria, poorer quality drinking water, poor adjustment to the hotter lowland climate, increased population density and loss of many traditional medicinal plants. In fact, most of the villagers' savings have gone to purchase modern medicines.
Villagers claim that before resettlement they never used to need to buy any medicine as their illnesses could be cured with herbal medicines and opium. Previously, more than 30 medicinal plants were at their disposal; they are currently able to cultivate or find only six or seven medicinal plants. Apparently, the medicinal plants require the coolness, rainfall and humidity levels found in the uplands.
Due to lack of earnings/savings, families are no longer able to pay for modern medicine or the transport of ill villagers to doctors. However, the Project team has provided transportation for critically villagers. Ill individuals are treated first by the shaman, if they remain ill the herbalist will also be sought. (The herbalist has been ill since the resettlement; she is not as active or capable as when she lived in the uplands. For example, she needs someone to tend her herbal garden.) It is not uncommon for critically ill individuals to die at home. The Project doctor provides free medical services and medicines to those villagers who seek her assistance.
River water is more available at the new site. Therefore, people bathe and wash their clothes more often. There is also a great deal more "standing water" at the village site; the villagers believe the standing water might be a factor in the health problems.




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VILLAGERS' UNDERSTANDING OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Many villagers do not understand the objectives of the Project. They know that the project built a road and were told that they would be able to purchase agricultural tools at a reduced price from the Project.
In general, the village women know much less about the Project because they do not attend as many Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong until closing. The consultant observed that many of the women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-ofmeetings. The informants said that the village men do not share many details of the meeting with the women.
The Project road gives the villagers "great hope that now the rest of the promises that the Lao government gave them will be fulfilled." They also said that it will be easier to transport agricultural produce to markets and easier for the middlemen to come and purchase any goods they might begin to produce.
VILLAGERS' ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROJECT (PARTICIPATION):
The villagers said that there needed to be regular and institutionalized communication between the Project team and the village. There exists confusion regarding the villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities and objectives.
It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used for all communications; both to break the language barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural differences.
The consultant asked if the villagers would be interested in organizing a "Village Project Committee" that would facilitate communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was essential if there was to be full cooperation and support of the Project by Phu That. The informants said that it would be very important to have equal representation by men and women on the Village Project Committee.




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They also mentioned that "the current level of trust and confidence in the Project's objectives/activities were low." This was further clarified by the explanation that there had been many promises for economic and infrastructural growth (in the Palaveck valley) from the Lao government; the promises still had not been fulfilled. Note that the beneficiaries confuse the separate institutional identities of the Project and Lao government.
VILLAGERS' REQUESTS FOR PROJECT ASSISTANCE:
1. Would the Project bulldozers level land to create paddy
fields?
2. Would the Project build a road up to their old village
site so that they can have easier access to forest resources
and have an upland cattle cooperative?
3. Would the Project give their village a health clinic?
OTHER ISSUES RAISED:
The headman summarized three major issues at the end of the interview. It is interesting that he said he represented the entire Hmong population in the Project area regarding these issues as opposed to the Hmong of. Phu That village. The issues raised are as follows:
1. In the highlands, the Hmong people did not require a
formal education to make good money and be successful
farmers.
2. In the highlands, the Hmong people were healthy (good
weather being one of the factors). When medicine was
required, they had free access to many medicinal plants and
opium. In the lowland settlement, Hmong people are often
ill. When they are ill they must purchase modern medicines because it is difficult to find their traditional medicinal
plants.
3. The Hmong people enjoyed a significantly higher standardof-living in the highlands than in the lowland
settlements.
The headman said this lowland settlement has the same architectural characteristics as temporary highland villages; a permanent Village might have cement floors and tin roofing.




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5.0. Socio-economic Village case Studies
5.4. VILLAGE: Ban Hom
-RESETTLEMENT HISTORY:
In 1975, the current residents of Ban Hom village were told that they must leave their highland home by the Lao government. Ban Hom is located on the Project road to Nam Gnok, 6.5 kilometers Northeast from the Project Center. Its elevation is approximately 450 meters above sea level. Ban Hom was established in 1976; all families currently residing in Ban Hom moved there by 1980. Many of the Ban Hom families lived temporarily a Maung Ao or Nat Po. They resettled in Ban Hom because insurgents interrupted their livelihood activities in Maung Ao and it was too hot in Nat Po. The villagers of Ban Hom resettled for the following reasons:
1. The Lao government wants highlanders to cease traditional
slash and burn agriculture or swiddening activities.
2. The Lao government wants highlanders to establish
permanent village sites and cultivate paddy rice instead of
opium.
3. A Lao government representative told them that if they
moved to the lowlands the Lao government would provide the villagers with paddy fields, schools, health clinics and a
road.
4. Insurgents greatly disrupted the villagers' agricultural
activities.
IMPACTS OF RESETTLEMENT:
INCOME GENERATION:
When the villagers lived in the highlands, households earned an average of 150,000 200,000 kip/year from the sale of opium. Households are currently earning an average of 80,000 100,000 kip/year from sale of livestock.
(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:




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(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:
All household, except for those with opium addicts, stopped cultivating opium by 1989. Households used to earn approximately 150,000 200,000 kip/year (1 kg = 100,000 kip) from sales of opium. The opium earnings have traditionally been used as 11 security against misfortune," i.e.; food crop failure and catastrophic illness.
The villagers stopped cultivating opium because of the Lao government policy regarding opium sales and because the opium fields were a three-to-four hour walk upland from the current village site. Lowland Lao and Hmong opium buyers used to come to the village to purchase the opium. The cash from the opium sales was then converted into silver bars; this avoided income loss due to currency inflation.
It was unclear as to how many families in Ban Hom had opium addicts. All the addicts became addicted when they started to use opium as a medicine for chronic ailments. All the addicts are willing to receive treatment to cure them of their addiction.
One addict said that he requires opium every day so that he might support his family's agricultural activities with some physical inputs. If he does not smoke opium, he cannot work at all. He sold opium in Vientiane until the police caught and fined him (his family had to pay the fine). He said it is now too risky to sell opium.
The addicts are aware that their families suffer great financial hardship. The time and labor consumed by opium cultivation to the meet the addicts' needs are lost to other agricultural practices. These families are the poorest in the village because their opium poppy cultivation continues to be time-consuming without providing any financial gains or increased subsistence.
Villagers are keenly interested in finding a substitute cash crop. Four households have said that if the Project's coffee nursery is successful, they would risk cultivating coffee for profit. The herbalist said that she would purchase 100 plants for trial. However, villagers do not know what the coffee market is and insist upon having this information before taking this risk.




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Paddy Rice Cultivation:
Of the 50 households residing in Ban Horn, 15 have paddy rice fields and the remainder cultivate upland rice that is located 30 minutes-to-an hour's walk from the village. All 15 paddy cultivating households own and use water buffaloes for plowing the fields. As a whole, the village is able to meet its rice subsistence needs, although not all households produce enough rice for home consumption. There is a system of labor-food exchange that is based on complicated kinship ties that enables the village to meet its subsistence rice needs. Ban Horn does not earn income from rice sales.
Ban Horn villagers know that paddy rice cultivation is less laborintensive and more productive than their traditional dry rice cropping. Villagers said that there is not enough available lowland (level/irrigatable lowland) or water buffaloes for every household to have paddy fields.
This indication of available land that was not under cultivation was surprising until the consultant was told the stories about the "loaning of water buffaloes" to those families that had adequate paddy land. Apparently, households used to loan water buffaloes; cattle are "not strong enough" for paddy plowing. Unfortunately, some buffaloes died while they were out on loan. The borrowers will require years to pay the loaners for their losses. Villagers of Ban Horn are reluctant to prepare and cultivate paddy rice without water buffalo labor and so adequate paddy land remains unused.
Livestock:
The livestock of Ban Horn thrived until 1987. Since 1987, all the livestock, with the exception of water buffaloes, have diminished in number due to disease. The chicken population was particularly decimated. There have been numerous requests for veterinary assistance to the District level; as yet there has been no ass istance.
The impacts of livestock disease has affected the village's level of meat consumption. Livestock, particularly cattle, continues to be sold in Vientiane, Longxan and Borikhamsay as these sales provide the major income earnings for Ban Horn. However, the scarcity of the livestock means that households cannot afford to




77
consume meat. Villagers said that there is always a market for livestock and believe that if they are able to increase their livestock population, they could meet subsistence needs and increase their income.
Villagers said that there is currently adequate grazing and pasture land for livestock expansion. However, there is concern that the Palaveck valley will continue to increase quickly in human and livestock population because of the Lao government resettlement dictates. Should these populations continue to increase at the current rate of the resettlement influx, adequate grazing/pasture land is going to become a household-to-household and village-to-village survival issue.
Other Sources of Income:
The resident herbalist, shaman and Lao government officials are the only villagers that claim to earn any additional income other than from livestock sales. Enumerators were recently recruited from Ban Hom (and other villages) to provide short-term assistance to the Project's Census and Key Informant Surveys. The enumerators earned 800 kip/day for their service.
Ban Hom villagers do not pay for any labor inputs; there is an established system of labor-exchange within and between different clans.
Additional Losses and/or Benefits:
1. Villagers are no longer affected by insurgency
activities. They are better protected by the Lao government
now that they live near the Subdistrict center.
EDUCATION:
Students attend school, 1st through 8th grade, at Palaveck. Students begin school at varying ages, usually between the ages of 8-10 for boys and 10-13 for girls. Many do not complete 8th grade until the age of twenty. Because students begin school at a late age, many cannot read and write or do basic mathematics until the age of fifteen.




78
This late start negatively affects the girls educational opportunities. Most girls are married at the age of 13 or 14 and consequently leave school to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, most girls "leave school before they have gained any of the benefits and skills from education. This situation further reinforces the traditional belief of Hmong households that girls do not benefit from education. Therefore, many families do not even bother to send girls to school.
The herbalist's daughter is attending a vocational school in Vientiane. Apparently, this situation has caused quite a division of reaction in Ban Horn. The herbalist and her family have received a great deal of social pressure to keep the daughter home. Few villagers support the daughter's attempts at higher education. The herbalist believes in educating all children regardless of gender. She also believes, for a variety of social and practical reasons, that her daughter will not be able to live in Ban Horn after completing her education.
The villagers' attitude towards formal education is positive but unformed. Villagers agree that education/vocational skills can benefit the community; they hope that "education will improve the standard-of-living of their children." Also, educated Hmong provide a good "role model" for their communities.
Educated children are not expected to assist the community other than by sending money, if affordable, to their parents. Families expect educated children to go wherever they can find a wellpaying job.
There is a shared concern that the villagers who go to Vientiane for further education have some initial difficulty adjusting to the lowland Lao culture. This adjustment period and natural affinity towards establishing friendships with other Hmong students does not serve them well when seeking jobs. The Hmong students often do not develop networks with the lowland Lao business and government communities, whereas many of their lowland Lao colleagues do.




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HEALTH:
Villagers' health suffered during their first three-four years at the resettlement for the following reasons; first-time exposure to malaria, poorer quality drinking water and poor adjustment to the hotter lowland climate. Since this time, the health status has reflected the well-being they enjoyed in their highland home.
Villagers claim that before resettlement they never used to need to buy any medicine as their illnesses could be cured with herbal medicines and opium. The herbalist currently cultivates more than 30 medicinal plants in her home garden. She has successfully transplanted these medicinal herbs from the highland site. Also, she is able to find the forest medicinal plants within a threehour walk from Ban Hom. In Ban Hom, the herbalist and shaman practice their trade together. They are renowned in Palaveck valley and it is not uncommon to have residents of other villages seek their healing.
The Lao government distributed free malaria medicine and aspirin in Palaveck valley until 1989. Villagers are not willing to purchase modern medicines; if illness cannot be cured through traditional practices it is not uncommon for the patients die at home. The Project doctor-also provides free medical services and medicines to those villagers that make use of her service.
Water is more available at the new site. Therefore, people bathe and wash their clothes more often. There is also a great deal more "standing water" at the village site; the villagers believe the standing water might be a factor in the health problems.
VILLAGERS' UNDERSTANDING OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Many villagers do not understand the objectives of the Project. Ban Hom is divided in its opinion of how the road will help them to develop economically. Many villagers believe that the road will not benefit them unless they are able to purchase transportation of some sort. However, they are in a quandary as to how to raise .money to buy a vehicle. They have discussed applying for a loan from the Lao government; they do not believe that they have adequate collateral to be considered.




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The notion of exploiting the road through other business endeavors has been discussed. The villagers believe that they do not have adequate spare money to raise the capital needed for business. Aside from agricultural product demands, they are unaware of other markets.
Villagers' expectations of what the project might provide them are uninformed, tend to be unrealistic and revolve around the concept of "handouts." Villagers believe that the Project is here to "help them with their every need." Furthermore, expectations of what the Project will provide vary from individual-toindividual and family-to-family. There is little understanding of the necessity to share the responsibilities (time/labor/ financial inputs) of implementation by the villagers.
In general, the village women know much less about the Project because they do not attend as many Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong until closing. The consultant observed that many of the women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-of-meetings. Informants said that the village men do not share many details of the meeting with the women.
VILLAGERS' ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROJECT (PARTICIPATION):
The villagers said that there needed to be regular and institutionalized communication between the Project team and the village. There exists confusion regarding the villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities and objectives.
It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used for all communications; both to break the language barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural differences.
The consultant asked if the villagers would be interested in organizing a "Village Project Committee" that would facilitate communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was essential if there was to be full cooperation and support of the Project by Ban Hom.




The informants said that it would be very important to have equal representation by men and women on the Village Project Committee. The herbalist said that she had a lot of experience forming and managing working committees from her participation in the Communist revolution.
VILLAGERS' REQUESTS FOR PROJECT ASSISTANCE:
1. Would the Project bulldozers level land to create paddy
fields?
2. Would the Project assist them in expanding their
irrigated farm land?
3. Would the Project give their village a health clinic?
4. Would the Project provide the village with a school so
that the children do not have to walk so far?
5. Would the Project help the villagers identify markets and
develop products for these markets?
6. Would the Project identify and train villagers in a
(opium) substitute cash crop?




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5.0. Socio-economic Village Case Studies
5.5. VILLAGE: Huay Si
RESETTLEMENT HISTORY:
Huay Si was established in 1986, all current residents relocated by 1989. Huay Si is located on the Nam Gnok Project road 25 kilometers Northeast of the Project Center. Its elevation is approximately 350 meters above sea level. The villagers of Huay Si resettled for the following reasons:
1. The Lao government wants highlanders to cease traditional
slash and burn agriculture or swiddening activities.
2. The Lao government wants highlanders to establish
permanent village sites and cultivate paddy rice instead of
opium.
3. A Lao government representative told the villagers that
if they moved to the lowlands the Lao government would
provide the villagers with a road.
4. Insurgents greatly disrupted the villagers agricultural
activities.
Given a choice, the villagers would rather live at their previous highland site. Their adjustment has been difficult and costly; these issues will be detailed under the following headings. However, they are happy that the insurgents do not affect their livelihood activities at the new site.
IMPACTS OF RESETTLEMENT:
INCOME GENERATION:
When the villagers lived in the highlands, households earned an average of 150,000 200,000 kip/year from the sale of opium. Currently, those households without opium addicts are earning approximately 100,000 kip/year from opium sales.
On the whole, the villagers believe that they have a poorer standard of living in the resettlement site. Aside from intermittent livestock sales, they have found nothing to replace their lost opium income.




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Furthermore, they are willing to try any type of income generating activity; this activity does not need to be agriculturally based. To date, the income generating activities discussed in the village have been the sale of ginger and fruits gathered from the forest and limited sales of Hmong musical instruments.
There is one woman in the village who embroiders traditional headwraps for sale and barter in Huay Si itself. She feels that this handicraft work is too labor/time intensive to be a good income generator.
The headmen of the village decided upon the current Huay Si site because the villagers had previously exploited this area's game resources.
(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:
When living in their highland site, households used to earn approximately 150,000 300,000 kip/year (1 kg = 100,000 kip) from sales of opium. The opium earnings have traditionally been used as "security against misfortune," i.e.; food crop failure and catastrophic illness.
The villagers are aware of the Lao government policy regarding opium sales. Even though the opium fields are a three-to-four hour walk upland from the current village site, they feel that they are unable to lose this source of income.
Lowland Lao and Hmong opium buyers come to the village to purchase the opium. The cash from the opium sales is converted into silver bars; this avoids income loss due to currency inflation. The informants in Huay Si were the only Project participants who said that opium "buyers" often swap goods for the opium. The buyers will often arrive with household items or cloth to trade for the opium.
Huay Si has three opium addicts. All the addicts became addicted when they started to use opium as a medicine for chronic ailments. All the addicts are willing to receive treatment to cure them of their addiction.
One addict is 67 years old and has been addicted for 22 years. He is extremely eager to arrest his addiction, as he considers himself a tremendous to his family and his loss of status in the




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village. Unlike most addicts, he eats a small pill of opium every morning and night rather than smoking opium. He consumes 1/3 kilogram/year. If he does not take any opium, he becomes very ill. I had the opportunity to talk with him before and after his dosages; he remained lucid at all times.
The addicts are aware that their families suffer great financial hardship; precious income is spent to purchase opium to meet the addicts' needs. The villagers are very concerned as to what'longterm financial impacts the families of the opium addicts will suffer. To date, they are not sure how these families will be able to continue to support their addicts.
The villagers of Huay Si are extremely eager to try cultivating a substitute cash crop. one farmer has already cultivated two rai of coffee (1989). A Lao government representative took two sample kilograms of his coffee to test it for quality control. Apparently, the coffee was graded very highly. However, the representative was uninformed regarding markets and transport; so the farmer has not cultivated any more.
Paddy Rice Cultivation:
There is no paddy rice cultivation at Huay Si. Five families have tried to cultivate paddy rice on the nearby flatland but were unable to engineer an adequate irrigation system. The informants said that they do not know how to establish an irrigation system for paddy rice cultivation and that they are unwilling to learn how to cultivate paddy rice through a trial-and-error basis. Their peoplepower is too limited to waste on a risky endeavor. The villagers own a water-powered rice mill'but they do not have the skills to construct the dam necessary for its operations.
All households cultivate upland rice, a half-to-one hour walk from the village. As a whole, the village is unable to meet its rice subsistence needs; cassava supplements their diet. There is no rice sold for income.
One family owns one water buffalo. The water buffalo was purchased in anticipation of paddy rice cultivation. To date, the animal has remained idle. All but three households own a bull. Villagers are willing to have their bulls plow their paddy fields




even though they believe that it really weakens the animals and reduces their market value considerably. Villagers understand that paddy rice cultivation is less labor-intensive and more productive than their traditional dry rice cropping.
Livestock:
Chickens and pigs have adjusted to the lowlands easily and are thriving. Chickens and pigs are readily sold to middlemen and consumed in the village. Villagers believe that they should continue to expand their numbers of chickens and pigs.
However, the cattle have been reduced by half their number due to disease. Also, the cows are not lactating freely causing the deaths by starvation of eight calves this year alone. Villagers said that there is currently adequate grazing and pasture land, but probably not enough for livestock expansion. They believe that their immediate environment can support a maximum of 50 head of cattle.
They have considered leaving a number of cattle in the highland forest near their old village site. Apparently, the feasibility of this situation is being undermined by a series of calf killings by "small tigers." The villagers had left 15 head of cattle in the highlands to try and save them from exposure to disease.
There is concern that the Palaveck valley will continue to increase quickly in human and livestock population size because of the Lao government resettlement mandates. Should these populations continue to increase at the current rate of the resettlement influx, adequate grazing/pasture land is going to become a household-to-household and village-to-village survival issue.
It is common for middlemen from Borikhamsay and Longxan to purchase the cattle for sale in Borikhamsay and Vientiane. Villagers do not know what the exact market rate is for their cattle in Vientiane and therefore do not know how much profit is earned by the middlemen. Villagers said that there is always a market for livestock and would like to increase their number of cattle.




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Other Sources of Income:
The resident herbalist, shaman, and Lao government officials are the only villagers who claim to earn any additional income other than livestock and opium sales. Villagers of Huay Si do not claim any income generation from forest/lumber exploitation.
EDUCATION:
Students attend school, 1st through 5th grade, at.Nam Gnok or Sam Sao. Most students attend school at Nam Gnok. The students from Huay Si live in a house built jointly by villagers of Huay Si and Nam Gnok. The older students (15 or 16 years old) share the caretaking responsibilities of the younger students. Students begin school at varying ages, usually between the ages of 8-10 for boys and 10-13 for girls. Many do not complete 5th grade, particularly the girls. There is only one girl from Huay Si attending school in Nam Gnok.
Because students begin school at a late age, many cannot read and write or do basic mathematics until the age of fifteen.' Informants claimed 90% of the students have basic literacy skills by age 15. After completing 5th grade, students attend 6th through 8th grade at Palaveck or (Hmong) Settlement kilometer 52. There are no girl students from Huay Si attending school in Palaveck or Settlement 52.
This late start negatively impacts the girls educational opportunities. Most girls are married at the age of 13 or 14 and consequently leave school to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, most girls leave school before they have gained any of the benefits and skills from education. This situation further reinforces the traditional belief of Hmong households that girls do not benefit from education. Therefore, many families do not even bother to send girls to school.
The villagers' attitude towards formal education is positive but unformed. Villagers believe that "education improves the chances for good employment," but that basic literacy skills are not a complete education. Villagers believe that their children would benefit greatly from vocational training. Vocational training would bring practical skills to the village and increase their children's chances not having to farm for a living. However, villagers do not know what kind of vocational training would be most practical for securing good jobs.
Educated children are not expected to assist the community other than by sendin -g money, if affordable, to their parents. Families expect educated children to go wherever they can find a wellpaying job.




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There is a shared concern that the villagers who go to Vientiane for further education have some initial difficulty adjusting to the lowland Lao culture. This adjustment period and natural affinity towards establishing friendships with other Hmong students does not serve them well when seeking jobs. The Hmong students often do not develop networks with the lowland Lao business and government communities, whereas many of their lowland Lao colleagues do.
HEALTH:
Villagers' health suffered during their first two years in the resettlement for the following reasons; first-time exposure to malaria, poorer quality drinking water and poor adjustment to the hot lowland climate.
Huay Si informants said that they will seek healing from the herbalist, shaman or modern medicines equally. They purchase medicines in Palaveck for those illnesses that cannot be cured in Huay Si.
Currently, villagers' health has remained stable. Individual households cultivate medicinal plants next to the river. Unfortunately, they have lost approximately 2/3 of their traditional healing plants. One essential medicinal plant that has been lost stopped hemorrhaging; this plant has been traditionally used during the birthing process. Villagers claim that these plants require the highland environmental conditions for growth. However, there are currently more than 20 medicinal plants being cultivated and/or gathered from the forests.
The consultant was told by two informants that they would like to sell herbal medicines in the Vientiane market. They had heard that they could earn 2,000 kip for 26 grams of herbal medicines. They said that cultivating herbal medicine is not physically intensive labor but it is daily labor.
Villagers also purchase "modern medicines" cheaply at the market in Longxan. Those households that are unable to pay for necessary medical treatment receive unconditional loans from the extended family. If illness cannot be cured through these three means the patients often die at home. The Project doctor also provides treatment for illness and injury.




River water is more available at the new site. Therefore, people bathe and wash their clothes more often. There is also a great deal more "standing water" at the village site; the villagers believe the standing water might be a factor in the health problems.
VIL LAGERS' UNDERSTANDING OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Many villagers do not understand the objectives of the Project. Some have seen the construction of the road and the Project center. Furthermore, the villagers' expectations of what the Project might provide them are uninformed.
In general, the village women know much less about the Project because they do not attend as many Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong until closing. I observed that many of the women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-of-meetings. Informants said that the village men do not share many details of the meeting with the women.
VILLAGERS' ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROJECT (PARTICIPATION):
The villagers said that there needed to be regularized and institutionalized communication between the Project team and the village. There exists confusion regarding the villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities and objectives.
It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used for all communications; both to break the language barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural differences.
The consultant asked if the villagers would be interested in organizing a "Village Project Committee" that would facilitate communication to-and-from the villagers and the Project team and also help to organize the villagers' contributions of time and labor. The informants all agreed that this was essential if there




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was to be full cooperation and support of the Project by Huay Si. The informants said that it would be very important to have equal representation by men and women on the Village Project Committee.
VILLAGERS' REQUESTS FOR PROJECT ASSISTANCE:
1. Would the Project assist them in engineering their
irrigated farm land?
2. Would the Project help the villagers identify markets and
develop products for these markets?
3. Would the Project identify and train villagers in a
(opium) substitute cash crop?
4. Would the Project build a road up to the former highland
site? The villagers could then return to their shifting cultivation practice, produce/transport/sell ginger and
find/transport/sell forest products.
OTHER ISSUES RAISED:
The consultant was surprised to discover that the villagers of Huay Si did not practice slash and burn at their highland village site. In fact,the informants clearly indicated that shifting cultivation between three or four fields had been their established practice.
This is further substantiated by the fact that they had inhabited one highland village site for more than 60 years. The informants explained that they used to let each field lie fallow between 6-10 years before clearing it again for cultivation. They did not burn virgin or old-growth forest.
The soils at the lowland Huay Si site have higher yields but are productive for two years only. In ironic accordance to the resettlement dictate, the villagers have truly begun to practice slash and burn since arriving at their lowland site.




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5.0. Socio-economic Village Case Studies
5.6. VILLAGE: Nam Gnok
RESETTLEMENT HISTORY:
Nam Gnok was established in 1983. All current residents relocated by 1985. Nam Gnok is located on the Nam Gnok Project road 34 kilometers Northeast of the.Project Center. Its elevation is approximately 350 meters above sea level. The villagers of Nam Gnok resettled for the following reasons:
1. The Lao government wants highlanders to cease traditional
slash and burn agriculture or swiddening activities.
2. The Lao government wants highlanders to establish
permanent village sites and cultivate paddy rice instead of
opium.
3. A Lao government representative told the villagers that
if they moved to the lowlands the Lao government would
provide the villagers with paddy fields, schools, health
clinics and a road.
4. Insurgents greatly disrupted the villagers' agricultural
activities.
IMPACTS OF RESETTLEMENT:
INCOME GENERATION:
When the villagers lived in the highlands, households earned an average of 150,000-200,000 kip/year from the sale of opium. Cattle and lumber sales now provide an average yearly household income of 90,000 kip.
On the whole, the villagers believe that they have an equal standard of living in the resettlement site. Upland produce is carried down to the village, thereby reducing labor. Also, fish from the river next to the village provides a dietary supplement they did not have in the highlands.




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The headmen of the village decided upon the current Nam Gnok site because the villagers had long exploited this area's fish and game resources. Also, some families had grown cassava and maize near the new village site and they found the soil to be very productive.
(Cessation of) Opium Cultivation and Sales:
The informants claimed that all households stopped cultivating opium by 1990. Households used to earn approximately 1.50,000 300,000 kip/year (1 kg = 100,000 kip) from sales of opium. The opium earnings have traditionally been used as "security against misfortune," i.e.; food crop failure and catastrophic illness.
The villagers stopped cultivating opium because of the Lao government policy regarding opium sales and because the opium fields were a three-to-four hour walk upland from the current village site. Lowland Lao and Hmong opium buyers used to come to the village to purchase the opium. The cash from the opium sales was then converted into silver bars; this avoided income loss due to currency inflation.
Nam Gnok has seven opium addicts. All the addicts became addicted when they started to use opium as a medicine for chronic ailments. All the addicts are willing to receive treatment to cure them of their addiction.
The addicts are aware that their families suffer great financial hardship. As all Nam Gnok households have stopped cultivating opium, precious income is spent to purchase opium to meet the addicts' needs. The villagers are very concerned as to what longterm financial impacts the families of the opium addicts will suffer. To date, they are not sure how these families will be able to continue to support their addicts. The villagers of Nam Gnok are extremely eager to try cultivating substitute cash crop.
Paddy Rice Cultivation:
There is no paddy rice cultivation in Nam Gnok. The informants said that they do not know how to establish an irrigation system for paddy rice cultivation and that they are unwilling to learn how to cultivate paddy rice through a trial-and-error bas is.




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All households cultivate upland rice, a half-to-one hour walk from the village. As a whole, the village is able to meet its rice subsistence needs. There is no rice sold for income.
Nine families own 19 water buffaloes, the water buffaloes have been purchased in anticipation of paddy rice cultivation. To date, the animals have remained idle. Villagers understand that paddy rice cultivation is less labor-intensive and more productive than their traditional dry rice cropping.
Livestock:
Apparently, all the livestock of the Nam Gnok villagers have suffered more disease and mortality since resettlement to the lowland climate. However, those chickens and pigs that do survive the lowland conditions grow much larger than they did in the highland village. One reason stated is that their supplementary diet of maize and cassava is 40% more plentiful due to the soils.
Cattle and water buffaloes subsist with less grass in their diet. Villagers are willing to plant fodder and grasses should the seed be made available through the Project activities. It is common for middlemen from Borikhamsay and Longxan to purchase the cattle for sale in Borikhamsay and Vientiane. Villagers do not know what the exact market rate is for their cattle in Vientiane and therefore do not know how much profit is earned by the middlemen.
Villagers said that there is always a market for livestock and would like to increase their number of cattle. They think that this could be done if there was a veterinary extension service and vaccines provided to the Palaveck valley area and if selected Nam Gnok villagers could receive basic veterinary training.
Other Sources of Income:
The resident herbalist, shaman, and Lao government officials are the only villagers who claim to earn any additional income other than livestock sales. Villagers of Nam Gnok do not claim any income generation from forest/lumber exploitation. However, I did note more than 30 logs of over one meter in diameter and 15 meters in height that were located next to Nam Gnok's Northern entrance.




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Additional Losses and/or Benefits:
1. Nam Gnok continues to make traditional use of available
forest products with one exception. In their highland site,
the villagers would gather wild fruit for home consumption.
Since moving to their new site, 30% of the households have taken the initiative to cultivate a variety of fruit trees.
They have cultivated the wild mango, guava and banana trees
and expanded their orchards to include papaya, jack fruit
and lime trees.
2. There are a variety of forest plants that are no longer
available at the lowland site; these include food and
medicinal plants.
EDUCATION:
The informants said that the Lao government used to sponsor 2-3 students every year'for higher education; i.e. highschool, vocational training and/or university when they lived at their highland site. The government has not continued this sponsorship since the village was resettled.
Students attend school, 1st through 5th grade, at Nam Gnok. Students begin school at varying ages, usually between the ages of 8-10 for boys and 10-13 for girls. Many do not complete 5th grade, particularly the girls. Because students begin school at a late age, many cannot read and write or do basic mathematics until the age of fifteen. Informants claimed 90% of the students have basic literacy skills by age 15. After completing 5th grade, students attend 6th through 8th grade at Palaveck. There are no girl students from Nam Gnok attending school in Palaveck.
This late start negatively impacts the girls educational opportunities. Most girls are married at the age of 13 or 14 and consequently leave school to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, most girls leave school before they have gained any of the benefits and skills from education. This situation further reinforces the traditional belief of Hmong households that girls do not benefit from education. Therefore, many families do not even bother to send girls to school.




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The villagers' attitude towards formal education is positive but unformed. Villagers believe that "education improves the chances for good employment," but that basic literacy skills are not a complete education. Villagers believe that their children would benefit greatly from vocational training. Vocational training would bring practical skills to the village and increase their children's chances not having to farm for a living. However, villagers do not know what kind of vocational training would be most practical for securing good jobs.
Educated children are not expected to assist the community other than by sending money, if affordable, to their parents. Families expect educated children to go wherever they can find a wellpaying job.
There is a shared concern that the villagers who go to Vientiane for further education have some initial difficulty adjusting to the lowland Lao culture. This adjustment period and natural affinity towards establishing friendships with other Hmong students does not serve them well when seeking jobs. The Hmong students often do not develop networks with-the lowland Lao business and government communities, whereas many of their lowland Lao colleagues do.
HEALTH:
Villagers' health has remained stable since their move to the lowland site. However, there are some medicinal plants that are not longer cultivated or gathered from the nearby forest. The informants said that this loss is due to the different, environmental conditions. One essential medicinal plant that has been lost stopped hemorrhaging; this plant has been traditionally used during the birthing process.
Villagers seek the herbalist for initial medical care; second choice is the shaman as his treatment requires a chicken or pig feast. Final choice is modern medical treatment. A clinic in Palaveck provided free medical service and medicines (1975-1989). The Project doctor provides free medical service and medicines to. the villagers as needed.




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Villagers now purchase "modern medicines" cheaply at the market in Longxan. Those households that are unable to pay for necessary medical treatment receive unconditional loans from the extended family. If illness cannot be cured through these three means the patients die at home.
Water is more available at the new site. Therefore, people bathe and wash their clothes more often. There is also a great deal more "standing water" at the village site; the villagers believe the standing water might be a factor in the health problems.
VILLAGERS' UNDERSTANDING OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Many villagers do not understand the objectives of the Project. Some have seen the construction of the road and the Project center. Furthermore, the villagers' expectations of what the Project might provide them are uninformed. In general, the villagers hope that the Project will train them to take over the Project activities once the Project team is gone.
In general, the village women know much less about the Project because they do not attend as many Project/village meetings. They often are not informed that meetings are being held. When they do attend, the meetings are usually conducted in Lao language, which most of the women do not understand, and not summarized in Hmong until closing. The consultant observed that many of the women had wandered off to attend to household chores before the close-of-meetings. Informants stated that the village men do not share many details of the meeting with the women.
VILLAGERS' ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE PROJECT (PARTICIPATION):
The villagers said that there needed to be regular and institutionalized communication between the Project team and the village. There exists confusion regarding the villagers' expectations and the actual Project activities and objectives.
It would be most helpful if a Hmong translator was used for all communications; both to break the language barriers and to prevent any misunderstandings due to cultural differences.