• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Executive summary
 Consultant's forward
 Introduction to document forma...
 Common issues: The basis for practical...
 Socio-economic village case...
 The "Tear away" management...
 Socio-economic survey questions...






Group Title: Consultant's report
Title: Field report
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055245/00001
 Material Information
Title: Field report a consultant's report : socio-econmic analysis of the Lao89550 Highland Intergrated Rural Development Project
Uniform Title: Consultant's report
Alternate Title: Consultant's report, socio-economic analysis of the Lao89550 Highland Intergrated Rural Development Project
Socio-economic analysis of the LAO89550 Highland Integrated Rural Development Project
Physical Description: ii, 107, 8 p. : ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Luche, Jenna E.
Publication Date: [1991]
 Subjects
Subject: Rural development projects -- Laos -- Vientiane (Province)   ( lcsh )
Rural conditions -- Vientiane (Laos : Province)   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Vientiane (Laos : Province)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: submitted by Jenna E. Luche.
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.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055245
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 48179094

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Executive summary
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Consultant's forward
        Page 17a
    Introduction to document format
        Page 18
        Village case studies
            Page 19
        Common issues
            Page 20
        Management tools
            Page 21
        Socio-economic survey
            Page 21
    Common issues: The basis for practical recommendations
        Page 22
        The impacts of resettlement: Analysis of the changes in village standard-of-living
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
        Income generating potential: The need for diversification
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
        Feasibility of the cessation of opium poppy cultivation: The financial/labor/time costs of addiction
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
        Land tenure systems
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
        Village social systems: The decision-making process and crisis control at the village and household level
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
        The Hmong-UNFDAC connection: the ways and means for paticipatory development
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
    Socio-economic village case studies
        Page 49
        Nam Kien
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
        Palaveck
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
        Phu That
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
        Ban Hom
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
        Huay Si
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
        Nam Gnok
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
        Sam Sao
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
    The "Tear away" management tool
        Page 104
        Health services
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
        Water supplies
            Page 107
            Page 108
        Education facilities
            Page 109
            Page 110
        Dam and canal construction
            Page 111
            Page 112
        Sawmilling activities
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
        Irrigated rice cultivation
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
        Crop diversification
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
        Palaveck agricultural promotion center
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
        Road construction
            Page 125
            Page 126
    Socio-economic survey questions and methodologies
        Page A 1
        Page A 2
        Page A 3
        Page A 4
        Page A 5
        Page A 6
        Page A 7
        Page A 8
        Page A 9
        Page A 10
        Page A 11
        Page A 12
Full Text


































'1*


A CONSULTANT'S REPORT:
SOCIO-ECONMIC ANALYSIS OF THE LAO/89/550
HIGHLAND INTEGRATED RURAL'DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


- 0


submitted by:


Jenna E. iLuche
7/5/91


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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 1

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 Sao 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


SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEY QUESTIONS AND METHODOLOGIES


APPENDIX I.












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 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.

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









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
opium. 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 although
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.









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 in.the 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









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),










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 cultivation 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.










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










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, but 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.

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
sustainibility:

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.









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'time/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 misunderstandingsdue 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 '
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' recommendations 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.









c. The prioritization of Project health activities 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.










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.










a. A strengthened Project team/Lao government 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, local-
resource 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.

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.









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 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.

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 five-
pronged 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-socio-
economic 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.









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.










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 Villager 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.










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.










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.









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 the
livestock. The population density of this four-village area is at
least five times greater than when they lived in the highland
sites.

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.









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 the
livestock. The population density of this four-village area is at
least five times greater than when they lived in the highland
sites.

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.









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
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.










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 implement-
ation 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.









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.









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.










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.










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.

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 that,reduce 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.









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.

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.










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.










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 based 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.










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 for 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.

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.










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-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. 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.










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 dicusses 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.

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.










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.










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."










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 decision-
making 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 sustainibility.

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.









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 need 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 and 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.










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.










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. Monitoring
9. Follow-on Support
10. Circular Dialogue
11. Reassessment of Implementation Activities/Process
12. Complete Take-over of Project Activities









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.

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.










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.







48

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.










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 availability 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.










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 availability 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.









5. The Lao government told the second group of Hmong
settlers that they had to move down to the Muong Hom
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. Previous 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 rice
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 labor-
intensive 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.









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.









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.









In Nam 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.









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?"









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.










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.










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?










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.









(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










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 labor-
intensive 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.










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 from 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%.










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 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 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










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










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.


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.

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
assistance.

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.








66

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.













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.












(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 income-
generating 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 suffer
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.








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
"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 for
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.








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.












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; first-
time 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.












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-of-
meetings. 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.













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 standard-
of-living in the highlands than in the lowland
settlements.

The headman said this lowland settlement has the same architect-
ural characteristics as temporary highland villages; a permanent
village might have cement floors and tin roofing.








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:








(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
"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.








Paddy Rice Cultivation:

Of the 50 households residing in Ban Hom, 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 Hor does not
earn income from rice sales.

Ban Hor villagers know that paddy rice cultivation is less labor-
intensive 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 Hom are reluctant to prepare and
cultivate paddy rice without water buffalo labor and so adequate
paddy land remains unused.


Livestock:

The livestock of Ban Hom 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
assistance.

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 Hom. 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 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.








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 Hom. 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 Hom 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 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-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 three-
hour 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.








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-to-
individual 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.






81

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?









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.








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








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 long-
term 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.








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 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 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.


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 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








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.










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.










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 long-
term 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
basis.










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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