Vietnam Change Goal 3: Disaster Resilience

A duck farmer feeds his flock. Credit: Oxfam Vietnam

Oxfam’s aim is that vulnerable people in high-risk areas, including poor women, men, boys and girls, are more resilient to the impact of disasters and climate change. This means they are better able to adapt to disasters and the effects of climate change, less impacted by extreme weather events when they happen and are able to recover more quickly from disasters. Our aim is also for vulnerable people to be able to claim their rights, including their rights to access risk information, to be consulted, and to receive food, health and education services both during and after disasters.

Current situation

Vietnam has a number of national policies, strategies and programmes on emergency response, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). However, these are not always fully resourced or implemented, particularly at the sub-national level. In addition, the voices and needs of local people are often not taken into account in DRR and CCA policies and programmes. This is especially the case for poor women and vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, who are often stereotyped as weak and as subjects for humanitarian support, rather than as able to create positive change themselves. For example, the majority of government officials responsible for humanitarian, DRR and CCA work do not believe it is necessary to take gender specific needs into account in national policies and programmes.

What we want to achieve

Oxfam’s resilience and climate change programme centres on four objectives. These include:

  • Emergency responses by Oxfam and its partners, particularly government, civil society and mass organisation partners, are managed appropriately and effectively and adhere to agreed standards.
  • More transparent and accountable DRR and CCA programmes are developed, implemented and financed by government bodies in the most disaster prone and climate change affected areas in Vietnam.
  • The decision-making power of poor women and vulnerable groups is strengthened, and their voices, needs and capabilities are specifically addressed in humanitarian response, DRR and CCA policies and programmes.
  • Changes in practices and policies related to humanitarian response, DRR and CCA are adopted and institutionalised by stakeholders including agribusinesses and small food producers. 

How we achieve it

We build the capacity of government agencies, local authorities and local people within emergency response, DRR and CCA. This includes helping to raise awareness among local authorities and communities of disaster risks, related policies and adaptation measures they can take, including new livelihood opportunities that are resilient to climate change and disasters. We also help to strengthen partnerships and cooperation among key stakeholders working on these issues, including government agencies, mass organisations, civil society organisations and international donors.

In addition, we conduct research to identify good practices and document lessons learnt from our own projects in emergency response, DRR and CCA, and make sure these are replicated and shared at the national level. We also use research findings and lessons learnt to undertake evidence-based advocacy aimed at changing DRR and CCA practices and policies.

For example, we advocate for the need to integrate DRR and CCA measures into socio-economic development plans. We also promote the importance of inclusive and participatory vulnerability assessments, so that, for example, women’s specific needs and capabilities in DRR and CCA are taken into account in local socio-economic development plans and community-based disaster risk management plans.  

Our partners

At the national level, we work closely with the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control and its members, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment. At the sub-national level, we engage with provincial People’s Committees, Provincial Committees for Flood and Storm Control and local government departments.

We also collaborate with local NGOs, civil society organisations and mass organisations, including the Vietnam Red Cross and the Women’s Union. Together with other international NGOs in Vietnam, we are part of the Disaster Management and Climate Change Working Groups, which coordinate activities and cooperate with UN agencies and the media. Lastly, we are building linkages to the private sector, particularly agribusinesses.        

Our projects

With our partners, we are currently implementing a number of projects on building resilience to disasters and climate risks. These projects include:

  • Securing effective community-based disaster risk management;  
  • Helping poor and vulnerable households in Ben Tre province be more resilient to climate change and disasters; and
  • Promoting climate change resilience among agribusinesses.

Linking from the local to global level, Oxfam’s Building Resilience programme in Vietnam is part of the following regional and global programmes and campaigns: