Sep 27, 2019 / 11:07

UNDP continues empowering ethnic women with innovative initiative

The Hanoitimes - The initiative is expected to enable 450 ethnic minority women to pursue their own business models.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is expanding its support to ethnic minority women in Vietnam by offering an initiative which helps them escape from poverty and run business.  
 
A conference opens in Dak Nong on September 26. Photo: UNDP
A conference opens in Dak Nong on September 26. Photo: UNDP

As many as 45 ethnic minority women groups gathered in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong on September 26 to meet with partners from the government, business sector and non-government actors to explore the opportunities to apply Industrial Revolutionary 4.0 technologies in developing their businesses.
 
The “Meet and Match Networking” event is within the framework of a UNDP-supported initiative “Economic Empowerment of Ethnic Minority Women via Application of I4.0”, UNDP said in a press release. 
 
With the first event taking place in the northern province of Bac Kan, this initiative is expected to enable 450 ethnic minority women to pursue their own business models.
 
UNDP initiative empowers ethnic women. Photo: UNDP
UNDP initiative empowers ethnic minority women. Photo: UNDP

The initiate becomes more meaningful for Dak Nong as the province is home to a large number of ethnic minority people (making up 34% of multi-dimensional poor households). 
 
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s current challenge is addressing persistent poverty among ethnic minorities in terms of geographically challenging environment.
 
Indeed, ethnic minority people are mainly engaged in low productivity agriculture with limited access to markets; finance and innovative finance solutions; and new technologies. Moreover, their productions and livelihoods are vulnerable to the extreme weather such as storms and flash flood while the access to micro-insurance is limited. 
 
UNDP 3M initiative for ethnic women
 
Through the “Economic empowerment of Ethnic Minority Women via Application of I4.0” initiative, poor ethnic minority women and their business partners, investors, government policy makers and service providers will be engaged in an Accelerator Lab Journey, building on the 3M (Match, Mentoring and Move) initiative in 2017 and 2018, in which, actors: 
 
(1) Meet for understanding emerging challenges and opportunities in the local context and looking for solutions, particularly at how citizens are already addressing these challenges and opportunities.
 
(2) Match their efforts in assembling a portfolio of potential solutions and continuously testing them until actors are confident, they can work.
 
(3) Move for handing over the tested portfolio of solutions to actors for development programming, advocacy for policy change or spinning solutions off as private ventures.
 
The initiative is built on the strong commitment of the government of Vietnam in ensuring no one is left behind in the transition to the IR4.0, the initiative aims to maximizing IR 4.0 empowered opportunities, including: 
 
(i) E-commerce platforms enabling small production units to link to the markets and in value chains
 
(ii) Innovative finance solutions such as e-banking, e-payments, micro-insurance;
 
(iii) Social media and other e-platforms for online learning, skill training, peer to peer learning, coaching startups and obtaining information for disaster prevention and mitigation; 
 
(iv) New production technologies such as smart agriculture, block-chain for tracing the product origins.
 
(v) Data and tools for real-time citizen feedback and policy maker learning.
 
Deputy Chairwoman of Dak Nong Provincial People’s Committee Ton Thi Ngoc Hanh. Photo: UNDP
Deputy Chairwoman of Dak Nong Provincial People’s Committee Ton Thi Ngoc Hanh. Photo: UNDP

Addressing the conference on September 26, Deputy Chairwoman of Dak Nong Provincial People’s Committee Ton Thi Ngoc Hanh said: “Additional resources, both technical and financial, are important to help ethnic minority escape from poverty”. The initiative is in line with what the local government is seeking for to find proper ways for poverty reduction, Hanh added.
 
Nguyen Tien Phong, head of UNDP Inclusive Growth Unit. Photo: UNDP
Nguyen Tien Phong, head of UNDP Inclusive Growth Unit. Photo: UNDP

Nguyen Tien Phong, head of UNDP Inclusive Growth Unit said: “Accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal “eradicating poverty in all its forms and everywhere” means that poverty reduction programs also need to serve as a living laboratory to engage partners from government, business sector, social-professional organizations and the ethnic minority women and men themselves in generating and experimenting innovative solutions, and directing the benefit of innovation to reach the furthest behind.”
 
Ngo Truong Thi, head of the National Directorate for Poverty Reduction under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA). Photo: UNDP
Ngo Truong Thi, head of the National Directorate for Poverty Reduction under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA). Photo: UNDP

Meanwhile, Ngo Truong Thi, head of the National Directorate for Poverty Reduction under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) said: “I have been engaged in poverty reduction for 22 years but one question still strikes me is why ethnic minority people are still poor. They have great potential and we need to find proper measures to help them unleash their inner strength, connect to the market for expanding production and business.”