09.06.2014 - UNESCO Office in Hanoi

Discussions on cultural appropriate approaches for Ethnic Minority Policies


Ha Noi, 26 April 2014 - Vietnam comprises the Kinh majority and 53 other ethnic minority groups, the majority of which reside in remote and mountainous areas and constitute a high proportion of the poor of the nation.

In the light of the achievements towards meeting the MDGs among these vulnerable groups, the country needs to look at ethnic minority poverty through an alternative lens. UNESCO joined UNPD, other UN agencies, international donors, NGOs and government agencies to organize a series of events to advocate for a culturally-appropriate approach to designing and implementing poverty reduction programs targeting ethnic minorities.

On 14 May, a brown-bag lunch was organized to update the joint UNDP-UNESCO initiative for cultural appropriate programming and to introduce an anthropological approach in ethnic minority policy research and policy advocacy. The discussion focused on the stereotypes of ethnic minority people and the different meanings that poverty can have depending on the lens applied.

On 16 May, a full-day information session for policy makers at central and local levels was held with the purpose of generating a platform to reflect current EM policy research and policy formulation from the lens of this anthropological approach. One of the main conclusions of the session was the need to consider the beneficiaries as actors of the projects and to move towards a more participatory policy cycle.

The discussions during these events contributed to the 19th Annual EM Policy Forum – co-chaired by NA-Ethnic Council, CEMA, UN and the EM Poverty Working Group – organized on the 19 May 2014, in order to provide further in-depth inputs and reflections on the discussion of new approaches for EM policy making between researchers, academics, policy makers, anthropologist and ethnologists.

The events were organized under the framework of the Ethnic Minorities Working Group and UNDP-Irish Project on Poverty Reduction Policies and Program (PRPP). UNESCO contributes to the discussion on mainstreaming the culturally-appropriate approach in the programming and implementation of poverty reduction initiatives with the purpose of promoting diversity and ensuring the effectiveness and adaptation of the outcomes to a specific local context.


For more information please contact:

Duong Bich Hanh

Culture Programme Coordinator

UNESCO Ha Noi Office

23 Cao Ba Quat, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi


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