A situation assessment in Vietnam of persisting poverty among its national ethnic minority groups 2007 – 2012


This project aimed to analyse the causes of poverty as well as the failures/successes of poverty reduction among the different ethnic minority (EM) groups in Vietnam.

Our research focused on the various cultural and livelihood practices in the EM groups that had the highest and lowest rates of poverty reduction in the period of 2007-2012. Based on this research, our consultants provided the appropriate recommendations on poverty policy formulation and adjustment in order to meet the particular requirements in the different EM areas for the period 2012-2016 (and to meet long term targets in 2020).

While most existing research findings have consistently found high poverty rates, low living standards, and limited access to social infrastructure among ethnic minorities, only a few studies have thoroughly examined each and every one of the ethnic minority groups. Inequality in socio-economic development progress not only exists between the ethnic minorities and the ethnic majorities, inequality also prevails within each ethnic minority group. This research study provides further insight into the unique characteristics of different ethnic minority groups in order to answer the following important question: Why are some ethnic minority groups successful in poverty reduction while others are not, despite a large amount of support from the Government and development partners? In particular, the study identified the most successful ethnic group and the least successful ethnic group in poverty reduction progress. Based on these findings, key reasons behind the successes and failures were then examined closely and systematically. The study incorporated rigorous quantitative method and qualitative field study approach with our anthropologists visiting and learning the stories of different ethnic households. The research findings provide valuable inputs for policy dialogue and assist policymakers in designing and implementing appropriate poverty reduction and development support programs and policies in the future.


09/2013 – 02/2014