Ha Noi – IOM and the Institute of Sociology (IOS), Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, have released a new report: Planned Relocation in the Context of Environmental Change in Hoa Binh Province, Northern Viet Nam: An Analysis of Household Decision-making and Relocation Outcomes.
The study assesses the implementation and outcomes of planned relocation in the Hoa Binh Relocation Project, which aims to relocate 1,200 families from two remote communes in the mountainous Northwest region that face high natural disaster risks.
The study explored project implementation, household decision-making processes and relocation outcomes for 406 households, including those who have relocated, those who wish to move, and those who have chosen to remain or are undecided.
Its findings show the potential for relocation to contribute to improved quality of life and new opportunities for relocated communities. Existing policies in Viet Nam provide important support that can help relocated households transition successfully to new, safer locations.
But the implementation of the current project shows the complex nature of household decisions on relocation and the practical challenges encountered in helping families to address the multiple factors which impact relocation outcomes.
The research identified key themes in household decision making, along with practices that support successful relocation.
It showed that households had high levels of awareness and experience of natural disasters. But disaster risk was only one of multiple factors influencing their migration decisions. Others included concerns about the impact on their livelihoods and the social dislocation associated with relocation.
The findings related to project implementation and relocation outcomes also showed that although most families had a high awareness of the objectives of the project, they had a limited understanding of the actual process. It also noted the limited participation of commune authorities and communities in both planning and implementation.
The research recommends policy approaches to support improved relocation practices, including policies on relocation planning and implementation, participation and communication, livelihood development, and monitoring and evaluation.
The report was released at a best-practices workshop on planned relocation and disaster risk reduction co-hosted by IOM and IOS in Ha Noi. The event was designed to provide policy makers, researchers, and civil society with an opportunity to discuss the findings and best practices with national, regional and international experts.
“Planned relocation, and migration in general, are a possible response to environmental change, which can increase households’ resilience to slow onset and rapid onset disasters. But they can be complex and are probably best when safe in-situ adaptation or other options are not feasible. They also need to be planned, designed, implemented and monitored with full community participation,” said IOM Viet Nam head of programmes, Paul Priest.