The Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA) - Laos

The Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA) - Laos

Laos
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

SEDA aims to utilize the power of science, technology, environmental, community development to promote the economic and social development of poor rural people in Lao PDR. SEDA’s focus is on poverty alleviation and development. SEDA targets poor people living in rural areas in Laos. Priority is given to no income families, people with a disability, disadvantaged women, young people and children.

About You
Organization:
SEDA (Social and Economic Developers Association) - Laos
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Souly

Last Name

QuachAngkham

Country

, VI

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Organization Name

SEDA (Social and Economic Developers Association) - Laos

Organization Phone

856 21 314 338

Organization Address

PO Box T469, Xaysetha District, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, VI

Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

SEDA takes an integrated approach to development that addresses all the interrelated issues, rather than tackling just one aspect of development. SEDA builds capacity and skills so that people can improve their food security, livelihoods, health, nutritional status, education, safety, water and environment. SEDA works with communities, empowering people to identify their needs and then works with them to implement solutions.

SEDA is currently seeking the resources to support women with no income and single women in financial crises. With little or no education and a family to support, many women in Laos struggle to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads. Often they find themselves alone after their husbands have left or died, without money to send their children to school or make a better life for themselves.

Women will be assisted through SEDA’s agribusiness work and through access to micro-finance. In addition, SEDA plans to promote and preserve Lao cultural heritage and reduce poverty through assisting women to produce quality hand woven textiles and other products.

SEDA will source quality natural raw materials for weaving, train women in weaving techniques, use of organic dyes, design and quality control methods and support women to produce quality hand woven textiles using traditional and Lao/western fusion designs. Through this, women will produce high quality clothing and home décor items.

SEDA has the know how and contacts to then develop domestic and international markets in several countries that will generate enough income to pay a fair trade price to weavers and fund SEDA’s further development work.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

Specific to women, we have artisans training. SEDA cooperation with women’s committees leader in all of its sites. We promote traditional, innovation and technology methods like agribusiness, micro-finance and textiles.

SEDA also focuses on education, health, and provision of economic opportunities for a long-term solution to poverty. Here are some examples of our impact:

# Consultation / Field trips: SEDA has undertaken over 35 field trips in 10 provinces. These involve meetings with officials, leaders, principals, teachers, health workers and villagers and examining facilities. As a result, SEDA has developed good relationships and has detailed knowledge of the farming, income generation, health care, environmental, infrastructure, energy and education needs of poor Lao villagers and the solutions they are seeking.
# Renewable energy – Bio-Gas digester project: Rehabilitation Treatment Center in Num Swuean, Vientiane Province. With volunteer labor and a US$1750 grant from the Australian Embassy, SEDA built a 10 cubic meter bio-gas digester for the patients and staff to use. This prevented further erosion from the collection of firewood and put an end to the unhealthy effects of smoke
# Building project: Rehabilitation Treatment Center in Num Swuean,Vientiane Province.
# Medical supplies: SEDA secured medical supplies for the 790 Disabled Centre and the Rehabilitation Treatment Center
# Alleviating poverty for people with a disability: SEDA coordinated with buyers to get a good price for produce and livestock
# Education: SEDA provided a volunteer English teacher from USA for Ban Hai Elementary School and Ban Phao Elementary School.
#Green energy – Jatropha Curas research: SEDA is trialing a plantation of 150 trees in Vientiane Province
#Agarwood research: SEDA is using traditional and scientific testing methods to determine the best method of growing Agarwood seedlings.
#Agricultural Assessment: An Alternative Energy consultant from India made an assessment of soil, water, irrigation and terrain in Hein Heurp District, Vientiane, providing information on the areas suitability for cash crops, medicinal plants and renewable energy.
Developing expertise:
o Micro-finance study tour: 10 days study tour of the Head Quarters of Grameen Bank in Dakha, Bangladesh to develop expertise in micro-finance.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

Since the Vietman war, rural Laos has been a struggle to rebuild, break free of poverty and forge a sustainable future. Education, health and vocational opportunities are few. Laos is now receiving foreign aid from many INGOs but there is still much to be done. While Vientiane city is becoming more modern each day, in the rural reaches of Laos little has changed in 30 years.

Laos has over 6.6 million people (July 2008 estimate). It is landlocked by Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Myanmar and has a land mass of 237,000 sq km. The capital city is Vientiane. There are 68 ethnic groups in Laos comprising three main groups; Lao Loum (lowland), Lao Theung (upland) and Lao Soung (highland). 79 per cent of the population live in rural, mountainous and river-system regions, while 21 per cent reside in urban areas.

SEDA is currently seeking the resources to support women with no income and single women in financial crises. With little or no education and a family to support, many women in Laos struggle to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads. Often they find themselves alone after their husbands have left or died, without money to send their children to school or make a better life for themselves.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?

Consultation / Field trips: SEDA has undertaken over 35 field trips in 10 provinces. These involve meetings with officials, leaders, principals, teachers, health workers and villagers and examining facilities. As a result, SEDA has developed good relationships and has detailed knowledge of the farming, income generation, health care, environmental, infrastructure, energy and education needs of poor Lao villagers and the solutions they are seeking. For example, SEDA visited Sanxay District, Attappeu Province for 10 days in 2005 and has been asked by officials and villagers to seek funds to undertake development work there.

Cooperation and collaboration: In Lao, development work requires the cooperation of government ministries, relevant institutions, local officials, village chiefs and villagers. SEDA has strong relationships with the National Science Council, National Agriculture & Forestry Research Institute, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and concerns Ministries within Lao P.D.R.

Developing expertise:
o Micro-finance study tour: 10 days study tour of the Head Quarters of Grameen Bank in Dakha, Bangladesh to develop expertise in micro-finance. The Grameen Bank was awarded by the UN-Nobel Peace Prize Award for 2006. The study tour included visits to 10 villages where villagers who use the bank were interviewed.
o Green energy / bio fuel study tour: Study of jatropha curas and other tropical plants at University of Florida.
o Oil Palm and Jatropha Curas study tour: SEDA visited commercial plantations and a seedling company in Thailand.
o Agarwood study tour: SEDA studied genetic research to determine the best species of Agarwood trees at the University of Minnesota.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

SEDA’s goals for the 5 years from 2009-2014 are to:
1. Further develop sustainable agribusiness and medicinal plants industries in Laos, utilizing the best technology available.
2. Promote and preserve Lao cultural heritage and reduce poverty through quality hand woven textiles and other products.
3. Develop small enterprises by providing micro-finance and money management education to the poor.
4. Improve health, nutrition, safety and protect the environment.
5. Contribute to better educational outcomes for children and young people.
6. Ensure that SEDA has the necessary financial and human resources and operates in an accountable, effective, cooperative and independent manner.
These are taken from SEDA’s Strategic Plan and are dependent on SEDA gaining enough resources to implement them.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

SEDA hopes to encourage the government to focus resources on development

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation

SEDA has many partnerships and collaborations. In Lao, development work requires the cooperation of government ministries, relevant institutions, local officials, village chiefs and villagers. SEDA has strong relationships with the National Science Council, National Agriculture & Forestry Research Institute, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and concerns Ministries within Lao P.D.R. SEDA has also received grants from a variety of US-based organizations.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

SEDA currently relies on grants and donations.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Our vision wants to reduce poverty reduction in Lao P.D.R. as since I was a child it is still not much changes in rural area, as with our knowledge, experience, and innovative, we wants to serves the vulnerable people and give them a chance to build different and make changes for their communities.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Approximately 250 words left (2000 characters).

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Email from Changemakers

If through another source, please provide the information

SEDA got message from Ms Sarah Mintz, Ashoka’s Changemaker, who provides us the full detail. SEDA want to thank you to her for

ICRW
Does your project address any of the following barriers to women’s technology access and use?

Women’s time poverty, Social norms, Economic or institutional constraints, Women’s lack of involvement in the technology development process.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how.

Yes, some of our women’s member use their experience, knowledge to improving their researches for dye of organic textile, new methods of rice plantation or agriculture. That can be their own innovation, as well as SEDA will help serve with science technology and social science to help improving their economic social development that will bring them to become sustainable income.

Does your project involve women in one or more of the following stages of the technology lifecycle? Identification of the problem the technology will solve:

Market research, Technology introduction, Technology training, Technology supply and distribution, Creation and maintenance of market linkages for women's economic outputs, Assessment and evaluation.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how you will ensure women’s involvement in each relevant phase of the technology lifecycle.

SEDA is supports women gender not just one communities, but also many other villages as well. Currently SEDA have over 100 members to work with us and over 130 families is our members… There are more than 9 villages that SEDA is working with women gender and supports their income. Each day, SEDA still continue fundraising and wants to focus on market, quality, and new design to help these women to come up with their own ideas, knowledge that they can become independent for Sales and Market. Currently, they are lack of foreign language, as they are requested SEDA assistance to supports with international market.

If women are a focus of your project, how did this focus evolve?

The project focused on women from its conception..

Which type of women will your project reach directly?

Rural, Peri-urban, Urban.

In what ways does your project team/leadership involve women?

It is led by a woman/women., It is led by a woman/women from a developing country..

Has your organization formed any new partnerships in response to this challenge? If so, with what type/s of organization/s?

None.

Has your project leadership had prior experience with the following?

Working with women, Working with technologies, Working to increase women's economic empowerment through technology, Working on innovation.