Project “Strengthening the Public-Private Partnership in Disaster Risk Management and Community Resilience in Vietnam“, funded by USAID, is implemented by The Asia Foundation (TAF) in collaboration with Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Center for Education and Development (CED) from March 2011 to March 2013 (2 years) in 5 provinces/cities: Nghe An, Hue, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Binh Dinh. The Project consists of two Components with the overall objectives being (i) the capacity to deal sustainably and effectively with disasters built through strengthening the public-private partnerships for disaster risk management (DRM); (ii) capacity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) enhanced to prepare for and respond to disasters; and (iii) corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives promoted for mitigation of disaster risk.
Regarding the content of actions, while Component II focuses on promoting social responsibility of enterprises in DRM, Component I concentrate on capacity building, raising awareness and increased understanding of enterprises in DRM. After 18 months of implementation from March 2011 to September 2012, TAF and its partners have completed the Training Program on DRM for enterprises under Component I, including a Training Kit of training materials/curriculum on DRM for enterprises and training workshops/workshops provided to hundreds of enterprises in five Central Region provinces of the Project cover area. In order to implement the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan on Project activities to obtain practical experience and lessons learned for further improvement of the training program on DRM for enterprises in the next period of the Project, TAF liaises with the Consultant to conduct this impact evaluation on the mentioned program.
Objective and Method of Evaluation
The objective of this evaluation is to evaluate/assess the contribution of the Training Program on DRM for enterprises in 2011-2012 to the enhancement of SME capacity to response effectively and sustainably to disasters, at the same time assess the possibility to promote corporate social responsibility initiatives in this subject area.
In order to achieve this objective, the evaluation process will focus on the following specific aspects:
i) The processes of design, development, organisation of implementation and the outputs of training workshops: this includes compilation of Training Kit with training curriculum/contents, training of resource trainers, setting criteria for participant selection, the actual number of participating enterprises and individuals;
ii) Relevance evaluation: on the training curriculum/contents, agendas, training materials to the training need assessment’s outcomes, the extent of meeting criteria on the composition of invited participants;
iii) Effectiveness evaluation: this includes changes in skills, understanding and attitude of the participants, the evaluation of those participants about the training program, the extent that participants still remember the training contents after a while;
iv) Impact evaluation: on the extent of application of knowledge and skills learned to DRM planning at the participants’ enterprises, the ability and extent to apply the learned knowledge to the practice of disaster risk prevention and response at the enterprises;
v) Sustainability evaluation of the Training Program reflected in the ability to continue training activities on DRM
During the evaluation process, the Consultant applies the comprehensive information approach: the information used in this report was collected through analysis of documents and databases available, as well as by means of survey questionnaire forms and in-depth interview with enterprises and related people. The survey forms were sent to 466 participants and 149 forms were returned (approx. 40%) with full answers, from 108 males and 41 females, consisting of 35 heads of enterprises (23.5%); 62 heads of departments/units in the enterprises (41.6%); 52 staff/employees (34.9%). The Consultant also went to field trips and conducted direct face-to-face interviews at 36 enterprises in 4 provinces (Nghe An, Da Nang, Hue, Khanh Hoa), conducted phone interview with 10 enterprises in Binh Dinh and Da Nang. Among the interviewees there were 36 heads of enterprises, 10 heads of departments/units, 45 participants and 43 non-participants. Seven VCCI staff and 11 resource trainers who delivered training at enterprise training workshops also gave in-depth interviews.
Main results of the Training Program
TAF is the agency in charge of the Project funded by USAID and is responsible for the overall program design, planning and coordination of Project activities. TAF participates and provides technical support to partners and experts when needed, conducts monitoring, quality assurance and evaluation of the Project performance. TAF manages and coordinates activities, programs of the Project in accordance with the Letters of Agreement and Contracts signed between TAF and partners and external consultants/experts. Overall, this Training Program has achieved the objectives set in the original proposal of the Project. With frequent active support and technical guidance of TAF, Project partners VCCI and CED have accomplished all the program activities, in particular:
- Need Survey and Assessment: survey forms were sent to 1,000 enterprises (19.1% responded) while in-depth interviews were conducted at 51 enterprises and 9 related organizations in 3 provinces Nghe An, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa. The survey revealed that enterprises in the above 3 provinces faced very high disaster risk, with storms being the most popular disaster type, followed by floods. High risk is mainly found with workshops/factories/storages – 41.18% and products/goods – 35.30%. However most of enterprises are either not yet ready to deal with the above risk or lack the knowledge and skills needed for DRM and have limited financial and other resources for it. The need for DRM therefore is huge (100% of enterprises at the direct interviews and 86.91% through survey forms).
- Compilation of Training Kit: A comprehensive training kit was compiled to provide the common knowledge framework of DRM, tailored to the specific needs of enterprises.
- Development of resource trainers: Based on the results of 3 TOT workshops (5 days per workshop) with 62 participants from Nghe An, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa, TAF and its partners have established a core group of resource trainers consisting of 20 most suitable participants, coming from VCCI, enterprises, NGOs and local disaster risk management authorities. Later, with TAF and CED support, those trainers provided training workshops on DRM to enterprises in 5 project provinces in 2011 and 2012.
- Organisation of training events for enterprises: 16 training workshops were organized for 466 participants from 340 enterprises and 21 related agencies. The actual composition of participants generally meets the criteria set for participant selection, in particular: female participants are 156/466 or 33.5%; participants being heads of enterprises and their departments/units are 56.2%. All types of enterprises were present at the training workshops: State-owned enterprises, joint-venture, stock companies, limited companies, private companies and related organizations/agencies.
Relevance and Effectiveness of the Training Program
The evaluation shows that most of the participants think of the training materials and contents as relevant and useful to their enterprises. Post training evaluation shows that more than 98% of participants think the knowledge they have learned is relevant and useful. According to the results of the evaluation survey made in November 2012, 145/149 participants (97.3%) find the training workshops very useful for the DRM works at their enterprises. The 2-day duration per workshop is considered as appropriate. The composition of participants is very close to the target of the Project with 56% being leaders of enterprises. The types of participating enterprises are quite diversified, with more in the two groups of joint-stock and limited companies – 43.3% and 39.3% respectively.
The Training Program has contributed to raise the awareness, provide skills and change the attitude of participants regarding the DRM job at enterprises. According to the extent of awareness of participants post training 2012, the average score on 10 DRM related contents of 242 participants has increased by 2.59 (from 5.48 to 8.07). The results from analysis of information gathered from 149 survey forms show that majority of participants do still remember the contents they learned from the training (more than 80%).
The impact of the Training Program has spread to non-participants as well through participants’ exchange and sharing. Most of the participants reported to their bosses and shared/distributed the training materials on DRM with their colleagues. Almost 100% of enterprises organised the knowledge sharing on DRM to key staff at their weekly exchange meetings.
In-depth interviews in the 5 surveyed provinces also reveal that most of participants from enterprises confirm the usefulness and practicality of the training contents. The Project has succeeded in helping SMEs to raise awareness of the importance of the work of DRM at enterprises and gain fundamental knowledge and skills in this area.
Impact of the Training Program
The awareness of enterprises in prevention and mitigation of disaster risk has been enhanced significantly, shifting from “passive” to “active”. The work of DRM at enterprises has received more attention and become more systematically handled. The cooperation and mutual support in this area is also improved. Results from information collecting forms from 149 enterprises show that 62.4% have established the in-charge duty team; 65.1% have a clear duty assignment table in case of storms and floods; 64.4% have a list for spare equipments and supplies/materials. However insurance against disaster risk is still unpopular, with only 29.5% have bought it, mostly in Da Nang.
Majority of enterprises apply the knowledge learned to supplement and adjust their plan or make a new one for disaster risk response. In-depth interview at 45 enterprises shows 29/45 enterprises (64.4%) have such a plan now, comparing with only 5/45 (11.1%) before the training.
The implementation of that plan is however deployed to various extents, from using simple methods such as reinforcing the premises to investing in more advanced equipment and building new premises. In particular, Ngon Hai Dang JS Co. in Da Nang can serve as a very good example for applying new knowledge learned to response effectively with storms and floods.
Sustainability of the Training Program
The evaluation finds that the training need related to DRM for enterprises is still huge. Among 43 interviewed non-participants, 91.17% responded that they wished to have chance to participate in a similar program. At the same time, most of the participants wish to get a more in-depth, advance training on DRM. Without financial support, organisation of DRM training workshops for enterprises will be difficult. There are however several initiatives proposed to solve this problem, such as integrate this training into other activities, diversifying training modes, establishing e-network for sending out the training materials; continuing to develop the core group of resource trainers, etc.
Limitations of the Program
The DRM Training Program for SME in several Central Region coastal provinces is the first project in the area of disaster prevention targeting enterprises. For that reason it can not be without certain limitations. Among nearly 500,000 SMEs throughout the whole country, only 340 enterprises so far have been trained in DRM. The training curriculum is able to provide the framework of general knowledge about DRM only, but not specific enough for each business sectors such as manufacturing, trading and service providing, and not taking into account the (natural) conditions of each geographical area; The practical part of training on techniques/skills to handle with flood consequences or reinforce the premises, move during storm/heavy rain, etc. is not enough for the demand. Therefore the application of knowledge to the practice of DRM at enterprises is still limited. The Program also lacks the presentation of good practices and examples in DRM at enterprises in Vietnam, lack in-depth knowledge/experience on DRM in other countries in the region for participants to study and replicate.
Based on the results obtained from the evaluation process of the Training Program, notes taken from people met and given the context in Vietnam as well as the general trends in the society, the Consultant would like to make the following recommendations:
- USAID continue to support the training and capacity strengthening activities on DRM for SMEs in the central region coastal provinces as well as other localities facing the highest disaster risk in Vietnam;
- Improve further and deepen the Training Kit to fit the needs of different business sectors (manufacturing, trading and service), taking into account the specific industry and geographical characteristics; provide more templates for detailed planning, provide practical examples for easier application by enterprises; summarize and integrate all the available training materials into a single guidebook on DRM for enterprises for easier understanding and simpler reference;
- Provide more in-depth training workshops to enterprises, focusing on the industries being more likely affected by disasters. The training should give more room for practical application, exchange of experience within the country as well as with the abroad. The best time to conduct training is probably at the beginning of the year, just before the storm/rain season so the enterprises can apply immediately the knowledge they have learned to their practice.
- Continue to foster and develop the core group of DRM resource trainers;
- In order to enhance the ability to apply the knowledge and skills on DRM at enterprises, it is suggested to conduct a survey to identify successful enterprises in prevention and mitigation of disaster risk in Vietnam, to draw practical solutions and lessons learned for introducing to other enterprises; support to build DRM models for selected enterprises representing different industries/sectors and share the experience with other enterprises;
- In order to ensure the sustainability of the Training Program outcomes, it is suggested that the work of DRM education and communication should be enhanced to raise awareness of the business community in Vietnam in general and in coastal provinces in particular. In addition to training workshops for enterprises, various channels for knowledge transfer and dissemination should also be explored such as conferences, exchange forums, sharing information through Internet, filming/video making, establishing partnership with relevant agencies, etc. TAF and VCCI should seek opportunities and coordinate with enterprise training and supporting centers, the Government Program on disaster prevention and response for the business community, education centers at universities, NGOs working in DRM area to integrate the DRM contents in this Training Program into their activities.
To download this report click here