Project Title

Promoting APEC cooperation for scaling up best practices on digital rural community (DRC) models toward sustainable and inclusive rural transformation 

Project Year

2023   

Project Number

PPFS_201_2023A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

PPFS_201_2023A 

Project Title

Promoting APEC cooperation for scaling up best practices on digital rural community (DRC) models toward sustainable and inclusive rural transformation 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2023 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

139,529 

Co-funding Amount

18,900 

Total Project Value

158,429 

Sponsoring Forum

Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) 

Topics

Food Security 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Viet Nam 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Japan; Korea; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/06/2024 

Expected Completion Date

30/06/2025 

Project Proponent Name 1

Tran Cong Thang 

Job Title 1

Director General 

Organization 1

Institue of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

+84945659636 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

phong.nguyen@ipsard.gov.vn 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

+84912425828 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

minh.le@ipsard.gov.vn 

Declaration

Tran Cong Thang 

Project Summary

The rural-urban gap remains the development and welfare disparity in many APEC economies. APEC economies pursued innovation-driven growth by applying new technologies, strengthen digital infrastructure to close the digital divide. APEC economies have continuously advanced the development of DRC to promote inclusive and sustainable growth of rural residents, facilitate the trade and investment, with specific focus on supporting MSMEs and women-owned operations. DRC which is based on technologies integrating indigenous values and reconnecting regions for development, responding to uncertainties and risks (vulnerable livelihood, climate change, market fluctuations, natural disasters, etc.). The project focuses on capacity building for APEC economies on digitalization in agriculture and rural economy while sharing knowledge on best practices and enabling ecosystem on DRC to translate technological innovations into accessible, adapted, and affordable digital services benefiting MSMEs, rural women and rural communities.

Relevance

Region
t is acknowledged that the increasingly harsh effects of climate change, diminishing natural resources, as well as gaps in access to services between rural and urban populations are hampering APEC economies’ efforts to achieve food security and sustainable development. Rural poverty often comes from limited access to markets, education, quality infrastructure, employment opportunities, health, and financial products. Especially in the revolution of industry 4.0, many vulnerable people as well communities can face the risks of being marginalized in the process of development. APEC has made lots of effort to foster the development of member economies by digital economy and innovation. Digital rural community (DRC) initiatives via digital innovations will enable rural communities (e.g. villages, communes) to integrate the indigenous values and local strengths with advanced technologies, in particular digital technology. DRC is an initiative that can helps to reconnect rural area, compensate for the urban- rural digital divide, facilitate the e-commerce as well as promote the equalization of inclusive growth via better access to essential services. DRC helps to sustain benefits of developing APEC economies, and finally affirming an equitable and inclusive future for all. The goal of project is to build the capacity in digital application of rural communities not only in Viet Nam but also in other APEC economies.

Eligibility and Fund Priorities

This project is eligible to APEC Support Fund (ASF) – General Fund as it will focus on capacity-building needs for APEC developing economies to obtain, share, strengthen, maintain, and develop knowledge, abilities, skills and technical know-how on digitalization and innovation to improve their policies and regulations.

The project is designed to raise awareness and capacity building for public and private stakeholders and rural communities in APEC region, especially developing economies on how to develop best practices on DRC initiatives; the workshop proceedings including a Handbook of DRC best practices will be disseminated to member economies via APEC’s website.

Through the research results and workshop, member economies can have a comprehensive picture on DRC development, digitalization landscape in agriculture and rural economy and appropriate solutions to transfer technological innovations into accessible, adapted, and affordable digital services that benefiting MSMEs, rural women and rural communities. The outcomes of the project can be documented to report to ATCWG and PPFS for working our cooperation plan in this aspect and to submit to member economies as policy recommendations towards implementing the global efforts of digitalization and innovation in agriculture and rural development.

Capacity Building
The project is designed to build up capacity of IPSARD, as key agency who develop digital rural communities program in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam, and in broader scope for all APEC economies via 3 key activities: (i) Review of digitalization landscape and related policy framework in digital agriculture and rural economy of Viet Nam and selected APEC economies, particularly developing member economies; (ii) organize an international workshop for related public and private stakeholders of APEC economies for knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices on DRC initiatives; the workshop proceedings including a Handbook of DRC best practices will be disseminated to member economies via APEC’s website; (iii) the technical report will provide all project activities and lesson learnt, policy recommendations to develop DRC initiatives in Viet Nam and APEC economies. The project outputs are expected to particularly benefit developing economies or agriculture- based economies such as Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, etc. as well as developed ones such as Korea, etc.

Objectives

The project aims to improve the capacity of APEC economies by facilitating knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices on digital innovations and DRC initiatives across APEC economies. The project result will accelerate digitalization in agriculture and rural economy through stocktaking and proposing policy solutions to scale-up digital rural communities’ initiatives to promote inclusive and sustainable productivity growth in agri- food sector, facilitate trade, and spur investment of tech companies in marginal areas.

Through these activities, DRC can strengthen the connectivity of rural MSMEs, rural women, and rural communities. Finally, the project will pursue structural reforms and sound economic policies to promote innovation as well as improve productivity and dynamism of APEC economies.

Alignment

APEC

The outcomes of the project will also contribute to APEC priority on digitalization and innovation, one of three economic drivers of APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. In the Aotearoa Plan of Action to implement the APEC’s Putrajaya Vision 2040, one of the objectives under the theme of Innovation and Digitalization is “To empower all our people and businesses to participate and grow in an interconnected global economy, we will foster an enabling environment that is, among others, market-driven and supported by digital economy and innovation”. The proposed project is well matched with this goal as it will contribute to the APEC’s effort in empowering of rural population in digitalization through the development of digital rural community initiatives where local stakeholders including MSMEs, rural women and communities’ approach to accessible, adapted, and affordable digital services. This will contribute significantly to the goal of inclusive and sustainable growth.

Meantime, the project also promotes cooperation in relevant APEC fora to share knowledge and exchange of best practices on digital innovations and RDC initiatives while supporting to create enabling ecosystem for DRC initiatives to assist APEC economies in designing, developing, deploying, and scaling up innovative digital solutions to MSMEs, rural women, and rural communities.

Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy also emphasize the “Promoting sustainable, resilient, productive, and inclusive food systems and agricultural practices, achieving food security and nutrition, reducing food loss and waste, including through encouraging environment-friendly policies and minimizing environment-harmful ones, conserving agrobiodiversity, and enhancing the use of agricultural biotechnology, digitalization and other innovative approaches.

Forum

The proposed project is very much in line with various priorities in the PPFS’s Implementation Plan of the Food Security Toward Roadmap 2030, which recognizing the importance of digitalization and innovation, productivity, inclusivity, and sustainability towards the goal in line with APEC’s Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the Aotearoa Plan of Action. In detail the project relevant to activities in the Implementation plan are as follows:

-  Economies to make available and deliver training sessions and/or workshops to improve food system related digital literacy and capability for underserved communities, leveraging existing programmes where possible;

-  Increasing productivity and improving the livelihoods of small-scale food producers, especially where APEC has a comparative advantage in systems that maintain ecosystems and improve land and soil quality; Increasing access to markets both domestic and international.

The project also related to the 2021-2025 ATCWG Strategic Plan, which aims to enhance the research and development (R&D) and extension of Smart Agriculture (Agriculture 4.0) by harnessing cutting-edge digital technologies (…) to increase agricultural productivity, to resolve the problem of manpower shortage, and to cope with and adapt to the challenges of climate change.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs

1) Technical Research and Report including Handbook of Best Practices

The technical research will be developed based on desk study approach to review and analysis the development and best practices of digitalization in agriculture and rural development sector, review support policy framework from Viet Nam and 5-10 APEC economies (include of agriculture-based APEC economies such as Chile, China, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, and developed economies such as Japan, Korea, etc.).

The practices of digitalization in agriculture and rural development from other APEC economies will be developed from the desk study using secondary data.

The practice of digitalization in agriculture and rural development in Viet Nam will be developed from both secondary and primary data. The primary data will be collected via mail survey using official letter from IPSARD sent to localities as well as online interviews with key stakeholders.

The technical report includes of following parts: Part 1: Stocktaking of DRC in Viet Nam and APEC economies; Part 2: Proposed solutions and the way forward.

The Part 1: Stocktaking of DRC in Viet Nam and APEC economies includes of:

(i)  the trend of digitalization in agriculture and rural development; (ii) current state of DRC in Viet Nam and other APEC economies (5-10 APEC economies); (iii) the key challenges in Viet Nam and other APEC economies in develop DRC with the consideration of gender sensitivity; (iv) potentials and impacts of DRC development in Viet Nam and other APEC economies. The Part 2: Proposed solutions and the way forward includes of: (i) Summarize the key findings from the digitalization practices in rural communities in Viet Nam and other APEC economies; (ii) Highlight success factors, innovative approaches that can be replicated or adapted in Viet Nam and other APEC economies; (iii) Takeaways lessons for policy makers, practitioners, and stakeholders interested in promoting digital applications in agriculture and rural development in Viet Nam and other APEC economies. The technical report will be published as APEC publication and shared among APEC economies as background knowledge and promote discussion for workshop participants. The technical report will be at least 60 pages, excluding annexes.

From the desk review of the overall situation of DRC, the Handbook of DRC Best Practices will be developed. The Handbook will provide total of 10 best practice models of digital applications in agriculture and rural development, of which 7 cases from Viet Nam and 3 cases from other APEC economies (i.e. China, Korea, and Thailand).

The key content of the Handbook of DRC Best Practices will include of:

(1) Introduction of innovative digitalization practices in rural communities: innovative digital applications in rural communities; achievement of the practices: benefits, impacts; and especially how the digitalization practices promote inclusivity and address gender disparities effectively in rural communities.

(2) Enabling Factors and Barriers: enabling factors will be explored to determine the success of innovative digital applications in rural communities such as policy framework, institutional support, funding mechanisms, and stakeholder engagement strategies. The barriers and challenges that those stakeholders are facing in applying and scaling up digital applications will be identified.

(3) Experience, lessons learnt and solutions and policy recommendations to develop DRC in Viet Nam.

The Handbook of DRC Best Practices will be at least 30 pages.

2) A 2-Day International Workshop in Viet Nam

A 2-day international workshop will be organized in Viet Nam in 2024 to share and exchange knowledge and experiences of best DRC models. There will be 8-10 speakers and at least 60 participants participated directly in the workshop and at least 50% participants are female. Local and international experts will be invited to speak to best practices, challenges/ key success factors of DRC in Viet Nam and other APEC economies.

The 2-full day of workshop will include presentations in 03 sections: (i) Rationales, current achievement, expected impacts and related support policies of DRC development in Viet Nam and other APEC economies; (ii) Best practices models and challenges in digitalization application of local authorities, enterprises, cooperatives and farms in agriculture sector and rural development; (iii) Roadmap and recommendation on developing DRC in Viet Nam and other APEC economies.

Participants will have time for Q&A and a session for policy dialogue on Roadmap and recommendation on developing DRC in Viet Nam and other APEC economies. The policy dialogue will invite policy makers in related agencies to bring opportunities for participants to discuss and propose further necessary activities, policy amendments to promote the development of digitalization application on agriculture and rural community development in Viet Nam and other APEC economies. Inputs for workshop participants include speaker presentations and a Handbook of DRC best practices. All recordings of the project will be edited and endorsed by forum members before being disseminated. The organization board will inform event participants that the event will be recorded in the General Information Circular (GIC).

The workshop participants include of various stakeholders related to digitalization application in agriculture and rural community development in APEC economies, such as policy makers, government staffs, regional and international organizations, academic institutions, NGOs, agricultural commodity associations, SMEs, and farmers cooperatives. Post-workshop evaluation will be conducted to collect feedback from the participant on whether the workshop has addressed the challenges and proposed solutions for the development of DRC, as well as satisfactorily gender issues related to this topic. The evaluation form developed base on the instruction in the Appendix H of the Guidebook on APEC projects will be disseminated as the last agenda at the event.

3) Workshop Summary Report
A workshop summary report includes of workshop presentations, minutes of discussions and policy recommendations of Workshop’s participants. The Workshop summary report will be at least 35 pages excluding annexes.

Outcomes

1) Enhanced Knowledge Exchange and capacity building: the project will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and best practices among APEC economies regarding DRC development. This will involve the sharing of research findings, case studies, and innovative approaches to promote digitalization application for sustainable and inclusive growth in rural communities and agricultural sector. The APEC members can have a comprehensive picture on DRC development, how to apply and develop DRC models, benefits of DRC in practices. In addition, the project outputs are valuable references for research organizations, NGOs and other related stakeholders to apply in practice.

2) Promotion of sustainable Business Models: The project will promote sustainable business models via digitalization application to provide digital services to rural communities. Experiences and results of the project will help to improve efficiency and sustainability of MSMEs, women-led MSMEs, rural women and rural communities working in agriculture, support the extension of Smart Agriculture by harnessing cutting-edge digital technologies to increase agricultural productivity, and to cope with and adapt to the challenges of climate change in all APEC economies.

3) Policy Development and Alignment: The project will contribute to the development and alignment of policies and regulations related to DRC across APEC economies through identifying policy gaps, policy dialogues, and fostering collaboration to create an enabling environment for digitalization application in rural communities. Through knowledge on DRC best practices, lesson learnt and policy recommendations, public sector in APEC members can identify priority activities and policies for promoting digitalization in rural communities’ development. The project will provide a basis to design followed-up or additional APEC activities/ initiatives/ actions to promote DRC application in APEC economies for contributing to the APEC priority on digitalization and innovation, one of three economic drivers of APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040: “To empower all our people and businesses to participate and grow in an interconnected global economy, we will foster an enabling environment that is, among others, market-driven and supported by digital economy and innovation”.

4) Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration: The project will foster stakeholder engagement and collaboration among state and local governments, private sector entities, research institutions, civil society organizations and cooperatives/farmers. This will facilitate partnerships, knowledge-sharing networks, and joint initiatives to promote DRC development, inclusive growth and satisfactorily gender issues related to this topic.

Beneficiaries
First of all, the direct beneficiaries of the project are leaders and researchers in IPSARD and the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development (DCRD) and related agencies under MARD, who are involve in the development of digitalization development strategy in Viet Nam.

All APEC member economies are invited to join the project activities (e.g., technical report review, workshop participation) will directly benefit from knowledge on the best practices of digitalization rural communities and policy review.

All APEC member economies are invited to nominate representatives (management staff, policy makers, researchers, private sector, farmers cooperatives, etc.) to attend the project. The direct beneficiaries are:

-  Government officials (state and local levels) who in charged of rural development, agro-digitalization, e-commerce in all APEC economies.

- Relevant associations with relations to rural development, digital technology and related MSMEs, farmer cooperatives, etc.

-  Regional and international organizations such as ADB, FAO, WB, etc. and representatives of organizations in APEC economies related to DRC; academic institutions including universities and research institutes for digitalization application in agriculture.

All beneficiaries are encouraged to participate directly in the workshop. Long-term beneficiaries (who will benefit indirectly, through the application of recommendations and actions arising from the project outputs) are MSMEs, women-led MSMEs, rural women and rural communities working in DRC models in all APEC economies. The organizers will follow the principle of gender equity and balance of inclusive, wide, balanced, and professional participants. The participants’ profile requirements will be sent 8 weeks before the workshop.

Dissemination

The Technical Report of at least 60 pages excluding annexes will be an APEC Publication. The technical report including the section of handbook on DRC best practice swill be submitted to PPFS. The Technical report on DRC will be made in electronic format for sharing easily. The project will utilize the information network of IPSARD, MARD and existing APEC networks, such as the APEC website, newsletters, and social media channels to disseminate project outputs. We will collaborate with relevant stakeholders, such as APEC working groups, government agencies (e.g. Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development (DCRD), research institutions, and NGOs, to disseminate the project outputs through their communication channels. This would target a broad range of stakeholders, including government officials, researchers, policy makers, enterprises, service providers, cooperatives, farmers, and associations across APEC economies.

In the Workshop, hard copies of presentations and a Handbook on DRC best practices will be provided to all in-person participants. We will also provide electronic version of presentations and handbook on DRC best practice to all participants for better dissemination after the workshop.

We will also produce a Workshop Summary Report which includes workshop presentations, minutes of discussions and policy recommendations of Workshop’s participants. The Workshop Summary Report will be at least 35 pages excluding annexes.

Gender

Please see Project Proposal in Supporting Documents folder.

Work Plan

Please see Project Proposal in Supporting Documents folder.

Risks

Please see Project Proposal in Supporting Documents folder.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Please see Project Proposal in Supporting Documents folder.

Linkages

PPFS will oversee this Project and will be responsible for disseminating information about the Workshop to APEC member economies and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The outcomes of the project will be submitted to PPFS for consideration as there will be a need to acquire policy support for the development of digital rural community as one of key solutions for the food security and promoting public-private partnerships and investments to ensure greater resilience in the food systems of APEC economies.

The ATCWG will also be consulted and called for cooperation during the development and implementation of this project given the fact that ATCWG strategy focus on enhancing the research and development (R&D) and extension of Smart Agriculture by harnessing cutting-edge digital technologies to increase agricultural productivity and to cope with and adapt to the challenges of climate change in rural area;

The project is also linked to the effort of the United Nation (UN) to promote digital innovations to support inclusive, gender-sensitive rural development to meet Agenda 2030 goals. This project will not be duplicate as it focuses more on awareness raising and capacity building on digital rural community initiatives among APEC economies. The workshop will invite representatives from FAO and other international organizations to attend the workshop and share experiences and knowledge.

Sustainability

Currently, APEC economies is taking a proactive role in supporting and promoting innovation and digitalization to empower all stakehlders and particular agri-businesses to participate and grow in an interconnected global economy, enabling environment that is market-driven and supported by digital economy. The lesson learnt and policy recommendations through this project will greatly contribute to develop the structural reforms and sound policies to promote digitalization in rural communities’ development and agriculture supply chain upgrading in Viet Nam and other APEC economies. The outcomes of the workshop and the subsequent framework will contribute to the implementation of the Agriculture Digitalization plan of MARD and the NTP-NRD program in Viet Nam from now to 2030. These outcomes will also contribute to develop further actions to promote DRC models and rural communities’ development, the extension of smart agriculture by applying digital technologies to increase agricultural productivity, to resolve the problem of manpower shortage, and to cope with and adapt to the challenges of climate change in other APEC economies.

Based on knowledge and experiences that shared in project outputs, state and local government agencies, enterprises, digital service providers, cooperatives, and farms in rural area of developing economies can integrate and apply in draw lessons, experiences to apply in digitalization of administrative system, supply chain management, etc.

Additionally, associations, researcher organizations and NGOs also have valuable resources for sharing experiences and lessons with their partners.

As follow up activities, participants can create cooperative network for future exchange of ideas and discussions. Possible future actions to be reflected in the summary report will be discussed at PPFS, ABAC and ATCWG, in close consultations with other related APEC sub-fora. In the Workshop, since the final Session will be devoted to Policy dialogue and floor discussion, participants will be encouraged to suggest policy/ actionable recommendations, which will then be submitted to PPFS for review. This can be a valuable resource for economies and organizations to consider their future activities, actions, regulations on DRC development.

Project overseers will engage in dissemination and follow up engagement with project participants to ensure they feel equipped, have information they required. In addition to publishing the project outputs includes the recommendation and best practices on promoting DRC models in the APEC region on the APEC website (PPFS) if permitted; circulated within PPFS; and uploaded to MARD website (if permitted), the project will require Vietnamese government agencies in agriculture and rural development and local government agencies to help disseminate the report outputs.

Project Overseers

Not Applicable.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Please see Project Proposal in Supporting Documents folder.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

Yes 
Attachments
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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