Huong is Head of Economic, Social and Family Affairs Department of Ha Tinh Provincial Women’s Union. She has also been a leader of our Women-Led Output-Based Aid (WOBA) project since the program commencement, assuming responsibility for planning, implementing and overseeing the program activities.
The last two years of Huong’s engagement in WOBA have witnessed a significant growth in her capacities and skills, particularly her sense of self-motivation and proactiveness. Unlike the past projects where project teams were mostly “thinking inside the box”, simply following an established framework and executing what they were told to do, WOBA, as its name suggests, has given Huong and her team opportunities to step up and bring their leadership skills and initiatives into play. Since WOBA targets marginalized groups, including people with disabilities, Huong understands that it takes tremendous resources and stakeholder coordination to respond to their needs and address the challenges they face. As the Ha Tinh program management focal point, Huong has worked closely with the provincial government to mobilize counterpart funding for the program activities. In addition to specific policies facilitating social inclusion, Ha Tinh’s provincial government has committed to allocating VND 2.7 billion for the 5 years of WOBA implementation. It is anticipated that 3,800 households will benefit from the collaboration between the WOBA program and the local government.
Huong is also aware that social resources, especially contributions from businesses, philanthropists and even beneficiaries’ relatives, are needed because of constraints on the local government’s financing. She has actively sought to get external donors and supporters involved by promoting the program’s mission and activities. For example, she often arranges visits to target households in collaboration with various local government agencies, media channels, businesses and other interested individuals or organizations. Through these visits, gender equality and social inclusion messages are underlined and instilled into participants, thereby locating and mobilizing resources for the communities and people in need.
According to Huong, leading the WOBA charge over the past couple of years has not always been an easy job. However, the challenges that sometimes seem insurmountable have shaped her capacities and enabled her to become more independent and creative in her work.
At the heart of our programs are strong partnerships with government, private sector, civil society groups, and local communities. We also implement learning and feedback strategies to strengthen our approaches to promoting gender and socially inclusive WASH practices in our partner communities.