Party Secretary General and President Choummaly Sayasone has told officials to work harder to realise the Party’s newly-initiated directive on devolution to local authorities, called Sam Sang (the three builds).

The president made the advice at the two-day nationwide meeting to discuss the work required by officials at all levels to realise the three-build directive, which closed yesterday in Vientiane.

He instructed the ministries and the provincial authorities to dispatch more staff to where they are needed, in order to assist village authorities realise the directive to create strength in grass-roots communities and help alleviate poverty.

The president stated that the Party, government and all Lao people have a collective duty to realise the three-build directive, which aims to strengthen the nation as a whole.

The directive, which features in the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress, spells out how provinces are to be built up as strategy-making units, districts are to be strengthened in all regards, and villages are to become development units.

The three-build directive aims to realise the resolution of the 9th Party Congress, which set an ambitious goal to reduce poverty among poor families from the currently estimated 13 percent to less than 10 percent by 2015.

“If we are implementing the resolution in the right direction, we will achieve the goal,” the president stressed to those present at the meeting. “This is the main goal of the 9th resolution.”

Realising the three-build directive will automatically realise the Party’s four-breakthrough approach, which was also outlined in the 9th congress, Mr Choummaly said.

The fact that the directive will transfer more projects and work responsibilities to local authorities will help them participate more fully in the development process, such as outlining plans based on local potential including identifying what crops should be planted where, he said.

“This will enable us to make full use of local intellect, creative ideas and potential,” he told the officials present.

In order to realise the directive and maximise local potential, the president instructed the relevant officials to properly analyse what level of delegation and responsibilities should be transferred to provincial, district and village authorities.

However, there is also a need to assess whether those authorities have the capacity to take on such responsibilities at this point in time, he qualified.

The president stressed the need to attach greater importance to human resource development and better train younger staff to meet the growing need to carry out work effectively, especially in terms of advising people in grass roots communities.

“We shouldn’t let local people carry out activities by themselves, especially agricultural activities,” he said. “We should do whatever we can to make villages and grass roots communities strengthened in all regards.”

However, the president noted that the delegation of responsibilities and benefits to local authorities has been done slowly, and that some ministries are reluctant to hand them over to local authorities. He suggested that those concerned work through the issues but warned them to do it carefully.

Fifteen ministries, and three districts of each province, covering 108 villages, have been selected to launch the pilot scheme for carrying out the three-build directive. The directive was put into implementation in October last year.

Source: Vientiane Times
February 6, 2013