The Mekong PRoject on ‘Livelhoods, Water and Change: A Thaibaan Research Project’ (MK9) set out to improve dialogue about how communities are dealing with changes to the Mekong’s water resources. The project was built around two key methodologies: (a) ‘Thaibaan’ research, which is a form of participatory rural appraisal, in which local communities define the kind of research they would like to conduct, and then implement it; and (b) participatory video, through which communities collect the data to answer their research questions using video. The project entrusts villagers to become local researchers who produce educational outputs for their communities. The project aims to provide insights on impacted livelihoods (pre- and post-dams) and human resilience in the face of change. The project’s theory of change sees community experiences as largely neglected in wider discussions about water in the Mekong. By empowering communities through the research they implement, supported and facilitated by a wider technical and analytical network, community representation in dialogues and decision-making processes will improve.
MK9 was led by the Participatory Development Training Centre (Laos); the Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development (Vietnam); and the Culture and Environment Preservation Association (Cambodia).
Phoutthasinh Phimmachanh (phoutthasinh[at]yahoo.com)