Multisector Planning for Sustainable Development (2015–2016)

Development planning in the GMS is often fragmented, with ministries and sectors lacking the capacity, tools, or incentives to work together to meet sustainable development goals. When competing for the same natural resources, implementing one sector plan is often to the detriment of another. As a result, resource allocation can become inefficient, costly, and ultimately unsustainable.

For example, an agriculture ministry may plan to divert water resources from a river to increase yields on nearby farms, while at the same time the energy ministry is intent on using that river for hydropower. Neither plan may be feasible if the other goes ahead. Or if one does, environment and social ministries may raise concerns about the potential impacts on river fisheries and local livelihoods.

Addressing the conflicts demonstrated in the example above in the GMS requires finding ways for multiple sectors to plan and work together. Multisector planning approaches contribute greatly to environmental mainstreaming in various levels of decision making process. Multistakeholder dialogues and scenario-based modelling tools are essential to develop a shared understanding of core challenges, drivers of change, and alternative development pathways.

The CEP’s activity ‘Strengthening Multisector Planning Processes for Environmental Sustainability in the GMS’ aims to:

  • Promote strategic Socioeconomic Development Planning (SEDP) through identifying opportunities for environmental mainstreaming in planning processes, as well as enhancing the quality of planning.
  • Demonstrate the value of scenario-based multisector planning in improving decision-making for SEDPs.
  • Introduce a multisector planning framework to support stakeholders to work together to (i) understand major development and environment challenges, (ii) identify desired future development goals and related indicators, and (iii) assess alternative development scenarios.
  • Initiate a participatory process for engaging stakeholder groups to make collective decisions in order to sustainably manage the environment and natural resources.
  • Build institutional and technical capacities within countries so they understand and can use scenario-based multisector planning tools.
  • Document the multisector process and identify opportunities for replication

This activity will take place in three countries—Viet Nam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. Lao Cai Province, Viet Nam will be the core case study and particular effort will be put into supporting both provincial and national stakeholders to understand and build capacity to engage in and carry out a scenario-based multisector planning exercise. In Lao Cai, a scenario model will be developed with local stakeholders through a participatory process. At the end of the activity this tool will remain with local partners, who will have the capacity to apply the tool in provincial planning processes.

Activities in Lao PDR and Cambodia will focus on building capacity for understanding the needs and opportunities for environmental mainstreaming in planning processes through multisector planning exercises, and identifying institutional opportunities. Participants from Lao PDR and Cambodia will be invited to engage in regional learning workshops that provide focused training based on the experience in Lao Cai.  


File Name Size Modified
Multi​-Sector Planning for Env Mainstreaming Project Brief.pdf 531 KB 01-07-2015

Publish Date: 7th August 2014

Last Updated: 15th November 2015

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