Integrating culture in Five-Year National Socio Economic Development Plans

Lao People's Democratic Republic
National government (inter-ministerial)
Key objectives of the measure:

To achieve sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction while gradually transforming Lao PDR into a more open, strengthening the productivity and capacity of the cultural and creative industries and prioritizing the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

The Government of Lao PDR has long recognized the role of local culture, knowledge and skills as a means to create jobs and improve economic development. Culture is seen as the main foundation for sustainable development of the nation, leading to solidarity in the society and pushing the society to expand and integrate at the regional and international levels.

The evaluation of the 7th Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2011-2015) acknowledged how local skills, together with new techniques, have shifted many families in the bordered and priority areas of the country from slash-and-burn rice cultivation to commercial production, to secure permanent jobs as well as ensure improved livelihoods. Handicrafts sector is fast developing, with a growth rate of 15 percent per annum and currently valued about 2,850 billion kip (equivalent 340,000,000 US$), with a growth rate of 15 percent per annum. Lao handicraft products are popular domestically and exported to Japan, the EU and the US. Eco- and cultural tourism has been promoted through community-based tourism initiatives, bringing in a revenue of approximately 725,000,000 US$ in 2015. The ‘one village one product’ approach has been enacted to promote local and cultural resources for sustainable development.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

- Lao handicraft products have developed with inheritance value for each local area and high quality, with high domestic and foreign market demand;

- Tourism has developed based on the application of natural, cultural and historic inheritance potential in an effective and sustainable manner through participation of the people, and transformed into a revenue generating sector of the country to create employment and income for the local population

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

Government budget (central and local), secured on an annual basis

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

The Socio-Economic Development Plans are developed every five years and evaluated at the end of each period. The 7th plan was developed for the 2011-2015 period, the results of its implementation were reviewed while preparing for the 8th plan (2016-2020). The evaluation acknowledged an improvement in the socio-economic development, with contribution from the culture sector.

Indicators used to determine impact:
The growth rate in the handicrafts and tourism sectors
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)