Laos, Australia extend partnership in human resource development

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The government is closely cooperating with Australia on human resource development and implementation of the development strategy in this field.

The topic was discussed at the third annual National Human Resource Development (HRD) Dialogue in Vientiane recently.

Attended by about 60 participants from government ministries and development partners, the event allowed stakeholders to provide feedback on key Lao government initiatives to improve the Lao labour force and identify areas for future collaboration, according to a press release issued by the Australian embassy.

This year, the Dialogue focussed on the implementation progress of the National Human Resource Development Strategy and its linkage to the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, especially in the three main priority sectors: agriculture, education and health.

Another key highlight is the development of the Monitoring and Evaluation Learning Framework of the national HRD strategy, with an emphasis on the purpose of this framework, the list of proposed indicators and the next steps required.

The Dialogue also provided an update on the implementation progress from previous Dialogue initiatives, including the progress made on the Labour Market Information System and the Study of Skills Demand in the Private Sectors in Laos.

In welcoming this year’s participants, Australian Ambassador to the Lao PDR Mr Jean-Bernard Carrasco said the Australian government is proud to be a long-term partner with the government of Laos in this critical sector, and to support this important event as it aims to bring government, non-government and private sector stakeholders together to discuss the challenges and opportunities in national HRD policy and implementation.

“This Dialogue provides an invaluable opportunity to bring relevant stakeholders together, and try and take stock of how these different layers of direction, policy and strategy are fitting together for effective management of human resource development in Laos,” Mr Carrasco said.

Minister of Education and Sports Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun said “As Laos approaches the mid-point of the National HRD Strategy; and the government gets close to finalising an improved Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Strategy with Australia’s assistance, the meeting is timed at a significant junction for human resource development policy in Laos.”

The Monitoring and Evaluation Learning Framework will provide valuable information for the Lao government and relevant stakeholders in terms of strategic and long-term planning.

It will be a source of information for studying the challenges and gaps in the strategy implementation and to identify solutions. It will also bring together and enhance coordination and cooperation between all stakeholders in the monitoring and evaluation process.

Australia and the Lao government annually undertake a National Human Resource Development Dialogue, involving the government of Laos’ National Human Resources Development Commission and a range of multilateral and bilateral donors.

The Annual Dialogue is an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities in national HRD policy and implementation.

Australia is contributing to human resource development by providing scholarships to Lao students and officials to study in Lao and Australian universities.

According to the embassy, the Australian government has been providing scholarships through the Laos Australia National Scholarships programme, with 50 scholarships a year to the National University of Laos and 20 scholarships to Souphanouvong University.

Australia also provided 30 scholarships through the Australia Awards scholarship scheme for study in Australia.

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