Section 5.2.5 (p.38): For the justice sector, the emphasis is put on the case free villages (over
5,000 villages) and the indicator of almost 90% of dispute settled at village level. We believe this is not necessarily a good objective and this should be treated with caution for the next NSEDP. Indeed, VMUs should also be instrumental to accompany cases to the formal judicial system. 100% settlement at VMU level should not be encouraged as some cases need formal trial.
Under implementation, section 7.17 (p.120): the approach for this sector is very top-down. There is a need to have a more decentralised, bottom-up and inclusive approach (i.e. give more space to the citizens’ voice).
A reference to human rights could be included under 7.21 Priority cross-cutting outputs, in particular 7.21.2 Gender/Youth Equality or 7.21.3 effectiveness of public governance and administration to reflect the country’s engagement.
Section 5.2.6 (p.39): The activities regarding gender development and gender equality are very much focused on the work of the Lao Women Association. There are however a number of other groups and local non-profit associations that are also working on the issue with tangible results on the ground. This should be considered.
Public Sector Development
Section 5.7 (p.64): There is no mention of the SP-LSMP and NGPAR programmes that are very much supported by international DPs, including the EU. The results mentioned in the text seem however to be part of these programmes.
5.7.1 Legislative: we recommend the publication of the results of the hotline.
5.7.2 Administration: in assessing the achievements, one should more clearly identify how the capacity of the civil servants has helped with the quality of the service delivery to citizens.
In implementation 7.21.3 Administration (p.130): there is a need to focus more on the citizens, interaction between the authorities and the citizens, better service delivery.
5.7.3 Judiciary: there is a need to stress also the achievement and future necessity to integrate international conventions in domestic laws.