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Stakeholder expectations of future policy implementation compared to formal policy trajectories: scenarios for agricultural food systems in the Mekong delta

Stakeholder expectations of future policy implementation compared to formal policy trajectories: scenarios for agricultural food systems in the Mekong delta
Stakeholder expectations of future policy implementation compared to formal policy trajectories: scenarios for agricultural food systems in the Mekong delta
The development of a coherent and coordinated policy for the management of large socio-agricultural systems, such as the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam, is reliant on aligning the development, delivery, and implementation of policy on national to local scales. Effective decision making is linked to a coherent, broadly-shared vision of the strategic management of socio-agricultural systems. However, when policies are ambiguous, and at worst contradictory, long-term management and planning can consequently suffer. These potential adverse impacts may be compounded if stakeholders have divergent visions of the current and future states of socio-agricultural systems. Herein we used a transferable, scenario-based methodology which uses a standard quadrant matrix in order to explore both anticipated and idealized future states. Our case study was the Mekong delta. The scenario matrix was based upon two key strategic choices (axis) for the delta, derived from analysis of policy documents, literature, stakeholder engagement, and land use models. These are: (i) who will run agriculture in the future, agri-business or the established commune system; and (ii) to what degree sustainability will be incorporated into production. During a workshop meeting, stakeholders identified that agri-business will dominate future agricultural production in the delta but showed a clear concern that sustainability might consequently be undermined despite policy claims of the contrary. As such, our study highlights an important gap between national expectations and regional perspectives. Our results suggest that the new development plans for the Mekong delta (which comprise a new Master Plan and a new 5-year socio-economic development plan), which emphasize agro-business development, should adopt approaches that address concerns of sustainability as well as a more streamlined policy formulation and implementation that accounts for stakeholder concerns at both provincial and national levels.
Agricultural systems, Livelihoods, Mekong Delta, Scenarios, Stakeholders
2071-1050
5534
Hutton, Craig
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Hensengerth, Oliver M
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Berchoux, Tristan
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Tri, Van
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Tong, Thi
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Hung, Nguyen
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Voepel, Harold
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Darby, Stephen
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Bui, Duong
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Bui, Thi
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Huy, Nguyen
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Parsons, D.R
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Hutton, Craig
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Hensengerth, Oliver M
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Berchoux, Tristan
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Tri, Van
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Tong, Thi
b6acf938-455f-4067-8207-3f19ed5c897f
Hung, Nguyen
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Voepel, Harold
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Darby, Stephen
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Bui, Duong
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Bui, Thi
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Huy, Nguyen
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Parsons, D.R
d15539a2-a95f-4782-a9b5-19d29a170bcc

Hutton, Craig, Hensengerth, Oliver M, Berchoux, Tristan, Tri, Van, Tong, Thi, Hung, Nguyen, Voepel, Harold, Darby, Stephen, Bui, Duong, Bui, Thi, Huy, Nguyen and Parsons, D.R (2021) Stakeholder expectations of future policy implementation compared to formal policy trajectories: scenarios for agricultural food systems in the Mekong delta. Sustainability, 13 (10), 5534, [5534]. (doi:10.3390/su13105534).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The development of a coherent and coordinated policy for the management of large socio-agricultural systems, such as the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam, is reliant on aligning the development, delivery, and implementation of policy on national to local scales. Effective decision making is linked to a coherent, broadly-shared vision of the strategic management of socio-agricultural systems. However, when policies are ambiguous, and at worst contradictory, long-term management and planning can consequently suffer. These potential adverse impacts may be compounded if stakeholders have divergent visions of the current and future states of socio-agricultural systems. Herein we used a transferable, scenario-based methodology which uses a standard quadrant matrix in order to explore both anticipated and idealized future states. Our case study was the Mekong delta. The scenario matrix was based upon two key strategic choices (axis) for the delta, derived from analysis of policy documents, literature, stakeholder engagement, and land use models. These are: (i) who will run agriculture in the future, agri-business or the established commune system; and (ii) to what degree sustainability will be incorporated into production. During a workshop meeting, stakeholders identified that agri-business will dominate future agricultural production in the delta but showed a clear concern that sustainability might consequently be undermined despite policy claims of the contrary. As such, our study highlights an important gap between national expectations and regional perspectives. Our results suggest that the new development plans for the Mekong delta (which comprise a new Master Plan and a new 5-year socio-economic development plan), which emphasize agro-business development, should adopt approaches that address concerns of sustainability as well as a more streamlined policy formulation and implementation that accounts for stakeholder concerns at both provincial and national levels.

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Accepted/In Press date: 12 May 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 May 2021
Published date: 15 May 2021
Additional Information: Funding Information: BRaGS: Building Resilient Agricultural Systems: sustainable livelihoods in Mega Deltas under environmental change. BBSRC/GCRF 2017/19 & At-Risk Mega-Delta. NERC NE/S002847/1. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Keywords: Agricultural systems, Livelihoods, Mekong Delta, Scenarios, Stakeholders

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449290
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449290
ISSN: 2071-1050
PURE UUID: 3da61f46-be84-4ea4-a243-a946bc1681d9
ORCID for Craig Hutton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5896-756X
ORCID for Harold Voepel: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7375-1460
ORCID for Stephen Darby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8778-4394

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 30 Oct 2023 03:04

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Contributors

Author: Craig Hutton ORCID iD
Author: Oliver M Hensengerth
Author: Tristan Berchoux
Author: Van Tri
Author: Thi Tong
Author: Nguyen Hung
Author: Harold Voepel ORCID iD
Author: Stephen Darby ORCID iD
Author: Duong Bui
Author: Thi Bui
Author: Nguyen Huy
Author: D.R Parsons

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