Research Reports

Building an Evidence Base for Policy Formulation in the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector in Lao PDR

Senior officials in the Lao government and concerned organizations and business enterprises are increasingly interested in policy formulation based on science and evidence-based research. Technical assistance and funding for policy research is increasingly linked to hard scientific evidence and demonstrated success in the belief that better policies will be formulated, and existing policy implementation gaps will be addressed. Decision-makers continue to seek solutions to persistent challenges to sustainable agricultural development that form the research agenda for the Policy Think Tank. These are: Agricultural technology issues, Farmer organization issues,  Livestock technology and fishery issues,  Agro-economic issues, Agrobiodiversity issues, Agricultural land issues, Forest management issues, and Nutrition agriculture sensitivity

Impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on smallholder farmers and vulnerable rural people in Viet Nam.

VIET NAM - Under the framework of the project “Network for Agriculture and Rural Development Think-tanks for Countries in Mekong sub-region” (NARDT), IPSARD collaborated with experts from NARDT, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to publish the report “Impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on smallholder farmers and vulnerable rural people in Viet Nam”. This report is an attempt to provide more in-depth and reliable information for decision-making by the Vietnamese Government to cope with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Publications - The Rice Economy and the Role of Policy in Southeast Asia (2017)

Rice is the key staple of Southeast Asia (SEA), as well as one of its most widely grown crops. The region includes some of the largest rice producers in the world, together with two of the top three exporters (Thai lan and Vietnam), and two of the world’s top importers (Indonesia and the Philippines). The region has gained prominence as an early adopter of key production innovations, such as modern inbred varieties and hybrid rice. Policy is a key driver of the rice economy, alongside market forces, technology, and the environment. Production support policies, such as public investments in irrigation, the extension bureaucracy, as well as credit and input subsidies, were instrumental in the spread of modern rice varieties. Up to now, rice commands the most public resources in SEA compared with any other crop. Governments have also intervened actively in rice markets, invoking the key role of rice in food security and livelihoods. 

Publications - Understanding the Mekong Rivier's hydrological conditions (2020)

A brief commentary note on the "Monitoring the Quantity of Water Flowing Through the Upper Mekong Basin Under Natural Conditions" study by Alan Basist and Claude Williams (2020) Summary of the commentary • Dam development in the upper reaches of the Mekong has led to changes in seasonal flows, with increased dry season flows and decreased wet season flows. Both phenomena are observed in the LMB, with the impact on the flow regime becoming progressively less noticeable further downstream. • The findings of the Eyes on Earth study have not yet well taken into account the complexities of rainfall and runoff, thus not reflecting the actual hydrological conditions in the Basin. The conclusions drawn are based on calculated flows and not an analysis of the actual flows at Chaing Saen set against the long term trends.  • As the methods presented by the authors are highly empirical and calibrated on the period 1997 2001, various complex hydrological and physical processes that determine the runoff from the catchment and the river are not captured in the regression functions. • Our preliminary analysis of hydrological and rainfall data showed that the 2019 drought in the basin was due largely to insufficient rainfall during the wet season with a delayed arrival and earlier departure of monsoon rains and an El Nino event that created an abnormally higher temperature and higher evapotranspiration. • Inadequate information on water infrastructures in the Mekong River Basin and the way these infrastructures are operated have made it challenging to forecast short term impacts

Publications - Stories from the field & Innovative agriculture

Unlocking opportunities for rural entrepreneurs and farmers in sub-Mekong region This publication tells 15 stories of rural people whose lives have been changed by the work of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, the Philippines and Viet Nam. These stories provide examples of how our work is constantly evolving, piloting new ideas, solving problems in innovative ways, building on lessons learned and scaling up initiatives that work well, into larger projects. The stories also emphasize the importance of a wide-range of partnerships on the ground and the role of dedicated project staff in bringing about project success. As a results based and learning organization, IFAD believes strongly in knowledge sharing. By collecting and sharing these stories, we hope to disseminate our experiences to a wide audience and support readers to learn more about the issues that poor rural people face.

The Drought and Salinity Intrusion in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam

As an impact of the ongoing El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, severe drought and salinity intrusion has been occurring in Mekong River Delta (MRD) of Vietnam and has caused varying degrees of damage to agriculture, fisheries and the livelihoods of people in the region. On 15 March 2016, the Vietnamese government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized a meeting with donors, international organizations and other partners to discuss joint efforts for drought response and recovery.


This report puts together the findings of the assessment of country components of the Greater Mekong Subregion economic corridors. Along with six country reports, the integrative report was prepared by a study team led by the Asian Development Bank, which serves as the GMS Secretariat.

Report on the 2017 Biomonitoring survey of the lower Mekong River and Selected Tributaties

This report describes the biomonitoring survey conducted in the dry season of 2017 in the Lower Mekong Basin which contributes to the evaluation of the overall ecological health of the river. The objectives of the report are to (i) describe the biological indicator groups sampled during 2017; (ii) use this information to derive biological indicators for the sites examined in 2017; and (iii) use biometric indicators to evaluate these sites.

Mekong Basin - Wide Fisheries Management and Development Strategy 2018 - 2022

The strategy has been developed on the basis of the Integrated Water Resources Management-based Basin Development Strategy for the Lower Mekong Basin 2016-2020 in close collaboration with the four MRC Member Countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam). The five-year strategy focuses on inland capture fisheries, based on the national management and development policies, strategies and plans of Member Countries.

A journey towards integrated water resources management in the lower mekong basin

This report, presented through visuals and stories, depicts the efforts by the MRC over six years to transform dialogue to cooperation at the cross-boundary level. It provides accounts on how the Commission, through its Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project, has strengthened integrated water resources management in the lower Mekong basin via five different projects.