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Answers on PIM to readers
I want to buy the book published by the Agricultural Publishing House named “Participatory Irrigation Management and Emerging Issues”. What should I do?

Answers on PIM to readers


PIM has become a hot topic for many people, especially for research students in Vietnam and abroad. Recently, the Editorial Board has received many letters from readers, many of whom are abroad, asking how to buy recently-published books on PIM and related issues. The Editorial Board has categorized the questions and had Mr. Nguyen Xuan Tiep, one PIM specialist and a member of VNCOLD to answer those categorized questions as follows:


Question (Q):

I want to buy the book published by the Agricultural Publishing House named “Participatory Irrigation Management and Emerging Issues” (1). What should I do?

Answer (A):

This bilingual (Vietnamese - English) book was published in limited quantity. The Agricultural Publishing House is planning to reprint the Vietnamese version of this book to meet the demand of readers; however, the currently available number of books is small. You can contact Mr. Nguyen Xuan Tiep via his email address, or mobile phone (84)913087595 to order.  

The book published by the Agricultural              Publishing House 2008                                 

The first workshop on PIM in Vietnam with theparticipation of INPIM representatives




Why in many conferences, workshops or discussions are you introduced to be Mr. PIM by many people, especially international specialists?


I am lucky to be one of the two key members to have founded VNPIM (Vietnam Network on Participatory Irrigation Management) in 1998 and afterwards (in 2005) I was also one of the founders of CPIM (Center for Participatory Irrigation Management). This center is the first in Vietnam to provide consulting services on PIM and has presided over drafting and submitting PIM documents in Vietnam, edited many PIM documents to serve training, provided Water User Group establishment guidance, participated and organized national workshops, attended many international workshops on PIM of different projects. I have met and worked with several international organizations and NGOs on PIM and related issues. I have dedicated my time to every PIM work for nearly 15 years.

In a Regional Workshop held in Ha Long from 30 March to 2 April 2004, there were many participants of international organizations, NGOs, representatives of the five countries in the region and especially many national experts. In this workshop, Mr. Pieter Smidt, Senior Expert, Representative of ADB’s Vietnam Resident Mission in Hanoi, the Co-chairman of the workshop introduced me to the participants to be Vietnam’s “PIM Specialist” and called me “Mr. PIM”. Since then, people have used that “new name” – Mr. PIM when seeing me or introducing me. Currently, I often receive letters from friends with the salutation “Dear Mr. PIM”. Thank you for sticking my name to the job you concern.

       Mr. Pieter Smidt (ADB)               

Regional Workshop on PIM - 2004



Has Vietnam had a regulatory framework for PIM?


As affirmed in many materials: PIM in Vietnam appeared from previous centuries (18, 19). PIM methodology has been developed, documents on PIM and related issues have been issued, the term “PIM” has been used widely, especially from the first National Workshop on PIM held in Cua Lo, Nghe An from 7th to 11th April 1997. However, some people who do not have access to PIM and do research on PIM in Vietnam say that we do not have enough regulatory framework to develop PIM in Vietnam.

To give more details to the answer to this question, you can consult the VNCOLD website or read the book (1) from pages 22 to 44 and from 128 to 146 (Vietnamese version) or from pages 239 to 261 and from 342 to 363 (English version).


Q: What is the PIM current situation in Vietnam? Difficulties, advantages, existing problems and causes of these problems, any experience lessons?   


As many people know, PIM in Vietnam has had a long history of development with many forms established in provinces, concurred by many people, protected by the law, concerned and guided by local authorities, and had effective operations, etc. Especially, there have been guidance documents on PIM including the document number 3213/BNN-TL dated 30 April 2004 (Strategic framework for PIM development in Vietnam) which affirmed Investment on structures should be carried out together with establishment of management organizations including PIM. Implementation of priority investment projects including those funded by loans from external funding agencies should only be fund-disbursed after appropriate management organizations ensuring satisfactory farmer participation (institutional arrangements) is set up. This policy will create a close tie between the State and people, between the employers within executive agencies and beneficiaries and should be an important and first criterion for investment determination.

It is also necessary to pay attention to investments in management equipment ensuring better management conditions of irrigation systems. Investment policy is also required to ensure the feasibility in encouraging farmers to participate in investment and system management. At the same time, the timely issuance of policies on O&M  needs to be undertaken in order to make sure the safe operation of works and to  avoid the deterioration of structures.

Moreover, Circular 75/2004/TT-BNN dated 20 December 2004 regarding “Guidelines for Water Users Group establishment, strengthening and development” stated the principles for organization, finance, assets, etc of establishing water users group in the direction of PIM. However, there are still many difficulties in PIM development, particularly, the officials, even key professional ones, have inappropriate approach to PIM. Furthermore, the roles of competent authorities and related agencies have not been defined, including the role of Consultants for establishing water users group format and operation which is still limited due to restriction in specialists’ knowledge, responsibilities, etc. There are still unsuitable “gap”, especially in establishment guidance, training with “mechanical”, formalistic and academic contents which are not applicable in Vietnam’s practical situation. To understand more about difficulties, advantages, existing problems and drawn lessons in Vietnam, please read the book (1) pages 82 to 119 (Vietnamese version) or pages 297 to 335 (English version).   

       PIM implementation in VWRAP (2007)

PIM implementation in ADB4 project (2004)



What is the relationship between PIM and irrigation system modernization?


 Many studies on Modernization and Irrigation System Modernization Projects do not mention PIM. That is a mistake proven by practice. PIM can be considered as a good tool to support the system modernization, a condition to implement modernization, by promoting water users’ role in the same system through their organizations (WUA). In its turn, modernization is an important element for effective and sustainable PIM.

 Therefore, PIM must be considered as a condition to implement modernization and the latter is the best condition to promote the effectiveness of PIM. If the benefits of either PIM or modernization are not taken into account it will result in failure or “meaningless investment” as ever complained.


Above mentioned are general answers, should you have any personal request, you can go directly to VNCOLD office at 95/10 Chua Boc Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi for more information and discussion.  

Thank you very much!

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