Inception Meeting in Yangon 29 November – 3 December 2013

The ESP-Mekong project management team held its four-country inception meeting in Yangon from 29 November to 3 December 2013. This meeting was attended by team partners from all four Mekong countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam). This meeting was the first to bring together all of the country teams. It was organized to discuss and prepare the first phase of the project, which involves qualitative research focusing on a wide range of detailed case studies and interviews across all four countries. The group discussed the topics of economic empowerment, security, vulnerability and social protection in the context of each partner’s respective country, in order to generate context-sensitive data collection tools and planning. In addition, the meeting addressed the project’s research methodology and research procedures, including the selection of project sites, getting inputs from country team partners. Finally it was agreed that a research protocol would be developed, including guidelines on research ethics that would guide all research teams. Each team presented a preliminary plan, which was discussed and reviewed by the AIT project investigators as well as other country team members. It was agreed that AIT would provide and assist in data collection training for all country teams, and that close communication across the teams will ensure an effective collaborative effort.