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Risk management networks of ethnic minorities in Viet Nam

  • Isabel Fischer
  • Tina Beuchelt

    (University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)

  • Tom Dufhues

    (Senior research fellow at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development (IAMO), Halle, Germany)

  • Gertrud Buchenrieder

    (Professor, The Universität der Bundeswehr, Munich, Germany)

The utilization of informal social networks is an important risk management strategy of vulnerable households in South-East Asia. To gain insight on this issue, a social network analysis (SNA) was implemented to assess risk management networks of ethnic minority farm households in the northern uplands of Viet Nam. The results from the analysis suggest that kinship relations and the level of wealth play an essential role in enabling basic network services to function. This paper also points out that effective networks require investments to fulfil the requested mutual obligations and that subsequently, social networks among poor farmers are relatively limited. The findings of the analysis show, not surprisingly, that networks cannot completely buffer severe shocks. Consequently, policy measures to reduce the costs of investing in social capital of poor farmers as well as improved access to appropriate social security systems are essential. These findings are applicable to other upland areas of South-East Asia.

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Article provided by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its journal Asia-Pacific Development Journal.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 83-118

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Handle: RePEc:unt:jnapdj:v:17:y:2010:i:2:p:93-118
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