Training on women empowerment through non-formal education

Activities for children in the Sepon municipality

The gold-covered Buddhist stupa Pha That Luang in Vientiane is the national symbol of Laos

The DVV International regional and country office in Laos was established in 2009. After the destruction of the country as a result of the civil war and the Vietnam War from 1953-1975, followed  by over a decade of political isolation, the Lao PDR is now experiencing a period of peace, prosperity and regional integration. In the past 20 years, the Lao economy grew by an average of seven percent. But Laos is still one of the least developed countries in the region and much of the population of Laos, which is mostly located in the country, are cut off from the benefits of progress. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), almost half of the approximately seven million inhabitants are affected by poverty; about 28 percent live in extreme poverty. The government has focused its education efforts on primary education. Vocational training, higher education and especially non-formal education are much less developed.

Main focus of work

Education Centres: DVV International supports courses in basic education and simple vocational skills in Community Learning Centres (CLCs) in Savannakhet Province. Special attention is currently being paid to enabling women to generate additional income.

Non-formal education system: DVV International supports the expansion and strengthening of the non-formal education system from the national to the village level. This includes the more precise definition of roles and responsibilities within the system as well as the strengthening of the system in Savannakhet Province at all levels.

Lifelong Learning: DVV International supports the Department of Non-formal Education in the Ministry of Education in implementing the Lifelong Learning Decree adopted in 2020. In this context, a focus on the recognition of skills and knowledge achieved in different learning situations is to be emphasised. In addition, the topic of lifelong learning is to be anchored in teacher training in cooperation with the Faculty of Education at the National University. A further focus in the implementation of the decree is improved cooperation between the various departments of the Ministry of Education in the provision of low-threshold vocational education and training in the non-formal sector.

Adult education for women: A study commissioned by DVV International in Bolikhamxay and Xienkhouang provinces revealed major obstacles for women to access non-formal education. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Rural Development Agency (RDA), targeted offers are to be developed that are aimed at disadvantaged women. These include soft skill training and simple financial and business skills.

Capacity building for providers of non-formal education: At the national level, this includes the Non-Formal Education Development Centre (NFEDC), which is also to function as a service provider for the non-formal education centres at the provincial and district levels. DVV International strengthens the exchange of the NFEDC with the subordinate levels, assists in the development of new teaching materials and also strengthens the centre’s organisational structures based on the Curriculum institutionALE.


The most important partner of DVV International is the Department of Non-formal Education in the Ministry of Education and the Non-formal Education Development Centre, which is responsible for the development of curricula and the production of teaching and learning materials. Of further importance is the cooperation with the Ministry’s Vocational Training Department as well as the cooperation with the National University of Laos. In the area of so-called non-profit associations, DVV International cooperates with the Rural Development Agency (RDA).

DVV International is a member of the Education Sector Working Group, which advises the Ministry of Education and all major national and international donors on educational projects.

Contact in Laos

DVV International
Regional Office South-East Asia
Watnak Ngai Road No. 351/19
Thaphalanxay Village
P.O. Box 1215

Regional  Director South-East Asia:
Christoph Jost

Contact in Germany

Senior Desk Office South-East Asia:
Thomas Rößer

More informationen

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