Explore our work by: Country

Project Case Study

Managing the Laos-Australia Development Learning Facility

Improving the effectiveness of rural development efforts in Lao PDR

Economic growth in Lao PDR has been consistently impressive, driven mainly by its hydropower and mining sectors. While statistically the incidence of poverty has fallen, the benefits of the country’s strong growth have not been felt by the whole population, particularly the rural poor and women.

For these people, weak rural infrastructure restricts access to markets, agricultural productivity is hindered by unexploded ordnance contamination, and widespread malnutrition that leads to stunted growth in children and reduced productivity.

Project info

Laos-Australia Development Learning Facility



  • Australian Government

In this context, the Governments of Australia and Lao PDR are engaged in the implementation of the Laos-Australia Development Cooperation Strategy 2009–15, which commits to assist the Government of Laos’ development priorities and programmes in education, rural development and trade reform. The Laos-Australia Rural Development Delivery Strategy, which supports the broader Cooperation Strategy, articulates how the Australian aid programme will deliver on commitments relating to poverty reduction in rural Laos through infrastructure and livelihoods initiatives.

A key component of this is the Laos-Australia Rural Livelihoods Program (LARLP) that seeks to provide poor rural families, particularly women, with greater and inclusive access to social protection, financial services, productive assets and opportunities to generate income.

We are supporting the implementation of LARLP and the Rural Development Delivery Strategy by managing the Laos-Australia Development Learning Facility.

Innovative and pioneering initiatives

  • Provide high-quality performance assessment through rigorous monitoring and evaluation across all of Australian Aid’s rural development activities (including livelihoods, social protection, financial inclusion, UXO clearance, infrastructure development)
  • Commission research and evaluation studies to investigate important issues affecting the pace and effectiveness of rural development in Lao PDR; and
  • Provide technical advice, analytical assistance and a sound evidence base supporting policy dialogue with Government of Lao PDR agencies

The Laos-Australia Development Learning Facility is an Australian Aid Project, managed by Adam Smith International (Australia), supported by the Australian Government.

Our Work

Explore our work to transform lives by making economies stronger, societies more stable, and governments more effective.