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Criteria for assessing the quality of district cadre contingents under SCPPC in Central Laos

(PTOJ) - Determining the right system of assessment criteria is the first condition for properly assessing the quality of cadre contingents. For district cadre contingents under the Standing Committee of Provincial Party Committees (SCPPC) in the central region of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, it is necessary to pay full attention to the following criteria: number and structure; political qualities; moral qualities, lifestyle, sense of organization and discipline; qualification, competence and work style; willingness to undertake and fulfill assigned responsibilities and tasks.

Pha That Luang stupa Vientiane - Photo: IT

Cadre and Cadre Personnel Work have always been significant determinants in all victories of the revolutionary cause. Being deeply aware of this issue, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) has focused resources and proposed many guidelines and policies to build and improve the quality of cadre contingents at all levels since the 8th National Congress.

It is clearly stated in Documents of the 9th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) that: “Under the new conditions, our Party desperately needs cadres who have knowledge, competence, quality, firm political bravery, true loyalty to the Fatherland and the Party’s cause, the spirit of loyal devotion to serving the country and the people, progressive and transparent lifestyles, the spirit of regular self-training and diligence for learning to improve their qualifications in all aspects, the sense of organization and discipline, high respect and strict adherence to the Party Charter.”(1).

The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) remarked at the 11th National Congress: during the 2016-2020 term, the Party building and rectification, as well as the cadre planning, training, placement, and arrangement, have always been actively implemented, resulting in many changes and significant achievements. In view of the interwoven difficulties and challenges that have posed and continue to pose new and harder requirements on the cadre organization and management, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) determined the following policy at its 11th National Congress: Create strong and profound transformations in cadre personnel management; build and plan successive cadres into a system; manage and organize the contingent of successive cadres to ensure the female ratio structure, ethnic diversity, and diversity in fields of work; organize the cadre recruitment, planning, training and placement in accordance with the basic principles under direct and absolute control by the Party committees at all levels, ensuring objectivity and transparency; actively improve appropriate social regimes, policies, and welfare; strictly implement the regime of cadre management, supervision, and disciplinary measures; change the viewpoints or habits of considering geographic origins or ethnic characteristics as priority conditions in the placement and arrangement of leaders and managers.

The Central Region of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, consisting of 05 provinces (Savannakhet, Khammouane, Bolikhamsai, Xaisomboun, Vientiane), is a strategic area in terms of politics, military, economy, and culture. Over the years, the Party committees at all levels, the authorities, and the people in central Laos have overcome numerous difficulties and challenges, unceasingly striving to attain significant achievements in the economy, culture, society, national defense, security, and so on.

However, these provinces are facing great challenges in socio-economic development, in ensuring national defense and security, as well as in promoting industrialization and modernization, especially in agriculture, in rural areas, and in new rural construction. The achievements, limitations, and difficulties of these provinces are associated with the quality, qualifications, and competencies of the cadre contingents in general and the district cadre contingents under the SCPPC in particular.

Regarding the number of cadres, the Central Region of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is composed of five provinces with 495 district cadres under the SCPPC, including 47 district Party committee secretaries who are also district chiefs; 47 deputy district Party committee secretaries cum deputy district chiefs; 69 district standing committee members cum deputy district chiefs; 79 district standing committee members cum other titles; 253 district commissioners.

The number of cadres varies very little among districts, with differences ranging from 3 to 6 people. Compared to the previous term, the number of district cadres under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos has increased relatively reasonably, basically ensuring that the placement and arrangement of key positions in the district political system comply with the regulations.

The quality of district cadre contingents under the SCPPC basically meets the requirements; their qualifications at all levels and in all aspects, particularly knowledge of the law and state management in social fields, have been enhanced, their political bravery, moral qualities, and work styles have been ensured, and their practical organizational capacity has also grown. Many cadres have been struggling alongside movements in coordination with the people at the grassroots level and demonstrating their strong sense of organization and discipline as well as their strict compliance with Party discipline and the law. They have not only maintained organizational solidarity and unity but also respected and promoted the people power to its utmost, gaining the trust of ethnic minorities.

According to statistics on professional qualification, the number of cadres with a university degree or higher education level is predominate, including 103 people with a university degree (accounting for 20.81%), 197 people with a master’s degree (accounting for 39.80%), and 26 doctorates (accounting for 15.25%). Regarding the qualification in political theory: there are 292 cadres with advanced degrees (accounting for 58.99%), and 142 cadres with intermediate degrees (accounting for 28.69%).

The structure of district cadre contingents under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos is basically consistent with the rules and realities of local areas and units. In addition, there have been notable positive changes in the gender balance. In 2016, only 10.3% of the cadres were female; by 2021, this figure increased to 14.34%. The age balance is trending towards gradual rejuvenation over the years. The percentage of cadres aged between 36 and 45 climbed to 26.5% (131 people) in 2021, up from 19.19% (95 people) in 2016. Meanwhile, the percentage of cadres aged between 56 and 60 has gradually decreased from 16.97% (84 people) in 2016 to 10.7% (53 people) in 2021. Most cadres are between the ages of 46 and 55, with 311 people, accounting for 62.83% of the total.

In the provinces of Central Laos, the combination of experienced cadre contingents with young cadre contingents who are acute, creative, and enthusiastic has become one of the highlights in the cadre personnel work over the past term, thereby creating the right and effective steps for leading the implementation of their socio-economic objectives. Of the 21 tribes living in the provinces of Central Laos, 14 tribes have district cadres under the SCPPC, specifically the cadres are from Black Tai, Lao Loum, Khmu, Tai Lue, Akha, etc.

However, the quality of the district cadre contingents under SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos still shows some limitations and weaknesses, especially in terms of qualifications and the capacity to lead, manage, and handle new problems arising in localities and agencies at the grassroots level. There are still 169 comrades with an associate degree or a lower education level (accounting for 34.14%), 59 comrades (accounting for 11.92%) who have received only basic training in political theory, and 2 comrades (accounting for 11.92%) who have never received any training in political theory. Many cadres still bear the petty peasant mentality, the paternalistic and arbitrary mindset, the sentiment of xenophobia, factionalism, and nepotism; there are signs showing the fading of ideals, bureaucratic mentality, corruption, alienating from the people; and a lacking of the responsibility for self-learning and training, as well as the desire to strive for their missions.

Currently, some positions are still performed under concurrent regime. Some aspects of the structure of district cadre contingents under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos still don’t meet the requirements posed in the period of acceleration of the industrialization and modernization process. The percentage of female cadres participating in the political system at the district level is too low compared to their potential, and the implementation gender equality and the encouraging of women to participate in social work in general and in leadership and management in particular is lacking. The percentage of young cadres is still quite low; some ethnic groups, including the Ta-Oi, Lave, Lavi, Suei, Brou, Talieng and others, have been without district cadres under the SCPPC for many years.

The above limitations and shortcomings stem from many reasons, including the notable fact that the development of an appropriate standardization system for each position and title for district cadres under the SCPPC has not yet been uniformly implemented; the procedures, methods, and criteria for assessing the quality of cadre have been slow to be renovated, as they have not been completely developed or ensured to comply with regulations; the uniformity in directing executions still remains low.

Therefore, in order to continue improving the quality of the district cadres under the management of the SCPPC in the coming years, the provinces of Central Laos will have to comprehensively and strongly reform their cadre assessment, with the criteria concretization serving as the foundation for the SCPPC at all levels to build and assess the cadre quality. The detailed criteria include:

Firstly, the criterion of having sufficient numbers of cadres to fill key positions in the district political system as per the cadre regulations and structures, complying with the rules and realities of local areas and units

In terms of cadre number: The district cadre contingents under the SCPPC in Central Laos need to be sufficient in number to undertake positions as per the regulations and ensure their leadership, direction, management, and administration to be performed well in all fields of their agencies, units, and localities, particularly in vital positions of the districts such as: district Party committee secretary - district chief; deputy district Party committee secretary - deputy district chief; member of district standing committee cum deputy district chief, and so on.

Minimize the number of cadres who concurrently hold regular positions that are not under the concurrent regime. The number of district cadres under the SCPPC shall meet the required changes in leadership and management practices, as well as the requirements of merging or separating agencies, units, and localities in the districts over time.

In terms of cadre structure: The district cadre contingents under the SCPPC must ensure the reasonable balance of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, professional qualification, and so on, in order to assign in-charge cadres suitable for each locality and leadership subjects.

Accordingly, in terms of age balance, it is necessary to ensure a combination of seasoned senior cadres and young cadres who are dynamic, creative, and have great potentialities; and to ensure the continuous transfer, inheritance, and development of cadre contingents in the following years with the motto of rejuvenating district leadership and managment.

Regarding the gender balance, the ratio of male to female cadres shall be ensured as per the regulations, as well as the general development trend of the country and the gender equality in modern society.

Regarding the balance of ethnicity and religion, the district cadre contingents under the SCPPC must ensure a reasonable balance of ethnicity and religion representation and pay due attention to building cadre contingents of ethnic minorities and religious believers, especially in districts with large populations of ethnic minorities and religious believers.

Regarding professional qualifications, it is necessary to ensure that the in-charge cadres have professional qualifications and expertise which are similar to, or close to their assigned fields.

Secondly, the criterion of having truly emblematic political qualities

The new political missions are very challenging and difficult, requiring the SCPPC in Central Laos to concentrate on the political qualities of the district cadre contingents and significant district leaders under their management.

The district cadres under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos must be absolutely loyal to the interests of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the nation, and the people. They must hold a firm belief in Marxism-Leninism and Kaysone Phomvihane ideologies, as well as in the steadfast goals and ideals of national independence and socialism. They must also resolutely advocate the renovation guidelines of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party; and unwaveringly adhere to the Party-building principles.

The district cadres under the SCPPC must maintain their firm stances, viewpoints, and political bravery by not wavering in any situation; they must promote democracy, strictly comply with Party disciplines and regulations; proactively collaborate with the Party committees at all levels in many forms of struggle to effectively prevent and combat opportunism, revisionism, dogma, conservatism, factionalism, and other degrading manifestations of political thought, “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”. They must also protect the Platform and Guidelines of the Party, the Constitution and Law of the State, and build a transparent and robust SCPPC and district Party committees. The district cadres under the SCPPC must have passionate patriotism, determination, and aspirations to build a strong and prosperous homeland. They must always put the interests of the Party, the nation, people, and collectives above personal interests; be willing to make sacrifice for the cause of the Party, for the independence and freedom of the Fatherland, for the well-being of the people; always feel secure in their jobs; strictly abide by the assignment of their organizations; and successfully fulfill all their entrusted tasks.

Thirdly, the criterion of being exemplary in ethics, lifestyle, and sense of organization and discipline

In terms of ethics and lifestyle: The district cadres under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos must have truly pure moral qualities and the ability to spread their influence throughout their agencies, organizations, units, residences, and society. They must live an honest, modest, sincere, and simple lifestyle; the spirit of diligence, thrift, integrity, righteousness, justice, and impartiality; and no desire for power or fame. They must also have the spirit of solidarity, movement-building, and being a good exemplar for others to follow; love for their comrades and colleagues; a pure life without corruption, bureaucracy, or opportunism; and high political determination in the struggle to prevent and repel the degrading manifestations of ethics and lifestyle.

Regarding the sense of organization and discipline: Acting as the backbone of solidarity in their agencies and units, the district cadres under the SCPPC must always be exemplary in complying with and strictly implementing the Party principles of organization and discipline, especially the principles of democratic centralism, criticism and self-criticism. They must have no manifestations of faction-forming, xenophobia, or being dominated by group interests; be truly fair and righteous with strong integrity, especially a true desire to attract, appreciate, and encourage talents in the implementation of cadre management. They must also strictly adhere to the regulations and internal rules of their agencies, organizations, and units; report fully and honestly with accurate and objective information on the contents related to the performance of the assigned tasks and responsibilities as well as the activities of their agencies, organizations, and units.

Fourthly, the criterion of having sufficient qualification, competence, and appropriate work style to ensure good performance of assigned responsibilities and tasks

In terms of qualification and competence: The district cadres under the SCPPC must meet the requirements of education level, qualification in political theory, leadership, and management capacity. They must have a firm grasp of the Party guidelines and policies, the State laws and policies, and the actual situations to concretize and organize the effective implementation of the Party guidelines and policies as well as the State laws and policies. They must also be able to synthesize, analyze, and forecast the situation to make the right decisions or proposals for the leadership to make timely, wise, and right decisions on the political tasks of their agencies, units, and localities. 

In the current situation, these cadres must be truly proactive, acute, and able to detect contradictions, challenges, opportunities, advantages, new problems, difficulties, and shortcomings in the practice of local innovation; boldly propose suitable, feasible, and effective tasks and solutions to help the localities smoothly promote advantages and overcome difficulties and challenges, especially in leading and directing the implementation of the three strategic orientations set forth at the 11th Party Congress to lift the country out of underdeveloped-country status, implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and promote the green growth strategies. These cadre contingents must have truly dynamic, innovative, and creative thinking. They must also dare to think, dare to speak, dare to do, and dare to take responsibility for the common interests. At the same time, they must be real pioneers and exemplars who are capable of inspiring, reuniting and promoting the collective synergy as well as the capacity and forte of each individual at work. They must also know how to apply the theory and viewpoints of the Party and the resolutions of the SCPPC to realistically, properly and promptly solve the practical problems arising in the district.

In terms of working style: The district cadres must be truly enthusiastic and responsible for their work, and always take care of the lives of the people. Their work style must be scientific and democratic according to methodical plans, which help them in creating and promoting the wisdom of the Party committee collectives, cadres, and civil servants in their agencies, units, and localities. They must avoid arbitrary, subjective, willful, and erratic habits, working without a plan or with haphazard plans, working without calculating their work efficiency, and exhibiting bureaucratic and bossiness traits.

Fifthly, the criterion of being willing to take on and fulfill the assigned responsibilities and tasks

This criterion is the main one and the most specific sign to assess the quality of district cadre contingents under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos. The actual work performance of the cadres is reflected in their spirit, attitude, and responsibility for their assigned responsibilities and tasks, as well as the number of tasks and the effectiveness of each cadre in completing the tasks.

Being the key leaders at the district level, these contingents must thoroughly understand and concretize the implementation of the Party guidelines and policies as well as the State policies and laws in their agencies, organizations, and units, thus effectively leading and directing it. They must keep discipline and regulations in their agencies, organizations, units, and localities; and not allow any violations of discipline or the law, any occurrences of prolonged complaints or denunciations. They must also keep their agencies, organizations, and units free of corruption and waste. They must lead, direct, and organize the examination, inspection, supervision, and settlement of complaints and denunciations according to their authority; direct and implement the administrative reforms, the reforms of the civil service and the civil servant regime in their district agencies, organizations, and units; formulate annual programs and work plans for the agencies, organizations, and units under their management, which clearly define the norm and task implementation results that are quantified by specific figures.

In order to properly assess the quality of cadre contingents, it is necessary to fully consider the above-mentioned criteria. The assessment method shall be truly objective, comprehensive, and historical-specific, both quantitative and qualitative, with quantitativeness taken for qualitative purposes; and comprehensively consider all measurable and quantifiable factors to characterize the quality of the current district cadres clearly and adequately under the SCPPC in the provinces of Central Laos.


Received: July 27, 2022; Revised: August 2, 2022; Approved for publication:



(1) Lao People’s Revolutionary Party: Documents of the 9th National Congress, National Publishing House, Vientiane, 2011, p.53.


PhD Student at Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics


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