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I was also struck by how positive the resettlers seem to be. When I went to observe the survey in the field last May/June I tried to probe a bit more. Partly I think that Lao people tend to be positive about things. But they also genuinely perceive themselves to be better off in their new environment. This doesn’t surprise me- most of the information I've seen suggests that life in the old villages was pretty hard. At the same time it is clear that they do have anxieties around livelihoods. I think this is very understandable. Establishing sustainable livelihoods in this new environment is a long term process- and it will take time for them to build confidence. We have to remember, after all, that the inundation of the reservoir happened only 2 years ago- roughly 1 year before the LSMS survey took place. There is one other thing I noticed while observing the survey that I think affects the way we can interpret these data. Most of the people responding to this survey were women- they are most likely to be around when the enumerators visit. The men were often out fishing at the start of the interview, and after nosing around a bit, most went off to sleep when they returned home (the best time to fish is at night or very early in the morning), leaving their wives to respond to the questionnaire. This may be affecting the responses. For example, men might be less likely to value improvements in access to water, because there weren’t responsible for the arduous task of collecting it in the old village. Obviously it would be nice to collect this information from all family members, and the enumerators do try to do this. But in practice the questionnaire is long (sometimes it takes more than a day to complete) and it isn’t fair to interrupt the household’s schedule so much- we can’t, for example, expect them to pull children out of school to answer our questions. So I think we just need to bear this in mind while we’re looking at the data and perhaps think of alternative ways of covering people who don’t get covered by the LSMS. This is particularly important for the issue you mention of differences between age groups, and this is something I’d like to look at in a bit more detail. To be honest, I don’t have a very good sense of this right now, and I think it’s really important to find out. Do the young people see their futures on the plateau, or are they keen to move out and take up opportunities elsewhere? I think we might need to use different techniques to do this, perhaps some more informal focus groups, held at schools or elsewhere. This might also help the young people to speak out a bit more. When younger people were interviewed they often seemed quite nervous, particularly the young women, about speaking in front of the elders. Anyway, thanks for your questions! Nina