Home » Concluding a decade of South-driven research in Vietnam

Concluding a decade of South-driven research in Vietnam

22-05-18
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From the left Dao Bach Khoa, Nguyen Quang Huy, Le Huy Ham, Le Truong Giang, Nguyen Huu Nghia, Phan Thi Van, Phan Van Tan, Pernille Friis

The ten year South-driven Research Cooperation Programme in Vietnam is ending. Pernille Friis, Research Programme Manager at the Danida Fellowship Centre, met the project coordinators in Hanoi to discuss the outcome.

Ten years ago, the so-called South-driven Research Cooperation Programme was launched in Vietnam. The programme was formalised in a framework agreement between Denmark and Vietnam with the overall objective of promoting research and developing institutional capacity in Vietnamese research institutions and universities in line with the national research priorities. The overall theme for the research was “Climate change, including applied technology”. The total amount granted under the programme was approx. DKK 50 million.

The research programme was introduced by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an “add on” to the traditional (North-driven) way of supporting development research to promote ownership in the South by making institutions there take the lead in project formulation, the identification of Danish research partners and the management of the research grants. In 2015, Vietnam was phased out as a Danida priority country and no new research collaboration projects – neither South nor North-driven were initiated.

In 2016, a new research cooperation programme was launched linked to the Strategic Sector Cooperation Facility in 12 countries including Vietnam, and two new research collaboration projects are starting up in 2018. In this new programme, the overall responsibility for project implementation and management rests with the Danish research institutions. The era of the South-driven research programme in Vietnam is therefore drawing to a close but the capacity built at both individual and institutional levels by being “in charge” will certainly remain.

 
 
 

Phan Thi Van
Phan Thi Van
Nguyen Huu Nghia
Nguyen Huu Nghia
“It has been challenging to be in the driver’s seat during project implementation – both in terms of the scientific content and management of the project. We have matured by taking the lead and being in charge. We have built strong relations with our Danish partners and have established important research networks. We have learnt and gained a lot”.

Project Coordinator, Phan Thi Van (co-coordinated by Nguyen Huu Nghia) of the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 carried out research on “The impacts of climate change and adapting bio-security measures for Northern Viet Nam’s aquaculture” in partnership with researchers from the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
Link to project

 
 

letruonggiang
Le Truong Giang
“The South-driven programme was unique. By taking the lead in this international research collaboration project, we have been able to make adjustments and take decisions faster. This has made the project implementation quite smooth. We have achieved good results not least due to our collaboration with Danish researchers.”

Project Coordinator Le Truong Giang of Vietnam Academy of Sciences and Technologies carried out research on “Innovative Cleaning Technologies for Production of Drinking Water during Flooding Episodes”in partnership with researchers from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
Link to project

 
 

Nguyen Quang Huy
Nguyen Quang Huy
“Being in charge of all the processes in the project has had a positive impact in terms of human capacity at several levels in our institution. The capacity built is important for us to apply for other research funding. The research collaboration with Danish researchers has developed into a genuine and equal research partnership and, furthermore, into friendship. The project has also provided important equipment for our institution and research.”

Project Coordinator Nguyen Quang Huy of Aquaculture Research Sub-Institute for North Central did research on “The better use of nutrition resources for sustaining aquaculture production in Central Vietnam under climate change conditions” in partnership with researchers from the National Institute of Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark.
Link to project

 
 

Phan Van Tan
Phan Van Tan

“Working in an interdisciplinary team has been a learning experience. Combining natural and social science methods has been both challenging and useful. Disagreements with our Danish partners concerning ways to go ahead have been encountered but, all in all, they contributed to building a stronger relationship. By taking the lead, we made the research relevant and ensured its continuous relevance. I am sure that our collaboration and research results will have a long term impact.”

Project Coordinator Phan Van Tan of the Hanoi University of Science did research on “Climate Change-Induced Water Disaster and Participatory Information System for Vulnerability Reduction in North Central Vietnam” in partnership with researchers from the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University.
Link to project

 
 

Le Huy Ham
Le Huy Ham
“During project implementation the need for responses to climate change has been more and more evident. I really do believe that our research findings will have an impact in the long run as all of our projects were formulated and selected on the basis of our national priorities. We have provided important contributions to the climate change agenda within our research fields. We are now following up on our findings, disseminating our results, and exploring ways to continue our research.”

Project Coordinator Le Huy Ham of the Agricultural Genetics Institute did research on “Improving rice tolerance of submergence and salinity to cope with climate change in coastal areas of Vietnamese Deltas” in partnership with researchers from the International Rice Research Institute in two phases.
Link to project

 
 

Dao Bach Koa
Dao Bach Koa

“The interaction with the Danish partners has been useful. We have learned new scientific methods, models and techniques for data processing. This has built up our capacities beyond the scope of the project.
The joint supervision of PhD students has been beneficial but the approved three year project period was too short. It was unrealistic to expect that the PhD students could finalise their work within the project time frame in view of the varying schedules of co-supervisors and the timing of PhD courses in Vietnam and Denmark.”

Project Coordinator Dao Bach Khoa of the Plant Protection Research Institute did research on “Climate change impacts on outbreaks of crop pests in Vietnam” in partnership with researchers of the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University..
Link to project

Pernille Friis is a research programme manager at the Danida Fellowship Centre.

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