We began supporting research in Vietnam in the early 1990s, shortly after reforms launched the country’s transition to a market economy. As a generation of Vietnamese economists realized that their skills were ill-suited for the new market system, we responded with training in non-Marxist economic research. Economic research on the poor Sustained support to economists laid the foundation for the Vietnam Economic Research Network. Supported by IDRC since its inception in 2002, members study international trade, competitiveness, employment, poverty, and inequality.
The Network quickly expanded to include researchers from across the country. Establishing strong, credible links to policymakers and development practitioners, their research findings inform trade policy and appear in the country’s Human Development Report. The Network helped prepare for Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2007.
Better use of resources
IDRC support has also fostered community involvement in research among key Vietnamese universities and science research institutions. Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry has become a leader in this approach. It has been working with communities in the Tam Giang Lagoon since the mid-1990s to help develop sustainable livelihoods, solve conflicts between aquaculturists and mobile fishers, reduce navigational hazards, and improve water quality. As a measure of its success, local fishery associations secured fishing management rights in 2009, a first in Vietnam.
Wired to learn
We were a key partner in establishing the country’s first connection to the Internet and first online education service. In 1994, a government service, Netnam, began offering Internet and e-mail. Netnam thrives to this day as a private company run by the original IDRC-supported team.
In the early 2000s, Vietnam’s Fisheries College No. 4 and Canada’s College of the North Atlantic created the country’s first Internet-based distance education service for rural learners. We continue to support online education through regional research to improve the quality of distance education.
118 activities worth CA$23 million since 1991
Our support helps
- build ecohealth leadership in Southeast Asia
- reduce food insecurity and chronic malnutrition
- produce complementary and therapeutic foods for 15,000 malnourished children
- improve small-scale food processing among smallholder farmers and women subsistence farmers
- build labour market knowledge and analytical capacity among policymakers and key institutions
- assist policymakers with research to support alcohol control laws in Vietnam, where 60% of domestic violence cases are linked to alcohol