Vietnam

Is advocacy only feasible in formal democracies? Lessons from 6 multi-stakeholder initiatives in Vietnam

Duncan Green - April 30, 2014

Andrew Wells-Dang (right) and Pham Quang Tu (left) on how multi-stakeholder initiatives can flourish even in relatively closed political systems such as Vietnam How can NGOs be effective advocates in restrictive political settings? Global comparative research (such as this study by CIVICUS on ‘enabling environments’) often concludes that at least a modest degree of formal democracy is necessary for civil society to flourish…including, but not …

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How complexity thinking cut malnutrition in Vietnam by two thirds

admin - November 8, 2013

To end complexity week, another of the fascinating case studies from Ben Ramalingam’s Aid on the Edge of Chaos In December 1991, Jerry and Monique Sternin arrived in Vietnam so Jerry could take up the role of Save the Children US Country Director. The country was still labouring under a US-led economic embargo and had seriously high levels of child malnutrition, affecting 65 per cent …

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What Can Vietnam’s excellent schools teach us about education quality and equality?

admin - October 2, 2013

This guest post comes from Jo Boyden, Director of the Young Lives study at Oxford University’s Department of International Development. Alongside economic growth, the huge dash for education is fuelling massive expectations among the swelling youth populations in developing countries. Dramatic expansion of education systems over the past few decades has been accompanied by an international push for universal access through major initiatives such as …

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How empowerment happens: devolving management to local people in Vietnam and Pakistan

admin - August 22, 2013

Another one of the fascinating case studies dug up by Sophie King for my recent UN paper on ‘The Role of the State in Empowering Poor and Excluded Groups and Individuals’. This one looks at two examples of devolution that seem to work Devolving forest management to local people, Dak Lak, Vietnam This is from an FAO case study and an OECD paper By the …

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Building Active Citizenship and Accountability in Asia: case studies from Vietnam and India

admin - October 2, 2012

Last week I attended a seminar in Bangkok on ‘active citizenship’ in Asia, part of an ‘Asia Development Dialogue’ organized by Oxfam, Chulalongkorn University and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. It brought together a diverse group of local mayors, human rights activists and academics, and discussed a series of case studies. Two in particular caught my …

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Some good news from Africa: Burkina Faso's farming miracle

admin - October 25, 2010

Just been reading ‘Helping Africa to Feed Itself: Promoting Agriculture to Reduce Poverty and Hunger’, a paper by Steve Wiggins and Henri Leturque, both of the ODI. It’s a brilliant and to my mind, very fair overview, with one of its main messages being that regional generalizations about Africa are usually misleading – some subregions of Africa (eg West and North) have actually done very …

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Me with the IMF at the Hanoi Hilton – please add photo caption

admin - May 21, 2010

OK, the blog’s been pretty heavy going of late, so here’s some light relief, c/o the IMF, who have just sent me multiple copies of this pic from a conference back in March on the impact of the global economic crisis in low income countries (see my previous post, or the IMF page on the event with presentations). This is the IMF/Vietnamese government’s idea of …

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Final Thoughts on Vietnam and the American War

admin - March 29, 2010

As you’ll probably have realized by now, I spent last week in Vietnam, managing to take in everything from debating industrial policy with the IMF in the Hanoi Hilton to discussing survival strategies with lottery ticket sellers in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City (working for an NGO can be amazing sometimes). Everywhere you go, the ‘American War’ hangs unspoken over a foreigner’s experience …

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What makes Vietnam's informal economy tick?

admin - March 26, 2010

Inside Vietnam’s informal economy – heroic struggles! Spent Wednesday talking to a range of people in the ‘informal economy’ of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). I was accompanying our excellent Vietnam team, who together with Action Aid Vietnam, are running a 5-year ‘poverty monitoring programme’ in 9 rural and 3 urban sites, including this one. More on that in another post – this one …

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How does change happen in Vietnam?

admin - March 24, 2010

Fascinating talk with an academic insider in the Vietnamese establishment, who set out some thoughts on how big changes happen in Vietnam (eg the introduction of the Doi Moi process of economic opening or the land reform of the early 1990s). Particularly important because Vietnam’s record on growth with equity, and poverty reduction, is second to none. He saw certain features as characterizing big change …

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