- Research project
- – Western Pacific
On the 19 and 20 June 2018, the International WaterCentre (IWC) visited Hanoi city in Vietnam to facilitate the final activities of the Australian Awards Fellowship (AAF) program titled Improving Water, Land and Ecosystems Sustainability in the Mekong Delta.
This training program was funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and commenced on November 2017, with a four-week study tour in Australia for 15 Fellows representing the Vietnamese Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), and Planning and Investment (MPI), all with a role in the governance and management of the Mekong Delta. This study tour focused on building Fellows’ skills and knowledge in Integrated River Basin Management, through engagement with Australian experts and case-studies across Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra and regional NSW, including sections of the Murray Darling Basin.
To enable the translation of lessons learnt in Australia to the Mekong Delta context, IWC supported Fellows in the development of return-to-work plans, or “Change Projects”, which outlined a six-month action plan, and aimed to initiate processes of innovation in the Fellows’ water sector. Three “Change Projects” were defined: (i) enabling more sustainable livelihoods, (ii) addressing water quality issues from agricultural practices, and (iii) “smoothing” water data sharing among stakeholders.
IWC supported Fellows in the implementation of their “Change Projects” through online coaching sessions, and by facilitating a final set of workshops in Hanoi. The later focused on assessing the challenges and opportunities encountered during the last six months, the progress achieved, and enabled collaboration within involved government departments and the wider sector (e.g. CSOs, consultants, donor agencies, etc.).
By the culmination of this AAF program, IWC had strengthened its relations with the Vietnamese government, and remains committed to continuing to support Vietnam in advancing integrated water management practices.
IWC would like to thank all Fellows and their organisations (MARD, MONRE and MPI) for their active participation, DFAT and the Australian Embassy in Hanoi for supporting this AAF, and all guest experts providing input into the program. Special thanks go to Mr Viet Hung Vuong (MARD), for helping IWC organise the final activities in Hanoi, and to Ms Hoai Nam Nguyen (Thrive Foundation) and Mr Peter Hanington (ICEM), long-time friends, for joining the final workshops and enriching the discussions.