in Khoa học - Science

New research on development issues in Vietnam – Volume 7, number 23 (2015 July 23)

This used to be published on VDIC website ( but the service is no longer available online. It’s currently distributed via emails as a service of the World Bank in Vietnam. I repost this valuable resource here so that others may be able to use too. I will post back volumes on this blog when I have time.

For backlog volumes and related issues, please contact:
Ms. Vu Thi Nha, Librarian
World Bank Group
63 Ly Thai To, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel.: +84-4-3934 6845

Agriculture and rural development

Establishing an Evolutionary Learning Laboratory for Improving the Quality of Life of Vietnamese Women in Small-scale Agriculture: Part II – Systemic Interventions.
Tuan M. Ha, Ockie J. H. Bosch and Nam C. Nguyen. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 2015.

Abstract: This study applies a systems thinking approach by using the seven-step Evolutionary Learning Laboratory (ELLab) framework to identify the most economically, environmentally, culturally and socially appropriate systemic solutions to improving the quality of life for women smallholders in rural Haiphong (Northern Vietnam), with a special focus on the perceived (visible) problem of labour constraints. This paper focuses on the first five steps of the ELLab. Income, production efficiency (leading to less work pressure) and health were found to be the major contributing factors for improving the quality of life of the women farmers. The systemic interventions that will have the most effect on achieving the aforementioned leverages were defined, and the first integrated management plan was formulated to improve the quality of life of the women farmers. Although not part of this paper, further refinement and validation of the plan will be carried out in the next two steps of the ELLab process. The outcomes and lessons learned from this research will be shared with other case studies via a globally established ‘sharing platform’ in the Access Hub of the web-based think2impact ( package. The purpose of this process is not only to improve the local knowledge and systemic management plans to help the women in agriculture in Haiphong but also to contribute to enhancing the global knowledge pool on dealing with complex issues in rural areas of many countries around the world. [Wiley].

Technical Efficiency of Ecologically Engineered Rice Production in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam: Application of SFA.
Vo Hong Tu and Mitsuyasu Yabe. Global Journal of human-social science: D Agriculture and Veterinary, 2015, volume 15, number 5.

Abstract: An overuse of agro-chemicals in rice production has caused serious problems on biodiversity loss, water pollution, public health impacts and yield losses. Recently, the outbreaks of brown-plant hoppers was a great matter of concern. To deal with these issues, the use of ecological engineering was introduced in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam since 2009. However, there were no study on the potential benefits of the model in terms of technical efficiency. Hence, the objective of this study is to estimate and compare the technical efficiency of ecologically engineered rice farmers to those with traditional rice by using stochastic frontier analysis. We have found that the eco rice farmers had higher input and output-oriented technical efficiency scores but insignificant compared to those with normal rice. The mean output-oriented technical efficiency of eco rice was 91.5%, which was 1% higher than that of traditional rice, 90.5%. Free full text

Access to Credit and Rice Production Efficiency of Rural Households in the Mekong Delta.
Vuong Quoc Duy. Economics Proceedings of the Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Global Business, Finance and Social Sciences (AP15Vietnam Conference) Danang Vietnam 10-12 July 2015, 2015.

Abstract: Currently, rice production in the Mekong Delta region accounts for more than 50% of Vietnam’s total paddy production and 90% of its rice export volume. Therefore, increasing the efficiency of rice production systems and enhancing the comparative advantage of Vietnam’s rice industry have been an important focus area for policy makers and researchers for many years. Access to credit has been identified as a key factor for improving rice production. This fact is validated in this study by considering the production and technical efficiency levels of rice production for a sample of farmers in the Mekong Delta. The study focuses particularly on the effects of both formal and informal credits on production levels and production efficiency by using a Stochastic frontier analysis and a quantile regression. The results confirm the positive influence of credit on production and production efficiency. Both formal and informal credit appears to be important. [Duy-2015]. Free full text

Adapting Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) to Local Contexts in REDD+: Lessons from Three Experiments in Vietnam.
Thuy Thu Pham, Jean-Christophe Castella, Guillaume Lestrelin, Ole Mertz, Dung Ngoc Le and others. Forests, 2015, volume 6, number 7, pp. 2405-2423.

Abstract: Free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) is a means of ensuring that people’s rights are respected when reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+) projects are established in developing countries. This paper examines how FPIC has been applied in three projects in Vietnam and highlights two key lessons learnt. First, as human rights and democracy are seen as politically sensitive issues in Vietnam, FPIC is likely to be more accepted by the government if it is built upon the national legal framework on citizen rights. Applying FPIC in this context can ensure that both government and citizen’s interests are achieved within the permitted political space. Second, FPIC activities should be seen as a learning process and designed based on local needs and preferences, with accountability of facilitators, two-way and multiple communication strategies, flexibility, and collective action in mind. Free full text

An assessment of the carbon stocks and sodicity tolerance of disturbed Melaleuca forests in Southern Vietnam.
Da B Tran, Tho V Hoang and Paul Dargusch. Carbon Balance and Management, 2015, volume 10.

Background: In the lower Mekong Basin and coastal zones of Southern Vietnam, forests dominated by the genus Melaleuca have two notable features: most have been substantially disturbed by human activity and can now be considered as degraded forests; and most are subject to acute pressures from climate change, particularly in regards to changes in the hydrological and sodicity properties of forest soil. –

Results: Data was collected and analyzed from five typical Melaleuca stands including: (1) primary Melaleuca forests on sandy soil (VS1); (2) regenerating Melaleuca forests on sandy soil (VS2); (3) degraded secondary Melaleuca forests on clay soil with peat (VS3); (4) regenerating Melaleuca forests on clay soil with peat (VS4); and (5) regenerating Melaleuca forests on clay soil without peat (VS5). Carbon densities of VS1, VS2, VS3, VS4, and VS5 were found to be 275.98, 159.36, 784.68, 544.28, and 246.96 tC/ha, respectively. The exchangeable sodium percentage of Melaleuca forests on sandy soil showed high sodicity, while those on clay soil varied from low to moderate sodicity. –

Conclusions: This paper presents the results of an assessment of the carbon stocks and sodicity tolerance of natural Melaleuca cajuputi communities in Southern Vietnam, in order to gather better information to support the improved management of forests in the region. The results provide important information for the future sustainable management of Melaleuca forests in Vietnam, particularly in regards to forest carbon conservation initiatives and the potential of Melaleuca species for reforestation initiatives on degraded sites with highly sodic soils. Free full text

Drivers Affecting Forest Change in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): An Overview.
John Costenbader, Jeremy Broadhead, Yurdi Yasmi and Patrick B. Durst. FAO Policy brief, 2015.

Key policy messages:
1. Negative and positive drivers affecting forests in the GMS co-exist. Negative drivers result in deforestation and forest degradation, and positive drivers promote sustainable forest management (SFM), forest conservation, afforestation and reforestation. Negative drivers are still more dominant than positive ones. Nevertheless, growing signs of positive drivers are starting to emerge in the GMS countries. Policy makers, forest managers and practitioners need to be aware of these drivers and find ways to enhance the positive ones, while reducing the negative ones.

2. In order to promote SFM and address deforestation and forest degradation, the GMS countries need to foster integrated landuse planning and management at all levels. At the same time, efforts to improve governance, build political consensus, and promote integrated research and capacity building need to be strengthened.

3. As the GMS countries are becoming more integrated, and the flow of forest products and services among them is increasing, there is a need to enhance regional cooperation through existing mechanisms. Addressing deforestation and forest degradation should not be seen as a country-specific task, constrained within individual national boundaries, given that drivers affect forest change across national borders. Free full text

Managing Global Risks: Vietnamese Poultry Farmers and Avian Flu.
Muriel Figue and Stephanie Desvaux. in: Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Infectious Diseases in Southeast Asia, Springer, 2015.

Abstract: This chapter documents the logics underpinning farmers’ management practices of an emerging disease. In the area of our survey, Vietnamese farmers, who are one of the front lines of the fight against H5N1, are called upon to collaborate to the international fight against the virus. Our study highlights that direct (poultry mortality) and indirect impacts (consequence of the measures imposed by the government to contain the virus, fluctuation of consumers’ demand, etc.) tend to be relatively limited when compared to the permanent state of instability which characterizes the context of poultry production in the surveyed village. This instability is mainly related to numerous and regular poultry infectious diseases and market fluctuations. If international community considers H5N1 as a zoonotic risk and a pandemic threat which asks for emergency tools, H5N1 is framed by the farmers of our study as epizootic problem manageable through routinized measures. These measures aim at minimizing the economic impact of the disease rather than preventing poultry and human from the disease. Consequently, local management of the disease cannot fit with the precautionary approach promoted by the international community. [spr].

Resource usage of integrated Pig–Biogas–Fish system: Partitioning and substitution within attributional life cycle assessment.
Trang T. Nhu, Jo Dewulf, Pieterjan Serruys, Sophie Huysveld, Cong V. Nguyen and others. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 2015, volume 102, pp. 27-38.

Abstract: The integration of agriculture and aquaculture with anaerobic digestion is a popular practice at small Asian farms as a way of producing energy and fish, i.e. providing a better nutrient balance and resource recycling. Concerns are raised whether the resource efficiency of such system is better or worse relative to the monoculture system. In this study, we focused on quantifying the resource demand of two integrated Pig–Biogas–Fish farms in Vietnam. The analysis was performed by using the exergy concept: exergy flow analysis (ExFA) at process level and Cumulative Exergy Extraction from Natural Environment (CEENE) at life cycle level. Results showed that such integrated systems considerably relied on land (68% farm A and 54% farm B, mainly for pig feed production) and water (28% farm A and 42% farm B, mainly for aquaculture). It can also be concluded that the intensive aquaculture practice had a higher feed input than the semi-intensive one integrated with pig and biogas production; however, the latter system had a higher CEENE value to deliver a similar mass (i.e. one kilogram) of product at farm gate. This is mainly caused by a dramatically low areal yield of the integrated aquaculture, corresponding to an inefficient water use (16 m3 kg−1 fingerlings and 10 m3 kg−1 fish) therefore identified as the resource hotspot. Improvements could be achieved through a better water management in aquaculture and an increased biogas utilization, preventing any leakages. Fertilizing the fish pond with manure-based digestate instead of fresh manure and/or rising the application rate might be a more efficient way to reduce pelleted fish feed consumption, although further research on such options are needed. [sci].

Economic development

Điểm lại: Cập nhật tình hình phát triển kinh tế Việt Nam.
Ngân hàng Thế giới, 2015-07.

Abstract: Báo cáo điểm lại tình hình kinh tế của Việt Nam được công bố 2 lần/một năm cho rằng đây là mức tăng trưởng 6 tháng đầu năm cao nhất của Việt Nam trong vòng 5 năm qua. Theo báo cáo, trong bối cảnh lạm phát thấp, Ngân hàng Nhà nước Việt Nam đã dần nới lỏng chính sách tiền tệ nhằm hỗ trợ các hoạt động kinh tế, đồng thời điều chỉnh tỉ giá để đảm bảo tính cạnh tranh của nền kinh tế. Trong khi đó, cân đối ngân sách của Việt Nam vẫn là mối quan ngại. Nợ công tăng nhanh trong những năm gần đây, và chi phí trả nợ có thể là gánh nặng ngày càng tăng cho ngân sách. Trong khi đó, đà xuất khẩu suy giảm và nhập khẩu tăng nhanh đã đẩy tài khoản vãng lai vào tình trạng thâm hụt trong quý 1 của năm 2015. Tiến độ cải cách cơ cấu chưa tương xứng với kỳ vọng, đặc biệt là trong việc cơ cấu lại doanh nghiệp nhà nước (DNNN) và một phần trong cải cách ngân hàng. Tốc độ cơ cấu lại DNNN dường như đang chậm lại. Đến hết quý 1 mới cổ phần hóa được 29 DNNN so với mục tiêu 289 doanh nghiệp đề ra trong cả năm 2015. Việc thực hiện nghiêm túc các quy đinh pháp lý và pháp quy về quản lý và quản trị DNNN ban hành năm ngoái, và tăng tỉ lệ sở hữu của khu vực tư nhân với DNNN cổ phẩn hóa cần tiếp tục được coi là một ưu tiên chính. –

Báo cáo Điểm lại có một chuyên mục về thị trường lao động tại Việt Nam, trong đó mô tả chi tiết về sự dịch chuyển lớn trong bức tranh về việc làm trong vòng 25 năm qua. Trước đây, cơ cấu việc làm tại Việt Nam chủ yếu là nông nghiệp gia đình, việc làm trong các hợp tác xã và DNNN nhưng đến nay thì đã có sự dịch chuyển việc làm sang các lĩnh vực sản xuất công nghiệp và dịch vụ, việc làm trong các doanh nghiệp gia đình ngoài nông nghiệp, doanh nghiệp tư nhân trong nước và nước ngoài. Báo cáo cũng nhận định rằng các quy định và thể chế về lao động có khả năng là một nhân tố quan trọng trong tăng trưởng tiền lương/tiền công ở khu vực tư nhân. Báo cáo Điểm lại đưa ra những gợi ý về việc tiếp tục chuyển đổi thị trường lao động của Việt Nam, trong đó có các biện pháp chủ động nhằm tăng cường hệ thống quan hệ lao động công nghiệp, cân bằng giữa việc đảm bảo sự linh hoạt trong thị trường lao động với việc duy trì bền vững tăng trưởng về năng suất, và quản lý những rủi ro về mặt xã hội trong một nền kinh tế có định hướng thị trường rõ nét hơn. Cụ thể hơn, báo cáo cho rằng Việt Nam còn thiếu các thể chế thích hợp để đàm phán và giải quyết tranh chấp liên quan tới lao động. Báo cáo cũng đưa ra một số gợi ý chính sách để giải quyết những điểm yếu này nhằm khuyến khích phát triển một thị trưởng lao động hiệu quả hơn. Free full text

Taking stock: an update on Vietnam’s recent economic developments.
World Bank, 2015 July.

Abstract: The semi-annual review of the Vietnamese economy said the growth rate was the nation’s fastest in the first half of the year for the past five years. Against a backdrop of low inflation, the State Bank of Vietnam has gradually loosened monetary policy to spur growth while periodically adjusting the exchange rate to maintain external competitiveness, the report said. At the same time, Vietnam’s fiscal accounts emerge as a source of concern. The nation’s debt has risen rapidly in recent years, and debt servicing costs could pose an increasing burden on the budget. Meanwhile, a drop in exports and increased imports have resulted in current account deficit in the first quarter of 2015. Progress on structural reforms has been less strong, especially regarding state owned enterprises (SOEs) and the banking sector. Progress on SOE reform continues, but at gradual pace, with only 29 SOEs equitized in the first quarter of 2015 out of the annual target of 289. Implementing the legal and regulatory framework for SOE management and corporate governance issued last year and increasing percentage of ownership that can be acquired by the private sector, should remain key priorities. –

The Taking Stock report features a special section on the labor market in Vietnam, which details a dramatic shift in the employment landscape over the past 25 years. While jobs in Vietnam once were characterized entirely by family farming, collectives and SOEs, employment now has shifted toward manufacturing and services, household enterprises outside agriculture, and private domestic and foreign-owned firms. The report notes that labor regulations and institutions can be an important factor in private-sector wage growth. Taking Stock provides suggestions for further transforming Vietnam’s labor market, including more proactive measures to strengthen the industrial relations system, balance labor market flexibility with sustain productivity growth, and manage social risks in a more market-oriented economy. In particular, Taking Stock notes that Vietnam lacks well-functioning institutions for collective bargaining and dispute resolution. The report offers suggestions on ways to addresses these weaknesses and promote a better functioning labor market. Free full text

Revisiting the construction project failure factors in Vietnam.
Tan Phat Nguyen and Nicholas Chileshe. Built Environment Project and Asset Management, 2015, volume 5, number 4.

Purpose: The Vietnam construction industry has considerably developed since 1986 as a result of “Doi Moi” or all-round renovation process. However, despite the pace of economic reforms, a number of challenges continue to plague the construction industry. This study aims to revisit the factors causing construction project failure in Vietnam. Some of the selected best practices from BRICS and CIVETS countries are discussed. –

Design/methodology/approach: Using a mixed method approach, data were collected from construction stakeholders in Vietnam using a postal survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data was subjected to descriptive statistics using ranking and frequencies analysis, and qualitative data employed content analysis.

Findings: Despite the lack of systematic approach to managing projects risks, there is a high level of acknowledgment regarding the importance of risk management practices. The highly ranked critical factors still causing construction project failure in Vietnam are: disregard of the significance of project planning process and project planning; lack of experience in executing complicated project; poor design capacity and frequent design changes; lack of knowledge and ability in managing construction projects; lack of financial capacity of owner; poor performance of contractors; lack of a systematic approach to managing the project and entire organisation; corruption and bribery in construction projects; the delays in payment; and economic volatility and high inflation.

Practical implications: The identified and revisited project failure factors could be used as a ‘road map’ for the revaluation, and development of appropriate project management practices.

Originality/value: The construction sector has undergone through significant structural changes following ‘Doi Moi’. This study provides the opportunity to realign the strategies for addressing project failure factors and learning from comparative studies in BRICS and CIVETS countries.


Determinants of the developmental risk factors in Vietnamese preschool-age children: A cross-sectional survey.
Nguyen Huu Chau Duc. Pediatrics International, 2015.

Abstract:  Background Early childhood development (ECD) strongly influences children’s basic learning, school success, economic participation, social citizenry and health.Although some risk factors related to childhood development are documented, further exploration is necessary considering various socio-demographic, nutritional, and psychosocial factors.This study aims to examine factors affecting ECD in Vietnamese preschoolers.

Methods We used data from the representative, cross-sectional round of theVietnam Multiple Indicator Clusters Survey 2011. Early Childhood Development Index questionnaires were administered to mothers of all children aged 36–59 months in the households (N = 1459). Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were employed in the analysis.

Results In Vietnam, 17.2% of children did not reach their full developmental potential within the first 5 years. Children who had childhood breastfeeding (AOR 2.78, 95% CI 1.28-6.02), pre-school attendance (AOR 1.75, 95% CI 1.28-2.39), major ethnicity (AOR 2.41, 95% CI 1.55-3.74), mother with secondary or higher education (AOR 1.69, 95% CI 1.19-2.38) and had relatives who engaged in four or more activities that promote learning (AOR 1.55, 95% CI 1.13-2.14) were more likely to have normal developmental trajectory. Furthermore, children who experienced physical punishment and stunting were 0.69 times (95% CI 0.51-0.95) and 0.71 times (95% CI 0.51-0.98) less likely to be on track for ECD, respectively.

Conclusions: The risk factors associated with delayed ECD were the low level of maternal education, the family’s ethnicity, the lack of pre-school attendance, the children’s relative not being engaged in learning, the children’s experiencing physical punishment, not being breastfed and stunting. [wiley].

A Mixed Method Approach Enabling the Triangulation Technique: Case Study in Vietnam.
Vi Hoang Dang. World Journal of Social Science, 2015, volume 2, number 2.

Abstract: An exploratory study was conducted to investigate the perceptions of various key stakeholders about the current vocational education and training (VET) sector in Vietnam using three methods. The quantitative method adopted was a data gathering questionnaire aimed to measure students’ perceptions of the VET sector and identify factors that impact students’ intentions in enrolling and completing VET programs in Vietnam. The qualitative method was then used to explore other views about the VET sector from the students’ parents using the open-ended interviews. The third approach used a nominal group technique to investigate other key stakeholders’ perceptions of Vietnam’s VET sector. Through triangulation, the reliable findings of the research indicated that the “real” issue impacting the VET sector was the relationship between VET providers and industries. This should be considered and researched carefully in the design of a VET curriculum. In addition, this study revealed that a web of influences was created which impacted significantly in both positive and negative ways on the students’ perception of the VET sector. Free full text


Distributed model of hydrological and sediment transport processes in large river basins in Southeast Asia.
S. Zuliziana, K. Tanuma, C. Yoshimura and O. C. Saavedra. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 2015, volume 12, pp. 6755–6797.

Abstract: Soil erosion and sediment transport have been modeled at several spatial and temporal scales, yet few models have been reported for large river basins (e.g., drainage areas > 100 000 km2). In this study, we propose a process-based distributed model for 5 assessment of sediment transport at a large basin scale. A distributed hydrological model was coupled with a process-based distributed sediment transport model describing soil erosion and sedimentary processes at hillslope units and channels. The model was tested on two large river basins: the Chao Phraya River Basin (drainage area: 160 000km2) and the Mekong River Basin (795 000 km2). The simulation over 10 10 years showed good agreement with the observed suspended sediment load in both basins. The average Nash–Sutcli e e ciency (NSE) and average correlation coe cient (r) between the simulated and observed suspended sediment loads were 0.62 and 0.61, respectively, in the Chao Phraya River Basin except the lowland section. In the Mekong River Basin, the overall average NSE and r were 0.60 and 0.78, 15 respectively. Sensitivity analysis indicated that suspended sediment load is sensitive to detachability by raindrop (k) in the Chao Phraya River Basin and to soil detachability over land (Kf) in the Mekong River Basin. Overall, the results suggest that the present model can be used to understand and simulate erosion and sediment transport in large river basins. Free full text

Dyke design, floodplain restoration and mangrove co-management as parts of an area coastal protection strategy for the mud coasts of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
T. Albers and K. Schmitt. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 2015, pp. 1-14.

Abstract: The dynamic coastlines in the Lower Mekong Delta of Vietnam are threatened by the impacts of climate change, particularly by the increased intensity and frequency of storms and floods, as well as by rising sea levels. The most effective coastal protection systems consist of different elements arranged in series, for instance natural floodplains vegetated with mangroves and a sound dyke line. However, the unsustainable use of natural resources and development in the coastal zone are threatening the protection function of the mangrove forest belt. In sites where severe erosion has destroyed the mangrove belt, restoration of floodplains and mangrove rehabilitation is only possible after the wave energy has been reduced by physical barriers. This can be achieved with bamboo fences, which reduce erosion and stimulate sedimentation. Restoration of the eroded floodplains creates the pre-conditions for rehabilitation of the destroyed mangrove forest. Mangrove management is an important element of an area costal protection strategy. [spr].

Sediment budget as affected by construction of a sequence of dams in the lower Red River, Vietnam.
Xi Xi Lu, Chantha Oeurng, Thi Phuong Quynh Le and Duong Thi Thuy. Geomorphology, 2015.

Abstract: Dam construction is one of the main factors resulting in riverine sediment changes, which in turn cause river degradation or aggradation downstream. The main objective of this work is to examine the sediment budget affected by a sequence of dams constructed upstream in the lower reach of the Red River. The study is based on the longer-term annual data (1960-2010) with a complementary daily water and sediment data set (2008-2010). The results showed that the stretch of the river changed from sediment surplus (suggesting possible deposition processes) into sediment deficit (possible erosion processes) after the first dam (Thac Ba dam) was constructed in 1972 and changed back to deposition after the second dam (Hoa Binh dam) was constructed in 1985. The annual sediment deposition varied between 1.9 Mt/y and 46.7 Mt/y with an annual mean value of 22.9 Mt/y (1985-2010). The sediment deposition at the lower reach of the Red River would accelerate river aggradation which would change river channel capacity in the downstream of the Red River. The depositional processes could be sustained or changed back to erosional processes after more dams (the amount of sediment deposit was much less after the latest two dams Tuyen Quang dam in 2009 and Sonla dam in 2010) are constructed, depending on the water and sediment dynamics. This study revealed that the erosional and depositional processes could be shifted for the same stretch of river as affected by a sequence of dams and provides useful insights in river management in order to reduce flood frequency along the lower reach of the Red River. [sci].

Study of the Climate Change Impacts on Water Quality in the Upstream Portion of the Cau River Basin, Vietnam.
HaNgoc Hien, BuiHuy Hoang, TranThi Huong, TranThanh Than, PhamThiThu Ha and others. Environmental Modeling & Assessment, 2015, pp. 1-17.

Abstract: This paper presents simulations of climate change impacts on water quality in the upstream portion of the Cau River Basin in the North of Vietnam. The integrated modeling system GIBSI was used to simulate hydrological processes, pollutant and sediment wash-off in the river basin, and pollutant transport and transformation in the river network. Three projections for climate change based on emission scenarios B1, B2, and A2 of IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) were considered. By assuming that the input pollution sources and watershed configuration were constant, based on 2008 data, water quality in the river network was simulated up to the terminal year 2050. For each climate change scenario, patterns of precipitation in wet and dry year were considered. The change in annual and monthly trends for dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and ammonium ions (NH4+) load and concentration for different portions of the watershed have been analyzed. The results of these simulations show that climate change has more impact on changing the seasonal water quality parameters than on altering the average annual load of the pollutants. The percent change and change pattern in water quality parameters are different for wet and dry year, and the changes in wet year are smaller than those in dry year. [spr].

Using Shoreline Video Assessment for coastal planning and restoration in the context of climate change in Kien Giang, Vietnam.
Chu Van Cuong, Michael Russell, Sharon Brown and Peter Dart. Ocean Science Journal, 2015, volume 50, number 2, pp. 413-432.

Abstract: Kien Giang, bordering Cambodia in the Mekong River Delta, is one of the two most vulnerable provinces in the region to coastal erosion and flooding. Coastal protection can conflict with current land use and economic development activities. The conditions of the mangrove forest and mainland coastline of the Kien Giang province were assessed using the Shoreline Video Assessment Method (SVAM) backed up with information from satellite images. Half of the 206 km Kien Giang coastline has been eroded or is being eroded. Protective mangrove forests naturally occurred in 74% of the coastline but have been under threat from illegal cutting, erosion and coastal retreat. Accurate information on the state of the coastline and mangrove forest health provided invaluable data for developing a new coastal rehabilitation plan to guard against future sea level rise. In contrast to the current boundary management of land and natural resources, this plan divided the provincial coastline into 19 sections based on the landscape condition and exposure to erosion. Priority strategic actions for erosion management, mangrove restoration and sustainable livelihood development for local communities for each section of coast were developed based on an integrated cross sectoral approach and practical experience in the Conservation and Development of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve Project. [spr].

The sediment load and deposition by river discharge and their relation to organochlorine pesticides pollutants in the sediment bottom of Nha Trang Bay, Vietnam.
HoangTrung Du and Andreas Kunzmann. Ocean Science Journal, 2015, volume 50, number 2, pp. 455-466.

Abstract: Based on previous results from the “River reef impact studies project that was carried out as a co-operation programme between ZMT (Germany) and NIO (Vietnam) from 2008–2012, the variation of sediment load and associated persistent organic pollutants were investigated in Nha Trang Bay. In northern parts of the bay, both suspended matter load and deposition rates are high during the rainy season (flood events). The total suspended matter (TSM) and particulate nitrogen (PN) concentration show variations both with season (dry and rainy seasons) and increasing distances from the coast: TSM ranged from 2.30 to 19.79 mgL-1; and PN concentration ranged from 0.006 to 0.055 mgL-1. High deposition rates occurred both near the shore and in mid-bay, ranging from 12.8 to 36.1 g m-2 d-1. In the southern section of the bay, sediment deposition was slightly lower, with little seasonal variation. The highest deposition rate was measured at the river estuarine site, amounting to 9.1 g m-2 d-1 (dry season) and 9.0 g m-2 d-1 (rainy season). Further, persistent organic pollutants (POP) concentrations in sediment samples and sediment cores clearly showed the presence of organo-chlorine pesticides (OCP pollutant). High accumulation levels of OCP components were found in almost all sediment samples of Nha Trang Bay. The DDT concentrations showed high levels in sediment located in the estuary at the northern part of the bay (ranged: 20.11µg kg-1 to 5.28µg kg-1), and in the southern part (B1) 3.76µg kg-1. This study provides essential data and information, which are needed to assess the long-term impacts of river input on the degradation of marine ecosystems in the coastal waters of Nha Trang Bay. [spr].

Vertical distribution of dioxins in soil of Bien Hoa airbase, Vietnam.
Dang Thuong Huyen, Toshifumi Igarashi and Takuya Shiraiwa. SpringerPlus, 2015, volume 4, p. 300.

Abstract: Bien Hoa airbase is a known dioxin-contaminated hotspot in Vietnam. The contamination occurred during the Vietnam War at the site where dioxins were transported, stored, sprayed, and spilled in the area. Dioxins, which are cancer inducing substances, may transfer from the soil to food crops and finally to human beings living around the area. Many surveys of dioxins in soil, water, organisms, and human have been carried out in this study area since 2002. In this paper vertical distribution of dioxins in undisturbed soil cores were examined. Twelve soil samples from three drilled cores were collected to analyze dioxin levels according to the standard Japanese analytical method. The results showed that the toxicity equivalency quantity (TEQ) in one soil sample at a depth of 2.6 m reached 3,300 pg-TEQ/g-dw. High TEQs were also observed in the clay layer. This anomaly of dioxin concentrations could be attributed to the affinity of dioxins for the clay layer. The isomer patterns in the soils were different from those in the soil of Hokkaido in that 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was the most dominant in the soil sample. This indicates that the dioxins originate from a defoliant Agent Orange disposed at the site after the Vietnam War.  [spr].


Liveable streets in Hanoi: A principal component analysis.
Peter Sanders, Mark Zuidgeest and Karst Geurs. Habitat International, 2015, volume 49, pp. 547-558.

Abstract: Liveability along four streets in Hanoi, Vietnam is assessed. Hanoi is a rapidly growing metropolis characterised by high levels of personal motorized traffic. Two high traffic volume streets and two low traffic volume streets were studied using a mixed methods approach, combining the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data on traffic volumes and liveability perceptions of its residents. The research methodology for this study revisits part of the well-known Liveable Streets study for San Francisco by Appleyard et al. (1981). A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) shows that residents on both low traffic volume streets experience less traffic hazard and stress, including noise and air pollution, than neighbouring high traffic volume streets. In line with Appleyard, the study shows that low traffic volume streets were rated more liveable than high traffic volume streets. In contrast to Appleyard, however, the study also shows that traffic volumes are not correlated with social interaction, feeling of privacy and sense of home, which is likely caused by the high levels of collectivism typical for Vietnam. Finally, the study indicates a strong residential neighbourhood type dissonance, where a mismatch exists between preferences for living in peaceful and quiet streets and the actual home location of residents. [sci].

Applying a Systematic Review to Land Use Land Cover Change in Northern Upland Vietnam: The Missing Case of the Borderlands.
Thi-Thanh-Hien Pham, Sarah Turner and Kate Trincsi. Geographical Research, 2015.

Abstract: As Vietnam embraces the market economy, and a number of state policies promote reforestation and rural market integration, land use and land cover (LULC) changes are occurring in the country’s northern uplands in increasingly complex and fragmented ways. Yet understandings of the degree and consequences of LULC changes in this diverse agro-ecological region are incomplete. We conduct a systematic literature review of research reported in academic articles tracing and analysing LULC change in Vietnam’s northern regions. We find that these studies have tended to take place away from the most mountainous, northern borderlands. The studies nonetheless highlight a diversity of land use land cover changes caused by numerous causes, making the distinction of overall trends difficult. To complement and extend this body of research, we introduce recent LULC change research we have completed in the mountainous border districts of Lào Cai province, on the Sino-Vietnamese border. The heterogeneity of causes of LULC change in both the review articles and our case study points to the importance of adapting land use policies to local agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions and ethnic diversity, taking into account state–farmer relations, household livelihood decision-making, and policy implementation at the commune and district levels. [wiley].

Health care

Practices around the use of masks and respirators among hospital health care workers in 3 diverse populations.
Abrar Ahmad Chughtai, C. Raina MacIntyre, Muhammad Orooj Ashraf, Yang Zheng, Peng Yang and others. American Journal of Infection Control, 2015.

Abstract: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 89 secondary- and tertiary-level hospitals in 3 countries, and samples of masks and respirators were also collected and examined. Results showed varied practices around the use of masks and respirators, which are probably influenced by the available resources and local recommendations. Nonstandardized practices are common in low-resource settings, which may be placing health care workers at risk. [sci].

Acceptability and Feasibility of Delivering Pentavalent Vaccines in a Compact, Prefilled, Autodisable Device in Vietnam and Senegal.
Elise Guillermet, Hamadou M. Dicko, Le Thi Phuong Mai, Mamadou N’Diaye, Fatoumata Hane and others. PLoS ONE, 2015, volume 10, number 7, p. e0132292.

BACKGROUND: Prefilled syringes are the standard in developed countries but logistic and financial barriers prevent their widespread use in developing countries. The current study evaluated use of a compact, prefilled, autodisable device (CPAD) to deliver pentavalent vaccine by field actors in Senegal and Vietnam.

METHODS: We conducted a logistic, programmatic, and anthropological study that included a) interviews of immunization staff at different health system levels and parents attending immunization sessions; b) observation of immunization sessions including CPAD use on oranges; and c) document review.

RESULTS: Respondents perceived that the CPAD would improve safety by being non-reusable and preventing needle and vaccine exposure during preparation. Preparation was considered simple and may reduce immunization time for staff and caretakers. CPAD impact on cold storage requirements depended on the current pentavalent vaccine being used; in both countries, CPAD would reduce the weight and volume of materials and safety boxes thereby potentially improving outreach strategies and waste disposal. CPAD also would reduce stock outages by bundling vaccine and syringes and reduce wastage by using a non-breakable plastic presentation. Respondents also cited potential challenges including ability to distinguish between CPAD and other pharmaceuticals delivered via a similar mechanism (such as contraceptives), safety, and concerns related to design and ease of administration (such as activation, ease of delivery, and needle diameter and length).

CONCLUSIONS: Compared to current pentavalent vaccine presentations in Vietnam and Senegal, CPAD technology will address some of the main barriers to vaccination, such as supply chain issues and safety concerns among health workers and families. Most of the challenges we identified can be addressed with health worker training, minor design modifications, and health messaging targeting parents and communities. Potentially the largest remaining barrier is the marginal increase in pentavalent cost – if any – from CPAD use, which we did not assess in our study. Free full text

Past and new challenges for malaria control and elimination: the role of operational research for innovation in designing interventions.
Philippe Guyant, Vincent Corbel, Philippe J Guérin, Adeline Lautissier, François Nosten and others. Malaria Journal, 2015, volume 14.

Abstract: This meeting report presents the outcomes of a workshop held in Bangkok on December 1st 2014, where the following challenges were discussed: the threat of resistance to artemisinin and artemisinin-based combination therapy in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) and in Africa; access to treatment for most at risk and hard to reach population; insecticide resistance, residual and outdoors transmission. The role of operational research and the interactions between research institutions, National Malaria Control Programmes, Civil Society Organizations, and of financial and technical partners to address those challenges and to accelerate translation of research into policies and programmes were debated. The threat and the emergency of the artemisinin resistance spread and independent emergence in the GMS was intensely debated as it is now close to the border of India. The need for key messages, based on scientific evidence and information available and disseminated without delay, was highlighted as crucial for an effective and urgent response. Free full text

Vietnamese Health Care Providers’ Preferences Regarding Recommendation of HPV Vaccines.
Gladys B Asiedu, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Walter K Kremers, Quang V Ngo, Nguyen V Nguyen and others. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP, 2015, volume 16, number 12, pp. 4895-900.

Abstract: Physician recommendation is an important predictor of HPV vaccine acceptance; however, physician willingness and preferences regarding HPV vaccination may be influenced by factors including patient age, vaccine type, and cost. A cross-sectional survey was administered to a convenience sample of health care providers in Da Nang, Vietnam, to evaluate awareness, perceptions about HPV and HPV vaccines, and willingness to vaccinate a female patient. Willingness to vaccinate was evaluated using a full-factorial presentation of scenarios featuring the following factors: vaccine cost (free vs 1,000,000 VND), patient age (12, 16, or 22 years), and HPV vaccine type (bivalent vs quadrivalent). Responses from 244 providers were analyzed; providers had a mean age of 34 ± 11.9 years; a majority were female, married, and had children of their own. Thirty-six percent specialized in obstetrics/gynecology and 24% were providers in family medicine. Of the three factors considered in conjoint analysis, vaccine cost was the most important factor in willingness to vaccinate, followed by patient age, and vaccine type. The most favorable scenario for vaccinating a female patient was when the vaccine was free, the patient was 22 years of age, and the HPV4 vaccine was described. In multivariable analysis, older age, being a physician, being married, and having children were all associated with increased willingness to recommend HPV vaccination (p<0.05). Provider willingness is an important aspect of successful HPV vaccination programs; identifying preferences and biases in recommendation patterns will highlight potential areas for education and intervention. Free full text

Current status of the legal framework regarding nursing in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Toyomitsu Tamura, Miwa Sonoda, Chiyoko Hashimoto, Mayumi Hashimoto, Noriko Mochizuki and others. Kokusai Hoken Iryo (Journal of International Health), 2015, volume 30, number 2, pp. 87-92.

Background:  The Millennium Development Goals were put forth to strengthen maternal and child health, and because infectious disease has become a trend in the world, ensuring the quality and quantity of nursing is important. We report on a survey detailing the current status of legal frameworks and qualification systems in nursing in four countries: Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Method:  We conducted a semi-structured interview with nursing administrative officers, and then we confirmed those information in their countries in 2012 and 2013. We categorized the existing nursing legal framework, nursing qualification systems, professional association and council.

Results:  The King of Cambodia stipulated to a royal decree, which was established by the nursing council. In Lao PDR, following the Law on Health Care, two nursing and midwifery related regulations were developed. The Union of Myanmar enacted the Nurse and Midwife Law. In Vietnam following the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment, two Circulars were issued by the Ministry of Health to regulate the scope of practices and norms. We report on the current situation of the qualification and registration systems for nursing of each country. In addition, the development of qualifications and regulations should be reported based on the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

Conclusion:  We conducted a comparison of four countries to ensure the quality of nursing. A challenge for the future is compliance and dissemination of the laws and regulations that have been developed. ASEAN MRA has become a driving force for improvement of these legal systems. Free full text

Integrated clinical and quality improvement coaching in Son La Province, Vietnam: a model of building public sector capacity for sustainable HIV care delivery.
Lisa A. Cosimi, Huong V. Dam, Thai Q. Nguyen, Huyen T. Ho, Phuong T. Do and others. BMC Health Services Research, 2015, volume 15.

Background: The global scale-up of antiretroviral therapy included extensive training and onsite support to build the capacity of HIV health care workers. However, traditional efforts aimed at strengthening knowledge and skills often are not successful at improving gaps in the key health systems required for sustaining high quality care.

Methods: We trained and mentored existing staff of the Son La provincial health department and provincial HIV clinic to work as a provincial coaching team (PCT) to provide integrated coaching in clinical HIV skills and quality improvement (QI) to the HIV clinics in the province. Nine core indicators were measured through chart extraction by clinic and provincial staff at baseline and at 6 month intervals thereafter. Coaching from the team to each of the clinics, in both QI and clinical skills, was guided by results of performance measurements, gap analyses, and resulting QI plans.

Results: After 18 months, the PCT had successfully spread QI activities, and was independently providing regular coaching to the provincial general hospital clinic and six of the eight district clinics in the province. The frequency and type of coaching was determined by performance measurement results. Clinics completed a mean of five QI projects. Quality of HIV care was improved throughout all clinics with significant increases in seven of the indicators. Overall both the PCT activities and clinic performance were sustained after integration of the model into the Vietnam National QI Program.

Conclusions: We successfully built capacity of a team of public sector health care workers to provide integrated coaching in both clinical skills and QI across a province. The PCT is a feasible and effective model to spread and sustain quality activities and improve HIV care services in a decentralized rural setting. Free full text


The Effects of Electricity Grid Expansion on Households- Evidence from Vietnam: Poster Paper.
Semee Yoon and Hyelim Son. 37th Annual APPAM (Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management) Fall Research Conference 12 – 14 November 2015 Hyatt Regency Miami Florida.

Abstract: This paper aims to analyze and quantify the impact of electricity grid expansion on household income and individual labor participation among Vietnamese population using nationally representative panel surveys, remote sensing data, and geographic variables. In 1995, the Vietnamese government passed a national law on rural electrification, and household electricity connectivity increased from 13.9% to 96% from 1990 to 2010. To overcome the lack of publicly accessible data on electrification, yearly nightlights are used to measure electrification at the commune level. The slope of the terrain is used to identify the causal impact of electrification. Despite the consensus that electricity is beneficial for economic development, the evidence of infrastructural improvement on household economics is still limited due to the difficulty in finding the exogenous variable and accurate welfare measures. This study, with respect to Vietnam’s experience of central electricity grid expansion, mainly through hydropower, allows the matching of better quality household data with rich outcomes variables, which would contribute to the growing literature on the impact of infrastructure on microeconomic development. Results indicate that individual occupational changes from agriculture to tertiary sectors are not immediate, but household income increases with electrification. Moreover, electrification significantly decreases female labor participation and increases children’s school enrollment.

Institutional change and market conditions for low-carbon electricity transition in Vietnam.
Hoang Anh Nguyen Trinh and Yorgos Rizopoulos. Our Common Future under Climate Change (CFCC), 2015.

Abstract: The paper develops a mesoeconomic approach to the low-carbon electricity transition in Vietnam. We argue that political will is a necessary but insufficient condition for such a change. In this perspective, we identify key players, and point out the institutional and structural characteristics of the electricity market which may impede the take-off of renewable resources. Indeed, the transition process depends on interdependent organizational decisions and implies a fundamental transformation of the stakeholders’ positions and relations. In particular, it necessitates the existence of a critical mass of initiating actors that perceive the benefits of investing in renewables and have the leverage to redefine the rules of the game, therefore modifying the institutional framework and enabling the constitution of new structural interdependencies inside the electricity system. During the current period, the conditions of the wholesale market appear as a determining factor in relation to the pace of the low-carbon transition. Then, we propose an analytical grid to apprehend the change path by following the trend in some focal variables. Among others, feed-in tariff and subsidies to the single-buyer indicate the balance of power between the major stakeholders and reflect the stages of the transition process. Free full text

Social welfare

Laborer Status and the Effect of Vocational Training on Employment and Income of Rural Laborers in Kien Giang Province, Vietnam.
Nguyen Quang Tuyen. Global Journal of human-social science: E Economics, 2015, volume 15, number 4.

Abstract: The results of this study show that Kien Giang has an abundant youth laborer force; 43% of laborers are between the ages 15 to 29, most of whom are involved in the handicraft sector and non-agriculture wage employment, while most laborers aging between 45 and 60 are involved in agricultural work. However, laborers had a difficult time finding jobs after participating in career training because the quality of training was not high and because the duration of training was short. Of those being trained, 51% received training in industrial and construction professions. Free full text

Building strong foundations for later livelihoods by addressing child poverty: evidence from Young Lives.
Paul Dornan and Kirrily Pells. Enterprise Development & Microfinance, 2015, volume 26, number 2, pp. 90-103.

Abstract: Improving children’s life chances is central to development in low- and middle-income countries. Half the population of sub-Saharan Africa are aged 18 or younger, and young people comprise nearly half of all people living in extreme poverty worldwide. Poverty undermines not only children’s rights to life, survival, and development, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also the skills and capabilities that fastchanging economies need for future growth. By extension, given poverty is a key mechanism shaping later chances, eradicating it is key to improving equality of opportunity. This article presents longitudinal analysis on inequities in children’s development trajectories, drawing on data from the Young Lives cohort study. Young Lives is following the lives of 12,000 children growing up in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam. The article’s central questions are to understand how, why, and when inequalities become established through childhood. We explore how children and young people’s trajectories diverge over time; and we provide preliminary findings on education, nutrition, and youth transitions to higher education, work, and marriage and parenthood, from the latest survey round. We find that the poorest children, those in rural areas and/or from marginalized social groups, are consistently being ‘left behind’ in terms of nutritional status, learning, and opportunities to continue in education. We conclude by considering how policy interventions at different stages of the early life-course can mitigate the development of such inequalities.

Children’s Wellbeing in East and Southeast Asia: A Preliminary Comparison.
Esther Cho. Social Indicators Research, 2015, volume 123, number 1, pp. 183-201.

Abstract: Much progress has been made recently in expanding the literature on international comparison of children’s wellbeing. Nevertheless, most studies are skewed toward western or European countries, with the Asian nations rarely included. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap by conducting an exploratory comparison of children’s wellbeing in East and Southeast Asian countries. A multidimensional approach is adopted by analyzing material wellbeing, health, educational wellbeing, behavior, environment, and psychosocial wellbeing, together with their associated components and indicators. All countries are ranked according to their overall child wellbeing indices, including and excluding the dimension of psychosocial wellbeing. The results show that Japan, Korea, and Singapore perform best while Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia do less well in terms of children’s wellbeing. Various issues, including the paucity of data, are discussed as items to be considered in the agenda for future research.


Addressing the threats to tourism sustainability using systems thinking: a case study of Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.
Thanh Mai and Carl Smith. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2015, pp. 1-25.

Abstract: Tourism is a dynamically complex system. Planning for sustainability is therefore difficult because past system behaviour is often not a good indicator of future behaviour. Despite this, tourism planning is mainly based on forecasting methods that rely on historical data to predict future trends with the assumption that tomorrow’s world will be much like today’s. To properly manage dynamically complex systems it is necessary to understand the underlying system structures that influence current as well as future system behaviour. This is the domain of systems thinking, which is not a forecasting method, rather a method used to understand the feedback mechanisms that influence system behaviour over time. This study describes the link between tourism development and systems thinking theory, and uses this to identify underlying systems structures likely to influence tourism development and sustainability within Cat Ba Island, Vietnam. We show that current policies promoting rapid tourism growth on Cat Ba Island are likely to be fixes that fail due to unintended consequences that ultimately undermine sustainability. To ensure sustainability, the policy focus must switch from growth to planning for limits to growth before tourism carrying capacity is undermined, which could ultimately lead to tourism decline. [tf].


ASEAN and Regional Free Trade Agreements.
Christopher Findlay. Routledge, 2015.

Abstract: Efforts to use existing trade agreements to build a larger regional agreement face many challenges. This book considers this problem with reference to ASEAN’s current agreements with key partners and the interest to build the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The analysis of the options is framed by a focus on the use of supply chains in international business. Issues considered include those related to reductions in tariffs, trade facilitation, the treatment of investment and of services and the definition of rules of origin. The work is informed by case studies of supply chains in automobile and electronics, and in a professional service sector. The book provides a set of priority actions for better progress in taking a bottom-up approach to building RCEP.

Combining Simulation with Optimization to Evaluate Freight Logistics Performances for Developing a Corridor.
Sirasak Tepjit and Thaynyawan Chanpanit. in: Toward Sustainable Operations of Supply Chain and Logistics Systems, Springer, 2015.

Abstract: The chapter presents an evaluation of freight logistics performances and recommends policy on logistics facility and related transport infrastructure investment along the corridor that links between Laem Chabang Port in Thailand and Port of Vung Ang in Vietnam via Laos PDR. A dry port and its transportation links to the seaport have been proposed for investment. There are five nominal routes within the network where an origin is located over the dry port hinterland and Guangzhou Port in China PDR is a destination. The combination of simulation model and goal programming has been applied to evaluate the corridor in terms of freight logistics operational performance. A discrete event model visualizes the desirable system. The weighted goal programming is used to find an optimal route. Finally, the policy prioritizes that investment must be made for the dry port and the connection to Laem Chabang Port by direct rail link. In order to encourage the dry port to be part of the network, the desirable logistics system requires overall transit cost should be around US$1100. Quality of services for on time performance should be maintained around 320 hours of total transit with 21 hours of traveling time variance and 54 hours of operation time variance. [spr].