Why do so many countries that succeed in escaping poverty subsequently stagnate? How can Vietnam and others avoid this trap? We believe that development cannot be understood through the lens of a single discipline. Understanding the challenges confronting Vietnam and clarifying the policy options available to overcome them requires a sophisticated grasp of the rich fabric of contemporary Vietnamese society and the political, economic, and cultural factors that shape it.
Established in 1988, the Vietnam Program is a recognized leader in the study of Vietnam’s socioeconomic development. We are no typical university center. Through a combination of teaching in Vietnam, research, and policy advising, the Vietnam Program is an influential participant in policy dialogue that is informing Vietnam’s ongoing reform process.
Our research engages with dilemmas that are central to the broader study and practice of development. Improving the governance of public and private institutions is an important part of the economic development equation. Because of the primacy of governance to the challenges confronting Vietnam and other developing countries, we engage in an ongoing and dynamic interchange with the other initiatives of the Ash Center.
The Vietnam Program gratefully acknowledges the many donors that make our work possible. Core funding for the Fulbright School is provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. USAID supports the Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative. In recent years the United Nations in Vietnam has provided funding for our policy research and dialogue initiatives. BP, The Ford Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Star Foundation have also supported our activities.