Vietnam Program

Established in 1988, the Vietnam Program is a recognized leader in the study of Vietnam’s political and economic development. Through a combination of teaching in Vietnam, research, and policy advising, the program is an influential participant in Vietnam’s policy dialogue, informing Vietnam’s ongoing reform process. 

Our Approach

Why do so many countries that succeed in escaping poverty subsequently stagnate? How can Vietnam and others avoid this trap? The Vietnam Program does not approach development 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. 


Vietnam Program 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, the program engages in an ongoing and dynamic interchange with the other initiatives of the Ash Center.