Other Working Groups and Partnerships
A range of other working groups and partnerships are active in Vietnam, bringing together representatives from donors, NGOs, government ministries, mass organisations and the media to share information and experiences. Below is a selection of some of the key partnership groups the NGO Resource Centre has been involved with. Further information on many of the partnerships is available online at www.worldbank.org.vn/partner/partner.htm, www.un.org.vn, www.undp.org.vn and www.vdic.org.vn.
Poverty and Environment Network (PEN)
The Poverty and Environment Network is being established to promote cooperation and information sharing among organizations and individuals working in areas related to poverty and environment in Vietnam and to improve awareness and enhance capacity in integrating poverty and environment into policies and planning for sustainable development. The main objective of the network is to improve the mainstreaming of poverty-environment issues in Vietnam. The PEN will seek to mobilise the participation of existing specialised single-issue poverty-environment related networks (such as FSSP, the Wetland Network and the Non-Timber Products Network) to enable a wider sharing and exchange of experiences.
Craft Working Group/Craft Link (CWG)
Commencing in 1993, a number of NGOs working in Vietnam formed a network to support handicraft development among poor artisans. The goal was to help craft producers, particularly poor women, to increase their incomes and help to revive and promote traditional Vietnamese craft skills and culture, including those of ethnic minorities. During the past decade, a number of INGOs have supported research, training and other project activities. Products from these projects and independent small producers have been sold at handicraft bazaars, which have been held in Hanoi several times a year since December 1994. In September 1995, Craft Link was established as a Vietnamese not-for-profit craft marketing and development organisation.
There are two sections within Craft Link: development and business. The Craft Link Development Section helps craft producer groups, especially the poor, improve their livelihoods sustainably through craft, and helps revive and promote traditional culture and skills. The Craft Link Business Section operates as a not-for-profit business that assists Craft Link Development by finding markets for craft producers groups, educating the public about these producers and their products and providing financial support for the development activities of Craft Link Development. For more information, contact: Craft Link, 41 Van Mieu, Hanoi; tel.: 3733 61 01; fax: 3843 79 26; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.craftlink-vietnam.com.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) Working Group
The purpose of the Early Childhood Development Working Group is to provide a forum for interested people to share resources and experiences for the purpose of promoting children's well-being through ECD in Vietnam. Key objectives of the Working Group include information sharing on organisational experiences, government policies and innovative approaches; sharing resources such as research, materials, curricula and training guides; networking for geographic and programmatic coordination; responses to funding opportunities, partnerships and planning; and advocacy, aiming to support the development of government policy and increase resource allocation for ECD. The ECD Working Group is facilitated by UNICEF and participating INGOs.
The Education Forum is an open learning forum that brings together a wide range of education specialists, practitioners, policy makers, researchers, government representatives, donors and NGOs. The objectives of the forum are: to provide a place for the free exchange of ideas and experiences between practitioners, policy makers, Vietnamese and international education specialists; move forward the debate on key challenges and fundamental issues facing Vietnam's education system; and identify solutions for providing quality education for disadvantaged children. During recent years, topics have included presentations and discussions on the government’s 10-year Education Strategy, as well as the implementation of new education reforms. The forum meets approximately every three months for a full day. Facilitation of the Education Forum rotates between the three organisers: UNICEF, Oxfam Great Britain, and Save the Children UK. For more information, contact any of these organisations.
International Support Group - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (ISG-MARD)
The International Support Group (ISG-MARD) was established in 1997 in accordance with Decision No. 541 NN/TCCB-QDwith an advisory function on the effective use of official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture and rural development. Its overall objective is to support the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development generally and the International Cooperation Department particularly in: (i) coordinating with international donors, including NGOs, on projects and programmes, (ii) building partnerships; (iii) fostering Vietnamese ownership of foreign-supported projects; and (iv) act as a facilitor in policy dialogue and coordination at vertical and horizontal levels (donors, ministries and provinces). To contact: ISG - International Support Group, Room 209, Building A9, 2 Ngoc Ha, Hanoi, Vietnam, tel: (04) 3733 6610 – 37336757, email: email@example.com
Gender Action Partnership
The Gender Action Partnership was established in 2002 as an open forum for discussions on key development issues related to gender for all members of the development community. GAP is an inclusive partnership whose membership includes representatives from government agencies, local organistions, bilateral and multilateral donors and INGOs. The group aims to support more coordinated efforts towards equitable development and poverty reduction in Vietnam by supporting gender-responsive policies, practices and approaches in the national development process. The National Committee for the Advancement of Women (NCFAW) is the key government agency responsible for the provision of policy advice to the government on gender equality in national policy and planning, and acts as the GAP Secretariat. For more information, contact: National Committee for the Advancement of Women, 39 Hang Chuoi, Hanoi, tel. (04) 971 1349, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partnership Group fo Aid Effectiveness (PGAE)
PGAE coordinates, discusses and monitors the aid effectiveness agenda with the aim of working together to promote aid effectiveness in Vietnam. The High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness and the Paris Declaration in 2003 provided the final impetus to formalise PGAE as the coordinating body for the follow up on the commitments of the Paris Declaration. PGAE meetings are co-chaired by a government and a donor representative, with the latter being appointed by mutual consensus among all donors on a rotation basis every six months.
Participants at the meetings include government officials and representatives of all donor agencies present in the country, namely: representatives of the Like Minded Donor Group (Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Australia), the 5 Bank group, EU, UN/UNDP, Japan and USA. Non-government stakeholders also play a role in the group.