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Accelerating Research on the Economy & Environment in Asia

Image by Pixabay.


Oct 20, 2018 | Environmental issues are inextricably linked with economics and vice versa. GDN has announced its support to two leading institutions in Vietnam and India who will produce and disseminate policy relevant knowledge on two specific areas – the impact of climate change on agricultural production, and the environmental economics of slum redevelopment.

The Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Fields of View based in Bangalore, India were selected on a competitive basis to use yearlong grants of $40,000 each to implement their own research capacity building and research to policy programs.  Together, these institutions will cover countries along the Mekong Delta, and across South Asia with an online platform developed in Bangalore. 

The Foreign Trade University in Vietnam will set up a regional training program to train participants on how to measure climate change impacts on agricultural production in countries along the Mekong Delta, including Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The project focuses on advanced training on computable general equilibrium (CGE) models that use economic data to estimate how the economy changes in response to changes in the environment.

Fields of View will develop and test an online research platform to provide policymakers working on slum development projects in India and across South Asia with access to relevant multidisciplinary research to assist policy making. The project also has an outreach component that will engage policy actors and community members to use the platform.

A kickoff event is taking place in Hanoi on the 26th and 27th of October 2016 that will help both institutions finalize their plans and link them to expert mentors. Two advisors recruited by GDN, and a support team from GDN, will attend. The two teams from India and Vietnam will work together for the first time, to learn from each other and find areas of synergy.

Alexis Drogul, current representative of  Institut de Recherche pour le Development (IRD) in Vietnam and Philippines ,who works on the design of artificial intelligence tools and also in developing policy tools to help fight environmental disasters, says, “The project in Vietnam has the potential to turbocharge the policy arena because it will generate empirical substance, that can no longer be ignored.”

Nicola Tollin, from the field of Urban Resilience in Denmark who will mentor the project in Bangalore, says, “The project in Bangalore will pull together resources to build a systematic picture of what works, and what does not, in the field of urban development – a desperately needed resource for a world that is fast urbanizing.”

The grants are part of a strategic effort at the Global Development Network to build institutional research capacity in developing countries around the world.  GDN’s past efforts on institutional capacity building in Bhutan, Ethiopia, and Vietnam & Cambodia showed that it is possible to strengthen research in low capacity environments through small grants with tailored external support.  GDN started systematically targeting institutions through a new strategy in 2017, throughout its programs.

“We believe that institutions rather than individuals are strategic actors in the production of local research that can contribute to better policy decisions and more sustainable development,” says Francesco Obino, Head of Programs at the Global Development Network.

The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in developing and transition countries, to promote better lives. It supports researchers with financial resources, global networking, research management support, access to information, training, peer review and mentoring. Founded in 1999, GDN is currently headquartered in New Delhi, an emerging powerhouse in the global South.

For more information, please call Madhuri Dass Woudenberg, Head of Communications, Global Development Network on + 91 9350209494 or write to her on