I started my round of interviews for the study I am conducting here in Ha Noi for the World Bank. I am working with two young researchers of an independent research institute which has been established just few years ago. It was nice to hear that Hoang on of the two colleagues, has studied for one year in Pavia which is les than hundred kilometres from my hometown. It is now possible to have English language taught courses in an Italian university, which is nice to know.
I interviewed the young director of another young independent research institute established just one year ago but well connected and pursuing interesting research with important donor organisations in various provinces of the country.
All these organisation were not there when i arrived in Ha Noi in early 2007. It is as if the financial crisis that started to hit Vietnam in the second part of 2008 has opened the door to demand for research from the government and international organisations at an unprecedented level. Traditional research institutes in Vietnam could and cannot cope with this demand and that has opened opportunities for research entrepreneurs.
While the financial crisis has created opportunities, the rapid growth and development achieved by Vietnam during the last 20 years has also provide greater opportunities for these young researchers to study overseas, gain Masters and PhDs, feel at ease when working with the English language. These skills and experiences, added to the knowledge of the policy making environment in the country, are contributing to the creating the foundations for a greater evidence-based development in Vietnam.