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Thursday, 26 December 2019 10:41
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The contribution of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for research and training of cadres, leaders and manager at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA)

(LLCT) - The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) have been cooperating with each other for more than 10 years now, doing great projects together in three main themes such as establishing the e-library, exchanging development experience and the capacity enhancement.

KOICA Vietnam office was established in 1994, aimed to support Vietnam’s economic and social development by assisting to establish a foundation for sustainable growth. Thus, KOICA Vietnam aligns its objectives and priorities with the Vietnamese National Socio-economic Development Strategies (SEDS) and Plan (SEDP).

One of the four major sectors that KOICA prioritizes in supporting Vietnam is governance. Since governance is defined as the exercise of economic, political and administrative authorities to manage a country’s affairs at all levels, it is considered as a precondition for development. Acknowledging the importance of governance in inclusive social economic development, Vietnam has placed effective public administration as one among three pillars in its development vision toward 2035.

To support Vietnam’s enhancing governance capacity, KOICA mainly focuses on empowering governmental institutions. These works include improving institutional capacity and maximizing their operational effectiveness in providing services in an inclusive as well as transparent way to their people. KOICA prioritized supporting HCMA over the past 10 years to strengthen its governance comprehensively through various programs which were designed to improve infrastructure for research and studying, exchanging development knowledge, and enhancing the capacity of cadres, leaders and managers participated in HCMA training courses.

Below are some key projects and programs where KOICA supported HCMA;

1. Upgrading Infrastructure for HCMA: Project for “Establishment of E-library for HCMA (2008-2010)”

In the context of Vietnam’s growing digital technology, the issue of using multi-utility electronic information products and services has become an urgent need for HCMA. As a leading think tank specializing in doing researches, providing training programs for high-ranking leaders and advising policies for the Central Party and the State, HCMA had to be equipped with relevant technology.

In order to fulfill the needs, KOICA helped HCMA to build an e-library and strengthen human resources to run the library. The e-library provided data, e-books, paper, and research to meet the needs of information, serving research and training activities at the Academy.

The project for the Establishment of an e-library for the HCMA was implemented to improve the quality of on-job trainings and scientific researches of the Academy. The project included the following activities; establishing an electronic library system at the HCMA, renovating class rooms in which trainees get guidance on how to use the e-library system, building reading rooms for trainees to read books on the system, supporting HCMA to improve the capacity of managers and operators of the library, building and operating an electronic library system, sending staff of the Academy to Korea to study and inviting Korean experts to the Academy to give training and to support HCMA in running the e-library system.

Through the fully equipped electronic library system with advanced user-centered technology, all previous manual library work is now processed on the computer system, thereby helping users to search books more quickly and conveniently. Moreover, the publication of e-books has created a basis for providing online services through the internet and has enabled HCMA to create a variety of services through data sharing between related agencies.

2. Sharing development knowledge and experience: Development Experience Exchange Partnership (DEEP) Project (2015-2018)

Following three decades of virtually uninterrupted rapid growth, Vietnam has emerged as a thriving middle-income economy. However, Vietnam’s transition to become a prosperous and modern economy has only just begun. While Vietnam has the potential to meet this aspiration, without reforms, the country is likely to experience a slowdown in growth and fall short of its own aspiration. Therefore, Vietnam is seeking to learn successful stories from other countries, especially from Korea which made impressive economic progress.

HCMA is assigned by the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party to research, advise, propose and provide scientific arguments for the Party Central Committee and the State in planning national development policies and in renewing the organization and operation of the political system. In the context, KOICA cooperated with HCMA to share Korean development experiences through the DEEP project to better envision the future of Vietnam. The project was designed to contribute to the sustainable development and achievement of the national development plan of Vietnam by deriving result-oriented and country-tailored policy suggestion from Korea’s development experience in order to strengthen the strategic cooperation partnership between the two countries. The project was conducted by the Korean and Vietnamese researchers under coordination of two academic organizations; Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Yonsei University.

The project emphasized on sharing Korean experience on developing and building up orientations and making proposals for national policy on Vietnam’s vision toward the goal of bringing Vietnam into a socio-economically developed country as to achieve the goals in SEDS 2011-2020 and prepare for SEDS 2021-2030. The project focused on three research themes, namely (i) advanced human resource development for state capacity and sustainable development in Vietnam, (ii) public sector reform for state capacity and sustainable development in Vietnam, and (iii) the establishment and improvement of the market economy system for state capacity and sustainable development in Vietnam. These are three growth drivers given by the Vietnamese government in its mid-term economic policies.

In order to give Vietnamese researchers overview of what elements are needed to establish and improve the social economic system, some workshops were held in Korea where Korean experts shared Korea’s past development history. Thanks to the knowledge being shared by Korean colleagues, Vietnamese researchers better understood the Korea’s development experience, both successful and failed stories, from which they would apply and adjust lessons learned to Vietnamese background.

Not only having had lectures in classes, the workshops also organized study visits to key agencies and institutes so that participants could experience and learn practical model of socio-economic development that Korea had been implementing. The workshops arranged for Vietnamese researchers to visit some Korean agencies, organizations and institutes which were the key institutions making significant contribution to socio-economic development in Korea.

For example, the research team visited the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, which is the Korean governmental body committed to developing a strong economy and building growth engines through the concerted efforts of its offices and bureaus. Vietnamese researchers had chances to learn about how the Ministry works to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability, effective policy coordination, and efficient allocation of national resources, fiscal soundness, rational tax policies and robust international cooperation.

The team also visited Busan City Government New Growth Engine Industry Bureau to study its operation. The Bureau is in charge of promoting R&D to cultivate local talent, establishing infrastructure and support for business start-ups, strengthening Busan as a financial hub of marine and derivative products, supporting ICT convergence, and fostering future growth industries.

Another Institute the team visited was Korea Development Institute (KDI), one of leading Korean think tank, had been significantly contributing to the economic and social development of Korea. By visiting KDI, the team studied a good model of a policy study institute, how it provided policy recommendations and guidance based on in-depth analyses of international and domestic economic conditions and projections while conducting empirical studies.

Through self-evaluation done by HCMA, the Academy gave credit to the DEEP project as a significant contribution to re-building the development strategy of HCMA until 2030 and the vision for 2045. Project’s research results were being used as a source of reference for renewing and developing HCMA’s training curriculum for leaders, managers, researchers, and policymakers. These renewal curricula and materials contributed greatly to improving the quality of training and retraining for managers at all levels in HCMA. Joint-research outcomes were also reflected in policy advices for the Party Central Committee and the Government of Vietnam.

HCMA also integrated the research output and outcomes of the project into scientific articles to spread out through the entire HCMA system as well as the Vietnamese central and local agencies. Project’s research results were reflected into policy briefs and policy recommendation reports submitted to the Party Central Committee’s agenda for the process of building the Party’s 13th Document.

The project also left its mark as a booster to further strengthening and deepening relations and cooperation between the Korean and Vietnamese agencies and academic institutions, especially between HCMA with KOICA, Yonsei University, KDI, KIPA, etc., further deepening a strategic partnership and longtime relationship between Vietnam and Korea at all levels.

3. Capacity building: Capacity enhancement for Vietnam’s high level strategic leaders (2012-2015) and (2017-2020)

Besides joint-researches through the DEEP Project, one of main cooperation between KOICA and HCMA was the capacity building programs that KOICA supported HCMA throughout many years now. As well known, HCMA is an agency under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is the national institute in charge of organizing trainings for middle and high ranking national leaders. Annually, thousands of middle and high leaders participate in the short and long term training courses conducted by HCMA. Participating in a training course at HCMA is a mandatory requirement for any manager and leader who works for the Party, the Government, and other political and social organizations in Vietnam. In 2012, the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee assigned HCMA to coordinate with the Central Organizing Committee to organize the first special training courses for high level strategic leaders of Vietnam, in order to develop the key leader resource for XII Party Congress and to strengthen the capacity of national leader generation in the future.

With the desire to support HCMA to fulfill its mission, KOICA and HCMA signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Project “Capacity Enhancement for Vietnam’s High Level Strategic Leaders – period 2013-2015”. The Project includes activities such as; (i) inviting Korean scholars/experts to give lectures at training courses for high level strategic leaders in Vietnam, (ii) Organizing study visits for Vietnamese high level leaders in Korea. In total there were 511 trainees participated in 6 training courses in Vietnam, 130 trainees among them participated in study visits in Korea.

Recognizing the importance and effectiveness of this training course, KOICA decided to continue to support HCMA to organize training courses for the next phase 2017-2020. The overall goal of these study visits is to introduce Korea’s policy-making experience to Vietnamese leaders who are studying at HCMA’s training courses for strategic leaders.

In conclusion, KOICA is very delighted to be involved in the long-term cooperation with HCMA that has yielded many practical and useful outcomes. Through many years, the two partners worked closely together to share knowledge and experiences in enhancing the capacity of high ranking leaders and high quality human resources. We believe that the result of our cooperation would remain as valuable assets for Vietnam in enhancing governance as a necessary component for creating institutional conditions for sustainable socio-economic development. And KOICA is honored to be working with the HCMA, witnessing its growth and development of the academy as the leading think tank of Vietnam. KOICA hopes that the HCMA will continue to promote and further develop the achievements of our cooperation projects and KOICA plans to stay as its longtime partner. 

Jinoh Kim

Country Director, KOICA Vietnam

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