HO CHI MINH, Vietnam – Nine grantees and research team members from five research projects under the Seed Fund for Research and Training (SFRT) Program gathered in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on 9-10 December 2019 for a technical workshop towards addressing the challenges of research to contribute to inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD).
The technical workshop ensues from the external review conducted in 2018, which recommended the conduct of this activity among grantees to ensure that appropriate methodologies are used, challenges in the conduct of the research are addressed early enough, and results generated meet the standards of scientific rigor. The workshops are to be held at the beginning, midterm, and end of the research.
This technical workshop aimed to be a venue for exchange of knowledge on the research projects being conducted and the sites where these are done. It also aimed to review the methodologies and tools used, the challenges faced, and the status of these studies. This was also an opportunity to expand the network of researchers who wish to contribute to the development of the region.
Moreover, the event was an occasion to review the contractual obligations of grantees, particularly in terms of reportorial requirements and timelines. SEARCA looks forward to a renewed commitment from grantees to abide by these obligations within the approved timelines.
Participating grantees were from 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 who are still conducting their research, namely, Dr. Thong Anh Tran on Freshening salinity areas: Implications of Ba Lai irrigation scheme for agro-ecosystems and household adaptation in Binh Dai district, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam; Mrs. Quynh Thi Thanh Dang and Mr. Tran Van Hieu on Understanding relationships between providing ecosystem services of forest and rural livelihoods: A Case Study in Le Tri Commune, Tri Ton District, An Giang Province, Vietnam; Mr. Rhomir Samiley Yanquiling on Demystifying climate adaptation finance for the poor rural-agricultural communities and the vulnerable sector: the case of the People's Survival Fund in the Philippines; Dr. Le Thi Thanh Loan and Dr. Nguyen Van Loc on Food and nutrition security of poor households in Tuong Duong district, Nghe An province, Vietnam; and, on behalf of Dr. Nguyen Van Kien, Mr. Le Ngoc Hiep and Mr. Nguyen Minh Dang, on Social perception of the organics industry in Vietnam. Three other grantees from the period were unable to join the activity.
The SFRT Program has been providing grants since 2005 to researchers, scientists, and development practitioners who wish to contribute to the development of Southeast Asia through research and knowledge dissemination initiatives. The initiatives selected for grants focus on the SEARCA priority thrusts embodied in its Five-Year Plans (FYPs), the latest of which are on ISARD.
Dr. Romeo V. Labios, formerly of the University of the Philippines Los Baños and currently a Consultant at the International Rice Research Institute, with extensive experience in research and research management, served as Technical Reviewer and Resource Person in the workshop.
The team from SEARCA which organized and facilitated the event included Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Ms. Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, and Ms. Rochella B. Lapitan, Program Head, Program Specialist, and Program Support Staff, respectively, of the Research and Development Department. Also present was Ms. Julita G. Ventenilla, Head of the Internal Audit Unit.