PSU's Mark O. Hatfield School of Government will serve as the lead academic partner for a newly awarded USAID Strengthening Provincial Capacity (SPC) contract to support economic and political governance reform in Vietnam. Chemonics International, Inc., an international development organization in Washington, D.C., will serve as prime contractor for the 5-year, $13.3 million award, in a partnership that also includes J.E. Austin Associates, Inc. of Arlington, Virginia.
The Hatfield School team played a lead role in the highly-competitive proposal process, with a focus on identifying local partners with the potential to scale up Vietnamese governance successes throughout the country. The PSU team, which will receive close to $1 million for its work, will be led by Principal Investigator Prof. Marcus Ingle from the Center for Public Service and Program Manager, Julia Babcock, from the National Policy Consensus Center. In Vietnam, the team will co-produce governance improvements with three premier partner institutions: the School of Government of the University of Economics (UEH) in Ho Chi Minh City; the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in Hanoi; and the Startup Vietnam Foundation (SVF) in Ho Chi Minh City.
"This USAID contract affirms the long-standing partnerships and innovative engagements of the Vietnam Oregon Initiative (VOI) that Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched in 2015," says Ingle. "VOI is founded on an extensive network of mutually-beneficial public and private sector relationships building on the legacy of Senator Hatfield's public service."
The Hatfield School was sought out early in the proposal process by partners in both Vietnam and the U.S. because of its 15-year history as a change agent and convener of multi-sector partnerships and robust public leadership programs in Vietnam. VOI activities range from strengthening STEM education through the Building University Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) program to enhancing emergency management and resilience through the State Partnership for Peace administered by the Oregon National Guard. The Vietnam Oregon Initiative also works to highlight and promote sustainability and technology initiatives in partnership with many Oregon public and private entities including Metro, Port of Portland, Intel, Nike and Columbia Sportswear.
"VOI promotes compelling engagements of both the heart and mind," adds Julia Babcock. "The award provides a unique opportunity to scale up Vietnamese successes where there are long-standing relationships and proof of concept for meaningful collaborations."