Article and photos by Dr Dung Duc Tran, the 2018/2019 ASEAN S&T Fellow placed at the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, Viet Nam.
Scientists, especially the young, have shown great efforts and ability in doing scientific research, but their powers and voices are limitedly involved in policymaking processes. Although scientists have contributed lots of knowledge to science, their impacts on policymaking are low.
The issue becomes more evident in under-developed and developing countries. My interest was raised on questioning how to enhance the roles of scientists and their influences in policy-making processes.
As a Science and Technology Fellow sponsored by the U.S. – ASEAN Foundation programme, I developed a Plan of Action (PoA) with the aim to disseminate my research findings to decision-makers, based on exploring perspectives of shrimp-mangrove farmers and elaborating their constraints in the context of national water management. The PoA also proposed activities promoting networking and communication with scientists, experts and decision-makers.
During my one-year programme, I leveraged opportunities to communicate with and be consulted by many national and international scientists, experts, and multi-level decision-makers in various fields, in and out of the water sector. Most decision-makers advised us to effectively and regularly communicate scientific outcomes to informants to improving the influences.
The findings from the questionnaire and analytical framework presented various institutional obstacles in both local and national water management. Farmers’ ability exists but their motivation in cultivation is low due to financial, institutional, and environmental constraints. Knowledge gained from the PoA outcomes sheds light on providing an approach in promoting the influence of evidence-based research on policy decision making in Viet Nam and could be learned by other countries worldwide.