From June 20 to 23, 2022, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Dien, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), together with other international partners, CIRAD (France), University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe), and University of Liège (Belgium), participated in the European Development Days Forum, in Brussels, Belgium. The theme brought to the forum by the group was “Connecting Research Partners for Agricultural Recovery and Sustainable Development: Exploring the Model of a Long-Term Collaborative Forum to Promote Knowledge Exchange and Innovation in Agriculture”.

Partners participating in the European Development Days 2022, Brussels 

The key message of the forum emphasizes that agriculture plays an important role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, but the resilience and sustainability of agriculture is increasingly threatened. Addressing the challenges facing agriculture requires knowledge and factual evidence for the right decisions and solutions. Quality and relevant agricultural research requires data sharing and knowledge exchange across regions. Research and training forums in partnerships (“dispositifs de recherche et de shape en partenariat” dP) are built around areas of expertise and are prioritized by relevant partner research organizations which define and direct the activities of multidisciplinary groups, under the common governance. This unique model fosters dialogue and collaborative thinking around global issues while supporting co-creative, specific and locally relevant research programs.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Dien at the European Development Days  

The panel session with the participation of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Dien provided detailed information about the “Forum for Research and Training in Partnerships” (dPs). The panelists presented their own experience working within dPs and highlighted the benefits that dPs bring about, most notably the trust and connection. The session highlighted the ability of dPs partners to connect with each other through a cross-border research “ecosystem”, resulting in diverse and lasting partnerships. Such partnerships help stimulate capacity building and allow researchers – especially young researchers – to develop deep relationships with local communities for the benefit of regular knowledge building.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Dien shared the cooperation experience of VNUA in the GREASE network, a multidisciplinary collaborative research forum of scientists in Southeast Asia in agriculture and managing emerging disease risks. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Dien emphasized: “The research and training programs co-created and co-developed by scientists, especially social scientists at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture with GREASE partners, has supported the emergence of multinational research groups and built long-term, trusting relationships to tackle pressing challenges more effectively in order to strengthen the agriculture and health systems worldwide”.


“Now, all research in the field of agriculture is expected to provide faster solutions that are more responsive to the needs of social actors, and agricultural researchers working in the context of this challenging situation requires more extensive partner cooperation forums”, says Sylvain Roger Perret, Director of Science, Environment and Society, CIRAD.