The Norwegian Embassy organized a gathering on March 10, 2011 with representatives from several Norwegian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with activities in Vietnam and Laos. The meeting also included a fieldtrip to the Thai Nguyen Province with Plan Norway.
The organizations shared experiences and discussed important issues relating to civil society in general.
The gathering included representatives from Plan Norway, Norwegian People’s Aid, Football for All in Vietnam, Save the Children, Norwegian Church Aid, NHO, Norwegian Mission Alliance, the Norwegian Red Cross, and SOS Children’s Village of Vietnam.
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) was also present at the meeting, represented by Mr. Terje Vigtel, head of Civil Society Department in NORAD, along with Mrs. Ragnhild Dybdahl, head of Education and Research Department in NORAD.
Topics discussed during the day were amongst others what NGOs could learn from each other and how they could further cooperate. The role of NORAD and the Embassy, focus on quality-based results, and the possibility for NGOs to work in partnership with businesses was also on the agenda.
Terje Vigtel from NORAD put special emphasis on constant evaluation of the work being done in the name of development, and posed some questions in this regard: What kind of action is needed in Vietnam and Laos? What are the governments’ priorities? What do other NGOs do? What should we as foreigners be involved in? What role should Norway as a donor play in development?
The NGOs were eager to reflect and share opinions on these matters, and jointly decided to continue to gather in the future to further build bonds between the different organizations.
Plan Norway organized a day in the field on March 9 to show their work in Thai Nguyen Province. The field trip visited Dai Tu District Town and projects in Phu Thinh and Cat Ne Commune in the villages of respectively Go Tro, Phu Thinh 2, Nuong Cao and Tan Lap.
H.E. Ståle T. Risa, Norway’s Ambassador to Vietnam, was very impressed with the project. He emphasized that field visits are very useful and the best way to understand the good work that NGOs do.