Journal of Maritime Archaeology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 355–368 | Cite as

Choice, Values and Building Capability: A Case Study from Vietnam

  • Paddy O’TooleEmail author
  • Mark Staniforth
Original Paper


Capability building enables people, groups, organisations and nations to achieve a greater range of activities. A program of capability building activities in Vietnam over the past decade provides the case study for this paper. From these activities and the progress of the program we have constructed an explicit approach of capability building that deals with maritime archaeology and underwater cultural heritage. The aim of this paper is to explain how the elements of our value-based approach interact to establish and enhance capability through knowledge capital development. Our notion of capability building is based on a programme taking place over an extended period of time. The extended time period is necessary to achieve long-term change or at least critical reflection on the part of the host organisation. This process causes a direct exposure to the ethical and disciplinary tenets of maritime archaeology on the part of the host organisation, but some initial congruence of values is considered critical in order to achieve effective outcomes. The program is based on principles of commitment to empowerment, participative learning, learning reinforcement mechanisms, and intensive communication with the stakeholders of the host organisation. We argue that training alone does not work and so the approach underlying the programme encompasses an integrated approach by supplementing training in a variety of forms with advice, mentoring, academic research and cultural heritage management-based approaches to help answer specific problems faced by the host organisation.


Maritime archaeology Capability building Vietnam 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.College of Humanities, Arts and Social SciencesFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia

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