Rethinking Knowledge Provision for the Marginalized: Rural Networks and Novel Extension Approaches in Vietnam

  • Iven Schad
  • Thai Thi Minh
  • Volker Hoffmann
  • Andreas Neef
  • Rupert Friederichsen
  • Regina Roessler
Part of the Springer Environmental Science and Engineering book series (SPRINGERENVIRON)


The Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) in Vietnam has undergone massive changes over the last decades. Initially triggered by an economic reform process (Doi Moi) initiated in 1986, the system was formalized by the first decree on agricultural extension in 1993 (GSRV (Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) (1993) Nghị Định 13/CP Về Công Tác Khuyến Nông (Decree 13/CP (2 March 1993) on the establishment and function the national agricultural extension system). Hanoi) and gradually liberalized over the following years. Along with this liberalization, new spaces opened that allowed a growing plurification of knowledge system actors. However, the traditional orientation towards technology transfer was maintained. In the era of rapid growth since that time, an unprecedented experimentation with different approaches to extension has been set-up, with the government’s willingness to allow a more diverse AKIS particularly reflected in the second and, more recently, the third decree on extension. Topics such as food security, income and poverty alleviation have come more into focus, as the move towards a full liberalization of the extension system has continued. The general aims of this chapter are to (a) provide an overview of the historical development of rural advisory and knowledge provision in Vietnam, and how legal frameworks have changed over time, (b) demonstrate how more client-centered extension approaches can be translated and utilized at the field level, and (c) focus on examples of novel approaches to knowledge generation and diffusion, those currently evolving due to initiatives driven by state, private and NGO actors, or developed within the framework of the Uplands Program. The final section provides an outlook on where the extension system stands at this point and what still needs to be done, drawing a differentiated but basically positive conclusion about the willingness to reform and the pace of the reform process in Vietnam.



Animal Health Worker


Agricultural Knowledge and Information System


Communal Extension Worker


Ethnic Farmer Research and Extension Network


Extension Club


Foreign (non-Vietnamese) Research Organization


Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development


National Research Organization


Non-Governmental Organization


Official (State) Extension


Women’s Union



We would like to thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for the financial support needed to initiate and carry out this research, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) for funding one of the Ph.D. candidates within the fproject. The quality of this book chapter benefitted greatly from the constructive comments of Alwin Keil, the language editing services carried out by Gary Morrison and the layout editing of Peter Elstner. Moreover, we are grateful to Mr. Pham Van Nghia, who has supported the project over a period of 3 years. The same counts for all the other field assistants who contributed to this work. Finally, we are grateful to the villagers in the three research districts, who welcomed us with their warm-hearted hospitality.

Open Access. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iven Schad
    • 1
  • Thai Thi Minh
    • 2
  • Volker Hoffmann
    • 1
  • Andreas Neef
    • 3
  • Rupert Friederichsen
    • 4
  • Regina Roessler
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Communication and Extension (430a)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of LIFEUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Resource Governance and Participatory Development, Graduate School of Global Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.CSIV InternationalNewcastle upon TyneUK
  5. 5.Department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics (480a)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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