“Being proactive, flexible, creative, effective" in people-to-people diplomacy work

Proposes to promote people-to-people diplomacy work in localities from Union of Friendship Organizations of Hai Phong city, Ho Chi Minh city, and Nghe An, Tuyen Quang, Dak Lak provinces.
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Hai Phong City Union of Friendship Organizations:

Coordination and advocacy in people-to-people diplomatic activities

being proactive flexible creative effective in people to people diplomacy work
Friendship exchanges on the occasion of the traditional New Year festival of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand in Hai Phong.

From practical activities, the Hai Phong City Union of Friendship Organizations draws lessons from experience as follows:

Strengthening the coordination with central agencies, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO), friendship associations, mass organizations, socio-political organizations at the Central Government as well as other departments, branches and organizations, other mass organizations in the city in the process of implementing the tasks of the people-to-people diplomacy.

Considering propaganda and mass mobilization as the core pillar, attracting a large number of people to participate in the city's people-to-people diplomatic activities. To pay attention to mobilizing organizations, units, leaders of departments, branches, intellectuals, experienced and prestigious social activists to participate in the activities of the Hai Phong City Union of Friendship Organizations and Associations, making intellectual and material contributions to the city's people-to-people diplomacy work.

Always be proactive, flexible, creative and innovating content, operation mode, taking advantages of people-to-people diplomacy and Hai Phong’s position as a seaport city in attracting the participation of organizations and individuals in the city's people-to-people diplomatic activities.

To regularly pay attention to enhance training and capacity building for people-to-people diplomacy officers, providing them with requisite knowledges, expertise and skills.

Nha Khanh

Nghe An Province Union of Friendship Organizations:

Renewing policies to attract investment from overseas Vietnamese

being proactive flexible creative effective in people to people diplomacy work
Nghe An young people in Japan make Banh Chung (square sticky rice cake) for Lunar New Year fesitval. Photo: Vo Tu

Currently, Nghe An province has about 56,000 people living, working and studying abroad. Remittances to the province reached about 500 million USD/year, through commercial banks and different channels. Nghe An is among top remittance receiver of Vietnam.

In order to take advantage of inbound remittances from overseas Vietnamese, which is pouring increasingly and rapidly into Vietnam in general and Nghe An province in particular, the Nghe An Union of Friendship Organizations propose that policy renovation should continue to encourage and attract foreign investment from overseas community. The Union have always attached importance to the mobilisation work of Vietnamese living overseas, representing the affection and attention of the Party, State and people for overseas communities, in order to promote the power of great national unity, beef up industrialization and modernization.

Hai Binh

Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations:

Need to attract the participations of people from all walks of life

being proactive flexible creative effective in people to people diplomacy work
A Japan-Vietnam cultural and art exchange program in Ho Chi Minh City in January 2018.

Ho Chi Minh City currently has more than 160 active foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been granted with the Certificate of Registration. In which, NGOs from Americas’ sector accounted for 43%, Europe-based NGOs accounted for 35%, Asian NGOs accounted for 20% and African accounted for 2%. Annually, HCM City People's Committee has approved the aid with the average value of over 50 million USD and disbursement of about 40 million USD. Projects supported by foreign NGOs remain focused on the health sector, accounting for nearly 90% of the total value of aid approved and received during this period.

According to the HCM City Union of Friendship Organizations, in the current situation, in order to develop people-to-people diplomacy sustainably, member organizations must enhance the mobilization of social resources for poverty reduction work. In other words, it is necessary to increase the socialization of its activities, to increase the complement and rejuvenate its forces. On the other hand, it is crucial to demonstrate dynamism, creativity, flexibility in the process of deployment process and activities organization, to attract the participations of people from all walks of life, especially young people and students. They are the genenations inheriting the people-to-people diplomatic work from previous generations.

Thuong Chi

Tuyen Quang Province Union of Friendship Organizations:

Three solutions to improve the effectiveness of NGOs aid mobilization

being proactive flexible creative effective in people to people diplomacy work
Inaugurating and hand-over ceremony of Ban La satellite school under primary school of Sinh Long commune, Na Hang district, Tuyen Quang province.

The Tuyen Quang Province Union of Friendship Organizations was established in 2013. It was a “young” Friendship Organizations, however, in the 2013 - 2018 period, the province has attracted 33 NGOs and foreign donors with 80 projects and non-project aid with total disbursement value of about 9.35 million USD. In the first 6 months of 2019, in Tuyen Quang province, there were 15 foreign donors and NGOs implementing 20 programs, projects and non-project aid with a total value of the committed aid reached over 6.36 million USD, disbursement value hit nearly 660,000 USD.

In order to further improve the effectiveness of NGOs aid mobilization and promotion, the Tuyen Quang Union of Friendship Organizations proposes three solutions as follows:

First, continue to work closely with the VUFO to enhance information sharing with foreign NGOs, directing aid to the priority fields and areas, strengthening the coordination and participation of agencies, units and localities in connecting and meeting foreign NGOs.

Secondly, VUFO and central agencies organize should organize training courses for staff and officers, providing them with requisite knowledges, expertise and skills in people-to-people diplomacy. Training and capacity building courses needs to be reformed and updated in content, methods and equipment in a comprehensive way (such as political capacity, foreign languages, aid mobilization and receptionist skills, etc.).

Finally, the Tuyen Quang Union of Friendship Organizations should continue to focus on the strong and effective combination between NGOs work and the work of peace, solidarity and friendship in order to raise awareness about foreign political work in mobilising and enlisting material aid. In particular, this spirit should be conveyed to localities receiving and implementing foreign NGOs aid, so they could better understand the nature of foreign aid, the responsibilities and benefits of foreign affairs work in relation to donors and the aid implementation process.

Hai Yen

Dak Lak Province Union of Friendship Organizations:

Building specialized personnel in charge of people-to-people diplomacy

being proactive flexible creative effective in people to people diplomacy work
The Dak Lak Province Union of Friendship Organizations in collaboration with Tay Nguyen University organize the " ASEAN Colors" contest.

The Dak Lak Province Union of Friendship Organizations stresses some of the following experiences:

First, it is necessary to thoroughly understand the foreign policy of the Vietnamese Party and State, especially in the field of people-to-people diplomacy. On that basis, creating a strong and united political system in terms of perceptions, leadership visions, and implementation organization.

Second, increase the coordination between the Friendship Union and related sectors. With the distinctive characteristics of the organization, the Union's people-to-people diplomacy work always keeps in mind the approaches of being proactive, flexible, creative and effective.

Third, put effort in building and developing the Union and its member organizations, while expanding and diversifing personnels specializing in people-to-people diplomacy. The organization development must be based on objective requests and at the same time, must strictly comply with the regulations; ensuring capacity to self-finance and not dependent on the State budget; meeting the needs of its members and contributing to the socio-economic development of the province.

Fourth, improve the capabilities of personnels specializing in people-to-people diplomacy, especially full-time officials working for the standing office of the Union. While the manpower of Union remains limited, there is a need for more training and capacity building for full-time staff and officials towards three directions: dedicated, specialized and professional.

Last but not least, foreign aid mobilization should be determined as one of the main contents of the people-to-people diplomacy work. It is necessary to proactively find and approach foreign NGOs in the spirit of active advocacy, bearing in mind the moto of ‘mobilizating - connecting - coordinating – supporting’. On the other hand, it is necessary to have measures to support and create conditions for foreign businesses operating in the province, as well as attracting more local investment projects from foreign organizations and individuals.

Phuong Nguyen

Translated by MA

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