“SRD is a leading organization”, says Chinese Professor

Chinese professor

Professor Liu Jinlong with SRD Executive Director Ms Hop, and Advisory Board Members Ms Linh and Mr Trieu 

Professor Liu Jinlong, from China's prestigious Renmin University, recently travelled to Vietnam in order to learn more about SRD and provide recommendations to SRD for consideration in the development of the upcoming Strategic Plan. Professor Liu had a busy agenda, travelling to Yen Bai city for SRD's Staff Retreat and visiting several project sites; a traditional medicinal plants project in Yen Bai province, a Participatory Land Use and Management project in Phu Tho province, and a climate change and disaster risk reduction project in Thua Thien Hue province. He visited both the Hanoi and Hue offices, and met separately with each of SRD's four project teams: Sustainable Agriculture, Climate Change, Communications, Research and Advocacy, and Finance, Human Resources and Administration.

Through this detailed review, Professor Liu developed a thorough knowledge of the work of SRD, the organizational cultural, and our strengths and weaknesses. On Friday, 28 October Professor Liu Jinlong presented the Findings and Recommendations of his Program Review to SRD staff.

Professor Liu reflected that the organization is a very positive position, with many strengths and successes. "The budget and the number of employees are increasing, projects are expanding, and networks are expanding, both nationally and internationally. You have exceeded targets set in the 2008 - 2012 Strategic Plan. SRD is clearly a leading non-government organization in Vietnam", he commented. "The organizational culture of SRD is very strong. Staff are highly committed and enthusiastic; the institution seems united, and really does feel like a family."

Professor Liu also provided recommendations to SRD; both to the organization as a whole, and specific recommendations to each of the teams, to be used in the process of developing SRD's next Strategic Plan 2013 - 2017.

Professor Liu said that the recommendations were questions for SRD management and staff to consider and reflect upon. "I want you to really think about these ideas, not to just implement them and up them into your next strategic plan" he said.

He commented that there will be upcoming changes to the social and economic context of Vietnam. "An organization will always have challenges to face", he said. "How an organization copes with challenges shows its real strength". Professor Liu stated that he strongly believed that SRD has the capacity to cope well with upcoming changes.

"One of your challenges is how to sustain your position as a leading institution. How can you keep your organization innovative in times of change?"

On his return to China, Professor Liu will complete a report for SRD, and staff, Management and the Advisory Board will continue to consider these recommendations in our comprehensive process of developing a strong Strategic Plan for the organization's next chapter.


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