In Da Nang, Vietnam, the Building Healthy Cities (BHC) project worked with multisectoral stakeholders to prioritize, plan, and fund urban health activities on food safety, education, and waste management, among others. BHC developed a Systems Map (available in English and Vietnamese), an accompanying Leverage Map (English and Vietnamese), and a short video tutorial. This process is an excellent way to find high impact interventions within complex, dynamic contexts.
The Da Nang project team was able to complete nearly all of the original memorandum of understanding objectives and found ways to connect sectors across activities to embody project core values. This included, for example, connecting the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Food Safety Management Authority, and Department of Education and Training to create and pilot a “waste-free schools” model. As part of this pilot, the team developed a short video and manual for others to replicate the training. In addition, the team developed two videos discussing the Impacts of Waste on Health, and Healthy systems for wastewater management in Da Nang.
Another major area the Da Nang team worked in was food safety. The team worked with the Food Safety Management Authority to develop a food safety website, and a short educational video. Also, in preparation for the creation of a new smartphone application (iOS, Android, website) dedicated to food safety information sharing and tracking, BHC conducted a market research survey.
The team also supported a communications campaign to increase awareness and use of Da Nang’s Citizen reporting system. The team developed a short video and infographics that are being shared widely across Da Nang and help citizens understand how they can remedy their city’s problems.
The BHC team held a virtual closing workshop on September 29, 2021 to summarize the project’s accomplishments through presentations and a video, and discuss the future of activities begun under the project. BHC implementation in Da Nang provided valuable lessons for future USAID-funded programs. The project navigated highly bureaucratic communist government processes, and while having a local partner with a long-term presence and contacts made doing so significantly easier, additional time must be built into implementation phases to accommodate approval processes in Vietnam, which can take more than a year.
Visit the main BHC project page and YouTube Playlist to learn more about activities in Da Nang, Vietnam; Indore, India; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Makassar, Indonesia.
BHC is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-17-00028, beginning September 30, 2017. BHC is implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. with partners International Organization for Migration, Thrive Networks Global, and Urban Institute, and with support from Engaging Inquiry, LLC.