Models of Change
Make deep connections… at every level
Through local workshops with impacted people and policymakers across the region, Stimson’s team brought in new stakeholders, building support for a new way of thinking about the interconnected problems of energy, food, and water along the Mekong basin. Paired with a longstanding relationships with government offices and officials, Stimson had the ability – and credibility – to take its argument to Vietnam’s most senior policymakers, including directly to the prime minster.
Applied research… beyond the whitepaper
By engaging in policy dialogue and reviewing available policy choices, Stimson’s team was able to apply the innovative strategies of water and energy management to Vietnam’s complex reality, presenting realistic and usable alternatives at various senior ministerial meetings.
Tackling a problem as big as the Mekong takes patience and partners. Stimson has built longstanding and productive relationships that are essential to its impact:
- Vietnam Office of Government
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam
- Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam
- Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade Vice-Ministers in charge of energy and power
Long term commitment to policy change
- The team has productive interactions with five key ministries in Hanoi to promote the strategy, including Vietnam’s prime minister’s office.
- Mekong Basin Connect team hosts 12 capacity-building workshops to explore alternative development strategies
- Team has a discussion with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha about the risks of blasting rapids in the Mekong. The PM later confirms he will not support destroying river rapids.
- Stimson convenes 54 government officials and other stakeholders from the Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam region in Hanoi to explore practical ways to implement basin-wide planning
- Team has two interactions with Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to promote the strategy.
- Program Director Brian Eyler and consortium-partner Jake Brunner speak at the inaugural U.S. – Vietnam Energy Security Dialogue sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
- Eyler, on behalf of the Stimson Center, delivers the only statement from a non-governmental organization at the at the ministerial meeting of the Mekong Summit in Siem Reap.
- The Prime Minister of Vietnam’s decides to significantly increase the purchase of cross-border electricity from Laos.
Prime Minister’s office endorses a new MOU for importing power from Laos which will likely purchase power from less-impactful dams and replace the most damaging dams with solar and wind assets.