The research activities of the SAM Program are implemented in close collaboration with Bac Kan province authorities: i.e. the People Committee and its technical departments: Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Department of Land Administration, etc. We constantly coordinated our activities with the authorities of the districts and communes where our pilot sites were located. We also developed fruitful partnerships with many Vietnamese research institutions (e.g. Thai Nguyen University (TNU), the Institutes of Geography and Geology under the National Center for Natural Sciences and Technologies, the National Institute for Planning and Projection (NIAPP) and the National Institute of Soils and Fertilizers (NISF) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development). We developed partnerships with international centers for agricultural research (e.g. CIAT, ICRAF). A number of field activities were conducted in collaboration with local NGOs (e.g. GRET and CIDSE) and bilateral development programs (e.g. Vietnam-Finland Forestry Support Program).

Since 2000, the SAM Program has contributed to the creation and the animation of the “Bac Kan Coordination Group”. This consist of a number of national and foreign projects working in Bac Kan province in close collaboration with their local partners (at provincial, district, commune, village, household levels) towards common objectives of rural development taken in its broader sense (i.e. poverty alleviation, human resources and institution development, improved health care, etc.). The main purposes of this coordination are:

  • to exchange information about successes and failures in order to learn from each-others’ experiences,

  • to increase efficiency by avoiding the duplication of efforts,

  • to capitalize knowledge acquired by all members and make it available to the whole research and development community.

The SAM Program contributes to a number of regional and international networks: the Ecoregional Initiative EcoR(I)Asia and the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) coordinated by IRRI, the “Alternatives to Slash-and Burn” Initiative coordinated by ICRAF, the French “Inter-Organization Committee” (CIO) in Southeast Asia, which gave us the opportunity to publicize our results through international conferences and publications released in relation with these events.