Labour, jobs, and employment are essential to any economy and determine part of the integration into the global economy and globalization process. In emerging and fast growing economies, such as Vietnam, the labour force often has difficulty meeting the increasing demand of the market for skilled workers due to a predominance of unskilled labour. This in turn prevents a transition from low-productivity sectors to high-productivity sectors. Because labour is not protected under a weak legal system, it can also prove difficult to obtain a sustainable job. These limitations make it challenging to maintain a high growth rate based on labour productivity. Further, rapid urbanization has created an influx of migrants from rural to urban areas, putting higher pressure on employment, vocational training, infrastructure, social stability, and poverty reduction initiatives in these urban areas.

Our research on the labour market and employment take into account these dynamics, with a focus on vulnerable groups such as migrants, ethnic minorities, low-skilled labourers, child labourers, women, and informal sector workers. By researching the most vulnerable, we are able to contribute to guiding policies to promote growth and lessen inequality.

Recently, MDRI completed a study on Vocational Education Training Financing/Program Cost Norm in order to determine the most effective model for Vietnam’s vocational college system, with a focus on enhancing performance-based funding. We also conducted a 12-province survey on Household Business and the Informal Sector in Vietnam in order to understand the mechanisms of adjustment of the informal sector, its role in the economy, and its functioning through social networks in times of growth slowdown and macroeconomic instability.


Client: SNV Vietnam Time: 06-07/2018 Overview: “Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises” (EOWE) is a 5 year programme (2016-2020) funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands as part of the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) funding stream. The programme is implemented in collaboration with local partners in four central provinces of…


Client: UNICEF Vietnam Time: 07/2018 – 12/2018 Overview: Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Programme belongs to the National Cooperation Programme between Vietnam and UNICEF during the year 2017 – 2021. IECD refers to a comprehensive care and development approach for children from 0-8 years of age. It enables families to access multiple services for their young…


Client: NIRAS-IP and German Development Cooperation, GIZ Vietnam Time: 05/2018 – 12/2018 Overview: The “2030 Agenda for sustainable development”, adopted on a UN summit in New York in September 2015, is the first international agreement taking all three dimensions of sustainable development into account: economic, ecologic as well as social factors. Vietnam has successfully established…


Client: German Development Cooperation, GIZ Office Time: 11/2017 – 01/2018 Overview: The project aims to support the preparation of the Voluntary National Review of the Government of Vietnam. The objectives of the project is to conduct in-depth reviews on the respective group of SDGs as stated above, with a focus on means of implementation, policy gaps, integration…

OVERVIEW This assessment of mass media and mass communication of the child labour issue in Vietnam has been conducted by a research team from the Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI) in support of component ii of the ENHANCE project – child labour awareness raising. Implemented by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with funding from the…

© 2016 Mekong Development Research Institute

Address: Floor 8, Machinco Building, 444 Hoang Hoa Tham, Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Telephone: +84 024 3247 4668       Fax: +84 024 3247 4596