Due to impacts of the COVID19 pandemic, all our project activates were either shifted to online or postponed. Upon the high interest of the partners to exchange research progresses in personal manner, we tried our best to organize a physical meeting at LMU in autumn 2021. An appropriate time was eventually agreed for November 15-16 and all the preparation work has been done to carry out the meeting at presence.
However, very unfortunately we had to decide to change the meeting into an all virtual meeting just two days before, because Bavaria declared the case of emergency due to the very high Covid numbers. Though, we sticked to the agenda and programme as planned but carried out fully on Zoom. The meeting started with a scientific session where the partners present their research progresses. The scientific session was followed by a 1.5-hour long discussion session, where partners discussed extensively on cross cutting research, integrative studies, joint publications as well as project management/extension issues.
The second day of the meeting focused on conversation with the Vietnamese partners to especially discuss some plans. All partners agreed to aim for a field trip to HCMC in October 2022 but meanwhile shall plan something virtual in parallel. For instance, we talked about the possibility to do small dialogues and interview talks with local experts. If fieldwork is not possible, individual people exchange including student exchange might be considered, so to at least enable some personal discussions between the German team and Vietnamese team. The partners further mentioned some initiatives from the Vietnamese side, including data collection activities, publication ideas, etc. Participants all agree that we have achieved a lot despite the COVID19 context. The next step for the project is to put things together, to seek combinations between partners, work packages and between the German side and Vietnamese side, as well as to transfer the research findings to practice especially through the Decision Support Tools.
The last session of the meeting was used for a longer exchange with Dr. Heike Bauer of the Projektträger regarding the application for an extension of DECDIER. The partners and Dr. Bauer agreed in the meeting to issue an application for a cost-neutral extension in early January 2022.