Bring in the Dutch? An exploration of factors accounting for the success in translating the Dutch Delta Approach to the Vietnamese Mekong Delta
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Deltas cover less than 0,5% of the global land area, but are home to over 500 million people globally (Arto et al., 2019; Dunn et al., 2019). All over the world, deltas are popular settlements, due to their fertile soils which support intensive agriculture and expanding cities. However, deltas belong to the most vulnerable coastal environments and currently face multiple environmental and climatic threats. The increasing pressure of expanding populations and intensifying climate risks in deltas, stimulated the exchange of knowledge about climate change adaptation and water management solutions on a global level. The Netherlands actively promotes their Delta planning knowledge, as they have a long experience of living with water and in a delta. This process of sharing knowledge between countries is also known as policy translation. This study explores the success factors for Dutch actors in policy translation. The object of translation is the policy model known as the Dutch Delta Approach (DDA). In this thesis, the international collaboration between the Netherlands and Vietnam and the creation of the Mekong Delta Plan (MDP) is considered as a prime example of policy translation. By conducting fourteen in-depth interviews and analyzing seven policy documents, the policy translation process is dissected and challenges and success factors are identified. The results show that the translation was partly successful, in terms of programmatic success and policy success. Additionally, the factors contributing to the success are identified: actor relations, conveying ability and ability to change the policy process. Moreover, by conducting the in-depth interviews, an additional success factor is identified: ownership.