Dr Kien Van Nguyen

 Van Kien Nguyen
Research Fellow
Forestry Building (48)
 +61 2 415 279 440



PhD in Sociology (ANU), Masters Enviro Manag Crawford School (ANU), Grad Dip in Environmental Management & Development, Crawford School (ANU), BSc of Land Management (Can Tho University, Vietnam)


Dr. Van Kien Nguyen (Kien) is the research fellow in agro-ecology at Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University. Dr Kien has promoted sustainable agriculture using the agro-ecology framework in recovering the floating rice based agro-ecological farming systems in the Mekong Region.  He was the postdoctoral research fellow at the Fenner School from 2014 to 2016, under the Luc Hoffmann Research Institute (LHI). Dr Kien involved in the Mekong research team at Fenner School of Environment and Society of the ANU to study “navigating the Mekong nexus of water, food and energy. Under this fellowship Dr Kien investigated the impacts of dikes and rice intensification on food supplies and livelihoods of rural communities in the Mekong delta. Dr Kien took his PhD in sociology at the ANU in 2012 with the support of an Australian Leadership Award from the Australian government. His thesis was on ‘Social Capital, Livelihood Diversification, and Households’ Resilience to Floods in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta.

Dr Kien has developed a research link between the North and South. In particular, he developed a strong research network with universities in the USA, UK, Australia, European countries, and Southeast Asian countries with his own research institution, Research Center for Rural Development in An Giang University, Vietnam.

As the leadership role of the RCRD (Director), Dr Kien has broad experience in leading and managing international research and development grants, communicating effectively with different actors including high leaders of central government, provincial and local authorities in Vietnam, and private sectors. Dr Kien plays a role of policy advice for local government and farmers in sustainable development of agricultural commodities in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

Kien has published several papers in international journals, book chapters and local newspapers about agro-ecosystems, social resilience to floods, and adaptation to climate change in the Mekong Delta. He has more than 15 years’ experience in teaching and researching environment, water governance and farming systems in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam, and the Mekong region including Myanmar and Cambodia. Kien has presented his work at many international and national conferences on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, water governance and conservation and development of traditional agricultural systems.

Currently, Dr Kien leads several international research projects as the role of PI and co-Is.


Research interests

Awards, scholarships and grants, and participation in research

  1. A co-investigator for the project entitles “Promoting floating rice-based agro-ecological farming systems for a healthy society and adaptation to climate changes in the Lower Mekong Region and Myanmar”, funded by Mitsui’s Environmental Fund (2017-2019). PI is a/Prof Jamie Pittock at Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University, AUD320,000.

  2. Principal investigator for a long-term project entitled “Toward non-toxic environment in Southeast Asia from 2008 to 2018”, funded by Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN AP), USD 13,000 annually.

  3. Principal investigator for a project entitled “Conservation of the floating rice –based agro-ecological farming systems in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam”, funded by AliSEA (2017), USD 10,000.

  4. A co-investigator for a research project entitled “REMTACH: Building REsilience to Multi-source Flooding in Southeast/South Asia through a Technology-informed Community-based approacH, has been successfully secured funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council(NERC)under theGlobal Challenge Research Fund - Building Resilience Research Programme” (Grant Ref: NE/P015476/1), from Nov 2016 to September 2017, GBP 22,000.

  5. Undertaking up-coming 10 day ANU-YU (Australian National University-Yangon University) in Dec 2016, funded by DFAT entitled “Government Partnerships for Development project with the University of Yangon”, and mentored by ANU Myanmar Research Center. Research topic is about agricultural and rural development in Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar.

  6. Co-principal investigator for a project entitled “Scoping floating rice-based agro-ecological farming systems for a healthy society and adaptation to climate changes in the Lower Mekong Region and Myanmar”, funded by Mitsui’s Environmental Fund in 2015. PI is a/Prof Jamie Pittock from Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University, AUD33,000.

  7. A project coordinator for the EU-Project entitled “strEngthening National researcH And iNnovation Capacities in viEtnam” http://www.project-enhance.eu/. This project is led by Universidad de Alicante partnered with six universities in Vietnam. In this project, I participated in several stages including (1) design research project for An Giang University, (2) managing research grants at AGU, and (3) coordinating research and training activities.

  8. Post-doctoral fellow of the Navigating the Mekong: water, food and energy. Lead the sub-project on impacts of rice intensification on food supplies, water and energy use in the Mekong Delta. Supervised the Irrigation project in Cambodia funded by LHI, chaired by Jamie Pittock.

  9. Principal Investigator for the research project entitles “long-term biophysical and socio-economic monitoring of the floating rice based and intensive rice farming in the Mekong Delta, funded by Rufford Foundation, valued at GBP 5,000, from September 2015 to August 2016. On-going research. http://www.rufford.org/projects/van_kien_nguyen

  10. Principal Investigator for the research project entitles “Risk perception, attitudes and behaviours of rice farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, funded by RCRD’s annual budget.

  11. Co-principal investigator for a research project entitles “floodplain governance for future livelihoods in the Mekong Delta”, funded by LMPPI (Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiatives under USAID and Fulbright Program), co-investigator with Mekong Development Research Institute of Can Tho University, from March 2015 to September 2016, valued at USD 130,000. In this project we test the several farming practices and fishery recovery based on the floating rice farming systems in An Giang and Don Thap provinces, Mekong Delta. On-going research.

  12. Co-principal investigator for a research project entitles “Recovering and valuing wetland agro-ecological systems and local knowledge for water security and community resilience in the Mekong region” funded by SUMERNET (Sustainable Mekong Research Network, under the support of SIDA, Sweden); co-investigators with Dr. Carl Middleton, Lecturer, Master of Arts in International Development Studies (MAIDS) and Deputy Director for International Research, Center for Social Development Studies. Under this research project, we are developing linking market for floating rice farmers and facilitating inland fishery recovery in An Giang and Dong Thap province using participatory action research, USD 80,000.

  13. A member of Steering Committee for a three year project entitles “solid waste management in Long Xuyen City, funded by Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD), project reference number: 2014-0067.

  14. Principal Investigator for a three year project entitles “water governance of minority communities in the Mekong Delta, from Sep 2014 to Sep 2017, funded by PEER Science Cycle 3, valued at USD 130,000; Principal Investigator. Research is in progress.



  15. Visiting Professor at Department of Regional Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, Saga University, Japan, from 1st August to 30th September 2014.

  16. Received a seed grant from SEARCA (Southeast Asian Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture), a research and training award entitles “enhancing resilience of the community through climate change adaptation: Research and training activities for preservation and development of floating rice-vegetables farming system in Vinh Phuoc commune, Tri Ton district, An Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam from 01 January 2014 to 30 December 2014; $13,000; Principal investigator.

  17. Received a research grant from Paraff (Public Participation and Accountability Facilitation Fund), a research project entitles “job law evaluation: a case study of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam”, from January 2014 to August 2014; USD 20,000; Principal investigator.

  18. Received a series of the research project “preservation and development of the floating rice-vegetables farming systems in Vinh Phuoc commune, Tri Ton district, An Giang province, Mekong River Delta, Vietnam from 2013 to 2016; USD 45,000, funded by An Giang Department of Finance, principal investigator.

  19. Received a research project on “Climate change adaptation: engaging local community into decision making processes”, funded by AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development), a value of AUD 125,000, (from June to December 2010), co-principal investigator.

  20. Received a M-Power fellowship for a research project entitles “water governance, farming systems and adaptation to related climate change in “dike compartments”: a case study in An Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam from 2011 to 2012; $10,000, principal investigator.

  21. Received an Australian Leadership Award (ALA) for doing PhD research project at the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, the Australian National University, from July 2008 to December 2012, awardee.

  22. Received an IDRC researcher fellowship to undertake PhD research fieldwork entitles “social capital, livelihood diversification and households’ resilience to floods in Vietnamese Mekong Delta”, from September 2010 to September 2011; CAD 10,000, principal investigator.

  23. Received an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) for undertaking a Master degree and Graduate Diploma Degree in Environmental Management and Development at Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University, from January 2005 to December 2006, awardee.

  24. Participated in a research project on “Testing physic and chemical quality of sediments in North Vam Nao Island, at Phu Tan district, An Giang province” supported by AusAID. Focusing on soil sample collection, soil physic and chemical analysis and estimating nutrient value in soil sediment (From May to December, 2002), research assistant.

  25. A research assistant for the project “Farmers’ making decision in transferring crop and livestock systems in the An Giang province” (From May, 2002 to October, 2004).

  26. Participated in a research project on “Updating the changes of soil map of the An Giang province at scale 1/100.000” supported by An Giang Technology-Science Department, An Giang province, Vietnam (From February, 2002 to May, 2003), research assistant.

  27. Participated in a research project on “Baseline Study cum Needs Assessment on Post Harvest (rice crop) Handling Situation in the Soc Trang Province” supported by DANIDA organization, Danish Government (From March, 2003 to May, 2003).

  28. Participated in a research project on ‘participatory fishery management in the Mekong delta’, An Giang and Can Tho universities, supported by ICLAM, World Fish Center, (June 2002).

  29. Participated in a research project on “Land Use Evaluation for Shrimp Culture in the Bac Lieu Province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam”, supported by ACIAR, Australia. (October- November, 2000).

  30. Participated in a research project on “Land Use Evaluation in U Minh Thuong National Park of Kien Giang province, Vietnam”, supported by CARE organization. (December, 2000).


Mentoring a PhD student, Ms Sarah Huang, Purdue University (UAS) who is undertaking research on rice and food secuirty in Vietnamese Mekong Delta at Resaearch Center for Rural Development, An Giang UniversityA PhD supervisory panel member for Mr Myint Zaw, PhD candidate at Crawford School of Public Policy, on-going supervision.

Succesfully supervised 3 master students graduated from Can Tho University and Vietnam National University.
Co-supervised with Professor Philippe Lebailly, a master student from University de Liege, Belgium, Mr. Xavier SNYDERS from February to May 2014

Mentored a PhD student, Ms Grady Caitlin A, from Purdue University (USA) to carry out her PhD research on “Vulnerability assessment of drinking water, sanitation, and water resources in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam" from February to May 2014.



Scholarly Books

Nguyen, K. V. (2014). An Economic Evaluation Of Flood Dike Construction In The Mekong Delta: Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Flood Protection Dike Construction In An Giang Province, Lamber Academic Publishing.

Scholarly book chapters

Nguyen, K. V., Dumaresq, D., & Howe, C. (2016). Dike Compartments: Case Studies in Water Governance, Farming Systems and Adaptation to Water-regime Changes in An Giang Province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. In B. D.J.H & R. L. (Eds.), Dynamics of Water Governance in the Mekong Region. Fifth volume in the Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience (M-POWER) series. Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, Malaysia: Selangor.

Nguyen, K. V. (2016). Community resilience to floods: a case study of mobile kindergartens in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam The Consequences of Disasters: Demographic, Planning and Policy Implications H. James and D. Paton. Springfield, Charles C Thomas Publishers.

Nguyen, K. V. and K. Alexander (2014). Farmers’ perceptions and responses to annual flood events in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta: Adapting to Climate Change Impacts. Adaptation to Climate Change through Water Resources Management: Capacity, Equity, and Sustainability. E. Lopez-Gunn, L. D. Stefano and D. Stucker. London, Earthscan.

Refereed journal articles

Pittock J, Nguyen KV (2017). Rice: The role of traditional floating rice systems. ACIAR.

Nguyen, V. K. (Accepted on 18th July 2016). Economic and social benefits of flood-based livelihoods in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta: a case study in An Giang Province. Academy of Agriculture Journal.

Nguyen, V. K. (2016) The  values  and  recovery  progress  of  floating  rice-based  agro-ecological  systems  for  adaptation  to climate change in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta J Earth Sci Clim Change 7:170 doi:https://www.omicsonline.org/conference-proceedings/2157-7617.C1.028_028.pdf

Thuy, T. N., Phong, L.T., Nguyen, K.V. & Dong, L.T.P. (2016). "The Impacts of Paraquat and Chlorpyrifos in Agricultural Production on Environment and Farmers’ Health in An Giang Province, Vietnam."  Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR) 2 (6): 860-866.

Liao, K.-H., Le, A. T., & Nguyen, K. V. (2016). Urban design principles for flood resilience: Learning from the ecological wisdom of living with floods in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. Landscape and Urban Planning. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.01.014

Nguyen, K. V., V. O. Vo and D. N. Huynh (2015). "Comparing the costs and benefits of floating rice-based and intensive rice-based farming systems in the Mekong Delta." Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development 5(9): 202-217.

Nguyen, K. V. and H. James (2013). "Measuring Household Resilience to Floods: A Case Study in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta." Ecology and Society 18. (times cited is 9).

Son, N. T., T. V. Hieu, R. P. Shrestha, N. T. Trieu, N. V. Kien, V. T. Anh, P. A. Dung, H. N. Duc, N. M. Du and N. X. Niem (2008). "Integrated land-use planning for sustainable agriculture and natural resources management in the Vietnamese Mekong delta." Asia Europe Journal 6(2): 307-324.

Refereed conference papers

Nguyen, K. V.. (2015). The policy process: managing market and political pressures in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. 2015 Canberra Conference on Earth System Governance: ’Democracy and Resilience in the Anthropocene. Canberra, Australia.

Nguyen, K. V. (2015). Impacts on dikes and rice intensification in the Mekong Delta” at WLE Greater Mekong Region. 2015 Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy. Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Nguyen, K. V., T. A. Thong, T. V. Hieu, V. D. Thanh, L. T. Phong, T. X. Long and N. V. Thai (2012). Climate Change: Local Perception, Impacts and Adaptation of Agrarian Communities in the Coastal Provinces of the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. Water and climate: policy implementation challenges - practical responses to climate change national conference National Convention Center, Canberra.


Nguyen, K. V. (2012). Bảo tồn và phát triển lúa mùa nổi [Preservaton and development of floating rice]. Thời báo kinh tế Sài Gòn (Saigon Times Online). 22: 60.

Nguyen, K. V. (2013). Còn không lúa mùa nổi ở Miền Tây [Existing floating rice in the South-west of Vietnam]. Thời báo kinh tế Sài Gòn (Saigon Times Online). HCM City, The Saigon Times.

Nguyen, K. V. (2015). Đừng quên giá trị sinh thái của lúa mùa nổi [Do not forget ecological values of the floating rice -based farming systems]. Thời báo kinh tế Sài Gòn (Saigon Times Online). HCM City, The Saigon Times.

Nguyen, K. V. (2015). Gặp một nông dân Úc [met an Australian rice farmer]. Thời báo kinh tế Sài Gòn (Saigon Times Online). HCM City, The Saigon Times. 30.

Refereed research reports and policy briefs with ISBN

Nguyen, V. K., & Pittock, J. (2016). Floating rice in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar: The Australian National University and An Giang University.

Nguyen, K. V. (2011). Social capital, livelihood diversification and household resilience to annual flood events in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta. Singapore, The Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA).

Nguyen, K. V. (2011). The winners and losers of the floods in the Mekong Delta - a study from Vietnam. Singapore, The Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA).

On-line publications

Nguyen, K. V. and H. N. Duc. (2015). "Conserving the benefits of floating rice in Vietnam."   Retrieved 28/3/2015, 2015, from http://www.mekongcommons.org/conserving-the-benefits-of-floating-rice-in-viet-nam/

Updated:  21 July 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School