Innovations for networked security policy – coping with food insecurity and climate change: A competition for undergraduate students

Vietnam's younger generations are called upon to develop solutions to the complex problems of the Mekong Delta.

More than ever before, securing food for people in the long term is one of the most important tasks for security policy. Known factors such as low productivity, exploitation, poverty and ignorance have been joined by new ones: previously unknown natural disasters, plundering of natural resources and, above all, climate change. Climate change is damaging those areas that are especially important for global food production, including the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Destabilization of the Mekong Delta through climate change would have considerable social, economic, societal and thus also security policy implications.

In this context, Vietnam's younger generations are called upon to develop solutions to the complex problems of the Mekong Delta. The participating institutions are therefore calling for a competition among undergraduate students. They should develop exemplary solutions for the following three thematic complexes:

1. Food security will be increasingly threatened by climate change in “granaries” such as the Mekong Delta. A profound understanding of the coming threats is not yet really widespread among large sections of its population. So how can the public, especially the regional, be made aware of the future threats which go far beyond pure economic impact?

2. The regional actors must be enabled to develop their own innovative solutions for the upcoming changes. So how can regional actors, farmers, their associations and companies from Vietnam and abroad, be empowered to respond better and more innovatively to the forthcoming changes? How can these actors develop solutions that take into account all three objectives of a contemporary security policy - social, ecological and economic - for the region?

3. In view of the magnitude of the challenges, state institutions play a major role in the establishment of sustainable or resilient structures. This applies to all levels of administration and other state institutions, i.e. from the neighborhoods to provincial and central governments to the major research institutes. How can they all become involved in shaping and moderating the forthcoming profound change as a part of innovative security policy?

Implementation of the Competition
Each team of three students will submit an application for exemplary research projects with practical application in one of the three subject areas. Each application must be written in English and consist of two parts:
Part 1: A Project Proposal (not exceeding 1,500 words) which should
• address the concept of networked security and the specific actors to be involved including the respective research team in detail;
• define a problem area which links food security with specific consequences of climate changes;
• specify methods, instruments, societal groups or institutions to be used or targeted;
• develop an estimate of the costs or cost-benefit ratio for the project in question;
• indicate the innovative character of the proposed project.
Part 2: A Project Implementation Plan (not exceeding 1000 words) which should
• set out a detailed timetable for a project of no more than 6 months;
• indicate the persons/institutions to be involved in the project;
• include a detailed cost breakdown.

Application process
- Any student teams interested in the competition is welcomed registration for participation on Each team will send the application according to the form issued by the Organizing Committee to
- Registration is opened from July 22nd to August 10th, 2020.
- The deadline for submission of application forms is 5pm, 24 August 2020.
Only complete applications will be accepted.

Competition process

- Topic and information will be issued on July 22, 2020
- Hand in the application form before 5pm, August 24, 2020
- Final name list will be issued on August 30, 2020
- Final competition will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 5-9, 2020

Organizational details
The language of the competition is English. There are no fees for the participants invited to the competition. The travel expenses to HCMC will be covered as well as the costs for the excursion to the Mekong Delta, accommodation and meals. All participants in the Final Round will receive a named certificate. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the competition.


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