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WISDOM is a German-Vietnamese initiative comprising eighteen research institutions based in Germany and Vietnam and coordinated in Germany by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and in Vietnam by the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research (SIWRR). WISDOM aims to support the development of IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) strategies in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, through the development of an Information System. UNU-EHS is involved in two research thematic areas of WISDOM: vulnerability assessment to water-related hazards and studies on pesticide management, pollution and fate. Additionally, UNU-EHS coordinates the PhD Programme of the project.

For detailed information please visit: http://www.wisdom.caf.dlr.de

Time Span

Phase I:  April 2007 – September 2010

Phase II: October 2010 - September 2013

Key Goals

The main objective of WISDOM is to overcome gaps in the water-related information flow among research institutions working in different disciplines and between these information generating agencies and decision making authorities. Specific objectives of the work undertaken at UNU-EHS are:

  • To understand how vulnerabilities emerge and progress and to assess alterations in vulnerabilities amongst different socio-economic population groups with respect to floods, salinisation, water-scarcity, storms and river bank erosion. Based on the findings of the research, vulnerability maps and profiles are generated and fed into the integrated Information System in order to support decision making with respect to water-related issues.
  • To assess local pesticide management practices and resulting environmental concentrations aiming to provide mitigation and adaptation measures and to raise Vietnamese authorities´ awareness for health and environmental problems related to pesticide use.

  • To coordinate the work of fourteen WISDOM PhD students – seven Vietnamese among them - by providing the institutional, contractual environment, and organizing annual scientific seminars and various capacity building measures.

Working Methods

  • Vulnerability Assessment:  The research methodology comprises quantitative as well as qualitative approaches. Interviews, focus group discussions and Rapid Rural/Urban Appraisals (PRA) are conducted in a participatory manner at household level and with authorities and decision makers at Province, District and Commune level. Based on this, comparative questionnaire-based household surveys are conducted in all three case study areas. Moreover, secondary data sets such as statistics and government reports are collected and analysed.

  • For detailed information please visit

  • http://www.wisdom.caf.dlr.de/results/vulnerability_en.html

Source: Vo Van Tuan
Source: Matthias Garschagen
  • Pesticide Monitoring and Modelling: Local pesticide use and management practices; drinking water use and treatment; pesticide residue concentrations in surface and drinking water were systematically surveyed for one year at two representative study sites in the Delta (August 2008 – September 2009). Water samples were taken regularly and analysed for fifteen selected pesticides by using solid phase extraction and analytical determination by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Interviews and Rapid Rural Appraisals (PRA) were conducted at household level and with authorities at Province level. Pesticide fate modelling (MIKE-SHE) is conducted at both study sites by using real pesticide use data as well as scenarios derived from mitigation recommendations.
  • For detailed information please visit
Source: Vo Phuong Hong Loan
Source: Pham Van Toan

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