The Asia Foundation, Vietnam

The Asia Foundation fellowship is offered in conjunction with the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

FSI Faculty Mentor:

Karl Eikenberry, Shorenstein APARC Fellow and Director, U.S.-Asia Security Initiative

About The Asia Foundation:

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Working with public and private partners, the Foundation receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. In 2017, we provided $83.7 million in direct program support and distributed textbooks and other educational materials valued at $8.7 million.

The Asia Foundation’s mission is to improve lives, expand opportunities, and help societies flourish across a dynamic and developing Asia. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Together with our partners, we are committed to Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

Project:

The Asia Foundation (TAF) will provide an opportunity for an intern to work for a period of about ten weeks during the summer of 2019. 

The intern in The Asia Foundation’s Vietnam office will be an integral member of the research and implementation team on the following program: “Mobile Banking: Financial Inclusion and Economic Empowerment for the low-income population and women in Vietnam, Phase II.” 

The long-term goal of the project is to support financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment through digital financial services. Under Phase II, The Asia Foundation (TAF) and its partners the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) and Mastercard – a global leader in payments and technology – will develop VBSP’s first-ever digital financial services platform. The platform will include a mobile banking application, to allow clients to conduct bank transactions on their mobile phone. VBSP, as the country’s largest microfinance provider, operates with a client base of nearly seven million households – 90 percent of whom live in rural, remote, and mountainous areas and 60 percent of whom are women. Further, 90 percent of VBSP’s women clients are engaged in microenterprise activities, both agricultural and non-agricultural. The current operational model has been subject to fraud, is inefficient and costly, and offers poor households limited access to banking services. Implementing a digital financial services platform that enables mobile banking will promote cost-effectiveness and operational sustainability at VBSP, helping it to achieve the objectives outlined in its Development Strategy for 2011-2020. Phase II will build upon the collaborative efforts of TAF, VBSP, and Mastercard and project accomplishments over the past 18 months through the generous support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) under its Business Partnership Platform (BPP).

The intern will mentored by Nguyen Tri Thanh, Environment and Climate Change Program Specialist and/or Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, Social Development and Gender Program Specialist.

Eligibility and Skills Required:

The internship is open to continuing graduate students. Students from any department are welcome to apply. Applicants must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Applicants must have an interest in issues related to Asia, and in general, areas of the Asia Foundation’s work.

Additional Requirements/Skills:

  • Banking and finance, including types of financial instruments and their relative merits within international financial and green banking contexts
  • Financial inclusion with a focus on types of services to low income account holders including loans, remittances, transfers, and peer-to-peer, merchant and online transactions
  • Financial literacy training with a focus on the digital economy

Language Requirement:

Proficiency in Vietnamese is preferred.

Location: 

The internship is located in Hanoi, Vietnam

 

Visa Requirement:

A visa will be required for travel to Vietnam. The Asia Foundation, Vietnam office may assist admitted applicant in visa process in conjunction with FSI staff.

Stipend:

FSI is committed to providing its opportunities to students regardless of financial constraints. FSI’s Global Policy Interns are provided with a stipend to cover travel and living expenses during the summer. These stipends do not exceed $6,400 per person. Students must submit a budget with their estimated costs along with their application.  If you have financial constraints that you think may prevent you from participating in this program, please contact FSI academic program manager Patrick Laboon directly.

Application:

Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • Application Form
  • Name of faculty reference (letter of recommendation not required)
  • CV/Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Budget

Please note: You may only apply to one FSI Global Policy Internship.

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