NGOs as Bridging Organizations in Managing Nature Protection in Vietnam

T.K.D. Nguyen*, S.R. Bush, A.P.J. Mol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Comanagement in Vietnamese Special-Use Forests (SUFs) has been constrained by an administrative mode of state control. Consequently, SUF Management Boards have limited scope to engage local resource users in conservation and management. Concurrently, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have developed capacities as bridging organizations between SUF Management Boards, local communities, and the government by coordinating collaboration across levels, sectors, and knowledge systems. We analyze the extent bridging roles of NGOs can overcome the constraints of administrative comanagement by facilitating knowledge sharing, a common vision, conflict resolution, and local empowerment. Our analysis is based on a national survey of SUF managers and four in-depth case studies of NGO engagement in SUFs. The results indicate NGOs are only partly able to fulfill their bridging roles and thus overcoming the dominant mode of administrative comanagement in Vietnam. We conclude that the structural barriers of state engagement with NGOs demonstrate a need to better contextualize the form and function of bridging organizations in natural resource management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-218
JournalThe Journal of Environment & Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • administrative comanagement
  • adaptive comanagement
  • special-use forests
  • nature conservation
  • participation
  • Vietnam


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