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Rukmalie Jayakody is the Project Director of FACT and is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Sociology, and Demography at Penn State University. Her research focuses on the impacts of social change on families and the consequences of poverty for child and family well-being. Her research has focused on both the U.S. and Vietnam.


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Cynthia Mitchell is a Research Programmer/Analyst at the Population Research Institute.





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Pham Thi Thu Phuong is a Senior Researcher at FACT and a graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University. She is also a researcher at the Vietnam National Center for Socio-economic Information and Forecast. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to support her master’s work at Penn State. Phuong’s research focuses on familial relationships, gender issues, and the labor market transition in Vietnam. She is also interested in connecting research outcomes and policy making processes for better implementation of development programs.


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Trieu Thanh Quang is a graduate student in the Dual-degree program Human Development and Demography at Penn State University. His Ph.D studies are partially supported by a scholarship from The Overseas Training Project for Leaders and Administrators by State Budget (Program 165) from the Vietnam Government. Quang also received Ford Foundation support for his M.A. in International Sustainable Development from Brandies University in 2009.  Quang’s research focuses on social capital and poverty of ethnic minorities in Vietnam. He is also interested in applied policy, international development, and poverty and social welfare.  Quang is from Cao Bang in northern Vietnam and is a member of the Nung ethnic minority group. 


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Tran Chien Thang is a graduate student in the Dual-degree program in Rural Sociology and Demography at Penn State University. He graduated from Hanoi National Economics University with a major in Population and Development in 1988. After graduation, he started as a junior researcher at Population Research Consultants, and then became a full-time staff member of the Vietnam Ministry of Health. Prior to joining FACT, he worked at the United Nations Population Fund in Hanoi as the coordinator for the 2009 Population and Housing Census Project. Thang has extensive management skills and experiences working for both State and non-State agencies. Thang’s research interests focus on migration and its impacts.


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Thanh Duong Thi graduated with a B.A. from the Hanoi School of Public Health in 2011. Before working for FACT, she worked as a Research Assistant for the German Development Corporation for a project on health systems. Thanh has a strong interest in issues related to public health. Her research interests focus on health care policies for disadvantaged groups, including ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and the poor. She strives to bring more attention and a greater appreciation to the field of productive health care in developing countries.


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Lu Van Chinh is a Researcher at FACT who graduated from Vinh University in 2011 with a major in social work and has actively participated in social and voluntary activities to support people living in remote areas of Nghe An, including volunteer teaching for children at the SOS Center in Vinh City and raising funds for poor children in Con Cuong. As a member of the Thai ethnic minority, Chinh has participated in several research activities working with ethnic minorities as an interviewer and a team leader. His own experiences heavily shaped his academic interests and work orientation. Chinh is fluent in Thai and works closely with Dr. Vi Van An in accurately translating instruments from Vietnamese to Thai. Chinh is based in Quy Chau, Nghe An, enabling him to keep in close contact with our field sites throughout the year.

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Ho Thu Phuong graduated with a B.A from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2012. After graduation, she worked as a Research Assistant to the project “Improvement of Computer Usage and Public Internet Access Ability in Viet Nam” founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft Cooperation. She has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Phuong’s interest focus on how technologies change people’s awareness and attitudes, especially among ethnic minorities.

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Nguyen Thu Huyen graduated with a B.A. from the Hanoi School of Public Health in 2013. After graduation, she worked as a Project Officer in the Institute for Reproductive and Family Health. Huyen has strong interests in health care practice and related issues with vulnerable groups, including ethnic minorities, the poor, and women and children.


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Nguyen Ngoc Lam graduated from Hanoi Medical University with a major in public health in 2013. Her research areas are in environmental health and policy. She also has a strong interest in human behavior and the impacts of the health care system.


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Chi Mai Nguyen received a B.A. from the Hanoi School of Public Health and a M.A. from the University of Western Sydney. Mai has been working extensively within the public health arena on multiple national programs in Vietnam. She has substantial research training through both her Masters program and by attending overseas conferences. Mai has a strong passion for reproductive health which she has focused on throughout her career.

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Veronica Cristiano is an undergraduate Research Assistant at FACT. She is currently pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders as well as a minor in Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses include the impacts and importance of health care as well as the effects of social change on communities.



We have a very talented group of 8 ethnographers from the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, led by Dr. Vi Van An.
ethnographers

We have over 90 skilled interviewers in the Nghe An province. Most of our interviewers come from the General Statistics Office (GSO) (in Quy Chau, Que Phong, and Con Cuong) and the University of Vinh:
Interviewers