Norwegian Church Aid in Vietnam

  • Been here since: 1994 (Also supported in 1969-1981, 1990)
  • Money spent in 2015: 9.6 million NOK

After 20 years of work in Vietnam, NCA is today a unique actor, and the only international organisation in Vietnam with a broad programme of inter-faith cooperation on social community development.

H.R.H Crown Prince Haakon and H.R.H Crown Princess Mette-Marit visit a swimming class
Norwegian H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon and H.R.H Crown Princess Mette-Marit meet students at Huong Toan Primary School while they're having a swim class. Photo: Pham Van Ty/NCA Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia. The economic growth has improved the lives of many, but Vietnam is still a country with considerable social challenges and with increasing inequalities. In addition, Vietnam is ranked as one of the five most vulnerable countries in the world, due to climate change impacts on tropical storms, sea level rise and floods.

Our work

NCA Vietnam has developed a working method we often refer to as a triangulation cooperation model. A key feature of this model is our close joint partnerships with government organisations on one hand and with faith-based actors and other civil-society organisations on the other hand. Building and facilitating cooperation between different actors in society is vital for NCA, in order to secure sustainable impact in project implementation – and in order to ensure that our civil society partners can have sufficient political space to engage in social issues.
NCA Vietnam initiated partnerships with faith-based organisations (Catholic and Buddhist) in 2000. Initially, this was only done through involving religious actors in projects on health and HIV/AIDS. Today, NCA cooperates with all the five main faith groups of Vietnam, in cooperation with the Central Vietnam Fatherlands Front. We train religious leaders on health and climate change issues, and we mobilise faith-based community groups in social work and disaster response.
Monk Thich Thanh Huan from Phap Van Pagoda in Ha Noi
 NCA Vietnam supports faith-based organisations in home-based care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Here we see Monk Thich Thanh Huan from Phap Van Pagoda in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Van Ty/NCA Vietnam

Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

NCA Vietnam is working to reduce the vulnerability of poor people and communities to climate change and natural disasters. We do this by training faith-based groups to establish Rapid Response Teams, by training and mobilising people and communities in disaster risk reduction, and by promoting technologies and strategies that can make farming and aquaculture practices more resilient. 
Flood and Typhoon Proof Houses 
From 2008-2012 NCA Vietnam supported a pilot programme, where poor families in coastal and low-lying areas in Thua Thien Hue Province where enabled to upgrade or build flood and typhoon proof houses. These houses were designed based on indigenous knowledge and new technique provided by DWF (Development Workshop France). Each house complies with three principles: solid foundation, solid wall and solid roof that enabled the house to resist with strong wind and inundation. 
Swim Towards DRR
NCA Vietnam has developed a swim education curriculum and educated a pool of teacher trainers. Through this pool of trainers, we have provided swim education, training on life saving and first aid skills, and basic knowledge on DRR to children aged 10-11 in flood prone areas. Over the first two years of the project, 119 physical education teachers have trained 1696 school boys and girls in swimming. NCA Vietnam will scale up this project in 2015/16, with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi.
Learn more about our Swim Towards DRR project by watching this video:

Social Work Towards Marginalised People 

NCA Vietnam is working with our Buddhist and Catholic partners to mobilise community based care and support systems towards marginalised population groups. The faith-based actors in the Vietnamese society are deeply committed to social work in their communities, and have through many years done impressive work on mobilising support towards people living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam. This social outreach capacity and the experiences from the work on especially HIV/AIDS provide a solid platform for engagement also on issues such as inclusion of people with disabilities, urban climate change adaptation and on life skills training and vocational training for urban youth. 

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Important documents


  • The Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front
  • Buddhist leaders and social organisations in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Catholic leaders and Caritas in Haiphong, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Local leaders within the Balamon faith community in Ninh Thuan Provinc