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DCID works with USAID to strengthen ties between Duke and Lao universities

As part of the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Local Solutions Support (LSS) program, the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) and RTI International partnered with USAID to support the Government of Laos in improving the education quality of the Lao public university system.

The University Capacity Development and Research Technical Assistance Support Project was led by Professor of the Practice Natalia Mirovitskaya, Professor of the Practice Corinne Krupp, and Instructor Lisa Moreau with support from Director of Executive Education and Strategic Initiatives Matthew Bunyi. The DCID team designed an approach to help universities in Lao PDR assess their performance across several domains, provide recommendations for growth areas, and pilot potential technical assistance and learning exchange activities between Duke University and four Lao institutions – National University of Laos (NUOL), Champasack University (CU), Souphanouvong University (SU) and Savannakhet University (SKU).

During the summer, Moreau and DCID Director Edmund Malesky separately visited Laos to meet with Lao university leaders and share insights from Duke’s experience in assessing and improving program and research quality. They also discussed facilitating Lao researchers’ attendance at regional academic conferences and participation in DCID’s executive education programs.

Additionally, the DCID team arranged for select Lao professors and researchers to have access to Duke’s digital libraries and other online resources, and are currently working on identifying virtual training services and advanced research learning opportunities for Lao colleagues.

To help solidify the partnership between Laos and the U.S., USAID has requested DCID to facilitate a U.S. study tour, scheduled to begin this fall semester, for Lao higher education leaders.