Ms. Ioanna Martin Sahas from the International Assistance Knowledge and Research (PVA) division at GAC Ottawa has visited STEP-DID office on November 16, 2018. She was joined by Ms. Nina Seahva, First Secretary (Development) and Ms. Le Thi Mai Huong, Development Officer, both from the Embassy of Canada.

The STEP-DID team briefed Ioanna on project content and objectives, geographic coverage and – as the first GAC-funded project in Vietnam, its strong focus on gender.

A lifely discussion started on the current progress across the main components as well as the challenges in the field (e.g. missing and fragmented data on gender and social performance, different perception and awareness by the regulator State Bank of Vietnam and counterpart Co-opBank, etc.) The visitors raised potential support and input on policy related topics if needed, a Financial Inclusion working group and the link with other donor funded projects as a means to lobby the regulator to overcome current obstacles on gender related issues.