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The Institute of Social and Medical Studies (ISMS) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Ha Noi, Viet Nam with expertise in three core areas: (1) conducting public health research and program evaluation to provide evidence for interventions and to inform developing, planning, and implementing strategies, policies, and programs to advance public health in Viet Nam; (2) implementing public health intervention programs; and (3) designing and conducting training courses for a variety of target audiences. The scope of work of ISMS spans across a wide range of public health priorities including communicable diseases including HIV, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, aging, social protection, NCDs, MCH and tobacco control. ISMS aims to be a leading organization in designing and conducting research to provide evidence for developing, planning, and implementing strategies, policies, and programs in the sociomedical field.

Our work covers a broad range of areas that affect the lives and well-being of communities throughout Vietnam, particularly marginalized and vulnerable populations such as ethnic minorities, the poor, children, women, elderly, and people living with HIV. All of our activities support our commitment to contributing to the improvement of the health and well-being of Vietnamese communities.

There are 6 Divisions/Centers at ISMS including: (1) a Research Division (Survey Center); (2) a Training and Communication Division (Training Center); (3) Center for Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health; (4) a Social Protection Research Department; (5) M&E and Policy Department; and (6) an Accounting and Administration Department. As of 2016, there are close to 45 employees work for ISMS and its affiliate, NEWCARE Polyclinic. At the main ISMS office, there is a core team of 32 staff specializing in training, project management, data collection, management and analysis, and community outreach. There are 12 senior researchers with advanced degrees in public health, economics development, public policy and social sciences, and expertise in research design and implementation, training, policy advocacy, and behavior change communication.

The ISMS Survey Center (ISMS-SC) is a research center specializing in customized services for survey research. ISMS-SC aims to become a leading center in the provision of research-based support that advances socio-medical and public health research in Vietnam and surrounding regions. ISMS-SC partners include researchers from multiple sectors such as international and domestic NGOs, foundations, universities, government agencies, and private businesses. Working in close collaboration with their partners, ISMS-SC offers a range of services to assist in the implementation of high-quality scientific research studies including: fieldwork and data collection, data management, data analysis, and training and capacity building. These services are applied to studies employing a variety of research methodologies such as small- and large-scale quantitative surveys, longitudinal studies, qualitative studies, and evaluation research. ISMS-SC researchers work with up-to-date computing and statistical software resources as well as a team of professional support staff.

With the support from the ISMS Survey Center, the Center for Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health (ISMS-CNMCH) implements scientific research studies in the field of nutrition, maternal and child health; the Training Center (ISMS-TC) offers training in public health and social development to local professionals and organizations in areas including research methods, program development, and monitoring and evaluation; the Social Protection Research Department and M&E and Policy Department conduct social protection and evaluation research, provide monitoring services to program/project implementation, and conduct advocacy work.

Besides implementing research, training, and intervention programs, ISMS provides clinical services in OB/GYN and sexual and reproductive health through its affiliate, the NEWCARE Polyclinic located in Hanoi, Vietnam. NEWCARE is composed of 10 staff members including physicians specializing in OB/GYN, family planning and sexual health.

The ISMS Management Board is composed of highly skilled and motivated social scientists, public health professionals, economics development, public policy, and medical professionals who possess post-graduate degrees from leading international universities. They have extensive expertise and experience in public health and development research, project/program design, implementation, and management, training, policy advocacy and behaviour change communication.

ISMS has developed strong partnerships with MOH professionals and other GoV agencies at the Central, Province, District and community levels. At the community level, ISMS has collaborated with health organizations and health centers in 43 of the 63 provinces in Viet Nam. ISMS’ strong network of partners at the central (MOH), province and local levels has facilitated the implementation of research, intervention programs, and training program in Viet Nam.

The Institute has an Institutional Review Board (IRB) that is registered with the Office for Human Research Protections at the U.S. Department of Health (IRB No.IORG0006663; FWA 00016762). The ISMS IRB reviews, approves and monitors all ethical issues related to research involving human subjects for ISMS and institutions/organizations in Vietnam including Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Population Services International Vietnam, Alive and Thrive project, Save Children Vietnam, PATH Vietnam, local NGOs.

Apart from the main office in Hanoi, ISMS has a Southern Representative Office in Ho Chi Minh City that is responsible for implementation of field activities in southern provinces under the supervision of the ISMS Director.

At ISMS, we strive to project the following core values in all areas of our work:

1. Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Quality;

2. Trust and Reputation with Partners;

3. Creative, Open-Minded, and Open to Change;

4. Continuous Learning and Pursuing Growth

5. Positive Team Spirit.

Our Vision:

ISMS aims to be a leading organization in designing and conducting research to provide evidence for designing and implementing strategies, policies, and intervention programs in the field of sociomedical sciences.

Our Mission:

1. Designing and implementing studies in the field of sociomedical sciences;

2. Providing reliable information/data as evidence for designing and implementing strategies, policies, and intervention programs/projects in the field of sociomedical sciences;

3. Designing and implementing intervention programs/projects in the field of sociomedical sciences;

4. Contributing to the improvement of the quality of sociomedical research through training and collaboration. Contributing to community and society through training and knowledge distribution programs;

5. Building a facilitated working environment with a good salary and fringe benefits system for staff to maximize their capability and to develop their careers.

The Institute of Social and Medical Studies (ISMS) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Hanoi, Vietnam. ISMS aims to be a leading organization in designing and conducting research to provide evidence for developing, planning, and implementing strategies, policies, and programs in the sociomedical field.
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