The Vietnam-Sweden Poverty Alleviation Cooperation Programme – commonly referred to as the “Chia Se” Programme – was started in July 2003 with a 5-years implementation period. The Programme consists of a National Project managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), and three Provincial projects under separate agreements with the provinces of Ha Giang, Quang Tri and Yen Bai. The Programme as a whole is assisted by a Secretariat at MPI. As part of the National Project an allocation of SEK 2.4 million (or about USD 300.000) has been set aside for financing of research of relevance to the Programme. This facility is to be called the “Chia Se Programme Research Fund”. The objective of the assignment is to prepare guidelines for the Research Fund to support the overall objective of the Chia Se Programme which is alleviation of poverty in selected disadvantaged areas, while at the same time strengthening government’s capacity for intervention and support for local development efforts. The aim is to feed experiences with new local level planning and financing mechanisms into processes of national policy making, and thereby contribute towards more effective institutional mechanisms for poverty alleviation.