A gong master telling his story ©

British Council. Photo: Nga Phan

The British Council is looking for a professional team of story collectors to build a heritage story collection based on activities and people that the Heritage of Future Past has worked with during two years of project implementation.

Deadline for proposal submission is 13 October 2019. 
Assigment period from November 2019 to February 2020.


A British Council programme taking place in Vietnam as well as Colombia and Kenya, Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth is a two-year pilot initiative exploring the use of cultural heritage for growth that benefits all levels of society. Cultural heritage in this context means many things, from the built environment through to cultural traditions such as music and language. Inclusive growth means working with and for all levels of society to reconcile the divide between economic growth, and rising poverty and inequality.

In Vietnam, the in-country Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth project – known as Heritage of Future Past – works with music and film heritage, in particular valuable aspects that are under-represented or at high risk of disappearing. 

Music and film heritage – especially that of under-represented marginalised groups - including ethnic minority groups located in remote, rural areas – are becoming increasingly less visible in Vietnam’s contemporary culture and society, against the backdrop of rapid economic growth. Within this context, efforts in safeguarding valuable and at-risk intangible cultural components have received very little attention and support. The situation affects the capacity of communities surrounding said components to develop their human capital and contribute to national development.  

By employing innovative approaches that enable a variety of communities to contribute and benefit from the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, Heritage of Future Past seeks to create inclusive and sustainable growth opportunities in the heritage sector. The project is implemented across two closely linked programming strands: Community Culture Heritage and Film-Archive-Music Lab (FAMLAB). While activities in the former focus on the safeguarding of cultural heritage within the project’s target communities, Strand 2 reaches out to the creative industry at large – in particular to artists, creative practitioners and audiences – to serve as a catalyst for collaborative works that engage with Vietnam’s music and film heritage via contemporary pathways.

Project activities are focused on research, documentation, conservation, training and capacity building (including oral teaching techniques), experimentation and innovation, advocacy and education (including policy and community dialogues), and the re-imagination and revitalisation of cultural heritage assets via contemporary practices.

For more information please visit our project webpage.  

Heritage Story Collection 

Heritage of Future Past is a two-year pilot project aiming to collect evidence for the proof of concept that harnessing the latent and transformative potential of local cultural heritage assets will increase opportunities for inclusive growth. 

We are looking to build a collection of stories from the people and places of valuable cultural heritage assets that have been part of Heritage of Future Past. We believe these stories should be kept and shared for the benefit of people who tell their stories, and those who will listen and share these stories further. We envisage this heritage story collection will facilitate a pathway to future work in harnessing local cultural heritage assets for inclusive growth. 

This assignment will require a team of story collectors to meet with people and visit places that the Heritage of Future Past has worked with since April 2018 to collect stories around the cultural heritage assets that have been key subjects of the project. 

Scope of work and objectives: what must this work deliver?  

The objective of this assignment is to build and share a heritage story collection as a contribution to the safeguarding of local cultural heritage and the promotion of the diversity of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage, and its importance and relevance in today’s societies.

The story collectors will work with the Heritage of Future Past project team to develop a plan for research, information collection and writing of these heritage stories. The story collectors will then carry out this plan over a period of four months (November 2019 and February 2020). We envisage these will be written stories, but are open to suggestions about integrating audio-visual elements into the story format. Written content of each story should be in both Vietnamese and English languages and range between 350–500 words.

Activity Tentative number of days/Location
1. Review project documents, audio-visual materials, and meet with project managers to gain an understanding about the project activities, as well as the people and places of cultural heritage as part of the project. Three days
2. Develop a plan for building the heritage story collection to be carried out over four months (November 2019 and February 2020). This plan should be discussed and agreed with the project team in advance of the next steps. Two days
3. Develop and propose a format for presenting the stories. This format should be discussed and agreed with the project team in advance of the next steps. It is expected that this format will evolve during the process, where the project team will be regularly updated. Two days
4. Story collection: the tentative list subject to further discussion and agreement is:
  • Communities of Cham people in Ninh Thuan province x 1 story
  • Communities of Bahnar people in Gia Lai province x 1 story Communities of multiple Central Highlands ethnic groups in Kon Tum province x 1 story 
  • Cai luong artists and practitioners in Ho Chi Minh City x 1 story
  • Artists and master musicians who participated in the FAMLAB x Seaphony Music Residency and Concert x 1 story 
  • Artists and cultural practitioners who participated in the FAMLAB Residency Programme x 1 story
  • Artists and cultural practitioners who participated in FAMLAB Open Sessions x 1 story
  • Artists, cultural practitioners and policy-makers who participated in FAMLAB symposium and conferences x 1 story 
  • Artists, cultural practitioners and researchers who participated in FAMLAB research and development x 1 story FAMLAB Funded Projects x between 1 to 5 stories.
55 days with possible travel to below locations:
  • Ninh Thuan
  • Gia Lai
  • Kon Tum
  • Hoi An, Quang Nam
  • Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City

Meetings and interviews might be conducted via Skype with UK-based artists and practitioners. 

 5.  Story writing: this will include writing, editing, proof-reading, and layout in a format discussed and agreed with the project team 30 days 
Total number of days 92 days


  • Experience in research and creative writing in the field of arts and culture
  • Publication record and/or proven track-record in content writing. Please provide 3 examples of writing and/or publications that you think best demonstrate your ability for this assignment
  • Qualifications/certificates in arts and humanity, journalism or related fields
  • Ability to communicate and write in English and Vietnamese
  • Ability to produce audio-visual content will be an advantage
  • Availability to travel to all locations during the timeframe specified in the scope of work.


  • Professional fee for 92 working days for a team of maximum two people, with the daily rate depending on experience and qualifications, inclusive of all applicable taxes
  • All domestic travel expenses as required by the assignment, reimbursable based on receipts.

We follow the UN–EU cost norms for professional fees and other expenses in Vietnam.

How to apply

Please send your proposal (maximum two A4 pages) addressing all requirements for this assignment and a portfolio of past experience/projects to vnarts@britishcouncil.org.vn before 13 October 2019. 

Your expression of interest should clearly indicate your proposed professional fee for the entire assignment.  

Note that any files larger than 10MB should be sent via an internet link.

All submissions will be assessed to determine the most suitable candidate using the criteria and weighting provided in Clause 13 of Annex 1: Request for Proposals in download link below. 

Key dates


Request for proposals launched 20 September 2019
Deadline for inquiries 5 October 2019
Deadline for proposal submission 13 October 2019
Review of submissions and possible interviews 14–18 October 2019
Final Decision 21 October 2019
Contract concluded with successful candidate 28 October 2019
Contract start date 1 November 2019
Contract end date 28 February 2020