Ensuring Accountability of Local Government on Redistributive Policies and National SEDP in Vietnam

Organization(s)

Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific (AFAP) in Vietnam

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Basic Project Information

AFAP introduced social accountability tools to communities and local authorities as mechanisms to assess local public services and current policies, as well as programs related to poverty reduction and social development.

Project Summary

Objectives

Increase citizen involvement in monitoring and evaluating public service delivery in Vietnam

  • Increase local authority and public service provider accountability to their constituents
  • Build community based organization (CBO) capacity to lead participatory planning and monitoring activities, and mobilize citizens
  • Increase local people and service users’ understanding of their rights to public services
  • Create opportunities for collaboration between local-level government and civil society

Summary

AFAP sought to develop a more effective service and policy monitoring framework in Vietnam by piloting citizen-centered social accountability initiatives to monitor progress on the national Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP). The team, with assistance from their local partners, trained local authorities, community-based organizations, and citizens in the use of social accountability tools as mechanisms for monitoring and assessing public services and redistributive policies in two of Vietnam’s poorest provinces. In these provinces, community leaders selected and implemented the following social accountability tools to identify and improve local social issues:

  • Community leaders implemented Citizen Report Cards in two provinces to evaluate the quality of health and agricultural extension services, establishing a community baseline on satisfaction with these services
  • In Ha Tinh province, local representatives implemented a social audit, which gathered community feedback and recommendations to improve a local infrastructure project

Finally, AFAP used surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions to develop a comprehensive set of indicators to classify the poor based on economic livelihood factors, including occupation and ownership of agricultural land. AFAP then organized three district-level advocacy workshops to share findings and facilitate constructive dialogue between community members and representatives of local government.

Use of Information Communication Technology

None

Scale

CRC: 531 households across 4 communities

Social Audit: 1 community

Participatory poverty study: 6 communities

Target Population

All community members, with a particular focus on low-income individuals
Results

Results Methodology

Self-reported results

Indicators Used

Not applicable

Reported Results

  • Seventy officials and community members improved their knowledge and understanding on grassroots democracy, participatory mobilization skills, and planning and participatory monitoring through two trainings at the district and commune levels
  • Thirty-two participants including leaders of the district People’s Committee, leaders of the district People’s Council, the departments of the district, and commune leaders were equipped with skills, methods, and tools (CRC and social audit) to do public service assessments
  • Increased citizen monitoring of government services, and confidence raising concerns about key services
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