Governance and Participation in Vietnam

  • Talking of governance in Vietnam, we must not forget the particularities of its political structure with a strong emphasis of the top-down process and a highly organ-ized society. At the present time, people and policy makers are learning to use the tool of democracy. Training for a participatory approach is really needed not only for the people but also for policy makers. We need capacity building and training at all levels: decision makers, professional and the people. The training objectives are to change ideas about methods of governance: They should be people-centered. Politicians should listen to the people and identify people's needs with the partici-patory approach.
  • Good coordination between authorities, mass organizations and other mediators, donators, and NGOs is indispensable for the success of the projects.
  • To strengthen the capacity and empower the autonomy of the commune and ward authorities so they can fulfill their tasks.
  • Blockage at upper levels: Many initiatives and actions at grass-root levels have been successful on a small scale, but some actions failed once they have been recognized by the authorities. This is mainly due to the fact that whenever initiatives have been rapidly and mechanically duplicated on a larger scale without sufficient training and profession, initiatives turned out to be purely administrative or bureaucratic, hence difficult to control. People pay less attention to quality (capacity building) than to quantity (number of beneficiaries). They also tend to manage projects in a homoge-nous form, leaving little room for diversity.
  • Incoherence among macro policies and local actions is a hindrance to governance, e.g. costs of education vs. low salaries.
  • Mediators share tasks with local authorities because they are overwhelmed by the work (especially at the ward level). Mediators contribute resources (material and human), skills and techniques of implementation.


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