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FEATURE STORY

Vietnam Development Report 2010: Modern Institutions

December 30, 2009

Vietnam Development Report 2010 — Modern Institutions emphasizes the need for new forms of accountability as Vietnam devolves responsibilities to service providers and lower levels of government.

Dec 2009 - Vietnam Development Report 2010: Modern Institutions focuses on Vietnam’s most pressing governance challenges: developing oversight systems for reducing corruption, reassessing geographical decentralization, building systems of accountability to match the functional devolution to service providers, making civil service meritocratic and public financial management more transparent, and preparing the legal and judicial systems for the challenges of a dynamic, growing economy.

In surveying the breadth of Vietnam’s institutional reforms and the experience of the past two decades, this Vietnam Development Report highlights several repeated themes.

  • The extent of devolution has been substantial, both geographically and functionally.
  • New systems of accountability are being put in place, but often with a lag and not always of the best form.
  • In the devolved system, conflicts of interest are becoming more evident.
  • Information plays a central role in any system of accountability.
  • The most successful reforms had a constituency that was empowered to push for change.
  • People are becoming more demanding—as Vietnam endeavors to develop into a modern middle-income country, the pressure for better services, and more voice and participation will only get stronger.
  • After summarizing achievements in institutional reform, and the prospects for further devolution and accountability, the report concludes by challenging reformers: What will the next decade look like?

The VDR is an annual report organized by the World Bank and released at the time of the Consultative Group meeting each year. As a multi-donor report, the VDR provides the donor community with an opportunity to collectively identify and communicate the central challenges for Vietnam.

The VDR on Modern Institutions was co-signed by 14 donors, including the Asian Development Bank, Australian Agency for International Development, Canadian International Development Agency, Denmark, Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, European Commission, Finland, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Sweden, Swiss Development Cooperation, the United Nations, the United States of America, and the World Bank. Oxfam GB also contributed to the preparation of the VDR.

In addition to the intellectual contributions of participating donors, significant funding for the production and dissemination of the VDR was provided by the World Bank and by UK-DFID, through the GAPAP trust fund.