Governments and development partners continue to focus on the importance of strengthening national systems for the management of environmental and social risks and impacts. Assessment of national environmental and social management systems can take different forms and are often conducted by development partners in accordance with their own requirements and strategic focus. Under the WBASP, these assessments are called Country Safeguards Framework Assessments (CSFA); for the World Bank, they are Overview Assessments. Such assessments, often conducted in coordination with other development partners, assess the extent to which a country’s environmental and social system is in line with international good practice, and provides a basis for collaboration between development partners in supporting strengthening initiatives.
CSFAs provide an opportunity to assess national environmental and social management systems and related institutional capacity at a strategic level, outside the scope of an individual project. Such assessments - by looking at the country’s legal and institutional frameworks, which includes applicable laws, regulations, rules and procedures, as well as institutional arrangements, capacity, and resources allocations - can help identify opportunities for enhancing capacity and informing the design of measures to strengthen national capacity and systems.
The findings inform discussions with governments and development partners to determine what support is needed to strengthen technical and institutional capacity, provide information to target trainees, and develop training programs at the Learning Centers (LCs). They also inform future engagements and actions to pursue with countries, including revisions of laws, policies, and implementation arrangements.
CSFAs have been conducted in China, Mongolia, Samoa, Tonga, and Vietnam, and are underway for Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Vietnam CSFA consists of two reports: (i) Vietnam CFSA report and (ii) an assessment of environmental and social management practice in the transport and urban development sectors in Vietnam. The CFSA report takes stock of consistencies as well as critical differences between the country's legal and institutional framework and the World Bank's Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). The sectoral assessment provides recommendations in the form of a comprehensive menu of actions proposed to the government of Vietnam and to the existing Vietnam Environmental and Social Management Learning Center for implementation at national and subnational levels.