Pro Poor Policy Monitoring

Reforming commune-level planning, investment decision making and community empowerment for sustainable poverty reduction

Rural children smile under peach blossoms in northern Vietnam. Credit: Oxfam Vietnam
Paper author: 
Oxfam in Vietnam
Paper publication date: 
Monday, December 1, 2014

Vietnam has achieved remarkable success in reducing poverty. However, the poor in Vietnam are still facing challenges and difficulties. Poverty remains concentrated in ethnic minority populations: in 1998, ethnic minorities accounted for 29% of the total poor, while in 2012 this rate had increased to 51%.2 The poverty rate differs between different ethnic minorities and between communities from the same ethnic group living in different localities. 

To feed into discussions of policy for sustainable poverty reduction, Oxfam has commissioned an analysis of “participatory commune-level planning and decentralization of financial management to the grassroots level” in 2014 in seven provinces across Vietnam, including Lao Cai, Hoa Binh, Nghe An, Quang Tri, Dak Nong, Ninh Thuan and Tra Vinh,5 under the “Pro-poor Policy Monitoring and Analysis” project which is being implementing in the period from 2014 to 2016 supported by Irish Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). This analysis focuses on examining some key policy focus areas, identifying good practices within the surveyed localities and providing recommendations related to: (i) reforming the process for socioeconomic development planning at the commune level, applying a participatory approach; and (ii) decentralizing investment decision making to the commune level and empowering communities in the implementation of small-scale and technically simple construction works.