Strengthening Local Governance for Local Economic Growth in Vietnamese Cities (LoGoViC)

EU co-funded grant project

Also available in tiếng Việt, Deutsch

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (KAS) in Vietnam is implementing partner of the Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN) in a project on “Strengthening Local Governance for Local Economic Growth in Vietnamese Cities”. The project has started on July 1, 2013 and has a running time of 2 years.

Background information:

Since Vietnam has turned towards developing a market-oriented economic system, small and medium sized enterprises, family business and cooperatives have been continuously developed, mostly in urban areas, in terms of quantity and capital registration. By 2011, they occupied 90% of national economy and contributed 60% to GDP. These forces have been acknowledged to play an important role in sustaining economic growth, poverty reduction, creating employment and improving people’s life.

At this time of rapid economic development the country faces many problems, which go along with economic changes, such as social unrest, environmental damage, pollution and bad state management. Efforts have been made to improve relations between local authorities and the population through stronger involvement of the citizens in local socio-economic planning and decision-making. New policies in local governance are developed systematically, which aim at modernizing the public sector by strengthening the public sector’s responsibilities in implementation of policies and ensuring a more active monitoring role for non-State actors in the evaluation of public administration performance. The praxis of participation of the people, the quality of public services and communication between local authorities and citizens are not yet satisfying.

As a consequence the framework for private economic and social activities is far from being optimal, and the commitment of the population in public programmes on socio-economic development is poor. Some social sectors still lack capacity to integrate the most disadvantaged groups of the population. Local small businesses face a lot of challenges including the lack of available and relevant business operation training, lack of competent technical advisors and limited access to capital, information and technology. Communication barriers between local governments and the business sector and the lack of supportive policy mechanisms and incentives related to taxation impose further challenges on these enterprises.

The project is a response to these challenges. It aims at strengthening the local governance system and creating an enabling environment for local economic growth.

The Objectives:

The immediate aim of the project is to promote better economic and social conditions for the population of three cities in Vietnam. The project serves three specific objectives:

  1. ACVN contributes to better local governance and local economic growth and is able to influence the national agenda for local development;
  2. To improve the enabling environment for local economic growth in three pilot cities through enhanced local governance;
  3. Municipal staff and family businesses contribute to local development more efficiently.

The beneficiaries of the project are the population of the participating cities, small and family enterprises in Vietnam and local governments in various cities of Vietnam.

Project Activities:

  1. A baseline assessment of local governance and of development of local small enterprises and family businesses in three pilot cities.
  2. Training of future coaches and ACVN key staff on promoting local governance and the development of small enterprises and family businesses.
  3. Capacity building activities for local stakeholders in three cities (access of small enterprises and family businesses to operating funds, skills, technology, information, legal rights and markets). The capacity building measures will be implemented with active participation of local governments, small and family businesses, academia, media and policy makers at central and local levels.
  4. The organization of a nationally televised competition between three pilot cities for the title of City of good local economic development and liveability.
  5. Research and publication of best practices on “local governance and the development of small enterprises and family businesses” (demonstrated measures, incentives and administrative best practices for creating jobs, income generating opportunities and improving the livelihoods of disadvantaged groups) and policy recommendations to central government level and relevant stakeholders.
  6. Media outreach of project and selected best practices from the competition. Creation of a dedicated section for the Good-Governance Competition in the ACVN website.
  7. Capacity building on policy advocacy and lobbying for ACVN staff.
  8. Drafting policy recommendations of each pilot city and the organization of policy dialogues. At the end of the action, reports on the competition experience on improved local governance and promotion of local small enterprises will be distributed for nation-wide adaptation.
  9. The organization of policy dialogues with relevant central government level and stakeholders.

Results of the Action:

  • Increased capacity of ACVN to promote local governance and conduct policy dialogue at national level and to provide services to its members;
  • Increased capacity of municipal staff and family businesses to contribute to local development in three pilot cities;
  • Best practices from the three pilot cities are endorsed for replication at national level. The ACVN will lead the exchange of best practices, draw conclusions and develop national policy recommendations to contribute to the improvement of the legislative framework related to small local and family businesses.