Promoting efficient interaction between National Assembly and Civil Society in Vietnam

EU project

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (KAS) in Vietnam successfully implemented from the 01st of November 2010 until the 30th April 2013 the project “Promoting efficient interaction between the National Assembly and civil society in Vietnam”. Throughout its implementation the KAS cooperated with the Office of the NA and the Commission for People's Aspirations of the NA.

Background information

The National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam is the only body with the right of legislation in the country. It has the right to change the constitution and define its own role as well as that of all other state organs. Since the past 20 years, its role has continuously been strengthened, whereby its function and responsibility are neither fully nor efficiently being implemented so far. There is a registered lack of debates and discussions within the process of approving laws. As a result, the operational position of the NA is not as strong as it should be.

Only some 30% of MPs work full-time for this assignment; the other MPs cannot bring their full attention to the position. The opportunity of having an impact in developing legislation and national policies according to the needs of the population is thus undermined. Legislative proposals however are discussed merely superficially not only due to time constraints, but also because MPs on the one hand do not necessarily have enough expertise themselves and on the other hand lack information resources required to generate critical analysis and specialised expertise. There are no formalized procedures of information provision or knowledge management within Parliament to ensure this very basis for informed debates.

The project partners within the NA estimate that many laws are not stable, subject to constant amendments and can not be enforced in reality. In many cases this is due to the limited influence of citizens on the legislative process; they can not sufficiently exert control over the implementation of laws. The representatives of the citizens (the MPs) must thus interact more efficiently with the voters in order to strengthen their legislative and control function.

The Objectives

The general aim is to contribute to increasing the influence of the NA on the governmental and legislative decision making process according to the needs and requirements of the broad majority of Vietnams population. The specific aim is to improve the quality and the efficiency of the mechanisms of interactions between civil society and NA as well as to ameliorate the political responsiveness of the NA on local and national levels.

Beneficiaries

  • Representatives of the Commission for People's Aspiration, members of the Department for People's Aspiration of the Office of the NA, representatives and members of staff of the Ethnic Committee of the NA, representatives and members of staff of the thematic committees;
  • Delegations of the NA of the five to six pilot provinces, members of staff of the delegation offices in these provinces;
  • Members and staff of the Fatherland Front Committee in the pilot provinces, citizens within the member organization's of the Fatherland Front, representatives of local NGOs;

Project Activities

1. Creating a systematic overview on the means and methods of interaction between members of the NA and voters and on the interaction deficits.

2. Assessing the interaction between members of the NA and voters as well as assessing which methods are employed to collect and to react to the voter's opinion. The assessment will consist out of reports of the 63 delegations of the NA as well as of the findings of an on-site monitoring in the five to six pilot provinces.

3. Continuing support to the editorial work on the People's Aspiration bulletin.

4. Study tour for the members of the NA to Singapore. The members of the NA will receive insights into mechanisms of interaction between the Singaporean MPs and the voters. The members of the NA will thereby receive information on how to improve the mechanisms of interaction with their own voters.

5. Best practice pilot activities on the mechanisms of interaction with voters in two to three provinces and evaluating the possibility of multiplication in other provinces of Vietnam.

6. International scientific conference and national workshop with members of the NA and stakeholders on the reaction capacity of the legislative process and on control of law enforcement. The aim is to present recommendations for legislative amendments and suggestions for solutions for the interaction between members of the NA and civil society.

7. Scientific workshop with the Ethnic Commission of the NA and the thematic committees on improving the cooperation between the committees of the NA in response to the petitions with which the Committee for People's Participation deals with.

8. Developing and presenting a proposal for increasing the efficiency of interaction between the NA and voters with according recommendations and solutions for complementing and amending the respective laws and regulations.

9. Developing a plan for further actions and for mainstreaming.

Results of the Action

1. Improved regulations for the legislation concerning the organization and operation of the NA in order to achieve a higher efficiency of impact of public will as well as a qualitatively improved interaction between the members of the NA and voters and the constituencies.

2. Improved quality and efficiency of interaction between the NA and voters and mainstreaming the results of the pilot projects.