EU Co-Funded Project "Promoting Peoples' Participation and Governance in Vietnamese Cities through ACVN" completed

From February 2009 to October 2011 the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Vietnam in cooperation with the Association of Vietnamese Cities (ACVN) has implemented the project "Promoting people’s participation and governance in Vietnamese cities through the Association of Cities of Vietnam".


The European Union and the German government co-financed this project. It generated an important contribution to Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's cooperation programme with Vietnam and intensified the fruitful cooperation between the KAS and the Association of Cities and Vietnamese. The activities were embedded in the on-going Public Administration Reform of Vietnam, which aims at improving the effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and accountability of the Vietnamese Public sector.

Four results were achieved:

1.Communication between citizens and city administrations and service delivery in participating cities have become more transparent and effective;

2.The implementation of the decree on grassroots democracy has improved in the cities involved in the action;

3.Sustainable improvement of people’s involvement in detailed urban planning and land use planning in the cities involved in the action;

4.ACVN has been strengthened with regard to the relevance of training services and with regard to its financial sustainability.

More than 400 civil servants (city and ward level) of 32 member cities of ACVN participated in the project. More than 80 experts from national ministries in charge for Land Use (MONRE), Urban Planning (MOC) and Public Administration Reform and Grassroots Democracy Implementation (MOHA), institutions, universities, from ACVN and from its member cities cooperated and supported the action as counsellors, trainers, advisors, and thematic project officers.

The actions unfolded in four thematic fields of people’s participation and democratic local governance:

•Improved Public Administrative Services and better performance of One-Stop-Shop Centres (OSS)

•Effective implementation of the ordinance on grassroots democracy (GRDO);

•Participatory urban planning on city and district/town level;

•Participatory land-use planning on city and district/town level;

The civil servants enhanced their knowledge and skills in training courses in their respective thematic field and, as a result of the course, developed concrete action plans to improve interaction between the local government and citizens and develop participatory processes in urban services delivery and urban development. With support and counselling by the project, many of these action plans produced concrete and tangible improvements on local level. In each thematic field, three cities participated in developing best practice in people’s participation. The experts coached and monitored implementation of action plans there. Conclusions and recommendations for improved public service delivery through OSS and for implementation of GRDO were developed and distributed at the end of the project. Work in the thematic fields of participatory urban planning and for the subject of participatory land-use planning was a new endeavour for local governments in Vietnam. Many participating citizens explained that never before their opinion on land use planning or urban development had been asked for. This truly innovative pilot action resulted in guidelines, which ACVN will promote to MONRE and MOC and to its member cities.

ACVN experts have actively worked in all actions of the project. Specialized trainings for ACVN staff were provided, and a joint concept for a training and consultancy service lead to the establishment of the ACVN Consulting Center of Vietnam Urban Development. The Center is well prepared and equipped to carry on with provision of trainings and targeted consulting services to ACVN members, supporting their plans and objectives in urban development and urban services delivery in the spirit of participatory local governance