A GLANCE OF LPSD AND VIETNAMESE NGOs FROM CANADIAN INTERN

Đăng lúc: 29/07/2011 14:36

1. About LPSD

Law and Policy of Sustainable Development (LPSD) is a Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) established May, 2007. They are in the process of researching and developing laws and policies that enable NGOs, social and professional organizations to work together with the government, more precisely to fill the gaps where the government does not.  The existing laws fail to establish and set direction for current behaviors regarding NGOs and of what their abilities and relationships are within the realm of the government. More specifically LPSD is researching and implementing topic, themes, and projects in the area of sustainable development. Sustainable development is very important right now not just for Vietnam but for the rest of the world.  LPSD has currently three projects on the go: The Project of Propaganda and Dissemination of Legislation on the Environmental Projection from 2006-2008, which is still in progress, The Project of Investigation and Assessment of Environmental indicators in the plan of Socio-Economic Development to 2010 and recommendations and solutions and the third project currently in the works is Legal Measures to make Hanoi’s Real Estate Market transparent. This is important because it will improve the development of the real estate market in Hanoi, which is crucial to its development.  These projects are essential for the economic growth, social development, and environmental protection in Vietnam. 

2. Vietnamese NGOs in process of development of the country

 With the Doi Moi (Renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnam saw a rise in economic growth. The economy moved from a command economy dominated by state planning to a more transitional economy with central state control. This opened the doors to trade, with hopes in boosting the economy. This also meant that more people are consuming and drying out many of the natural resources. This growth trend continues today, along with poverty and environmental degradation. Although the government acknowledges this concern and has created the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Papers (CPRGS), there are no clear-cut strategies to reduce poverty or to decrease environmental degradation.  This I believe is where NGOs play a very important role.

NGOs were primarily established in response to the need for improved coordination and ownership of internationally funded projects. In 1998, 20 government and donor partners were established (The PRSP Process and Environment-The Case of Vietnam, p.4 2005). One such group is the Poverty Working Group (PWG), which provides a key role in defining the way forward in Vietnam and efforts to reduce poverty done through Participatory Poverty Assessment.  Another group is the Poverty Task Force (PTF), which involved major government agencies; together these two groups are the main channels for which government, donor, and NGOs interact on the strategic planning for poverty reduction. Another important set of documents is the CPRSP. These documents were developed in order to have clear goals and objectives in poverty reduction and improving environmental condition, but in the end these objectives were not met.

When the CPRSP was written there were limited number of local agencies or NGOs permitted to participate, this can be seen as a huge limitation for NGOs and their low profile with the government. Their limited involvement can hinder decisions made and the actual implementation of projects. Perhaps there is room for more transparency, a vital component to NGOs and their involvement with the government. Because of the nature of the government in Vietnam, NGOs could have a harder time getting off the ground so to speak.

3. Summary comparison with Canada NGOs

NGOs in Canada represent a social support to the government and decrease the demands they have regarding such things as, poverty alleviation, education, and environmental protection. NGOs and the government work together in order to ensure the goals of sustainable development are being met. NGOs play a huge role in this respect because they outline actual goals and will help define what sustainable development is. While it’s important to develop sustainably it is also important to have clear goals. Such goals include reduction of green house gasses, and alternatives to energy and the use of natural resources. Concrete goals need to be created to explain how poverty will be reduced and what will be done to implement sustainable development.

 NGOs in Vietnam are not so different compared to NGOs in others countries such as Canada. The agenda of NGOs across the nation all have one thing in common, and that is to fill the gaps where the government lacks accountability. What differs is the amount of slack one NGO has compared to another in terms of its relationship with the government and how far they are willing to go to get things done. Depending on the government there are also limitations as to how involved NGOs and civil society can be within the scope of development. Vietnam functions on a very top down way of doing things; this creates limitations and the absence of involvement from down below.  An important goal could be to shift things to a more bottom up way of doing things and allow for participatory democracy. This will allow more involvement from NGOs and civil society, which could help implement projects and goals where the government does not.



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The Law & Policy of Sustainable Development Center
Address: Room 12A14, HH2 Bac Ha building, To Huu street, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Tell: (84-4) 3.8549911
Email: cdteam.lpsd@gmail.com - Website: http://l-psd.org