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PAPI 2017 report released

Released at: 10:33, 04/04/2018

PAPI 2017 report released

Photo: Do Huong

2017 Vietnam Provincial Government and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI report released by UNDP, Cecodes, and VFF on April 4.

by Do Huong

The 2017 Vietnam Provincial Government and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI 2017) report was released in April 4 in Hanoi.

The PAPI 2017 report shows a significant turnaround in citizen’s perceptions and experiences with corruption in the public sector, more women adding their names to land use titles, and rising pessimism among the poorest citizens about their future economic prospects. Health insurance coverage expanded and fewer people reported land seizures. However, setbacks included lower satisfaction with compensation for land seized, and persistent concerns about poverty among citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Overall, citizens reported improvements in five of the six areas of governance and public administration that make up the index.

Over 14,000 citizens randomly selected from all 63 cities and provinces were interviewed for the 2017 PAPI, which assesses citizens’ experiences with national and local government performance in governance, public administration, and public service delivery.

“The 2017 survey results are mixed and reveal both encouraging and worrying trends,” said Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam. “Particularly noteworthy is the reversal in the downward trend since 2013 in control of corruption in the public sector. Citizens report improvements in both their perceptions and personal experiences. However, the PAPI scores are still below the levels found in 2012, so although the direction of change is positive, much work remains to be done to fight corruption and ensure that the findings of the 2017 PAPI report do not represent a temporary aberration but signal the start of a systemic and fundamental reversal of what has been a worrying longer-term trend on corruption.”

The PAPI 2017 was conducted from July 12 to October 31, 2017. This is the sixth year it has been conducted in Vietnam. PAPI is a collaboration between the Centre for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES), the Centre for Research and Training of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF-CRT), the Real-Time Analytics and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

A total of 103,000 people in Vietnam have participated in assessing public administration efficiency in all 63 cities and provinces since the first PAPI was compiled in 2009 and 61 cities and provinces have held seminars on PAPI. Seminar and respondent numbers have both increased. “This expresses the determination of leaders in the cities and provinces,” said Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director of UNDP Vietnam.

The PAPI aims to reflect the practical experiences of Vietnamese people and then support the government and public administration, Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN President Coordination & UNDP Resident Representative, said at the release of the report. “This helps improve provincial government and public administration performance as local people can join in making recommendations to local authorities,” he said.

The PAPI includes six governance areas: political participation, vertical accountability, public administrative procedures, land seizures, control of corruption in the public sector, and provincial performance. These are consistent with Goal 16, focusing on the fair participation of local people towards building stable institutions and preventing corruption, meeting the demand of local people. “At the national level, the index is a useful method for local authorities in the process of reforming policies,” Mr. Malhotra said.

As a sponsor of the PAPI, Australian Ambassador in Vietnam H.E Mr. Craig Chittick believes foreign investors wish to find assessments on Vietnam’s environment like the PAPI, when deciding to invest.

“The value of the PAPI is that it is creditable, comprehensive and clear,” he said. “It is a gold mine for policymakers.” The embassy also committed to being the main sponsor of the PAPI over the next three years, with a total of $2.9 million.

There are 90 countries conducting a PAPI. Major opportunities exist for Vietnam to participate in improving government and public administration. “From the results of the PAPI, relevant authorities can solve existing problems,” said Mr. Malhotra. “Local authorities at all levels will face many challenges and pressures to increase their PAPI scores.”

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